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Dutch Dreams

Posted by Liora Ipsum / Profiled on May 6, 2014 / review policy

Dutch Dreams TorontoDutch Dreams recently relocated to a new spot just south of St. Clair, down the street from its old home on Vaughan Rd. Over the past 30 years, the ice cream parlour has become locally famous for its wide selection of ice cream flavours, tricked-out waffle cones and selection of imported treats from Holland.

Dutch Dreams torontoThe new location was previously a fruit market but has been reno'd to look a lot like the old spot. The interior is decked out with a quirky collection of patina'd paintings, Tiffany lamps, figurines and kitschy knick-knacks. It's still recognizable as a set from the movie Half Baked which it was in its former life.

The husband-and-wife team behind the shop, Theo and Dina Aben, who offer a rotating selection of over 60 ice cream flavours. Waffle cones, pressed daily, fill the shop with a sweet, seductive scent.

Dutch Dreams torontoDutch waffle cones ($5.80) are hand-dipped in chocolate and rolled with candy toppings, nuts or even Nutter Butter cookies. Two scoops fit inside; you can mix and match from choices like mocha almond fudge, cookie dough or birthday cake.

Dutch Dreams torontoMilkshakes ($5.34) are available in a choice of any ice cream flavour - I go with peanut butter chocolate. Mixed up in a one litre vat, it is an unholy amount of dairy, and should probably shared. Fruit smoothies are available, too, in flavours like hurricane cherry, pina colada and wild berry.

Dutch Dreams torontoSundaes ($7.61) in a house-made waffle bowl include two ice cream flavours and come smothered with your choice of toppings (including hot fudge, caramel, marshmallow fluff or fruit salad) and a swirl of whipped cream on top.

Dutch Dreams torontoBulk candies and packaged goods account for every spare inch of retail space, while a freezer case displays cakes and a cotton candy machine advertises itself for parties.

Dutch Dreams torontoDutch Dreams is open daily from 11am to 11pm, though it'll likely expand hours until midnight in the summer.

Dutch Dreams torontoPhotos by Jesse Milns



p / May 6, 2014 at 11:33 am
I'm just glad they're still around, this place is the BEST
NYC / May 6, 2014 at 01:34 pm
Seconded. I don't get up to Toronto that often but when I do I always try and swing by Dutch Dreams.
Zi / May 6, 2014 at 05:29 pm
This is such a fun ice cream parlour with great ice cream. A favourite mid bike ride trip a short ride away from Cedarvale Ravine and the Beltline trail.
Seerlee / May 6, 2014 at 06:11 pm
Hands down the best ice cream Toronto has to offer!
John / June 2, 2014 at 04:16 pm
Mediocre ice-cream similar to that which can be bought at loblaws.
x / June 3, 2014 at 11:19 am
Pretty unimpressed when I visited this weekend. Huge lineup. Was pretty MEH
Alfredo / June 10, 2014 at 03:00 pm
Went this weekendd was lousy!!
ET / June 10, 2014 at 11:44 pm
Ice cream was nothing special. Store cleaner than previous location for now, but I doubt that will last long. Not worth the wait. There - happy now, BlogTo?
Georges / June 13, 2014 at 01:12 pm
totally unimpressed after hearing lots of good things on articles and write-ups
Gabe / June 16, 2014 at 02:10 pm
F / June 23, 2014 at 09:57 am
My girlfriend and I went - it was OK - nothing special except for all the weird stuff on the wall.
DB / June 23, 2014 at 10:36 am
Vastly overrated dump. It is filthy, the ice cream is nothing spectacular though served in pig trough portions, and the wait is absurd.

There is better ice cream in almost every neighbourhood in Toronto, and most of it is served in a reasonable time and in clean establishments.

