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Restaurants

Dutch Dreams (78 Vaughan Road)

Posted by Amanda DiPasquale / Listed on June 8, 2010 / review policy

Dutch Dreams TorontoDutch 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.

Dutch DreamsTo 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.

Dutch DreamsI 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.

Dutch DreamsI'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

Discussion

41 Comments

dmitry / July 13, 2008 at 04:55 pm
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I noticed this place while passing by it on the way from work -- there is always a massive line-up. Looks like I'm paying it a visit!
Danielle / March 1, 2009 at 08:47 pm
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Awesome place!
Juliet James / October 21, 2009 at 09:27 am
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What's not to love...quirky inside and out...and ice cream great to boot! Always opt for the added fruit and whipped cream atop you cone! There's a reason why there's always lines in summer...worth the wait...my fave...malt-flavoured Grapenut, a hard to find Caribbean favorite requested by so many patrons they decided to offer it by making it in house – yum!
Chloe / April 12, 2010 at 05:07 pm
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Great ice cream but too many kids with no customer service working there.
Gail / May 30, 2010 at 10:59 am
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Just stumbled on this place when I got off the 'wrong bus' turning onto
Vaughan Road from St. Clair. The multi-colored jugs outside caught my
attention so I went in to take look. It's a cramped ice cream shop. I just
missed a line up, from the looks of at least a half dozen people sitting
outside licking up their ice creams. I think the ice cream is great, especially
the topping (which I didn't expect at all). My major complaint is the young
man serving me had sweat pouring down his nose. I almost turned around
and left the store because so disgusted. If he's sweating, either the air-
conditioning wasn't working or there isn't any air-conditioning to keep
the workers cool. I don't know. I wasn't about to let this go. I told him
to wipe his nose. He looked at me with a kind of stunned look for a second and then
and after he kind of processed what I told him, took his hand and began to wipe his
nose. I quickly told him 'stop....not with your hand, use a kleenex'. I'm thinking, 'wouldn't
it occur to him to wipe his face with a paper towel, kleenex, anything but his hands?!!
I let him make my ice cream. That was my first and perhaps last time visiting Dutch Dream.
I was turned off the uncleanliness of the place. Someone should really take a bucket and clean the windows where the ice cream is kept. They should also be keeping the place cool
enough so that their employees aren't letting their sweat drip into the ice cream. Guess this could apply to a lot of places that 'look good' from the outside. I can just dream on...
Elizabeth / June 8, 2010 at 10:45 am
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I went to Dutch Dreams the other night for the first time. HUGE line-up - definitely a half hour wait at 9pm on a Sat night. But everyone was very chill in the slow-moving line, oohing and ahhing over the people exiting the store with massive cones and sundaes! My chocoholic was serious ice cream. But they were also out of alot of flavours and fruit for the frozen yogurt. I feel like they should be better prepared for warm summer weekends! I'll be back!
Boter Hoeft / June 8, 2010 at 10:53 am
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HRMMMM THOSE PIXTURES WERE TAKEN BY A DUTCHMAN IS THIS A CONSPIRACY? GOOOOOOOOOOOO ORANJE
Nisi / June 8, 2010 at 11:52 am
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No mention of alternative styles of ice-cream... would someone lactose intolerant find something like a sorbet here?
stroopwafel / June 8, 2010 at 11:54 am
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This place is quite dirty...it sort of skeeves me out (mouse droppings, cockroaches...)
mrinject / June 8, 2010 at 01:15 pm
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ohhhh dutch candy?? really? gaaf!
Canuck in E.U. / June 8, 2010 at 03:58 pm
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As a Torontonian now living in Europe, I was really excited to take my boyfriend here while visiting Toronto two years ago as I always enjoyed it whilst I lived in Toronto.

Never again though.

My boyfriend and some of our friends arrived to get some ice cream just before closing time. Initially my boyfriend was reluctant to get some ice cream so he had some of mine. We all stood just outside eating our ice cream when - two minutes after Dutch Dreams closed - my boyfriend decided to get his own cone. So, back in he went. Only to be told that to buy an ice cream, WOULD BE DOUBLE THE COST OF WHAT IT WAS TWO MINUTES BEFORE.

Confused, my boyfriend came back outside to tell me. I was livid and mortified. We yelled that they sucked and threw our dirty napkins in their shop.

YOU SUCK, DUTCH DREAMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
JK / June 8, 2010 at 06:35 pm
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I miss you Dutch Dreams! I miss the Cotton Candy ice cream and the little melon and banana scoops! I've probably taken my whole family and most of my close friends in this place =) All enjoyed the random display's and the ice cream.

