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J.S. Foodies review: Delicious, unique pancake spot just off Nassau

Fluffy pancake with green frosting on top.
Matcha soufflé at pancake as J.S. Foodies.
Lulu Pettit / The Daily Princetonian.

Just a couple weeks ago, Princeton saw a new cafe added to its long list of breakfast spots: J.S. Foodies Tokyo, a Japanese brunch place specializing in “kiseki pancakes,” or Japanese soufflé pancakes. I had the pleasure of visiting the small location just next to Princeton Record Exchange to get breakfast and see if they are worth the trip down Tulane St.

I arrived with my roommate at 10 a.m., right when they opened. The menu states that their “soft opening” is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, so extended hours might be on the way — hopefully, their hours will be late enough that students can get the specialty pancakes as a post-dinner sweet treat. A few of the tables were filled when we got there, but we were still seated right away. J.S. Foodies is bright and welcoming, with light-colored wood tables, big windows, and orange accents. You can see into the kitchen in the back, which contributed to an overall feeling of openness.

The inside of a restaurant with light-wood furniture.

The bright, open interior of J.S. Foodies.

Lulu Pettit // The Daily Princetonian

We ordered a small sampling of the menu: an iced coffee, rooibos tea, strawberry kiseki pancakes, lemon ricotta regular pancakes, and scrambled eggs. The drinks came out within a few minutes. The iced coffee was pretty good but nothing particularly special. It had a neutral flavor, not too bitter; it was satisfying, but I wouldn’t prefer it over a specialty drink like Coffee Club’s pour-over. The rooibos tea, which came in an adorable pot with a teacup on the side, was a bit similar: average, flavorful but not strongly brewed, and enjoyable when paired with the meal.

Service for the food was also fast, even with a growing number of filled tables. The scrambled eggs came out first. They came out medium-runny, leaning more towards hard-scrambled. I did not feel a need to season them with salt or pepper; they were salty, rich, and buttery. Usually, I prefer my eggs a bit more soft-scrambled, so I was surprised when I found myself really enjoying them and wishing for a little, warm toast to eat them with.

Six minutes later, new plates of pancakes were brought out: lemon ricotta regular stack and strawberry soufflé pancakes. Both dishes had beautiful presentations. The lemon ricotta pancakes, thinner than traditional American pancakes, had dollops of both light, fluffy whipped cream and a thicker, tangy ricotta cream. They were garnished with two lemon slices, powdered sugar, and bits of candied lemon, accompanied with a small container of syrup to pour on top. The strawberry kiseki pancakes were an adorable little stack of the two tallest pancakes I had ever seen. Between the two layers was a healthy portion of whipped cream, strawberry jam, and strawberry slices. On top, they put strawberry-flavored whipped cream, a whole strawberry, and an aesthetic dusting of crushed freeze-dried strawberries.

We tried the lemon pancakes first — just wow. Like the drinks, the lemon flavor in the pancakes wasn’t super intense, but paired with the ricotta cream and the candied lemon, they were absolutely insane. Tangy but still sweet, they had the perfect chew. They did not need the syrup, but I was happy to use it; it added another layer to the already complex flavor profile. J.S. Foodies’ specialty might be soufflé pancakes, but if thin pancakes are your thing, they surely have an option that could please you. They have a wide range of other flavors offered as a regular stack, and based on my experience with the lemon ricotta, I imagine any of them would be a win.

pancakes with cut lemons on top.

The lemon ricotta pancakes were plated beautifully.

Lulu Pettit // The Daily Princetonian


Next, we tried the soufflé pancakes, the primary draw for this restaurant over the plethora of other brunch places available near Nassau Street. It’s worth noting that unlike the regular pancakes, which were lemon-flavored, the kiseki pancakes themselves were not strawberry-flavored as advertised, although that didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the experience. They were extremely fluffy, light, and sweet, and they almost melted in my mouth as I ate them. Paired with the jam, strawberry slices, and two different whipped creams, they were delightful. I would highly recommend and can see myself returning to have them again.

A stack of two pancakes with strawberries and strawberry frosting on top.

The main event: fluffy souffle pancakes.

Lulu Pettit // The Daily Princetonian

Just as we thought we were finished, the staff surprised us with a free matcha kiseki pancake. It came with a creamy matcha frosting on top, a drizzle of matcha syrup, and a crunchy matcha-flavored topping. In all honesty, I am not the biggest fan of matcha, but even I had to admit that the flavor of the cream was sweet, balanced, and all-around tasty. My roommate, a diehard matcha fan, gave the pancake high praise. The experience wasn’t unique to us — the table next to us, we noticed, also received a free additional kiseki pancake, showcasing the attentiveness and kindness of the staff at J.S. Foodies. After we finished our extra pancake, a member of the waitstaff came around with small samples of various kiseki pancake flavors. Although I was starting to reach a sugar overload at that point, I couldn’t turn down a sample of their traditional kiseki pancake, which came with plain whipped cream. While still delicious, it was a bit less flavorful than the other variations, and I will probably order specialty flavors in the future.

Despite focusing on pancakes, J.S. Foodies offers other breakfast options and even a few lunch options. They have fried chicken and waffles, as well as an eggs Benedict dish. You can also get sandwiches like a signature burger and a B.L.T. if you’re stopping by for lunch, although I would recommend having breakfast for lunch and ordering a stack of pancakes.

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Overall, J.S. Foodies is an adorable new brunch spot perfect for a specialty breakfast and a new experience. For students thinking about trying something new during the relatively free hours of reading period and finals week, I cannot recommend Princeton’s latest cafe enough.

Lulu Pettit is a contributing writer for The Prospect at the ‘Prince’ who enjoys writing about food, movies, and local businesses. She can be reached at, or on Instagram @itslulupettit.