The Original Pancake House
Neighbourhood: The Forks
Address: 1 Forks Market Rd
While Winnipeg’s status as a food city spurs self-appointed gourmands to a predilection for the trend of the moment, certain places and dishes have complete staying power, beyond trend factor. Perhaps it is nostalgia, tradition, or just the right combination of butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon—in any case, The Original Pancake House won’t be giving up its place in Winnipeg’s heart any time soon.
The first location of this local chain opened its doors on Pembina Hwy in 1958, and has since become a classic spot for Winnipeggers looking to dig into family friendly breakfast fare. Popularity has not waned, and the restaurant now boasts four locations, including a bright mod space off McGillivray in the city’s South End.
The Forks Market location is the go-to to warm toes after skating the river trail. Weekends are packed our for family brunches, shared over many generations, in the cushy booths and sunny glass atrium.
A strange magic is at play that allows shifting ratios of ingredients to create a plethora of breakfast foods. A bevvy of batters produce classic fluffy buttermilk pancakes, Belgian-style waffles, French toast, and delicate crêpes, all used as vehicles for a range of toppings. Pick your favourite and top with fresh berries, or, for the unabashed sweet tooth, banana split fixings.
Blintzes are a highlight. The plump packages of tangy ricotta and cream cheese are lightly crisped on top and served with fresh fruit.
German-style pancakes provide the spot’s main attraction. Oven baked treats with chewy, crêpe-like centres and crispy edges are accented simply with lemon wedges and powdered sugar, or taken to the savoury side with ham, cheese, or veggies. The best iteration is the giant apple pancake, laden with a bubbling mixture of cinnamon sugar coated apples which add caramelized nooks and crannies to the equation.
Burgers and sandwiches make up the lunch menu, but with breakfast served all day, it’s hard to resist the call of the restaurant’s eponymous dish.