Bowood By Niche - The Best Pancakes In St. Louis

4.75/5 stars Review Philosophy

Bowood By Niche Takeaway. Fancy Pancakes Come With A Fancy Price. 9.9 / 10 pancakes may be the best pancakes I've ever had. With a slight Irish soda bread flare to them, they do their best to deliver on the $19 price tag. The Standard Breakfast combo goes for $15, but includes bacon. 7.8 / 10 breakfast score. The best eggs I've had in St. Louis.

One of the best breakfast places in St. Louis. Based purely on taste, it's a 4.9 / 5 restaurant. However, considering everything is at least 50% overpriced, it's more than 4.75 / 5. So, it goes from the top 1% to the top 5% for me.

Really, really different vibe. No working-class clientele, all fancy sundresses. The main eating area is in a plant center, which is very cool in person. They also have a beautiful patio garden for eating outside. The server and service were fantastic. Parking on the street.

Table Of Contents: Experience | Food | Atmosphere | Receipt

Bowood By Niche classic breakfast


  • 4605 Olive St, St. Louis, MO 63108
  • (314) 454-6868
  • Website
  • Facebook
  • Yelp - 4.3 stars - 216 ratings
  • TripAdvisor - 4.0 stars - 13 ratings
  • Google Maps - 4.6 stars - 345 ratings


Monday9 AM–3 PM
Tuesday9 AM–3 PM
Wednesday9 AM–3 PM
Thursday9 AM–3 PM
Friday9 AM–3 PM
Saturday9 AM–3 PM
Sunday9 AM–3 PM


Bowood By Niche Experience Summary

On a warm, sunny day in April, I took a trip to the north side of St. Louis. In the morning, I visited the free Pulitzer Art Foundation before heading down the road to Bowood.

Bowood By Niche entrance

I hate paying for parking, so I opted to park a couple of blocks away. On the bright side, I got to take a nice stroll through the neighborhood. You have to believe this part of town north of the Central West End is prime real estate for gentrification.

Bowood is leading the way on that front. Right before the main entrance is the outdoor patio entrance. Covered in vines and blossoming flowers, its stunning beauty kind of came out of nowhere to me.

I only learned about this place on Reddit. I stumbled upon a thread where more than one person mentioned it was their favorite.

Bowood By Niche sign selfie

No one mentioned the setting. The main entrance is in what I think is more garden center than a restaurant. A soaring thirty-foot warehouse ceilings with exposed beams, the sunlight from outside beams into the eating area. With plants surrounding you, the beautiful outside comes in.

And then you look at the menu.

$20 for something with crab in it. $19 for pancakes. $5 for coffee. Whoa.

The best deal on the menu is the $15 Standard Breakfast combo with bacon.

Bowood By Niche menu front Bowood By Niche menu back

That's when I looked around at the people here. Are they seeing the prices? I'm guessing they knew what was coming. The women were in flowing sundresses. The men all had collared shirts and gelled hair. I realize Bowood isn't the Olivette Diner. I'm in a breakfast-serving establishment.

I can't bring myself to order a side pancake for $10, so I go with the Standard Breakfast. The eggs are so good I asked the server about them. Turns out they source them from a local farmstead. The bacon is thin but delicious. I get a slice of small brioche toast. While the fancy potatoes look great, they were the weakest part of the order. A very good 7.9 / 10 Standard Breakfast, but there wasn't a ton of food.

Bowood By Niche selfie

I'm still hungry. I have to bite the bullet. I order a $10 pancake.

It comes in the middle of an oversized large floral-pained bowl. A fluffy disc, I've never seen a pancake like it. A cross between a Dutch baby and American Irish soda bread.

Bowood By Niche pancake

Ok, time for a bite.

I hate to love this place. The people eating there look pretentious. It's too expensive. But that was the single best pancake I've ever had in my life.

The Food At Bowood By Niche

Bowood By Niche classic breakfast

After looking over the menu and being blown away by the price of everything, I was surprised to see my Standard Breakfast was relatively well-priced at the bottom. At $15 for eggs, potatoes, bread, and bacon, their classic breakfast isn't as obscenely priced as the $19 pancakes.

