Visiting The Smallest Restaurant In Europe

Monday, March 19, 2018 Upstairs Pannen koekenhuis

The Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis or Upstairs Pancakes is one of the most special places I have ever been. As hyperbolic as it seems, I remember it as clearly and beautifully as the Eiffel Tower at night. Probably because Upstairs Pancakes was equally, if not more, surprising.

I remembered the café from photos I’d seen of a pancake house with teapots covering its ceiling. I had clearly gotten carried away with the oh so American idea of a pancake HOUSE and remembered the place much larger than it is in reality. MUCH, MUCH LARGER. Upstairs is in fact, the smallest restaurant in Europe with only four tables. We walked single file up the steepest flight of stairs, tempted to use our hands as if it were a ladder, and arrived eye to eye with the sole chef and full house of patrons. All six. It felt like a mistake. Luckily, there’s little time for bullshit in a place this small. We all could heard the sound of more guests climbing the stairs and there very literally would’ve been nowhere for them to go. The chef quickly let us know that without a reservation, we were out of luck. We had the option of enjoying pancakes at 5:00 that evening or 1:30 the following afternoon. We decided the initial shock and awkwardness was meal enough for the day and opted to try again the next day.

We were so pumped. It was all we could talk about. How good must the pancakes be if you can run a whole restaurant with six seats and have people crawling back, literally, day after day? The pancakes are INCREDIBLE! We returned the next day 30 minutes before our reservation and people watched outside. The best part was watching couple after couple take that awkward climb up the stairs only to be turned away just like we were the day before. There was even a group of six! We DIED laughing with no words.

We were seated at the window (in the second window box pictured) and we agreed to let a solo traveler dine with us. He was chill and didn’t’ speak English. I ordered the banana with chocolate sauce and Brittany ordered the rhubarb and plum special. The menu is lengthy but fairly simple. Each pancake has no more than three ingredients and typically just two. As delicious as they were, as with most great meals I’ve ever had, the best part was something seemingly insignificant—the house made cream. BABYYYYYY we licked those plates clean, you hear me?

The best part of this experience was feeling like I was in on a secret. Like I was so lucky to be filling one of so few seats. We felt like princesses in a castle peering out from that little flower box in the window. All so simple. All so sweet. I don't know that I ever intended on really sharing this gem with the world, but if it weren't shared somewhere I would've never known myself. Plus this happy feeling is something that should be spread. Go explore and enjoy! Snap a  pic for me and MAKE A RESERVATION!

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