The Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe is a pannekoek house located on Cambie Street (near West 17th) offering tasty breakfast and lunch dishes. The restaurant is similar in concept and menu items to the De Dutch Pannekoek House chain, but prices are less expensive at Dutch Wooden Shoe.
Originating in the Netherlands, pannekoeks are a genuine Dutch pancakes served for lunch and supper, but less commonly for breakfast. Pannekoeks are larger than American pancakes and can sometimes be up to a foot in diameter! They’re also thinner than American pancakes but thicker than French style crepes. Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe claims their own “secret” pannekoek recipe, but we do know that flour, eggs, milk, and salt are the batter’s standard ingredients. Also, no sugar is added to the mixture, and while the addition of Buckwheat flour was traditional in the Netherlands, it’s much less common nowadays. Toppings vary from savory meats and cheeses to sweet syrups, yogurt, fruit, whipped cream, and ice cream. The customary Dutch way of eating a pannekoek is to roll it up, cut into bite size pieces, and enjoy!
Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe’s menu offers fusion pannekoeks like Curry, Cordon Blue, and Huevos Rancheros, as well as Indonesian influenced dishes such as Nasi Goreng (fried rice), Bahmi Goreng (stir fry noodles), and the Bali Bali Pannekoek with spicy sambal and peanut sauces. [Indonesian cuisine is very common in the Netherlands due to the historical Dutch colonization of Indonesia for three and a half centuries.]
The sweet pannekoek we ordered contained pineapple slices baked into its batter, topped with cinnamon sugared grilled bananas, chocolate sprinkles, served with a choice of whipped cream or ice cream, if you prefer, on the side. We also ordered a couple breakfast platters – one consisted of ham and two eggs sunny side up topped with creamy hollandaise sauce, crunchy hashbrowns and raisin toast, served with a side of tangy apple sauce, while the other had a side crisp green salad, rye toast, hashbrowns, and grilled ham & fried eggs. Each dish was tasty and satisfying, and we appreciated their generous portion sizes.
This kitschy restaurant had quite a dark, dimly lit dining area, with a few windows closer to the ceiling. The combo of wood paneling, limited light and knickknacks give off a cozy, Dutch grandma’s home atmosphere. Service was great and our unique coffee mugs were constantly being topped-up even though the restaurant was very busy on a Saturday morning.
Overall, we enjoyed our breakfasts at the Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe. If you like De Dutch Pannekoek House Restaurants, then you’ll love Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe for its lower prices, larger portions, and additional creative fusion pannekoek options.