Whether you prefer sweet or savoury, American or crêpes, we’ve got something to satisfy everyone on the Roman this pancake day.
Pancake day might be the only day of the year when it is acceptable to eat the same meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the Christian tradition, Pancake Day – or Shrove Tuesday – is the last day of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual of fasting for Lent from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday begins.
Whether you’re taking part in Lent or not, many of our local cafes and coffee shops are perfecting their recipes and finalising their toppings in anticipation of Pancake Day. So if you want to avoid a culinary disaster that leaves your kitchen plastered in pancakes, then take a look at our list of perfect pancakes around Roman Road. After all, it’s not every day that you’re allowed to indulge in dessert for dinner.
BEST FOR: CROWD-PLEASING CLASSICS
You’ll find Cafe Creme beside Bow Library, which is always overspilling with customers onto the Roman. On Shrove Tuesday the Turkish family-run caf will be serving up all the crowd-pleasing pancake classics. Choose between berries and banana, lemon and sugar, Nutella, or a pancake with bacon and maple syrup. All of them are served with a scoop of ice cream and caramel-flavoured drizzle on top.
Find Cafe Creme at 566 Roman Rd, E3 5ES.
Mae + Harvey
BEST FOR: PANCAKES AS LIGHT AS AIR
Mae + Harvey on the Roman go all out on Pancake Day. The Shrove Tuesday menu includes their customers’ favourite chocolate ganache and hazelnut with banana. They’ll also have some creative savoury twists like portobello mushroom and gruyere cheese, as well as hot smoked salmon with creme fraiche and dill. Their pancake batter is inspired by chef Oliver Rowe, a regular at the cafe, who showed them his ‘puff pancake’ recipe from his latest cookbook. The result? Pancakes as light as air.
Mae & Harvey is located at 414 Roman Rd, E3 2RZ.
BEST FOR: FRENCH CREPES
With two special crêpe pans stationed permanently on the counter, Loafing on the Roman is a key Pancake Day spot. Loafing’s owner, Susie McDuell, says the most popular dish is a vegan option: a delicate buckwheat number filled with homemade sun-dried tomato pesto, mushrooms, onions and spinach. McDuell’s topping of choice is Nutella and ice cream, which also features on their menu. And what’s her secret? ‘You’ll need fresh ingredients and the right technique to create the perfect crêpe: thin, colourful and beautiful.’
Visit Loafing at 407 Roman Rd, E3 5QS.
BEST FOR: PLENTIFUL PLATES
Cafe East is so popular that its daily queue of customers has become a permanent feature of Roman Road’s pavement. While you can get a whole full English with your pancakes here, as well as just dessert pancakes, all the options are served with pleasing-to-the-eye exotic fruits. They’d recommend the popular ‘Lost in London’, which includes two pancakes, scrambled eggs, streaky bacon, Cumberland sausage, two hash browns and beans. That should keep you going ‘till Easter.
Pop into Cafe East at 426 Roman Rd, E3 5LU.
Gözlemes at Artisan Bakery
BEST FOR: TURKISH STUFFED TURNOVERS
Nestled inside Niyazi Usta Artisan Bakery next to Akdeniz Supermarket, you can find Gözlemes made on demand for a very affordable price. Not strictly a pancake, a Gözleme is a savoury Turkish stuffed turnover. This bakery, which is owned by Akdeniz, sells a range of Turkish treats including pastries baked fresh every day. Inside, a lady wearing traditional Turkish dress makes golden, buttery Gözlemes that are cheap as chips. You can choose from minced meat, spinach and cheese, potato fillings, or a combination of them all.
Artisan Bakery can be found at the end of the Roman, on 67 Usher Rd, Bow, E3 2HA.
BEST FOR: SUGARY TREATS
If you walk all the way to the eastern end of Roman Road market, you’ll find Sweet Talkers Desserts. Their crêpes are a permanent fixture on the menu, promising the best place for true indulgence this Pancake Day. Choose from a variety of flavours and toppings, from Strawberry & Mango to Ferrero & Nutella. Don’t be fooled by the simple-sounding cinnamon crêpe, this creation is served with butterscotch sauce, a scoop of pistachio ice cream, chocolate shavings and crispy wafers, all topped off with a swirl of whipped cream.
Visit Sweet Talkers at 633 Roman Rd, Bow, London E3 2RN.
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