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All 17 IHOP Pancakes, Crepes, And Waffles, Ranked

IHOP has a lot of pancakes. I know that kind of goes without saying — I mean, this is the International House of Pancakes we’re talking about, so you’ve got to assume if anyone has an abundance of different pancakes, it’s them — but have you ever stopped to think about just how many “a lot” is? A month ago, off the top of my head, I could name at best five possible flavors: buttermilk, chocolate chip, blueberry, banana, and strawberry.

So imagine my surprise when I learned that IHOP currently has thirteen pancakes on its menu, including their limited-time holiday options (available until January 2nd). THIRTEEN and that’s after streamlining the menu during the pandemic. How are there that many? Like, okay, I get it, you’ve got wheat and there’s probably a pumpkin flavor thrown in there for seasonality, but… thirteen?

Who designed this menu, the Cheesecake Factory?

That got us thinking: okay, thirteen, that’s a lot, but how many of those pancakes are actually good? So we ordered them all, reviewed them, and ranked them. We had such a good time binging on pancakes in a single marathon sitting that we decided to also throw in IHOP’s crepes and waffle options. Ask me if I’m sick of breakfast items that should technically be considered desserts. The answer is “no.”

So here it is — the definitive guide to hitting the International House of Pancakes (we trust you to handle ordering omelets on your own). You’re going to thank us when you’re stoned out of your mind, jonesing for a pancake, and are suddenly tempted to order a Tres Leches pancake sight unseen.

17. Cupcake

IHOP RANKING
Dane Rivera

Cupcake icing on top, rainbow sprinkles in the batter, if you’re able to read the description of this pancake then you’re not the target audience of this pancake. It’s sweet, obviously, and the frosting on top makes the whole thing taste like a cupcake. Far more of a dessert than something you’d want to eat at breakfast.

Best Syrup Pairing: I don’t know… Butter Pecan? It’s sweet enough, you maniac.

The Bottom Line: This is a pancake for children. If you’re stoned and this seems like a good idea, it’s not — order the chocolate chip.

16. Pumpkin Spice

IHOP RANKING
Dane Rivera

The Pumpkin Spice pancake is part of IHOP’s seasonal winter menu. To begin with, I’m not the biggest pumpkin spice fan. When the leaves start turning brown and suddenly the smell of pumpkin infuses everything, it does nothing for me. So these pancakes are just never going to be a winner in my book. To my taste buds, this isn’t anything remarkable, it tastes like… clove and ginger mixed in with the normal flavor of a pancake.

Topping this pancake is a dollop of creamy whipped cream. It doesn’t do much to win me over and is a far cry from the experience of a pumpkin pie if that’s what IHOP was going for.

Best Syrup Pairing: Old Fashioned

The Bottom Line:

Butter doesn’t taste right on this pancake, the flavors clash, but it’s not quite sweet enough to hit that dessert quality of some of the other pancakes on this list. It lives in this weird in-between world. This one needs more thought on IHOP’s end.

15. Waffles

IHOP RANKING
Dane Rivera

It’s made with IHOP’s buttermilk batter so it must be good right? Not really. It’s not bad, it’s a waffle, but it isn’t worth your curiosity. Ultimately it’s a better idea than the end result. The waffle is crispy and well toasted with a soft and fluffy inside. It’s just not as good as most of the pancakes.

Best Syrup Pairing: Old Fashioned or Butter Pecan.

The Bottom Line:

It’s IHOP not IHOW and there’s a reason for that.

14. Swedish Crepe

IHOP RANKING
Dane Rivera

IHOP’s crepes are a bit thicker than your average crepe, but they still have a great flavor and consistency. The Swedish crepe is topped with sweet and tart lingonberries. It’s good, just a little unimaginative. I wish IHOP would give savory crepes a try.

Best Syrup Pairing: No syrup necessary.

The Bottom Line:

It’s good, but not IHOP’s best crepe.

13. Mexican Tres Leches

IHOP RANKING
Dane Rivera

“Tres Leches, yeah right IHOP,” is what I thought when I looked at the menu and discovered this pancake. I’ve had a lot of Tres Leches in my life — I grew up in a Latino family, in a Latino neighborhood, I’ve had so much damn tres leches that I’m sick of it. I find the idea of making a pancake taste anything like this ridiculously moist cake impossible, and yet, somehow IHOP has kind of nailed it.

Don’t get me wrong, this is nowhere near as deliciously decadent as actual tres leches, but IHOP has somehow managed to mimic the wet spongey and soft texture of tres leches, and this pancake is punishingly sweet, just like the cake it tries to mimic. That earns IHOP a solid A for effort.

But we’re grading on flavor not effort, and this is a bit too sickly sweet for me. A bite or two is fine, but even a short stack might be enough to make you feel sick from sugar overload.