Anyone remember Dave Chappelle's movie "Half Baked"... If you do you'll remember that Dutch Dreams is in it!
KL replying to a comment from Canuck in E.U. / June 11, 2010 at 11:12 am
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You're really entitled if you think someone is going to re-open just for your boyfriend. The world doesn't revolve around you and the kids who make peanuts working there probably decided to have a little fun with someone who was arrogant enough to try to ignore the company's operational hours. So, yes, Dutch Dreams may suck, but you suck much more, baby.
jamesmallon replying to a comment from Nisi / June 11, 2010 at 02:46 pm
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Nisi, no offense but when you have an allergy, it's your problem, not mine. Same goes for vegetarians. You have a right to accurate food information, but don't expect the rest of us to get our knickers in a knot.

jamesmallon / June 11, 2010 at 02:47 pm
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Most of all, the flavours taste, and colours look, artificial. If you are up that way, go to La Paloma.
Canuck in EU replying to a comment from KL / June 11, 2010 at 04:19 pm
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Thanks for perpetuating my notion that Toronto is populated by unsympathetic DICKS.

Hey, KL, you might have noticed that I said they were closed for LITERALLY two minutes and the door was still open. The actual shop hadn't closed and indeed, they were willing to serve my boyfriend ice cream FOR DOUBLE THE PRICE. It was a mere example of supply and demand; when my boyfriend decided he wanted some ice cream, Dutch Dreams responded to the demand but upped the price.

We weren't arrogant; don't be a dick and don't be condescending, "baby". Or, as they like to say here, "get it right up yae, ya c*nt"
Matt replying to a comment from Canuck in EU / June 11, 2010 at 10:50 pm
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No, no, you were being very entitled. If a business closes at 1 AM, that means it closes at 1 AM. Not 12:59, not 1:02, but at 1. You were being arrogant throwing your dirty napkins and screaming just because you didn't get your way. Im sure they had a good laugh at you guys! I know I would have.
Canuck in EU replying to a comment from Matt / June 12, 2010 at 06:03 am
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Aaaaaaaaaand Matt confirms my notions. Thanks.

It's funny because while walking through the Beach(es) that same summer, we came across Baskin Robbins which - SHOCK, HORROR - was STILL open past midnight with the door wide open. We peeked our head in and asked if they were still open. Their response? "sure, we close whenever we want". And despite what KL said, it wasn't kids working their but the owners and as such, I suspect they aren't earning peanuts.

So, say what you will, presumptuous, unsympathetic, passive-aggressive Torontonians, but we were in the right and when my boyfriend suddenly decides 1 minute after closing and 2 minutes after leaving Dutch Dreams that he wants ice cream AND Dutch Dreams decides to sell him some - AT TWICE THE COST - they fully deserve being told they suck.
Paul replying to a comment from Canuck in EU / June 13, 2010 at 01:37 am
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Please go back to Europe - and don't tell anyone there that you're from Canada. You're making us look bad.
canuck in eu replying to a comment from Paul / June 13, 2010 at 09:11 am
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nah, you do that enough on your own
canuck in eu replying to a comment from Paul / June 13, 2010 at 09:11 am
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nah, you manage to do that enough on your own
KL / June 14, 2010 at 12:57 pm
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What an entitled little twerp.

Your boyfriend asked to be served after the establishment closed. Anyone working at the establishment is allowed to tell your boyfriend anything and not give him ice cream. What don't you get about it?
KL / June 14, 2010 at 12:58 pm
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Baby.
JK / June 14, 2010 at 01:57 pm
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i think you guys need some Ice Cream... ANY Ice Cream, from any ice cream joint, served with any fruits or no fruits... whatever youd like. Since Im too far from DD right now I'll just have to resort to BK and have some Jamoca Almond Fudge. Let's all call it a day and argue on something else... G20 anyone? -JK
KJ / June 18, 2010 at 01:55 pm
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I believe, along with Paul and KL, that you were acting in a barbaric fashion after the shop offered to sell your boyfriend ice cream at twice the listed price. I am also inclined to inform you that while it may have only been two minutes after closing time, the shop was still closing up and although I believe that it is ridiculous to double the cost; I also believe that it was their right to do so. Nevertheless, what they did was not very hospitable, nor was it a display of even mediocre service.

So to conclude, although they were not offering good service, it was their right to do so. They evidently were acting like assholes and their is no need to act that way, and as such they do not deserve your buisiness, nor will they get mine. But at the same time you could have handled their reaction slightly better by making them feel foolish for their ludacrous behaviour.

KJ
Lisa / June 21, 2010 at 05:39 pm
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The ice cream is wonderful. The best part are the different flavours of choclate dipped waffle cones and sugar cones.

However, the line is far TOO long and the staff are extremely inefficient. I live in the neighbourhood, so I see it everyday. On one occassion, we were waiting an hour and only 20 people were served, despite having 4 people on staff. I have been joking for over a year that they need to cut an exit in the wall to reduce congestion.

Best option is to go during the afternoon or on a rainy day, when the line is shorter, but ice cream is still lovely.

LP
Chris / June 25, 2010 at 08:21 pm
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I also live in the neighbourhood at last year there were days with over 100 people in line. It's insane. Although, its so good I've waited in like with those people on a few occasions.
Patricia Marie / June 26, 2010 at 12:49 am
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I live a block away and have been several times. I've always been very satisfied with both the product and the service.

