Dutch Dreams (78 Vaughan Road)
Dutch Dreams is a kitschy, cutesy ice cream shop just north of St. Clair that's hard to miss. The outside is decorated with life sized ice cream cones, while the inside is bursting with colour, character and knick-knacks. A family owned business for 30 years the place keeps winning awards for their tasty treats.
We walk in and it smells like someone just baked a vanilla cake. I soon pin point the source as freshly pressed waffle cones. All their cones are handmade and the scent is seducing. Some people may argue that half the fun of eating ice cream is choosing the right cone. Dutch Dreams has a ridiculous number of cone options including vanilla Oreo, Skor, M&M, sprinkles and marshmallow caramel.
To go with the cones, they also have plenty of homemade classic ice cream flavours. Gold medal ribbon, pomegranate sherbet, French vanilla, cotton candy, tiger tail and chocolate chip mint are some of the favourites. A regular cone is ($3.24), two scoops ($3.99) and a kiddy cone is ($2.46).
They also offer two scoop sundaes and smoothies. Behind the ice cream, shelves are stacked with products imported from the Netherlands like cookies and candy.
I try one of their best-sellers, Jamaican grape nut, with a peanut sprinkled cone and Cory selects cotton candy with a vanilla sugar cone. They add fresh blueberries, pineapple and whip cream on top of both, without request. My grape nut is fantastic; it's light, crunchy, creamy and refreshing.
The place can get a little bit crowded because of the limited space. For those who want to hang out there's a tiny "fun house" back room. We walk up a few pink steps and it looks like a kid's toy box exploded. Cows, Santa Clauses and clowns hang from the ceiling, while the tables are tiled with photos of windmills and flaxen haired Dutch children.
I'm sure kids and families enjoy the room, but we prefer to eat our ice cream outside. It can get a little bit overwhelming in there, especially while the Mamma Mia soundtrack blares from the stereo. But the ice cream speaks for itself.
Dutch Dreams is open year round everyday. Summer hours: 12 (noon) - 1 a.m.
Photos by Cory Vanderploeg