Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe
At some point brunch in Vancouver became a classy affair with beautifully prepared dishes on offer that rivalled those available on dinner menus in terms of quality of ingredients and care in preparation. Which is great, especially if that’s what you’re in the mood for, but sometimes, particularly after a late night, I crave heartier, homestyle fare that’s not going to set me back $20 and leave me wanting more. On those days the Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe is a great option; this hole-in-the-wall on Cambie street would not seem out of place at all on an episode of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and serves up hearty, unpretentious food in one of the most bizarre spaces I’ve been to in Vancouver. The Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe feels like a relic from another era; with it’s kitschy decor and walls plastered with photos of diners enjoying their meals, the place feels so unlike anything else in the city. Fine dining this is not, the space feels like it hasn’t been updated since 1982. A considerable portion of their extensive menu — who knew there were so many brunch options — is devoted to the Dutch specialty, Pannekoek. I opted to try this Dutch version of the crepe and ordered mine topped with veggie hash. The Pannekoek has a slightly thicker texture than the crepe and with no sugar added to the batter has a refreshingly tart flavour. The veggie hash was a potato and cheese gooey delight that paired perfectly with the Pannekoek. The coffee too was surprisingly good; at a place like this I expected it to be watered down and weak but it was rich and flavourful. The Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe is a great option when you want a hearty breakfast served with no pretension.
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