Flippin’ fantastic: Finding Marin’s best pancakes

Isabella Alioto

While “homemade” pancakes are typically made using a store-bought mix, many restaurants in Marin offer fresh-off-the-griddle pancake platters that leave you dreaming about your next breakfast. The Bark set out to find the best pancakes in Marin. Locations were rated on pancake taste, quality, and price.

Dusted with powdered sugar, the $7.25 buttermilk pancakes at the Half Day Cafe, served with a side of fresh fruit, failed to tantalize my taste buds.
Dusted with powdered sugar, the $7.25 buttermilk pancakes at the Half Day Cafe, served with a side of fresh fruit, failed to tantalize my taste buds.


Dipsea Cafe (4.5 stars)

Filled to the brim with juicy blueberries, these heavenly pancakes are more than just an average meal: they’re an experience. Sitting near the fireplace and surrounded by checkered tablecloths and vintage license plates, a late morning breakfast at the Dipsea Cafe can transport you back in time to a classic diner. Though the Dipsea is a ways from central Marin on the highway towards Mill Valley, the small creek running into the bay offers customers a tranquil view. These pancakes, though the most expensive at $9.50 for a short stack of two and $11.95 for a stack of three, are well worth the price.


Woodlands (2.5 stars)

Thin and bland, Woodlands pancakes bring little to the table. Their buttermilk batter tastes too much like the generic store-bought mix. The options are relatively limited, with only plain or chocolate chip pancakes available and a side of strawberries if desired. However, the ambiance is much more pleasing. The restaurant is clean, the service prompt, and options for sitting inside or outside add variety to the experience. Additionally, Woodlands is close to Redwood, located on College Avenue in Kentfield. Considering that these pancakes are the cheapest of all four locations at $7, their sub-par taste can be excused if you are on a tight budget.


Lighthouse Cafe (3 stars)

Though dusted confectioner’s sugar sweetens the pancakes overall, it cannot compensate for the rudimentary recipe used for the Lighthouse Cafe’s pancakes. The side dish of fresh fruit enhances the presentation, but could not make these pancakes anything above average. However, the fact that the Lighthouse Cafe has two locations, one in Corte Madera and the other in Sausalito, shows the success it has had in Marin. The restaurant’s overwhelming popularity also attests to its welcoming country character without slowing down service at all. And the plentiful servings almost matches their price of $9.25 for two pancakes.


Half Day Cafe (3 stars)

The zesty orange butter serves as a universal compliment to Half Day Cafe’s pancakes, yet the butter does not cover up their tastelessness. Though the $7.25 buttermilk pancakes disappointed, the locally acclaimed whole wheat raspberry pancakes, slightly more expensive at $8.95, expertly balances tart and sweet flavors between the raspberries and a dollop of whipped cream. The Cafe’s accessible location on College Avenue in Kentfield and its relatively low price made up for the unexciting buttermilk pancakes.