📍 131-132 High Holborn, Holborn, WC1V 6PS
📍 221 Kings Road, Chelsea, SW3 5EJ
📍 16 Kensington Church Street, Kensington, W8 4EP
🌿 Vegan options
🌾 Gluten free options
💰 Affordable with plenty of special offers
🥞 🥞 🥞
My Old Dutch has been going since 1958, making it London’s oldest dedicated pancake house.
If you’ve never been to one of their three locations (Holborn / Chelsea / Kensington), be prepared for a lot of colourful mismatched decor and a friendly, homemade vibe. Choice is abundant, with almost every type of dish you can think of available in pancake form (more about that later) and plenty of vegan, gluten-free and lighter options as well.
Queues have been known to line up outside at peak times, but go off-peak with a tenner and you can get pancakes and drinks and still have change.
If you’re wondering where to celebrate pancake day this year – or if you just want to find your next go-to spot for weekend brunch dates – read on for our review of the original Holborn branch of My Old Dutch.
The Look And Feel
You’ll spot My Old Dutch from the colourful window stickers and bright orange facade, and – as I said above – the decor choices inside are kind of random. To name a few: there’s a wall covered in fake grass, a tiled fireplace and a huge mural of tulips.
Don’t be put off, though – this isn’t a place that’s trying to be ‘quirky’ for the sake of standing out. In fact, it feels like the opposite: it’s unpretentious and the place really comes to life when it’s full of people.
Every time we’ve visited (many, many times by now) it’s been just the right level of busy and it’s fun to watch the collection of types that come out for pancakes: families, groups of students, other couples on dates.
Seating and service is quick. There are two floors, including basement seating, but try to be upstairs if you can (it’s much nicer here).
For the best seat in the house, try to get the window table that’s on its own little raised platform. Sitting here on a weekend morning with the sun streaming in feels amazing 🙂
The menu has a mix and match concept where you choose a base and toppings, just like building a pizza.
There are three main options for pancakes:
Sweet Pancakes – AKA European Style
These are the large, crepe-style pancakes you’d normally get in Europe. At My Old Dutch, these are ultra-thin and served on enormous 17 inch plates.
As a child, I was used to eating this type of pancake covered in sugar, lemon juice and jam. This was before sharing images of breakfast was trendy, so back then I’d never even seen an American pancake stack, except in cartoon form on The Simpsons.
Naturally, this is my pancake of choice every time I visit.
Order a sweet pancake with fruit (apple, pear, banana etc.) and it will come with soft, almost caramelised chunks baked into the batter itself. I’m a fan.
Butterscotch – AKA American-Style Pancakes
These are the lovely stacks of American-style pancakes that everyone knows and loves, and there’s not much to say about them except that they’re predictably delicious. They’re less filling than the sweet pancakes, so get these if you’re only a normal level of hungry.
These are the bite-sized little pancakes like the type you can buy from vans in Greenwich Market and eat with a tiny wooden fork. If you like your pancakes crispy with a good topping-to-dough ratio, these might be a good choice.
Extras And Savoury Options
There are also waffles, milkshakes etc. which I won’t go into here because I’m too stuck on ordering those enormous European pancakes to try them out just yet. I’m sure I ought to, though. It took me long enough to try a savoury option (of which there are many) – the idea of a four cheese pancake was just too unfamiliar, but turned out to be amazing.
Some of the savoury choices here include hoisin duck, chicken curry and lamb stew, to name only a few. This might seem weird if you’re used to thinking of pancakes as a dessert or breakfast food, but it’s a lot like any other kind of meal wrapped in some type of pastry or bread, such as a pasty, pie or a calzone.
Is My Old Dutch Good For A Date?
My Old Dutch is one of my favourite places in London for a casual date.
The atmosphere is friendly and the food is simple enough that it looks like something you could put together at home, but is always reliably good. Anything it lacks by not being overly fussy and photogenic it more than makes up for with the huge amount of choice on offer.
I’ve been to creperies and pancake houses in France and Holland and found a lot of them quite similar to My Old Dutch. If you like these too, you’ll be right at home here.
Special Offers At My Old Dutch
- Monday Madness – select pancakes for £5.95
- 20% off Tuesdays through Fridays (give a secret code word to the manager – not valid 14th – 30th Feb)
- 10% student discount with card – Tuesdays through Sundays