Best known for barbecues, Memphis also has a surprising breakfast scene. This Sweet Potato Pancakes recipe from Memphis icon The Arcade Restaurant is hard to beat.

The 100-year-old Arcade Restaurant, with its old-school diner look, still has the same classic Memphis charm that made Elvis Presley a regular patron. There’s even a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich special on the menu so you can indulge your inner Elvis.

Located in the South Main Historic District, The Arcade Restaurant has been a Memphis staple since its inception in 1919 and is now the city’s oldest restaurant. Like many great long-standing cafes, it was founded by a Greek immigrant Speros Zepatos, who cooked meals on a potbelly stove. The restaurant is still in the same location and owned by the same family, now in the fourth generation.

spiced pancakes, sweet potato pancakes,
The Arcade Restaurant

Dining at The Arcade Restaurant

The Arcade Restaurant is the sort of place where the Country Fried Steak comes with hash browns or grits, biscuits and gravy and you can order breakfast all day.

Do try their Spiked Shakes, which are exactly what they sound like – milkshakes spiked with alcohol.  There are eight on the menu, which includes the intriguing Shake it like the King with a combo of Irish Cream, Blue Chair Bay Banana Rum, Vanilla Ice Cream and Peanut Butter – yes, please!

This Memphis institution is not only loved by regulars. Dine here, and you might be surprised at the big business and celebrity names at the next table. Filmmakers and photographers love The Arcades’ nostalgic décor and it has featured in films such as Walk The Line, Great Balls of Fire and Elizabethtown.

You will find this dining gem in the Greek revival Arcade Building on the corner of South Main Street and G.E. Patterson in Memphis.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Exploring Memphis

Lining up along the Mississippi River in southwest Tennessee, Memphis is famous for rock ‘n’ roll and blues. It’s Sun Studio recorded albums for many of music’s greats including Elvis Presley, B.B. King and Johnny Cash.

Graceland, Presley’s much-famed mansion, is just one of the attractions here for music lovers, along with the Blues Hall of Fame, Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and Stax Museum of American Soul Music.

For further information about Memphis and all it has to offer, please visit

Sweet Potato Pancakes recipe, Arcade Restaurant Memphis
Yield: 15 pancakes

Sweet Potato Pancakes Memphis Style

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

The Arcade Restaurant serves these lightly spiced pancakes with two eggs (any style). bacon or sausage, hash brown or grits. Topping options include blueberries, bananas. strawberries or choc chips.  If you can still move after eating all that I would be impressed!

You could try them topped with pecan butter and soaked with maple syrup too.

Did Elvis enjoy these Sweet Potato Pancakes? Well, you will have to ask him but I suggest getting into the Memphis mood with a little Elvis playing in the background while you enjoy these pancakes.


  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 4 teaspoons of melted butter, plus more for greasing the skillet
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 400 gm sweet potato, cooked until tender, peeled and pureed (You can bake the sweet potato whole in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius. Alternatively, boil in water, drain and put into cold water immediately to loosen the skin.)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together and whisk until smooth.
  2. Cook in batches in a buttered skillet over medium heat until bubbles form on the surface.
  3. Turn the pancakes over and cook until dark or golden brown. Keep your pancakes warm and covered until all are cooked.
  4. Serve with butter and syrup!


TIP: A large flat-bladed spatula is a handy pancake-making tool.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 130Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 186mgCarbohydrates: 22gNet Carbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gSugar Alcohols: 2gProtein: 5g

Serving Tip

Make these Sweet Potato Pancakes the day before and store them covered and refrigerated.  Heat them in an ovenproof dish for 20 minutes at 180 degrees celsius and then transfer in layers to a serving dish. Dot with small chunks of butter, I like to hide some under the pancakes, and drizzle with maple syrup.  Serve with extra maple syrup and a side of ham or bacon.

What else could you have for breakfast?

If you love a decadent breakfast, this Spicy Truffle Fried Chicken with Waffles and Buttery Maple Truffle Sauce will have you in heaven.

Try these delicious breakfast recipes – Truffled scrambled eggs and four more delicious ways to eat eggs.