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What Are the Vegan Options at the Original Pancake House? (Updated Guide)

What Are the Vegan Options at the Original Pancake House? (Updated Guide)

In 1953, Erma Hueneke and Les Highet opened the first franchise of The Original Pancake House in Portland, Oregon.

They gradually expanded this chain to 28 states of the USA and multiple outlets in Canada, South Korea, and Japan. The Walter Brothers Pancake House is another franchise that belongs with them. They are famous for their formal setting.

The query regarding the vegan options at The Original Pancake House is quite common. The answer is that there are specific vegan options on their menu, although most of them are non-vegan. However, there are also risks of cross-contamination as a result. Therefore, vegans who wish to dine here might have to reconsider their choice due to this issue. 

Some vegan food options at The Original Pancake House include their hash browns. They make their hash browns from potatoes and vegetable oil, thereby ruling out the usage of animal-based products.

Another vegan breakfast option here is their oatmeal. It is cooked with water, hence making it vegan. Their “Love You!” meal is also entirely vegan. Fresh-cut fruits are available here as well. Non-dairy drinks are available on the beverages menu.

What Can I Order at the Original Pancake House as a Vegan?

Since this restaurant does not have a dedicated vegan menu, there are chances for the food to have incidental animal products in dishes that seem to be vegan at first. Therefore, it is a good idea to double-check with the server as to whether the food you wish to order is vegan or not. Most breakfast diners do not have any vegan-friendly options at all.

However, The Original Pancake House has a few vegan dishes, thus ensuring that it is inclusive. 

Hash Browns

The hash browns are one of the limited vegan options at The Original Pancake House. The restaurant prepares them in the Roesti Swiss style. They are soft on the inside and crispy-golden on the outside. Another ingredient present in it is onion, which enhances the flavor further. 

Another suggestion would be to instruct the server beforehand to prepare your order in separate vessels. This will ensure the food stays free of dairy and whey contamination, even by accident. 

Cinnamon Applesauce

The preparation of cinnamon applesauce includes apples, lemon juice, salt, and cinnamon. Therefore, it is entirely vegan. However, it would be best to verify the ingredients with the waiter.

Sometimes, added flavors and vitamins are present in the applesauce and its key ingredients. For example, vitamins such as D3 are derived from animal products like lanolin. As a result, it could be non-vegan, and checking with the waiter is the ideal solution.

100% Pure Maple Syrup

As the name suggests, The Original Pancake House has 100% pure maple syrup on its menu. Since the syrup comes from the maple tree sap, it is entirely vegan. Vegans use it as the go-to substitute for honey. 

Accordingly, 100% pure maple syrup indicates that no added preservatives and dairy products are present in their product. 

Homemade Toast With Preserves

Another typical vegan-friendly dish present in the vegan options at The Original Pancake House is homemade toast with preserves. Toast is always a safe bet for vegans and is a healthy breakfast option. While placing the order, ensure that you ask the server to skip the butter on the toast. They are also available in gluten-free variants for health-conscious customers.

Some of the types of toast that are available here include:

  • Nine-grain wheat
  • White
  • Sourdough
  • Cinnamon swirl
  • Pumpernickel

Homemade Salsa

Salsa is a dish that usually consists of tomatoes, onions, and spices. Hence, it is a safe vegan option. In addition, you can order them as dips to accompany your main course item to make your order more flavorful. 


Thankfully, there are plenty of options for vegans in this category. Vegans can always opt for a nutritious meal of freshly cut fruits either separately or in the form of assorted fruit bowls. Fresh, seasonal fruits are available in multiple variants that include:

  • Fresh half grapefruit
  • Freshly-cut bananas
  • Seasonal berries
  • Seasonal fruit platters
  • Fresh fruit bowl comprising of pineapples, melons, bananas, and strawberries

Oatmeal and Cereal

This is one of the most recommended items on the breakfast menu of vegan options at The Original Pancake House. They prepare their oatmeal with water instead of milk, which makes the dish entirely vegan.

