Find out the best food you try on a Dutch menu. When you think of Amsterdam you don’t really think about the amazing food they have to offer, you normally think about its’ rich history, museums, coffee shops, and canals. But you might be surprised that there are a few delicacies you should try out in Amsterdam. They have a wide variety of foods ranging from tasty, sugar-filled desserts to savory, fast food favorites. Here’s a roundup of the best most popular dishes to taste when in Amsterdam.
Exploring the Capital can get you very hungry and what better way for a pick-me-up than one of the exquisite Dutch qazineshas. While there I went on a Dutch food tour with a local tour guide. From this, I have put together the best food for you to try when next in Amsterdam or anywhere in the Netherlands.
The Dutch consider themselves to have one of the heartiest diets in Europe, which certainly seems to be true. This is not the time to go carbs free!! Here are my favorite top 12 Dutch foods to check out! Warning: some you will struggle to pronounce!!. Find out the best food to try from Dutch menus.
1. The Famous “Stroopwafel”
Let’s start off with one of my favorite Dutch food, the Stroopwafel, or street waffle that is one of Amsterdam’s sweetest and most popular snacks. This tasty treat has gone global and you can now get it in a Starbucks and even Tesco in the UK.
It consists of two things waffles with caramel in-between them that glues them together and drips down into the waffle. The best place to pick up a freshly made stoopwalfel is from Banketbakkerij Lanskroon where you can get a traditional one with caramel and other flavors inside.
The Dutch say the best way to eat a Stroopwafel is to have it with tea or coffee or a hot drink. You place it on top of the mug. Leave it there for a few minutes until it starts to soften. Turn it over if needed and then eat it warm. They can last for up to two 2 weeks or even longer if you don’t want to eat it straight away. And they make a great gift for friends and family upon your return home!
2.Dutch Pancakes (pannekoeken)
Dutch pancakes are also called pannekoeken. They are different from French creeps and American Pancakes. I did not know there were more than 2 types of Pancakes but there are lots more different types. BuzzFeed showcases 24 types from countries around the world. The Dutch eat their Pancakes any time of the day but mainly at dinner time.
Dutch pancakes are definitely worth trying, as they are thinner and less sweet than American pancakes. They are closer in width to a crepe. They are served with savory toppings or Dutch syrup which is a bit sour. Lots of Dutch people add sweet topping to their pancakes or even meal-worthy toppings like bacon and cheese which may seem weird but is a must to try.
There are two places to try Dutch Pancakes: The Pancake Bakery and Amsterdam Pancakes. Both provide lots of different topping combinations to suit every palate. Another way to have Pannekoeken is by taking the pannenkoekenboot (pancake boat) – where you can eat an unlimited amount during the boat ride while seeing the beautiful Amsterdam city.
3. OORLOG FRENCH FRIES/ patal or vlaamse fries
One of my favorite Dutch foods is OORLOG FRENCH FRIES/ Patal or Vlaamse fries. As you can see there are very many variations in its name!
The Dutch don’t like to dip their fries into ketchup, they use their special Dutch mayonnaise that is sweeter and creamier than the UK and American Mayonnaise. Another common condiment they like to add to them is satay sauce or you can get a combination of satay sauce with Dutch mayonnaise. Sounds weird right? That is what I had and it was amazing!! You can even get curry sauce. You need to go to Viaams Friteshuls Vleminckx and order the oorlog fries. You’ll receive a crispy cone filled with hot homemade fries, topped with mayonnaise, peanut sauce, and raw onion. Awesome!
Find out the best place to get your hands on some OORLOG FRENCH FRIES in my Amsterdam 3 day Itinerary post.
This is one hard word to try and pronounce but is popular on the Dutch menu. They are a traditional Dutch batter treat: small fluffy pancakes served normally with a fruit or chocolate sauce and covered in sugar. And they are delicious. They are made with yeast and buckwheat flour and have a light spongy texture.
Poffertjes are a festive holiday treat in Nederland’s, popular at both summer festivals and Christmas markets but cafes serve them all year.