Best Syrup Pairing: Blueberry

The Bottom Line: Blueberry on a pancake I said was already too sweet? Hey, when in Rome — or in this case, when in the International House of Pancakes.

12. Original Gluten-Friendly

IHOP RANKING
Dane Rivera

IHOP’s Gluten-Friendly pancakes, we should note, shouldn’t be confused with gluten-free pancakes. Technically, IHOP’s gluten-friendly pancakes share a flat grill with their Original pancakes, so they can’t guarantee that your pancakes will be completely free of gluten, as measured by the FDA. That’s a distinction that might be important to people.

Unfortunately, these pancakes aren’t really for me, I’m not trying to avoid gluten but it feels harsh to rank these low because it’s not like they taste bad. Let’s get this straight, they don’t taste nearly as good as IHOP’s Original Buttermilk, they have a more natural and grainy texture to them and don’t have that soft fluffy texture that results from the buttermilk. But they’re not gross. I just like a lot of other pancakes more, so take my opinion here with a grain of salt… er elkhorn flour.

Best Syrup Pairing: Old Fashioned

The Bottom Line:

It’s not technically gluten-free so might as well say YOLO and enjoy your gluten.

11. Strawberries Creme Crepe

IHOP RANKING
Dane Rivera

It’s IHOP’s Swedish Crepe but with glazed strawberries and vanilla cream drizzle instead of tart lingonberries. Overall, I think that makes for a better experience. This is a nice little dessert to order for the table if the idea of strawberry pancakes sounds too heavy.

Best Syrup Pairing: More Whipped Cream.

The Bottom Line:

IHOP’s best crepe option.

10. Crispy Potato Pancakes

IHOP RANKING
Dane Rivera

This shouldn’t count, but hey, it has pancake in the name so technically this is an IHOP pancake. It feels weird to rank this above our bottom choice but… it’s kind of hard for me to not like this. It’s fried potato, and it tastes like the flattop grill, you know, the same one IHOP cooks bacon and grills onions on. That’s what this tastes like.

How does this differ from a hash brown? It’s all crisp, with hardly any fluffy potato left.

Best Syrup Pairing: Salt, ketchup and pepper.

The Bottom Line:

It’s technically a pancake, I guess. It’s definitely not a hash brown. Better than our bottom pancake pick.

9. Strawberry Banana French Toast

IHOP RANKING
Dane Rivera

This option covers up some of the shortcomings of IHOP’s French toast, thanks to the generous inclusion of strawberry, banana, and strawberry glaze. It’s sweet and incredibly filling. I know I attempted this entire tasting in a single day but I’m still pretty comfortable saying this is way more than most people can eat in a single sitting. It’s definitely a dish worth sharing though!

Best Syrup Pairing: Old-Fashioned.

The Bottom Line:

Order it for the table, it’s the best way to experience IHOP’s French toast.

8. New York Cheesecake

IHOP RANKING
Dane Rivera

The IHOP pancake menu attempts to mimic two other delicious sweet treats: the previously mentioned Mexican Tres Leches and New York Cheesecake. In one of those attempts they fail and that failure is the (higher-ranked) New York Cheesecake. It’s a better pancake, but it’s just nothing really like cheesecake. Sure, it has a slight tang to it thanks to the cheesecake bites they throw on the top, but with the topping of glazed strawberries, it just feels overall a bit redundant.

Best Syrup Pairing: Strawberry. This pancake is already redundant, might as well go all in, baby!

The Bottom Line:

If you want cheesecake, you’re not in the right place my friend. If you want a decadent riff on strawberry pancake with a little big of cream cheese tang, this’ll do nicely.

7. Winter Wonderland

IHOP RANKING
Dane Rivera

Another pancake that is part of IHOP’s limited-run winter menu, this pancake is easily IHOP’s most frightening. I know what you’re thinking, you see this pancake and you’ve lost all respect for me. How is this not ranked at the bottom of the list? Because… it kind of slaps.

Hear me out: it has that same delicious and fluffy buttermilk base that you’re expecting out of a good pancake but is gently dusted with powdered sugar, marshmallows that are totally optional (let’s face it, you’re going to eat them), and a delicious vanilla icing on top that pulls sweet sugary flavors together.

It’s like eating a giant fluffy cookie. It’s delicious. Are you going to tell me you don’t like cookies?

Best Syrup Pairing: No syrup necessary, but might as well go Butter Pecan if you’re feeling wild.

The Bottom Line:

Yes, it looks insane, but it actually pulls off whatever the hell it’s trying to pull off. This is a great dessert pancake.

