The debate over pancakes and waffles will never be settled, but these restaurants and cafes in Montclair will have your opinion swayed. Serving as the vehicle for rich maple syrup, melted butter, and limitless toppings, pancakes are the blank canvas of breakfast. When done just right, they are best served plain with minimal toppings. But sometimes plain just won’t cut it. We’ve rounded up the best places for you to sink your teeth into the fluffiest, most tender pancakes in Montclair.
Coffee + Cornbread | 38 Upper Montclair Plaza
(Photo credit: @coffeeandcornbread)
Bronx-born and raised sisters Monique and Monica founded Coffee and Cornbread in 2017. Their mission was to serve the community with their passion for cooking. With both sisters having a background in the hospitality industry, they knew how to create a perfect experience for customers. They noticed a gap in the accessibility of non-GMO organic foods available to order and turned that into an opportunity to open Coffee and Cornbread. The menu has breakfast and lunch options as well as some vegan selections. As the name states, there is to-die-for tender cornbread, baked fresh daily. The homemade pancakes will have guests coming back time and time again. Available in either triple or double stacks, anyone who orders will be sure to leave with a smile and a full stomach. These pancakes are light as air and perfectly sweetened. Vegan guests are covered as there are vegan pancakes available, made with organic rice milk. Please note that Coffee + Cornbread is temporarily closed for renovations and will reopen in July.
Marcel Bakery + Kitchen | 631 ½ Valley Road
(Photo credit: @marcelbakeryandkitchen)
Located outside the hustle of downtown Montclair, this chill Mediterranean-inspired bakery-cafe offers a full menu in addition to a small grab-and-go section. Classics such as hummus, Israeli couscous, egg salad, and other small lunch bites are available. Although, passing up on the breakfast menu would be a huge mistake. Breakfast is served all day, so you don’t have to worry about missing it. Egg burritos, omelets, tartine sandwiches, and Israeli breakfast platters are just a few of the fresh options available. For a sweet turn, the thick buttermilk pancakes do not disappoint. Marcel’s pancakes are made with buttermilk, making them light and tender. They are topped with a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar to add a subtle sweetness on top and served with sliced bananas, it will be hard to put your fork down once you start eating these!
Minia’s Montclair | 22 Lackawanna Plaza
This local breakfast + lunch spot serves up an entire pancake platter with a choice of meat and 2 eggs any style. If you’re not in the mood for eggs or the side of meat, Minia’s has also been known to be flexible with substitutions — like avocado for any vegetarians out there. Diners also have the option to add berries to the pancakes. The pancakes are giant, fluffy, flavorful, and have a light dusting of powdered sugar on them that really pull the dish together beautifully. Minia’s is open every day for breakfast at 8AM except for Wednesdays when it’s closed. There’s also a location in Bloomfield, located at 419 Bloomfield Avenue.
Raymonds | 28 Church Street
(Photo credit: @raymondsnj)
This staple restaurant has been serving up delicious food to the community of Montclair since 1989. To be around this long means they’re doing something right! This vibrant, bustling brunch spot is located in the heart of downtown, making it easily accessible to shoppers and those taking a stroll to pop in for a delicious bite. There may be a short wait for a table but there is plenty to do in the area to stay busy. These pancakes are slightly sweet with a beautiful golden brown exterior. The pancakes are served with Berkshire maple syrup, fresh fruit, and the option to add a wild Maine blueberry syrup. Since the cakes themselves are fairly sweet, The Montclair Girl found that a simple smear of salted butter and a drizzle of maple syrup will do the job. The dish is served with four cakes per order, which is enough to feed the table, or one hungry person.
Red Eye Cafe | 94 Walnut Street
(Photo credit: @redeyecafe)
This quaint downtown cafe may seem unassuming from the outside, but the menu is bursting with delicious takes on the classics. Walking in, Red Eye has a small counter up front for customers to pick up a coffee and a pastry. For others looking to sit and enjoy a meal, there are several tables in the back. The subway-style tiles on the wall spelling out the cafe’s names give this suburban NJ spot an NYC vibe. Menu items range from classic egg sandwiches, omelets, pancakes, and French toast to Scotch egg banh mi sandwiches, breakfast ramen, chilaquiles, and shrimp and grits to name a few. These pancakes stand out for many reasons, one being the irresistible banana walnut topping diners can add. The nutty flavor from the walnuts, plus the sweetness of the bananas mixed with the maple syrup is the perfect compliment to these sweet cakes. These are slightly crisp on the exterior and fluffy on the inside — deliciousness all around.
The Corner | 115 Grove Street
(Photo credit: @thecornermontclair)
With multiple recommendations and rave reviews, this was at the top of The Montclair Girl‘s list. And after giving them a try, the hype is all real. As the name of the restaurant says, The Corner is located on the corner of Grove and Walnut Streets, making this central location perfect for those who are strolling downtown looking for a bite to eat in the morning. It can get quite busy so make sure to come early or be prepared to wait a bit. Patience is a virtue for these pancakes, though. Diners get a generous portion of four cakes per serving, which is enough for one hungry customer or great to split among your family and friends. The Corner’s pancakes are perfectly golden brown, fluffy, and light as air with an essence of vanilla making these cakes the perfect sweet start to the morning. The atmosphere of The Corner is exciting and buzzy, like the staff. It has the perfect aesthetic for all your #brunch posts to share on Instagram.
Toast | 700 Bloomfield Avenue
(Photo credit: @toastmontclair)
With the mantra “Peace, Love & Pancakes,” the Toast team certainly knows how to make stand-out pancakes. The vibe of Toast is cozy and welcoming, like the menu. Toast stepped up the Montclair pancake scene by offering customers a wide array of flavors to choose from: red velvet, chocolate chip, carrot cake, strawberry, blueberry, buttermilk, and even gluten-free options are on the mouth-watering menu. These cakes are cooked on the griddle, giving them the nostalgic diner-style taste. The result is not overly sweet, yet still tender and flavorful. Pancakes are available as a single pancake or a short stack. With flavor choices that can certainly please everyone at the table, you can’t go wrong ordering a few single pancakes to try them all.