I'll go into more details on the pancakes in a bit, but they may have been the best I've ever had. A 9.9 / 10 pancake score for me, $19 isn't cheap for amazingness.

I give their version of the Standard Breakfast a 7.9 / 10 score, led by the quality of the eggs. The potatoes looked fantastic but didn't deliver on flavor, and they only gave me one piece of bread.

Bowood By Niche egg

It shouldn't have been a surprise when the portion size came in the smaller size. But you can't skin on two eggs because there have to be two eggs. And man, were these eggs delicious. I've been trying to understand if it's possible for restaurants to differentiate based on eggs. Of the six places I've been to recently, the eggs were always the same.

Not the case at Bowood.

Specially sourced from a farmstead, these egg yolks were darker and more flavorful. The cooking fat accentuated the flavor without taking over. And they had a bit of crisp around the edge.

Essentially perfect eggs.

Bowood By Niche bacon

The second best part of the breakfast was the bacon. The opposite type of bacon from Original Pancake House, but it totally delivers. Very thin, extra crispy, and delicious. It has a more brittle mouth feel but still hits the pleasure receptors in your brain on every bite.

The single slice of brioche bread came toasted. Unbuttered, it was good but more a vehicle to soaking up egg yolk than anything else.

Bowood By Niche bread Bowood By Niche bread thickness

This brings me to the potatoes. These smashed new potatoes looked delicious, rivaling the looks of the Lab's potatoes. But for some reason, the potato quality didn't lead to taste quality. Perfectly cooked, they were just bland. I wanted them to blow me away but couldn't get a taste out of them.

Bowood By Niche potato

The Pancakes

With that out of the way, let's get to the pancakes. First impression: what the heck? It's like a big yellow flying saucer. They cook in some kind of pan, I'm guessing cast iron-esque, that goes in the oven. Cooking it in the oven lets the pancake rise into an American Irish soda bread state.

Bowood By Niche pancake

But oh my god, are these delicious.

9.9 / 10 pancakes--the best I've ever had, and I've had a lot of pancakes. I have my own from-scratch recipe that's an easy 7.5 / 10 for Saturday mornings. From ten years of experimenting, I've learned that good pancakes come down to the quality of the flour and your willingness to add butter. Bowood uses a special coarse flour that almost feels like corn starch. Their cooking style lets them get the sides extra crispy with a pan coated in butter.

Bowood By Niche pancake bite

For comparison, I made my pancakes in the same style this morning. It takes about 2/3 of a batch to make one pancake, so they are huge but cost $10 a pop. Or two for $19 on the menu.

If I go back, I would order a pancake with two eggs on the side. For $15, I think that's probably the optimal order and the most flavor for your buck.

Bowood By Niche pancake inside

Bowood By Niche Atmosphere And Miscellaneous

I had no idea what to expect walking into Bowood, but the garden warehouse atmosphere surprised me. With large windows and a ton of light flowing in, it feels like a high-end bar more than a renovated warehouse. The exposed brick walls and metal girders seem almost custom for the spot.

Bowood By Niche signage

Everyone eating there had a sundress on or a collared shirt or fancy clothes. Except for me in my sweatpants. The clientele doesn't at all match the Southwest Diner or Olivette Diner I'm accustomed to.

Bowood is a place your parents bring you when they visit for the weekend, your wife for brunch after a long week at work, or when you need to impress job candidates.

Bowood By Niche door

My server was incredibly attentive and welcoming. He answered all my questions about the eggs and pancakes. The service is provided by a team of specialized servers who serve food differently from the waiter who takes orders.

Bowood By Niche warehouse

They had a full bar that backed onto the warehouse and a beautiful garden patio for eating outside. If it had been a tad warmer, I would have been seated there.

The place is so fancy, the receipt came with a postcard.

Bowood By Niche bar

Parking At Bowood By Niche

I parked for free on the street about four or five blocks away. There is metered parking all along the street, and I didn't want to pay.

Bowood By Niche parking

When I got home, My wife told me there was a dedicated lot for Bowood across the street, but I didn't see it. Checking Google Street View… Yep, it's there. Across the street and a bit east, look for the small white sign.

Bowood By Niche flowers on table

Bowood By Niche Receipt

Bowood By Niche check

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