I love the little touches like the whipped cream and fruit (or sprinkles, just ask) on top and the occasional Dutch flag stuck in and the awesome Dutch treats, it's not easy to find hagelslag you know!

For anyone complaining about little customer service issues you have to remember that these are teenagers making probably no more than minimum wage that work there, you're not going to get the service of a 5 star restaurant, it's a grab and go ice cream shop.

Anyway I've never had anything but decent service when I've been there. It's usually crazy busy so they aren't going out of their way to chat you up or anything but they seem friendly enough and get your order to you as quickly as they can.
Jana / June 29, 2010 at 06:48 pm
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BEST ICE CREAM EVER! It's expensive but it's well worth it. I'll hike across the city for this place again and again...
mecks / July 3, 2010 at 04:12 pm
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canuck in eu - consider yourself lucky you that they served you right up to closing. where i'm from, you're lucky if you get served 20 minutes BEFORE closing. and you're whining and carrying on about not getting served 2 minutes AFTER closing? hahaha.. unreal. self righteous princess.
esther / July 9, 2010 at 01:49 pm
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hee i,am dutch i have never been there but
you are stupid who cares there is enough trouble
in the world watch the game sunday
en for godsake shut up hup holland hup
laat de leeuw niet in z,n hempie staan
mecks / July 9, 2010 at 10:33 pm
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how 'bout no you crazy dutch bastard!?
esther / July 9, 2010 at 11:43 pm
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wow mecks angry what do you
have against the dutch wow big words
for a adult born and bred
in holland and proud of it
you dont know the dutch
so shut up
and get a life
mayby you are the crasy one
mecks / July 10, 2010 at 10:41 pm
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relax dude.
clearly someone hasn't seen austin powers.

I DON'T KNOW THE DUTCH, LOL
watch moar movies.
esther / July 11, 2010 at 07:38 pm
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hee i,am not a dude and yes i have seen austin powers
and yes that was very funny and dont say the dutch sucks
because they lost and were are you from
yeah do watch more movies
mayby watch some european
unless you come from europe
or you must be american haaaaaahaaa
mecks / July 11, 2010 at 07:58 pm
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yeah i be from canada, posting on a canadian site about a canadian food joint. i don't know you're here.
and to be honest, i don't really know what you're talking about.
if you've seen austin powers then you probably would have caught that austin powers reference about the dutch, and you wouldn't think that i said the dutch suck, because i clearly didn't.
get better english literacy skills kthxbye

ps. european films are better than american ones
celebrate that little victory if you want
Smiley / July 12, 2010 at 12:10 am
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To me (and many of the regulars) it's really just a neighbourhood ice cream shop with no pretence of being a gourmet something. But It's got its own wacky charactor and I like this place for it. Kids behind the counter work hard and give you plenty of ice cream plus some goodies and that makes people happy. There is also CocoaLatte for gelato in this neigbourhood and that may be for more sophisticated taste. I go for either depending on my mood and cravings. If you happen to be in this neighbourhood and crave for some generous amount of ice cream this would be a great stop. 5 min walk from Wychwood Barns that has farmers' market every saturday. Nicely put Amanda and good photos Cory. It's nice to see a neighbourhood shops being covered. Sorry for canuck in eu I hope you have better luck elsewhere but I'm quite happy here:-)
sweets / August 3, 2010 at 11:25 pm
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I went there with my boyfriend during a warm summer's day and as usual, there was a line-up. Depending on who works that day, usually the line-ups are fast, I was at the near end of the line and I only waited....6-7minutes? I noticed this place during an episode of "Love Court" from MuchMusic haha and I def would recommend this place to anybody of any age because there's alot of different flavors, im pretty sure it will satisfy anyone. Last time I tried the Grape flavored icecream and the watermelon sorbet, it DOES NOT taste artificial, well IMO. Just give it a try, it won't dissapoint! the Environment is pretty cute, oh~ And i like how the icecreams cups are so Dutchified heheh
Aliana / July 12, 2011 at 11:51 am
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In my humble opinion, ice cream is ice cream. It's tasty. Beyond that who cares? Hilarious comments though. Entertaining.
I love it when people get so riled up they can't spell worth a damn, anymore.

To the person complaining about Torontonians: it's pretty juvenile and narrow-minded to hate on an entire city just because you had a bad experience with some people. The population exceeds the dozen or so individuals you came into contact with. The ice cream shop didn't make an exception for your boyfriend? Darn. That's just unlucky. Bad things happen sometimes, but if you have some more class when things don't go your way you won't care about trivial things for longer than is necessary. So they jacked the price up? Shoot. That's just bad customer service, but the WHOLE city is not responsible for your ice cream woes.
I'm not from Toronto originally but I love this city enough to defend it from prejudice remarks. Bigotry is not the way to go.
shelly / July 14, 2011 at 01:12 pm
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DIRTY! saw roaches in there. yuck! icecream is just ok too.
Ice cream 44 / June 29, 2012 at 11:26 am
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I did not like ice cream until I had yours

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