Pancakes that taste like home.


Delicious sweet and savory buttermilk pancakes

Pancakes that taste like home.
Laura Welch   - 3 min read

Every country has food trends, and Japan is no different. At the moment, it seems to be pancakes. Sendai has its fair share of places offering these fluffy, delicious treats. Some of the best ones can be found in cafes, such as Cafe Pamplemousse. Another option is 38mitsubachi, only a short walk from Kitayobancho subway station.

I discovered 38mitsubachi through near-infallible method to follow in Japan – look out for a line of people. Generally, the more popular a place is, the more people will be waiting. I went past this cafe several times during the winter, and every time there were people sitting outside on chairs in the cold, wanting to eat lunch here.

The lunch menu is very impressive. 38mitsubachi is almost exclusively a pancake cafe, so everything on the menu includes pancakes. I've never seen stew or burgers served with pancakes before, but you can order it here if sausage and scrambled egg is too ordinary for you. At other times of day, you can choose from a variety of sweet pancakes, from plain to walnut to a Japanese-style one served with adzuki beans and cream. Specials include birthday pancakes and a 10-pancake tower! There is also a seasonal limited edition flavor, in case it wasn't hard enough to decide!

As with a lot of specialised shops, 38mitsubachi has dedicated itself to achieving perfection. Buttermilk is used to make their pancakes, and it really shows. The texture and flavor are as good as any I've made at home. Considering the ingredients that they use, the prices are to be expected, with some of the more elaborate ones around 1000 yen. If you're thirsty, most can made into a drink set.

The cafe itself is lovely, with a big window to let in light. Wooden panels and decorations give it a rural feel. It is quite small, which is one reason for the lines. I would recommend coming in the morning, or perhaps after two o'clock, unless you really want to try the lunch. If you find it busy and you can't wait, they sell plain pancakes to take out. Interestingly, there are also non-food items, such as a souvenir mug.

I love the Japanese take on pancakes, and 38mitsubachi make the best ones I've had so far. For something familiar yet different, try this pancake cafe!

Laura Welch

Laura Welch @laura.welch

One of my favourite things about Japan is the wonderful variety of food, and I love to share what I find. When I'm not eating, you might find me singing karaoke or walking around hoping to make new discoveries!