Where to find Dutch Food? (local to Hamilton)

All this talk about good dutch stuff in my blog had someone say “hey where can I get some of these great things locally – like near Hamilton?” Actually someone in my class this week said “when I was in Amsterdam I loved their curry ketchup” and it inspired me to write a blog about where you can find some of these things in or around your neighbourhood, here in Hamilton. This blog will focus on all of our favorite – Food!!

Cafe Oranje

ORANJE CAFE – as they say on their website “a dutch-inspired haunt for coffee drinks, baked goods & cafe bites in a snug, convivial atmosphere” They also have a Facebook page and twitter @cafeOranjeHam It actually went up for sale a few years ago and I had seriously looked into purchasing it. How great would that be to own a dutch cafe in Hamilton! It is a quaint little cafe, with good choices of coffee and local tea, homemade soup, dutch sandwiches and treats. They do a good job of taking care of us “dutchies” and also those that are gluten-free or vegan. Oranje comes from our favorite dutch color – Orange!

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They are located at 312 King St. East. This is me (yes dressed in a dutch ladies hat – haha) with my husband and youngest son. We went down to celebrate King’s Day – April 27th – which is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
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We met some other dutchies (and half dutchies and wanna-be dutchies (Bill lol)) at Cafe Oranje in downtown Hamilton! See the word on the wall “Gezellig” – it means nice, warm, cozy, etc.!

Denningers

Just down the street is Denningers which you may be more familiar with. The main store is at 284 King St. E., but they have one on Upper James St. in Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Burlington, Oakville. Right in their logo it says “Foods of the World”. They are European foods, German background I think. They have a restaurant – homemade food but cafeteria style. So good and one of my favorite places to get lunch – a spinach sausage with honey mustard and purple cooked cabbage and german potatoes! Yum! If you haven’t been to a Denningers you will not be disappointed. It is like one-stop shopping for European foods. They have a bakery (so good!), a huge deli, lots of frozen foods (homemade soups, cabbage rolls, etc.), and then lots of preserves and condiments (our favorite mustards!), and of course candy! And then they have health and beauty, and gifts. They do beautiful gift baskets and they do awesome catering – meat and cheese platters, sandwiches for lunch is really good. @Denningers

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A picture of the deli at the Denningers!

Highland Country Market

I love Highland Country Market. It is a little drive out to the outskirts of Hamilton/Stoney Creek. It is at the corner of Taplytown Rd and Highland Rd. The owners, the Dejong family, are from dutch descent and know their customers well.

If you like meat then this is where you will get the best as it is local and the freshest as they have their in-house butchers on site. You will get homemade meats (sausages, rolades) and soups and other prepared meals. They have a fabulous cheese counter and a great bakery where they make dutch treats like almond boeterkoek (butter cake). They also have local produce and dutch dry goods. Chances are you have eaten their meat as many of our local restaurants and pubs will get it from Highland. Unless you are not a meat eater – but I would bet there are very few dutch people who do not eat meat!

My son used to work there as a student and loved this job! Mostly because of the friendly team of people that work there. I also have a friend that works here and it makes it so easy when I order our meat – we purchase all our pork for the 50 pounds of home-made sausage we make each year and the beef to make our annual bitterballen. She also keeps me up on their weekly specials. This is one of the best and quite reasonably priced place to get your dutch stuff!! Take a tour of the market via pics.

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Highland Country Market on Stoney Creek Mountain

Dutch Toko

Dutch Toko at 760 Upper James. A great little dutch shop that has been around forever! 100% dutch stuff. Meats, cheeses, dried goods, candy, dutch gifts (lots of blue delft). It doesn’t look like they have a website and it makes sense – they don’t need one!! Their customer base are regulars and always know where to find them!! i have been shopping here for almost 33 years that I have lived in Hamilton. And @midultreboot this is where you will find “curry ketchup”. Since my friend Catherine started working there in the last couple years, they now get more business from me!! It is always great to shop where you know someone, and feel like you get personal service.

Looking in my fridge you can see I have the essentials. Curry Ketchup is so good with so many foods – but with home-made frites (fries) is the best! And the frites saus (the white one) is good with it as well. I like to mix the two together. Lekker! (good) The cheese that you see here I bought a couple weeks ago from Dutch Toko. And no it is not moldy! It is like a pesto and paprika (I think – maybe some jalapeno?) gouda cheese. Yum yum!

The Dutch Mill

The Dutch Mill on Millgrove Sideroad in Dundas is a great place to visit as well. Check out their website as they have some great pics on there to give you an idea of what the experience will be when you make the short trek there from Hamilton. I actually have only been here 2 times and only because it is a little further away. Even though it is called the Dutch Mill I don’t think the owners are actually dutch and there is not really a lot of dutch things there. But it for sure has a comfy feel and is a nice place to visit.

Their restaurant or tea room is fairly large. They have a cafeteria style where you select your home-made food and then find seating. I think they might have a brunch or buffet sometimes too. They have really good home-made pies – for eat in or purchase. I hear they go fast so you would want to get there early in the day – or maybe you can pre-order?

They have quite a large store that has gifts of all kinds, lots of crafts, etc.

They have a garden centre and they have some animals like goats and Llamas I think.

Watch a short video on the Dutch Mill.

The Dutch Kitchen Tavern

The last place I will mention is the Dutch Kitchen Tavern. It no longer exists as a dutch restaurant but it is a historical building. It looks very similar to the old dutch homes in the Netherlands.

More than 30 years ago, I went here with my husband for dinner. I remember us arriving at the same time as a whole bus load of “dutchies” and so it was very busy and lots of dutch being spoken. This restaurant was 100% authentic dutch cuisine. Too bad it closed. Don’t know the story behind why or when but glad to have gone once. If you are in Port Credit and you see this building with the jagged roof line you will know this was the dutch building.

Donut Monster

On New Years Day I went to “Donut Monster” on Locke Street downtown Hamilton. the owner is dutch and every new year’s eve day they have a competition to see who has the best Oillenbollen. The judges were the owner of Donut Monster, our dutch mayor Fred Eisenberger @fredeisenberger , and the owner of the Dutch Toko. Even though we were disappointed we didn’t get to eat an Oillenbollen, it was a great community event to get us out enjoying some dutch tradition! @donutmonster

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The Oillenbollen Competition on New Year’s Day at the Donut Monster!

But thankfully I keep up with the dutch tradition and make our own oillebollen at home.

Oillebollen – a dutch tradition at New Year’s – a dutch donut!

I would love to hear of any other local dutch places that I don’t know about and you do. Please share!!

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