Cafe Society

In honor of National Pancake Day, a half-dozen joints to flip for flapjacks

If you've been living in a box of Bisquick, then you probably already know that this Sunday is National Pancake Day. If, on the other hand, you just live for breakfast, then National Pancake Day gives you one more reason to flip your jack.

Herewith, six of our favorite joints to get griddled.

Original Pancake House 5900 South University Boulevard and 8000 East Belleview

Right, we know the Original Pancake House is a chain (25 states and counting), but you know what? We don't give a chicken's ass, because along with fat and beautifully fluffy six-egg omelets, plate-spanning blueberry flapjacks and some of the best corned beef hash ever, this buzzy breakfast barn plies us with one of our favorite brunch rushes -- the apple pancake -- a big-as-your-face, four-inch thick eggy, bread pudding-y brute that's slapped with a million slices of butter-soaked Granny Smith apples, glazed with sugar and ashed with cinnamon. This, people, is the breakfast of real champions.

Syrup 300 Josephine Street

Thomas Willis, the chef at Syrup, says that "butter and bacon drippings are king" at his subterranean Cherry Creek breakfast and bunch spot that pimps puffy beignets, corned beef hash, a noteworthy pork-studded green chile that packs a wallop, scratch-made hollandaise sauce and 30 different housemade syrups to drizzle over your buttermilk pancakes, judiciously sprinkled with powdered sugar and patted with hits of butter.

Toast ​2700 West Bowles Avenue and 222 Columbine Street

The "Plain Jane Pancakes" here are so good they ought to be criminal -- light and fluffy and dense all at the same time, cooked on the flat-top so that each one is marked with the concentric rings that can only be made by a flapjack-flipper who's got his eye on the ball. But what really raises Toast to the realm of hotcake heaven are the specialty pancakes with Fruity Pebbles or Oreos, spiked with lemon and blueberry, made to taste like strawberry cheesecake or in the style of bananas Foster. The kitchen will even do them in flights, so you never have to decide between one sweet, unbelievable indulgence and another.

Snooze 2262 Larimer Street; 700 North Colorado Boulevard; 144 West Mountain Avenue, Fort Collins

It's easy to flip for the flapjacks at Snooze, the mod breakfast barn for early-morning hipsters and brunchers who stumble in, some in their flannels, to congregate at the counter in the crescent-shaped vinyl booths for steaming jolts of java, Bloodies to counteract the bleary eyes and sustenance to soak it all up. Not everything at Snooze rocks our world, but the pineapple upside-down pancake, a saucer-size sphere bundled with squares of caramelized pineapple, fairy-dusted with powdered sugar and dolloped with a scoop of cinnamon butter that melts into rivers of sweetness, is one of those unassailable wonderments bestowed upon us by the breakfast gods.

Cozy Cottage 2423 South Downing Street

The countrified space, which harbors six, maybe seven rickety tables, is hardly big enough for the besiege of breakfast crowds swing through the doors, especially on weekends, but the gut-busting flapjacks -- buttermilk, gluten-free honey bran, buckwheat, blueberry, blue bran, fruit bran and banana bran -- are sublime specimens of morning sustenance that give us reason to rise and shine. You can create your own pancakes, too, from a board of ingredients that includes raisins, Craisins, walnuts, or chocolate chips.

Perfect Landing 7625 South Peoria Street

Outside the big windows of the Perfect Landing Restaurant, an off-the-beaten-path spot on the second floor of the Denver JetCenter at Centennial Airport, small airplanes buzz as they take off and land. But breakfast soars, too, thanks to a board of morning must-haves, including seven different pancakes, all of which are crowned with powdered sugar, butter and syrup. Bonus: Those flapjacks also come with two eggs and your choice of Canadian bacon, applewood smoked bacon, bone-in honey ham, a sausage patty or links. If that's not enough fuel to make you fly high, then you should be grounded.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson