Walker Brothers Pancake House

Pancake House
One of the best

There are a hundred Original Pancake Houses around the country, all vaguely related to the original Original, which opened in Portland, Oregon, in 1953. We’ve never eaten in a bad one – the formula of using top-notch ingredients and a repertoire of great recipes is sure success – but the Walker Brothers franchise in Wilmette, Illinois, opened in 1960, raises the bar even higher. Decorated in spectacular art nouveau stained glass and wood, it is incredibly clean, embarrassingly polite, comfortable, and generous. Everything served is eye-opening good, from the brilliant fresh orange juice and good, dark coffee (with a pitcher of heavy cream) to thick-sliced bacon and chicken-apple sausage. Order eggs, and you may exclaim, as we have, “I forgot how good a fresh egg, cooked in pure butter, can taste!”

Granted, it is difficult to order eggs when the pancakes are so good. The plainer ones are simple excellence – rich buttermilk cakes, tangy sourdough flapjacks, old-time buckwheat; and the snazzy “crepe” menu includes banana crepes, Cherry Kijafa crepes, and luxuriant seafood Newburg with crusty potato pancakes.

Our favorite meals, and the kitchen’s showstoppers, are the baked pancakes, either the German pancake or apple pancake, both of which are made with egg-rich batter that causes them to puff high above the skillet in which they are baked. Both arrive completely eclipsing the plate on which they sit. The German pancake is accompanied by lemon wedges and powdered sugar to create its own sweet-tart syrup. The apple pancake, a veritable mesa of breakfast, is a bubbling feast of fruit and cinnamon and tender batter – approximately 10,000 calories of deliciousness.

The only bad thing to say about Walker Brothers is that sometimes you can’t get in. There is often a wait for a table, a long wait on weekends.

What to Eat
Walker Brothers Pancake House, German Pancake
German Pancake
The fork next to the German Pancake gives perspective to the size of this dish.
Walker Brothers Pancake House, Apple Pancake
Apple Pancake
A close view of the Apple pancake shows the tender, eggy cake part interfolded with cooked-soft apples and their caramelized juices.
Walker Brothers Pancake House, Bacon
This is one of America's top ten bacons. Always exactly poised between crunch and juicy tenderness, it is redolent of sweet smokehouse flavor.
Walker Brothers Pancake House, Orange Juice
Orange Juice
Orange juice is vividly fruity and thick with pulp.
Walker Brothers Pancake House, Dutch Baby
Dutch Baby
The Dutch Baby is the 'smaller' of the German oven-baked pancakes. Here it was ordered with optional chocolate chips.
Walker Brothers Pancake House, Chiplote Chicken Crepes
Chiplote Chicken Crepes
Savory crepes are also available. The chipotle chicken crepes include onions, peppers and mushrooms in a spicy chipotle sauce and the three potato pancakes are included for any remaining sauce.
Directions and Hours
open now
Sunday7am - 2:30pm
Monday7am - 2:30pm
Tuesday7am - 2:30pm
Wednesday7am - 2:30pm
Thursday7am - 2:30pm
Friday7am - 2:30pm
Saturday7am - 2:30pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
10 stops | 145 MILES | 3 hr 32 min

A road trip along the the southwest shore of Lake Michigan offers a wild taste-buds adventure (assuming you can get out of Chicago with any appetite remaining ... but that's another story). This trip starts with a great corned beef sandwich at the edge of the Chicago Loop and ends with two corned beef sandwich…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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