Cut the bacon in small pieces. Place in a large skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very crispy, 12 – 15 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain the bacon on paper towels. Reserve 4 tablespoons of bacon grease, more if you want to cook the pancakes in bacon grease instead of butter.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, vanilla, and 2 cups buttermilk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in the 4 tablespoons of reserved bacon grease. If the batter is too thick, add a little more buttermilk. Stir in half of the cooked bacon.
Heat a skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Melt about 1 tablespoon of butter on the skillet and ladle ¼ cup of batter per pancake. Cook until the edges of the pancake start to look dry and the bottom is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook another 2 – 3 minutes or until golden brown. Put on a heatproof plate and keep warm in the oven while cooking the rest of the pancakes.
Serve the pancakes with maple syrup and the rest of the bacon on top.