6. Strawberry Banana

IHOP RANKING
Dane Rivera

IHOP’s Strawberry Banana pancakes are the menu’s best “decadent pancake” choice. This is the sort of pancake you order when you really want to go HAM on that sweet tooth. The pancakes here are filled with fresh banana slices and topped with more bananas (chill IHOP) drowning in a healthy dose of strawberry glaze. And by “healthy dose” I mean more than you should probably have in a single sitting. But f*ck it, right? We’re at IHOP!

Best Syrup Pairing: Old Fashioned

The Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for IHOP’s most extra but best-tasting sweet pancake, Strawberry Banana is it!

5. Cranberry Vanilla

IHOP RANKING
Dane Rivera

I never thought I’d describe anything on the IHOP menu as “fancy,” but this Cranberry Vanilla pancake is faaancy. Vanilla bean mousse topped with cranberry topping, powdered sugar, and whipped cream? Is this what the royal family eats?

For IHOP, this pancake has an impressive level of craft — I’d love to see it blind taste-tested alongside some high-end pancake houses (are those a thing?) This is also IHOP’s best holiday menu item, it’s sweet and complex with a sharp tang that snaps the palate to attention.

Best Syrup Pairing: It’s a toss-up between the Old-Fashioned and the Blueberry.

The Bottom Line:

A short stack of this for the table is a must-order, considering it’s a limited-time pancake.

4. Harvest Grain ’N Nut

IHOP RANKING
Dane Rivera

I walked out of IHOP thinking these were the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten but soon realized that it was just my body rebelling against the incredible amount of sugar I’d consumed. After a few days of ruminating on it, I need to put these in their proper place, and that’s the number three spot. I love these, the texture of the pancake is enhanced by bits of oats, almonds, and walnuts, embedded into deliciously chewy and fluffy pancake batter. I guess this is supposed to be IHOP’s healthy option, but you wouldn’t know it.

A splash of Butter Pecan syrup and extra butter will intensify the earthy, nutty flavors of this delicious pancake.

Best Syrup Pairing: Butter Pecan

The Bottom Line:

If you’re interested in pancakes outside of IHOP’s Originals, this is a great choice. It’s so good you’ll return to see how the other flavors stack up.

3. Chocolate Chocolate Chip

IHOP RANKING
Dane Rivera

It’s so hard not to fall in love with a chocolate chip pancake that IHOP could’ve easily tossed a handful of chocolate chips into their Original Buttermilk and called it a day. But they went a little deeper, and we appreciate them for that. Not only is this pancake filled with, honestly, way more chocolate chips than was necessary, they also drizzle chocolate sauce into the batter while the pancake is cooking.

Not pouring the chocolate drizzle on top of an already cooked pancake makes all the difference because the chocolate drizzle carmelizes in the pancake, giving this pancake a really delicious explosion of chocolatey sweetness with every bite.

Best Syrup Pairing: Honestly no syrup is necessary, but if you must I’d go with Old Fashioned.

The Bottom Line:

A thoughtful chocolate chip pancake that delivers on the most important part — the chocolate.

2. Blueberry

IHOP RANKING
Dane Rivera

Like the blueberry muffin, the blueberry pancake is essential. If you’re a restaurant that insists on having a variation on a buttermilk pancake, blueberry is the obvious play. There is something so complementary about these flavors, the earthy salty sugary taste of a good pancake is instantly elevated with the sweet and tart bite of blueberry. Add the sugary overload of blueberry compote to the top and you’ve got the perfect dessert pancake.

It’s not what you want all the time, but if you’re looking for a blueberry pancake that hits that particular craving, IHOP delivers beautifully.

Best Syrup Pairing Old Fashioned. That maple flavor also combines nicely with the tartness of blueberries.

The Bottom Line:

The perfect dessert pancake.

1. Original Buttermilk

IHOP RANKING
Dane Rivera

Simply the best. Really, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see Original Buttermilk at the number one spot. You can throw whatever fruit you want into a pancake, go nuts and throw some nuts in there, by all means, add chocolate, no matter how you f*ck with a pancake, it’ll always pale in comparison to a well-made buttermilk and in the world national restaurant chains, few make a better one than IHOP.

It’s gummy, fluffy, the perfect sponge for soaking up both butter and syrup. A forkful from a short stack is the kind of flavor experience that makes you close your eyes, say your favorite curse word and savor life’s majesty. It’s the sort of thing that makes waking up early in the morning worth it.

Yes, I realize I’m talking about a pancake.

Best Syrup Pairing: Old Fashioned

The Bottom Line:

All those other flavors are fun novelties, but nothing beats an original buttermilk pancake.

Find your nearest IHOP here.

https://uproxx.com/life/every-ihop-pancake-ranked/ All 17 IHOP Pancakes, Crepes, And Waffles, Ranked

JOE HERNANDEZ

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