DD is just gross. But if you feel like you want to eat in somebody's grand-ma's junk-filled attic, this is the place.
Opensource1111 / June 23, 2014 at 07:24 pm
I must be missing something. I waited in line for basically a chocolate cone with fruit and whipped cream I ended up scraping off into the garbage. The ice cream? Ok. The wait? Ridiculous. I was with out of town guests who wanted to go. I guess the novelty was enough for them. For anyone else, what would possess someone to wait 30 mins for ice cream??? Don't all these people have something better to do, I mean anything?? And, what kind of business model is this - wouldn't it make more sense to keep the line moving quickly, therefore cash out more customers, therefore make more money?? Inefficient people all around, it appears, on both sides of the counter.
Shaughnessy / September 7, 2014 at 05:08 pm
I thought this place was unique that's for sure!! I didn't mind it at all, despite the above rude comments!

On another note, I passed by there a couple weeks ago and saw a "For Lease" sign on the building... I guess it's gone?!
David / September 23, 2014 at 03:22 pm
This place is crazy overrated. Blows my mind how many people line up here when they can go to Loblaws down the street and buy the same stuff in the freezer section.
John Johnston / January 18, 2015 at 08:54 pm
I worked at Dutch Dreams for two years and quit due to the incompetence of the owners. To all those who think that the ice cream is actually freshly home-made (the owners love to keep telling this lie), it is actually bought from a company called Maypole Dairy. If you look at the website of the supplier that I mentioned, you will see exactly the same flavours that are being sold in the store. They routinely underpay their staff, they exploit foreign workers/students, and repeatedly break every regulation in the book. Also, most of the imported products are expired, please check the dates to make sure they're safe to eat.
Brent / March 20, 2015 at 03:57 pm
After my recent experience here, I would avoid this place at all costs. The Ice Cream is average, the place is a mess.
Geoff / April 29, 2015 at 09:53 am
Love this place. Sad that it moved from it's original location, but understandable as it was a bit cramped. Still one of the neatest/uniquest places around.
M / May 6, 2015 at 01:03 pm
Rest in peace, Theo Aben (Sr.), the founder of Dutch Dreams, who passed last week. Whether you like the ice cream or not, Dutch Dreams has become an institution in the city and an destination unto itself. The lineup - often more than an hour on a hot summer evening - has been as much of the Dutch Dreams experience as has the characteristically Dutch whipped cream and fruit toppings on the oversized waffle cones.

If all you want is ice cream, sure, you can go to Loblaws or one of the many over-priced, nouveau-chic gelato places. But if what you want is a unique experience of Dutch hospitality topped off with ice cream, thank the very humble, honest, and warm Theo Aben. You will be missed.
dovi / May 17, 2015 at 09:50 pm
I was there the other night and the line up was well worth it, I have never tasted such amazing ice cream before.
PeeWee / May 18, 2015 at 04:52 pm
Meh... much better places than this even in the neighbourhood. same maypole ice cream as everywhere.... 2 places just opened around the corner from here..
Christine / May 20, 2015 at 07:33 pm
Dutch Dreams is 5 scoops of awesome!! The owners take care of their staff and customers. It's a family business and they go that extra mile to treat all their customers and staff as such. You won't find another ice cream and imported goods shop like Dutch Dreams. Their products are always fresh and they make their very own ice cream and waffle cones! Note I said ice CREAM. The product is not ice milk like other places sell. Dutch Dreams has been for 31 years...they have had years to perfect their business! They also make their waffles on site!!! There shop is unique, and will make your taste buds dance!!!! Wait in line it's worth every moment! Enjoy!! I know I did!! I will be returning with m family for years to come!! I love Dutch Dreams!! Now you've got the scoop! See you at Vaughan and St. Clair for the BEST ice CREAM in Toronto!!!!!!
Christine replying to a comment from PeeWee / May 20, 2015 at 07:42 pm
You better get your facts straight Maypole is closed...doesn't exist!
Christine replying to a comment from David / May 20, 2015 at 07:43 pm
user-pic cannot possibly buy the same stuff from a grocery store. Grocery stores are maily selling air packed ice milk. Wait in line at Dutch Dreams trust me!

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