When Douce Diner (pronounced as ‘doo-ce’) opened its doors in 2019, Vancouver chef Dawn Doucette was already well known for both her run on Season 4 of Top Chef Canada as well as her role in the culinary development of numerous popular dishes at eateries like Earls, Saltlik, Caffe Artigiano, and Town Hall.
Since then, Douce Diner has specialized in serving up an array of sophisticated comfort food classics, including breakfast sandwiches, eggs Benedict, chicken and waffles, and much more. Chef Doucette’s cuisine highlights both her Acadian heritage and her culinary experience abroad, while maintaining a keen focus on the use of locally-sourced ingredients.
When it came time to name her North Vancouver diner, Doucette says she drew on her time at Earls.
“Douce was a nickname given to myself by my fellow kitchen crew when I worked the trenches at Earls Restaurant on Fir Street prepping,” says Doucette. “ It also is part of my last name [so] it seemed fitting. I have many sisters so when we went out it was often spoken ‘Douce’s Are Wild’”
The name Douce can also mean two other things: for one, it can be in reference to the playing card. The other meaning is a translation from French, which means gentle, pleasant, kind and soft.
Doucette says there were other names under consideration, including Rise & Dine. Before the diner opened, the building was a café.
“[The café] had these amazing bar stools which I wanted to keep for our décor; we re-chromed and upholstered them and knew that this little gem was more than a café–rather a diner,” explains Doucette. “We envisioned a space our community could share and sit at our stools slurping milkshakes and enjoying refills of delicious coffee, as well enjoy some old classics and new from our seasonal menu. We pride ourselves in making everything from scratch and using local farmers.”