Richard Walker’s Pancake House
550 Front Street, Ste. C-8, San Diego
on the street level floor of the Pinnacle Museum Tower in the Marina
District in downtown San Diego, Richard Walker’s Pancake House is the
ideal place for a weekend brunch or weekday treat. Featuring a fusion
of traditional favorites and gourmet originals, Richard Walker’s offers
everything from classic-style griddlecakes and omelets to oven-baked
pancakes and crepes.
Richard Walker’s father and uncles originally opened four snack shops in Evanston, Illinois in 1948. Richard Walker later opened two pancake houses in Crystal Lake and Schaumburg, Illinois, and his gourmet pancakes soon gained a celebrated reputation across the country. Richard Walker opened his San Diego location in 2006.
My family and I arrived at Richard Walker’s Pancake House on a Sunday morning at 9:45 a.m. and there was a line. Sundays are their busiest day, but the line moved quickly and a friendly hostess brought menus down the line for early decision-making.
The décor is upscale modern and the atmosphere is bustling with its hard-working, friendly wait-staff. Conversation and kitchen sounds fill the air—perfect for bringing children of all ages. We sat near a family with a baby whose car seat was propped in a high chair.
My husband and I promptly received fresh-ground coffee ($2.95) served in traditional, elegant coffee cups. Gillian, my 9-year-old, ordered unfiltered apple juice ($3.50), which tasted like fresh autumn cider. Lauren, 11, chose a large orange juice ($4.50) and enjoyed its pulpy, hand-squeezed freshness.
While there is no official children’s menu, Richard Walker’s offers a half portion of chocolate chip pancakes and other child-friendly selections, such as fresh fruit and silver dollar pancakes. Gillian opted for the chocolate chip pancakes ($5.50) and commented on the perfect portion size.
Lauren tried the Fresh French Strawberry Crepes ($9.50), wrapped around generous portions of sweet, sliced strawberries. The crepes were topped with powdered sugar and more sliced strawberries, and served with a side of tropical mango sauce. The girls split an a la carte order of sausage patties ($4.50).
My husband, John, and I like to share breakfasts—we order one sweet item and one savory item and split them. He ordered one of Richard Walker’s signature dishes, the Baked Cinnamon Pecan Pancake ($10.95). The fluffy pancake sat atop a bed of toasted, tender pecans and was coated in cinnamon and sugar. Other gourmet selections include Walker’s Apple Pancake and the Dutch Harvest, filled with fresh veggies and topped with Havarti cheese.
I chose the spicy Santa Fe Omelet ($10.95), made with onions, cilantro, tomatoes and jalapeño peppers. Slice into the omelet, and you’ll find creamy, melted jalapeño cheese. Homemade green salsa is served on the side, and its chilled freshness is a delicious complement to the omelet’s zest.
Arrive at lunchtime and enjoy a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup or a classic Caesar salad, and top your meal with a Chocolate Explosion—chocolate wrapped in a crepe and topped with strawberries and whipped cream.
Ronni Rowland is a mother of two and freelance writer.