What to eat in Amsterdam? Find the typical Dutch food!
Still don’t know the typical food of Holland? Don’t know what to eat in Amsterdam beyond Space Brownies? Find it out!
Amsterdam is a fascinating city with a rich history and interesting cultural heritage that offers thousands of different plans to all its visitors. Although it is known worldwide for its picturesque canals, it also stands out for being the home of renowned museums, its vibrant nightlife, and its unique architecture of narrow, sloping buildings. But, above all, it is also famous for its popular coffeeshops.
Contrary to popular belief, if you are a food lover, you will also find many appealing options. As is the case with Belgian gastronomy, Dutch cuisines have a lot to offer. So, if you still don’t know what to eat in Amsterdam, we will help you find typical Dutch food!
Stroopwafels, the first thing to eat in Amsterdam
If you have a sweet tooth, we are sure you will love this. Stroopwafels are one of the most emblematic sweets within typical Dutch food. It is a round flat cookie with two layers of thin dough filled with caramel syrup, cinnamon, and honey. Their popularity has been growing since the 18th century. Nowadays, you can find them in almost any supermarket or candy store. However, there are not too many places that prepare them on the spot and serve them hot.
So, if you are sure that stroopwafels are something to cross off your list of things to eat in Amsterdam, you should try them at Hans Egstorf. We are talking about the oldest bakery in the city. Although their price is high, it is worth trying their stroopwafels because they prepare them directly in front of you. Unlike the ones sold ready-made, these are soft and with a sweet taste that is not cloying. In short, it is impossible to find better ones!
If you are looking for typical Dutch food, try the haring!
Herring or haring in Dutch is a fresh fish marinated in a brine of water, salt, and vinegar. That gives it its characteristic flavor and texture. Although it is served traditionally in one piece with chopped onion and pickled gherkins, you can also find it sliced or as a sandwich. It is so appreciated in Holland, especially in Amsterdam, that there is an annual festival in its honor.
Throughout the city, you will find a few small takeaways where you can buy haring at a very affordable price. And unlike what it may seem, it is delicious. It has a leathery texture, so it is pleasant to eat since it has a mild flavor. Trying it with the onion and pickles together is a good idea! So, if you don’t know what to eat in Amsterdam, haring is one of your best options since it is pretty economical.
Kroketten, the best snack to eat in Amsterdam
Although fish is quite popular in Dutch gastronomy, you can also taste dishes where meat is the protagonist in Amsterdam. Kroketten is the best example of that. It is a widespread snack with a crispy outer coating and a creamy and soft filling. You can find them in almost any snack bar in the city where you can choose between some varieties, though the most common are meat kroketten.
Unlike Spanish croquettes, these do not have bechamel sauce. The filling is a blend of meat, spices, and vegetables, including peas. What surprised us the most about kroketten was their size and intense flavor. They may not be the most sought-after Dutch food for gourmets, but they are worth trying. Not only because kroketten are affordable treats but also because they are delicious. We loved them!
Contrary to what everyone thinks, fries are not an exclusively Belgian dish. It surprised us that they are typical Dutch food. That is why they are so popular among tourists and locals alike. Frankly, we didn’t know that people in Holland have their way of cooking them, and it’s worth trying them. But what makes Dutch fries different from the rest?
First, they are usually larger than those you can find anywhere else. In addition, people often order these fries with different sauces, mayonnaise being the most common. And finally, their most distinctive feature is their cooking, since they need two frying processes. The first one, at a low temperature, to cook them and the second one, at a high temperature, to brown them.
In our opinion, that creamy and crunchy texture makes them a must-eat in Amsterdam. We are sure you will enjoy them!
Kibbeling, the Dutch “fish and chips” you must eat in Amsterdam
Have you ever tried the famous English fish and chips? If you answered yes, then you will be familiar with Dutch kibbeling. Otherwise, you’ll be interested to know that it consists of small pieces of hake, cod, or haddock dipped in a blend of flour, egg, milk, and spices. Then, they are fried until golden brown and crispy on the outside while the fish remains soft and juicy. It is usually served hot, accompanied by sauces like tartar or mayonnaise.
