IHOP turns pancakes portable with new menu mashup

Pancake Tacos take the breakfast favorite into new meal territory as IHOP continues its drive to expand lunch and dinner.
Pancake Tacos in four variations are running on IHOP's menu through July 30. | Photos courtesy of IHOP.

IHOP introduced Pancake Tacos to the menu Wednesday, turning a breakfast favorite into a handheld option geared to both dine-in and to-go guests.

The limited-time item, which runs through July 30, is available in four variations—two sweet and two savory—providing choices that span the dayparts.

Banana cheesecake pancake tacoCaramel Banana Pancake Tacos are one of the sweet variations of the new LTO. 

The former category includes the Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake Pancake Taco, filled with sliced berries and creamy cheesecake mousse, and the Caramel Banana Pancake Taco, featuring the same cheesecake mousse drizzled with vanilla sauce and dulce de leche caramel sauce. Chocolate chips are available as an extra indulgence on both.

On the savory side, there’s the Breakfast Pancake Taco, filled with scrambled eggs, bacon, a cheddar-Jack cheese blend and white cheese sauce with optional salsa. The Country Chicken and Gravy Pancake Taco with crispy chicken, shredded hashbrowns and country gravy topped with pickles rounds out the options.

Pancake Taco with chickenThe Country Chicken and Gravy Pancake Taco is targeted to lunch and dinner customers. 

An order of three tacos of the same flavor is $6, served in a metal taco holder. Tables can also share orders to sample all the variations.

This isn’t the first time IHOP has offered a pancake-taco mashup. Last summer, a franchisee in Texas created an homage to Klondike’s discontinued Choco Taco ice cream treat with a limited-time but wildly popular Choco-Pancake. A buttermilk pancake was pressed in a waffle iron, filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce, whipped topping and chocolate chips.   

“I saw this as an opportunity to create more depth and taco iterations using our original pancake,” said Arthur Carl II, VP of culinary at IHOP, adding that he made the pancake smaller—more like a street taco size. “The Breakfast Pancake Taco really speaks to our guests, while the chicken taco is a little more adventurous and designed to be more of a lunch or dinner entree. The goal was to leverage our breakfast equity to expand into other dayparts.”  

The two sweet variations can fit into a breakfast or dessert occasion.

IHOP is partnering with TikTok creators to weigh in on the debate around whether the new menu item is a pancake or a taco. The plan is for creators to ask their followers to spark the discussion and encourage others to join in by sharing #PancakeorTaco.

Pancake Tacos were tested in Texas and Arizona units, receiving good feedback prior to their national launch Wednesday. “I’m hoping the Pancake Tacos hit well with guests through all the dayparts,” said Carl, adding that he’s exploring other ideas for menu extensions and limited-time offers but not sharing any specifics.  

Carl, who joined the Glendale, Calif.-based chain at the end of last year, has hit the ground running. In March, he elevated IHOP's menu with a new lineup of Benedicts, crepes, steakburgers, salads and beverages, all featuring upgraded ingredients, innovative flavors and chef-driven components.

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