The Dutch Bakery & Cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea with a huge variety of pastries, cookies, cakes along with many savoury dutch specialties including our original croquettes.
A had submitted a review a few years ago, this review is an update from a recent visit.
Went for some lunch with my kids (age 8 and 6). I knew that this was a retro place, with the same dishes and decor as when they had for decades. I knew that the food would be classic, not cutting edge or amazing.
I ordered the beef pie with potato salad. Daughter had the waffles with fruit and whipped cream. Son had the burger with hash brown potatos. I had a cup of tea and split a dollar roll between us.
The beef pie was very, very small. It was also devoid of flavour. It had little beef, mostly floury gravy. It was served cold. Bleh! The potato salad was potatos and mayonnaise and some sort of sweet flavour. There was no minced celery, carrot, onion or pickle. It was like the cheapest supermarket no-name brand. The waffle was okay. The whipped cream - meh. The fruit was part fresh and part canned. There were canned pears and pineapple, only the cantaloupe and strawberries tasted fresh. It was poor value for over $7. My son's burger was the worse. Absolutely flavourless! Even the fried onions (which I removed for him as he doesn't like onions) were completely devoid of flavour. Bleh!
The tea was Red Rose. This is the cheapest, shoddiest tea available. Twinning or any other brand is a much better product. There were no 'creamers' only little cups of 2% milk.
The dollar roll was also of poor quality. The marizipan had a sandy texture. The cream wasn't fresh. It was just not a good effort.
The service was polite and very good. The waitress was good with my kids and I noted they were very respectful and helpful to the older patrons (it was mostly older people in the place - probably there out of habit or nostalgia). I was impressed by all the staff.
I gave the ambiance a three star because of the retro feel to it. On the other hand - one would think that they could concentrate on better quality food and baking since they are not spending money on updating the decor.
I wouldn't bother returning.
We had breakfast here last on a week day, you seat yourself so we picked a booth. The place hasn't changed in years but we don't mind as its quite cozy. You see all the old photos taken in the 1960's and the furniture looks the same. The service was ok too. Breakfast was very cheap and we were full. Later I bought some of their famous beef meat pies, flying saucers (giant almond paste cookies), mocha cream shortbread cookies, cake slices.. Everything there is amazingly good and tastes the same as it did 40 years ago.. I always try to return when I visit Victoria.
Call me post-modern, but sometimes when places try to retain their original decor and furnishings from the 1960s or 1970s it doesn't necessarily give the place an old world charm. This place is in need of a major renovation, but given the fact that the average clientele age here was 80, I can see why they keep it like this. I (who am 34) went here for lunch with a colleague and we both had a sandwich and coffee and I believe she had soup. Anyway, the food was good enough and the price was reasonable, but the server was this woman who was probably a former SS camp guard, and I have never felt ageism before but the level of service she gave everyone around us (all of whom, no surprise, were also in their 70s) was saddening to say the least. Smiles all around, but not if you're under 40! I have never ordered anything from their bakery although from what I hear they do a pretty darn good job in that department!
Anyway, on word of mouth alone, I'd likely buy cakes and sweets from them. As for lunch, I'll probably go back for my 70th birthday when service is likely to be friendlier.
My daughter and I went here for breakfast and were very pleased with how yummy it was, and how affordable. Service was fine. Waitresses were good to get us seated quickly with our wheelchair, even when coincidentally there were 2 other groups with wheelchairs there. Tight fit, though. Bakery items delicious, as well. It felt strange to me though that the place is exactly as it was 20 years ago when I was a UVic student and would come in for a treat.
I've been Dutch Bakery's biggest fan since I was a little boy. Maybe that is why the aging decor and elder clientele make me so happy. Here is all you really need to know:
Everything that comes out of Dutch Bakery is good. Cakes are superb, cookies are delicious. The bright and shining star of this establishment is the Dollar Roll.
The Dollar Roll is approximately 4 inches long and the diameter of a Loonie. Start with a 1/4" bead of whipped cream, wrapped in a piece of cake. Roll this into a layer of marzipan and drizzle with chocolate! There has never been such a delight!
Any visitor to Victoria must try a Dollar Roll. They are only available here. Imitations are not worthy to look at.
I have been going here for a very long time, the food has always been really good (for a greasy spoon), the best part is the bakery, this place has the best baked goods and like everything else in the restaurant, nothing has changed since they opened up way back when. This place gets busy and the staff either hate their job and are counting down the days until retirement or they are simply overworked and don't know how to smile.
Three bakeries in two days...Dutch Bakery is fantastic, head and shoulders above its' peers. Even their hamburgers were exceptional...better than the local pubs who claim to specialize in them. For those that trash them in their reviews for ambiance, get over yourselves...it's a 4th generation family bakery, not the Empress. The sweets are sweet indeed, the food very good and the service solid for an extremely busy establishment. We were surprised to see the prices on the desserts to be half of what the pub charged the night before. We plan to have brunch here the remainder of our trip as it is the only place that has not disappointed. Don't miss it!!!