If you want to try typical Dutch food, don’t miss the opportunity to eat it. It is a cheap fast food option that you can find in restaurants and numerous street food stalls. Such as Haringhandel Jonk. It is a small restaurant that opened in 1987, placed just a few meters from Spui Square. They prepare it using cod, so if you like the taste and texture of this fish, you will love this kibbeling – don’t forget to dip it in tartar sauce!
Bitterballen, the best accompaniment of a good pint
Like kroketten, bitterballen are one of the best snacks in Amsterdam. We are talking about small fried meat croquettes with a spherical shape and crunchy breading. These little bites are usually served with mustard. The cooking starts by preparing a thick dough made with meat, onion, flour, and broth. Once it is cold, small balls are formed with it, which are then breaded and fried. The result is a small croquette with a creamy heart that melts in your mouth. Sounds delicious, right?
Bitterballen have earned a place on this list of typical Dutch food because they are one of the most popular snacks in bars, cafés, and restaurants. They are perfect with a beer or a soft drink, and that’s what we did! To try some bitterballen, we went to De Bekkerde Suster, a taproom that brews its beer through a steam-powered brewery. It is a place worth knowing.
Have you ever tasted pancakes? Who hasn’t? Pannenkoeken will look familiar to you as they are the Dutch version of them. They are a kind of flat, round pancake made from a mixture of flour, eggs, milk, and salt. They can be made in various sizes and are often served with a variety of toppings that can be sweet or savory. Pannenkoeken are an integrated part of Dutch food culture because people usually eat them for breakfast or dinner.
Following the exceptional average score that The Pancake Bakery has on Google Maps, we decided to go there to try their pannenkoeken. It is a charming restaurant that has been preparing them for over 40 years. And although the picture accompanying this text does not honor them, they are excellent! We ordered one with bacon and cheese, and we really liked it. Honestly, in their menu, there are some options that, in my opinion, are overpriced, but once in a while won’t hurt, right?
Poffertjes, the sweet you have to eat in Amsterdam
People often say: “Brevity is the soul of wit.” This statement seems to be taken to the extreme when we talk about poffertjes, one of the icons of typical Dutch food. We are talking about those miniature pancakes prepared with wheat flour, yeast, milk, egg, butter, and salt. Then, they are cooked in a special pan with numerous small cavities to prepare many at a time. Although the most common way to serve them is with butter and powdered sugar, many restaurants prepare them with other ingredients such as fruits, syrups, or melted chocolate.
Although these little pancakes are famous at fairs and markets, you can also find them in specialized restaurants. We didn’t want to miss the opportunity to enjoy their spongy texture and sweet taste, so we went to The Pancake Bakery to try them. Poffertjes are the star dish of the place because everyone was trying them with a pleased expression. In short, they are a must on this list of things to eat in Amsterdam!
Gouda cheese, the most famous cheese to eat in Amsterdam
The Netherlands is famous for its long tradition of cheese production, and that experience reflects in its quality. Dutch producers have experimented with different techniques and created countless kinds of cheese with unique flavors, textures, and aromas.
But if there is one type that stands out above the rest, it is Gouda cheese. It is one of the most emblematic Dutch cheeses and, along with Edam and Maasdam, one of the most renowned worldwide. It is made from cow’s milk and, depending on its maturation, can range from mild and creamy to intense and complex flavors. Amsterdam is full of stores specializing in this cheese, where you will find endless varieties of flavors. From the most traditional to more bizarre ones such as coconut, pesto, or chili.
Gouda cheese is such a part of the country’s culture that everyone considers it a typical Dutch food. Trying it is a gastronomic experience not to be missed!
In conclusion, typical Dutch food combines historical and culinary influences that result in curious and delicious dishes. Although it may be less well-known than other European cuisines, it deserves to be explored by any food lover looking for something new. From chips to poffertjes, bitterballen to haring, there’s something for everyone here! So, next time someone asks you what to eat in Amsterdam, you know what to answer!
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