You also have the option to customize your bowl of oatmeal by requesting add-ons. The different add-ons that you can include in your oatmeal include raisins, bananas, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, and pecans.

Another typical breakfast item that vegans can opt for here is the assorted dry cereal. They do not include milk, hence making it vegan-friendly.


The beverages menu at The Original Pancake House has the most expansive range of vegan-friendly drinks. They have a lot of fresh fruit juices, along with other soft drinks and non-dairy milk options. The list of vegan fruit juices here comprises:

1. Freshly squeezed orange juice

2. Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

3. Apple juice

4. Tomato juice

5. Cranberry juice

6. Lemon juice

7. Fruit punch

All of these fruit juices are available in 2 size variants, including:

  • Regular – 8 oz
  • Large – 12 oz

Soft drinks are vegan-friendly, and the different brands that are available here are:

1. Coca Cola

2. Cherry Coke

3. Diet Coke

4. Sprite

5. Fanta 

6. Mellow Yellow

7. Fanta

8. Barq’s

Freshly brewed ice tea is yet another vegan-friendly drink at The Original Pancake House. They also have almond milk on their menu, a great non-dairy substitute for regular milk.

Can I Get Custom-Made Vegan Pancakes?

At present, The Original Pancake House does not have an exclusive menu for vegans. Vegan dishes are not available in the made-to-order option either. Most pancake recipes rely on buttermilk to get the perfect texture and taste.

Eggs are another critical component in the batter mixture. Since they will not risk compromising in this aspect, they do not tend to experiment with vegan recipes.

Several organizations fight for animal rights and welfare, including the Movement for Compassionate Living, PETA, and Vegan Society. All of them are leading movements to make more animal products-independent recipes.

That is gaining prominence currently; hence there might be the incorporation of vegan-friendly dishes on the menu.

If you wish to replicate vegan pancakes similar to The Original Pancake House’s, you can try the vegan alternatives of popular pancake recipes from this guide.

Finding Options for Vegans

It is not easy to discover an extensive range of food options and alternatives for non-vegan dishes due to several underlying issues. These problems include the lack of diversified food customization choices for vegans presently.

In addition, several essential non-vegan components are yet to acquire reliable vegan-friendly alternatives. This causes a lot of complications in the industry of ingredients manufacturing and processed food products as well. 

Animal welfare organizations such as PETA regularly roll out updates and guides about vegan-friendly restaurants and fast-food outlets. Vegans can keep these guides handy. It will ensure they do not have to land in a dilemma about ordering vegan dishes at non-vegan restaurants. 

Another significant issue that can crop up here is cross-contamination. It is not always possible to ensure that vegan dishes are prepared entirely free of non-vegan food contact. Most of the kitchens are not visible to the customers of the restaurant.

Therefore, it is not possible to verify the authenticity. A few steps that the customer can take from their end are present below:

  1. Always check with the server about the availability of vegan dishes before placing the order. 
  2. Ensure that you ask about animal products in the recipe you order.
  3. Ask the waiter if the animal-based ingredient (if any) is replaced with a plant-based ingredient to cater to vegans.
  4. It is also advisable to get the details of the restaurant’s alternative in the recipe. 
  5. You can also ask about the cooking oil to ensure that it is plant-based. 
  6. The usage of vessels is another important factor. You can request the use of separate containers to avoid the chances of cross-contamination. 
  7. The most optimal way to ensure that you consume uncontaminated vegan food is by having a clear discussion with your server. Then, you can clear all of your doubts and reservations regarding the order of vegan food at a non-vegan restaurant.


The Original Pancake House may not be the ideal option for you to visit due to its limited food options for vegans. You will have to settle for a very minimal number of choices as their primary customer range consists of non-vegans. 

If you are willing to adjust your dietary requirement slightly and do not worry about cross-contamination, you can visit The Original Pancake House. Otherwise, checking out other vegan restaurants would be the best option.