When you talk about Kyoto sweets everyone thinks of Japanese traditional sweets, but actually did you know there are many pancake shops there too? Here are some popular shops that you should try even though there's often a line of people waiting.
Fukumimi is a Hawaiian cafe in a 100-year-old machiya (a traditional townhouse) a 5 minute walk away from Karasumaoike Station. While the facade looks like a regular machiya, the interior mixes Japanese and Hawaiian aesthetics to create an interesting atmosphere. The menu changes depending on the season, but there are about 10 types of pancakes, including those using fruits or mascarpone cheese. The slightly sweet, fluffy pancakes will melt in your mouth the moment you take a bite! Their plain butter milk pancakes (regular size 750 JPY) made with their original butter is popular, but if you're torn between what to get, go with the half-and-half so you can enjoy two kinds of pancakes. They have a varied menu outside of pancakes as well, so this is a perfect place to take a little break for a meal.
Cafe Rhinebeck is a pancake specialty shop that also has branches in New York. It's similar to Fukumimi in that it's housed in a machiya that's 120 years old and has a calm atmosphere in a modern Japanese aesthetic. They make the pancakes directly to order, so they're considered Kyoto's fluffiest. Their pancakes also have perfect harmony with the sweetness of their special maple syrup. Their toppings are simple, but their offerings like their morning-only plane pancake (680 JPY (incl. tax)) and their ricotta cheese pancake (1,000 JPY (incl. tax)) is made with particular attention to the ingredients so they're delicious enough to drag anyone in. The morning menu is different than the menu for the rest of the day, so check before you go. The morning is also not as crowded as it is later in the day so think about going then!
fleur is a cafe that mainly offers pancakes and has two branches in Kyoto. It's near Kyoto Station, making it very easy to get to, and the wooden facade is very chic. There are terrace seats, and the ceiling is very high so the entire cafe has a very open atmosphere. All of their pancakes are made with a distinct egg flavor and come in a stack of 3 for a satisfying amount. This restaurant's recommendation is the fleur pancake (900 JPY). The simple yet extremely delicious pancake is very popular. Also, they have many seasonal pancakes, so check before you go. They have a lot of set drinks as well, so enjoy your time here having pancakes with a nice drink.
Yukinoshita is a restaurant famous for pancakes and kakigoori (shaved ice). Their thick pancakes are made using only the best ingredients to make a high-quality pancake that is crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. They're on the small side, but they're so delicious that they have grabbed the hearts of Japanese pancake fans. They usually have around 10 flavors, including matcha, cream cheese, seasonal fruits, and cocoa, and depending on the order they put fruit or matcha powder in the pancake batter itself. You might have trouble choosing, but the clarified butter with mandarin orange honey pancake (700 JPY (incl. tax)) is a highly recommended. The balance of the taste of the batter and the butter is in great harmony, so it's a pancake that you should try at least once.
BLUE FIR TREE, a cafe bar in Gion, is a restaurant with a calming atmosphere that is a cafe in the day and a bar at night. Their pancakes are thick and buttery like Yukinoshita, and it takes 20 minutes to make. The outside is fragrant and the inside is airy and sponge-like, contributing to their popularity. On their menu they have two items, the Maboroshi no Hotcake (800 JPY with coffee or tea) or the Maboroshi no Hotcake Kongetsu no Topping, in which the toppings change monthly (1,000 JPY with coffee or tea). Since it has drinks included, it's a very reasonable price. They don't serve pancakes when they're functioning as a bar, so if you want to eat them make sure to come at the right time.
Use this article when you're trying to find the perfect place for you! Since these restaurants are often very crowded, make sure you go with time on your hands.
*Please note that the prices and other information in the article may not be the most up-to-date information