The Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe on Cambie and W17th, Vancouver

It’s breaky time again.

For a change we decided that we would go all the way to Vancouver to check out the Dutch style breakfast at the Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe. I still remember having eaten Pannekoek for breakfast when I was in Amsterdam two years ago.

Yeah, I know. Some people tell me that Pannekoek is eaten for lunch and supper, not breakfast in the Netherlands. But to us, it is pancakes and we Canadian eat pancakes for breakfast. 🙂


The Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe is located on Cambie around the intersection with West 17th Ave. It’s easy to spot the restaurant. The outside has this faux Dutch windows with flower boxes.


The inside has a Dutch ambiance and coziness to it. But the place does look old. The dining room are partitioned into three distinct sections giving this large restaurant a small restaurant feel.

I heard that this very Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe is the origin of the De Dutch Pannekoek House franchise that you find all over BC today. So, if you like De Dutch, you should check out the real deal here.


The restaurant has a very homey feel to it. It is haphazardly decorated with wooden clogs, paintings and Dutch posters. Along the wall, they have pictures of their past customers lined on a strip on the wall with cute comments written on them.


We started off with the normal coffee and hot chocolate. However on their menu, they have a half page showing the “GIANT” Coffee Mocha for $4.25. Yeah, they capitalized the word GIANT but at the same time they also put the word GIANT in close inverted commas. It was not in anyway giant, but is sure is “GIANT”. It was quite normal.


There is a large section on the menu dedicated to Pannekoeken (the word Pannekoeken is plural of Pannekoek). We all pestered Nanzaro to agree to get the Pannekoek because we wanted to order something other than Pannekoek. He flip-flopped a few times on what he wanted. First he wanted the Nasi Goreng (fried rice!) Pannekoek. Then he changed his mind to Curry before finally settling on the Cheese Lover’s Special.

The Cheese Lover’s Special has five different type of cheeses … Edam, Gouda, Swiss, Cheddar and Mozzarella. We felt that this is really expensive because to us it is just a thin layer of pancake with 3 slices of tomatoes on top of the cheeses. This one is $12.15. Their other Pannekoeken ranges from $11 to $13.


On every table is quite a large bottle of syrup meant for the pancakes. That all-black bottle stands out and so we had to try it on the pancake.


For me, I had the Nasi Goreng and Eggs ($10). You did not hear this wrong. The name Nasi Goreng is … just fried rice in the Malay and Indonesian language. You see, Indonesia was once a Dutch colony. Today, you find that the Dutch cuisine has a very distinct Indon influence.

Here is a little trivia for you. Did you know that the Indonesian national flag is derived from the Dutch flag? The Dutch flag is a simple horizontal tri-color of red, white and blue. When Indonesia was fighting for their independence, they tore the blue strip from the Dutch flag and so today the Indonesian flag consists of horizontal band of red and white.


The Nasi Goreng was slightly spicy and laced with chives and ham … and …


… topped with two really nicely made sunny side up eggs. It was lovely breaking the yolk and mixing it up with the slightly spicy fried rice. Heavenly.

We were surprised that our boys did not even want the fried rice when I offered it to them. Maybe it was because they cannot associate fried rice with breakfast … or maybe they are big boys now and they don’t eat out of our plates anymore. I dread to think it is the latter.  LOL!


The Nasi Goreng is pretty authentic to us. They even have a small saucer of sambal and prawn crackers (which they call shrimp chips). The sambal is great with the fried rice or the crackers.


Arkensen ordered from their Hash-n-Eggs section. He opted for the version with smoked salmon. This one is $11.


It is hash brown stir fried with fresh veggies topped with melted Edam and two basted eggs. They make it quite moist and the eggs were superbly soft without it breaking up.


The Edam cheese holds the core ingredients together so well too. I can tell you that it has a delightful taste of smoked salmon, hash browns, pepper, eggs and cheese.


It also came with four slices of whole grain toast which was very good. Look at it … doesn’t it look good?

Suanne did not order anything and instead wanted to raid our choices. Being small breakfast eaters, it has always been way too much food when we order a dish each.


We did not get any dessert this time but Suanne is certainly interested in this. This is one more place for her to go out with Polly for their weekly Cake Meet.


One more thing. You will see a huge collection of beer glasses and mugs from all over the world. They must have hundreds of them displayed in showcases lining the walls. Apparently, they collect this by trading it with customers.

All in all, the breakfast came up to $50 (including tips). Not cheap, huh? I do find the breakfast expensive but I gotta say that the food is good. Check out their menu below (click on them for a full page view).



Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe on Urbanspoon

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. chrystal

    Have to comment I am the Dutch borned Chinese .. :)..

    Pannenkoeken (notice the “n” after panne, new spelling) are usually eaten with breakfast or lunch. Most of the time it is served warm with syrup, butter and icing sugar. Thought people do eat it also with bacon or cheese and ham. Def no tomatoes.
    The ones in your picture look like processed ones. The ones we make our own, do not look like that. (I can tell by the little wholes).

    Poffertjes are not a dessert. We usually eat them as a snack or have them with lunch. They are small versions of pancakes and served with butter, icing sugar and lemon. Very yummy.

    We don’t eat hashbrowns with breakfast here though.

    The Nasi Goreng that is served in the Netherlands is nothing similair to the Indonesian nasi goreng. That is because Chinese restaurants have adapted to the taste of the Dutch in the early days and they made their version of nasi goreng. 🙂 And they def do not eat this for breakfast, but for diner only. Most Dutchies think that nasi goreng is a Chinese dish instead of a Malay/Indonesian dish. This is what you get when you order it
    Simpel version of chowfaan 🙂

    1. Ben

      He he he … reading this, we felt so conned by The Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe. Thanks for the info! From now on I am going to look for holes on Pannekoeks!

  2. Falconizer

    been following your food blog for a while by now and I’m impressed by what I read so far.

    just to straighten something out about the nasi goreng you ordered, since I’m indonesian and still live there and all…

    Indonesian knows two type of nasi goreng. one that is still heavily influenced by the Chinese fried rice and one that is sweeter and browner, sometimes known as nasi goreng jawa (javanese fried rice). the one you got obviously the latter… from my own experience eating in Netherlands, the latter is more popular there since when they invaded Indonesia, the Dutch main headquarter was located in Java.

  3. deeta

    Oooh, the sambel looks delicious!

  4. Michael

    I loved your review of the Dutch wooden shoe cafe. I’m from the Netherlands and I currently live in the US. Many times I have found a place that claims to be Dutch, but in the end it is American and nothing like what we have in the Netherlands. It’s nice to see that in Canada they really have Dutch food. I’m very impressed by what I have seen on the pictures.

    The chocolate sprinkles on the coffee are actually called hagelslag, it is something that we put on our bread in the Netherlands.

  5. LotusRapper

    @Michael: in case you’re back in Vancouver, there’s another Dutch resto very close to Dutch Wooden Shoe Cafe, called Pondok (Dutch-Indonesian):

    I’ve not been since they moved to this new location, so I can’t comment on their food.

  6. Mint Green Apron

    Our family loves this place (great place for kids- kids menu is good, set up for families) and since my Dutch friend also loves it, I assume it is fairly authentic. She does say that they eat pannekoeks for dinner though…

  7. Pol

    If you are in the Vancouver area you could try De Dutch restaurant. They have been around for many decades.

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