The Magic Pan

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The Magic Pan logo, ca 1970s

The Magic Pan is a small American chain of fast-food and take-away creperies using the recipes of a now-closed chain of full-service restaurants that specialized in crêpes, popular in the early 1970s through early 1990s, which peaked at 110 Magic Pan locations throughout the United States and Canada.[1]


The Magic Pan restaurant company was started at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, California, by Hungarian immigrants Lazlo and Paulette Fono.[2]

The Quaker Oats Company acquired Magic Pan from the Fonos in 1970, and it became the company's primary restaurant chain.[3] Quaker Oats sold the company[4] to an Oakland, California-based company, Bay Bottlers, in 1982,[5]

In 2005, the Magic Pan name was re-introduced by Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises as a fast-food crepe stand in Northbrook, Illinois. This resurrected version of Magic Pan does not have the crepe-making machine used in the original chain. Instead, it uses recreations of the original recipes.[6] The revived chain opened a second location in the food court of the Mall of America near Minneapolis, Minnesota.[7] The Paradies company currently operates Magic Pan in U.S. airports including Denver and Washington National.[8] [9]


Among the menu items were chicken divan, crepe suzette, crêpes filled with spinach and mushroom soufflé, strawberries and sour cream, Chantilly cream, coffee chocolate sauce ice cream, and "cherry royale".[6]

The restaurant designed an automated system to make crepes at a crepe station, consisting of a motorized conveyor that would heat metal pans. An attendant would dip the bottom of the pans in the crepe batter, to ensure an even coating.


  1. ^ "Quaker May Sell Its Restaurants". New York Times. 1981-11-12. 
  2. ^ Sylvia Lovegren (2005). Fashionable Food: Seven decades of food fads. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-49407-4. 
  3. ^ "The Quaker Oats Company". Funding Universe. 
  4. ^ Stephanie Chavez (1982-06-23). "Quaker to sell its Magic Pans". Los Angeles Times. 
  5. ^ Richard Martin (1984-03-26). "Friedrich replaces Ryan as president of Magic Pan". Nation's Restaurant News. 
  6. ^ a b Steve Brady (2008-01-21). "The "magic" of the Magic Pan restaurant". 
  7. ^ Janet Rausa Fuller (2005-08-23). "Magic Pan crepes returning: Local restaurant whiz revives popular 1970s name at mall stand". Chicago Sun Times. 
  8. ^ Magic Pan -
  9. ^ Magic Pan -

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