They can be found in many Cafes but I recommend you try them at “Pancakes Amsterdam” which has a few spots around Amsterdam. Porfferties might be small but don’t underestimate how many Porfferties you’ll want to eat, and they are very filling.
The Bitterballen is a classic Dutch food that you will find at all the local’s bars in the Netherlands. The Bitterballen is a meat-based snack and contains a mixture of beef or veal, beef broth, butter, flour, parsley, salt, and pepper. It is served with the amazing special “Dutch Mustard”. They will be very hot in the middle, so be careful and bite around until it cools down the middle. They are basically delicious deep fried crispy meatballs found in Amsterdam drinking establishments. Bitterballen are a great snack to have a Dutch beer, as you don’t want to go to a local bar on an empty stomach. Having food before will drip the alcohol into your bloodstream, rather than flood your body with it. The longer the food stays in your stomach, the slower the alcohol gets absorbed into your bloodstream. This is a great snack to help with that.
The Kroket is a deep-fried roll with meat ragout inside, covered in breadcrumbs. The English translation for this is croquette. The Dutch Kroket is made from beef or veal, but you can find many different flavors, for example, chicken satay, shrimps or even vegetarian.
They can be served as a snack but normally served with bread or hamburger buns with Dutch mustard on the side. You can buy them almost anywhere in the Netherlands from bars, cafes, restaurants or even McDonald’s that is called Mckroket. You can even get on from a Dutch vending machine filled with snacks.
The Febo is a walk-in the snack bar with lots of vending machines. They are located all offer the city and are famous for their Kroketten.
This is a Dutch version of Fish and Chips but without the chips and the Dutch have it as a snack. It is a battered and deep-fried white Polloite fish that is mainly Codfish or Whiting that is from the North Sea. The two are the really the same but the only difference is that Lekkerbekje is not cut into chunks where Kibbeling is and it is served with Dutch mayonnaise remolded sauce that is similar to tartar sauce.
The fish tends to be more delicate than the British fish. It is a staple food you will find in any Dutch market and on a Dutch menu.
The Rookworst is a Dutch smoked sausage that is grounded meat mixed with spices and salt. That is most often served with Stamppot that is Dutch dish made from a combination of potatoes mashed with one or several vegetables or sometimes Fruits, or it can come with Erwtensoep on the idea that is basically split pea soup. The Rookworst taste like a hotdog, but it is bigger and the skin is a bit crispier than a Hotdog.
Rookworst is traditionally made by it being smoked over smoldering woodchips. Today you can find it commercially available, but won’t be smoked and instead, they use smoke aromatics added to give the characteristic flavor. You need to try one on a bun with a little bit of mustard and you will love it.
9. Dutch mayonnaise or Fritessaus
I don’t like British, French and American mayonnaise but the Dutch mayonnaise is very nice. The Dutch like to add Mayonnaise to most of their dishes.
The sauce they add to their fries is called Fritessaus which is sort of like mayonnaise, but 25% fatter. It is also leaner and usually sweeter than normal Mayonnaise. The law in Neverlands states that to call a sauce mayonnaise. It needs to have at least 70% fat and 5% egg yolk before it may be called Mayonnaise. You can by Dutch Mayonnaise in any Dutch supermarket. The Dutch MacDonald’s serves Fritessaus sauce.
I only like Dutch Mayonnaise and I would like to know if you also don’t like Mayonnaise, but have tried Dutch Mayonnaise and loved..
10. DUTCH CHEESE
One of the most famous foods exported globally by the Dutch is their cheeses. The Netherlands is the second largest cheese exporter in the world says the world exporter site. They eat a lot of cheese: an average of 21 Kilograms per year per person. As the Dutch eat cheese for breakfast, on sandwiches for lunch or as a snack (cut in cubes) served with mustard at the end of the day with a nice glass of wine or beer.
The majority of Dutch cheeses are semihard or hard-cheeses. The most popular ones are Gouda and Edam from the Netherlands. Every time I hear Gouda said it reminds me of the part in the film she the man, where she helps her roommate to practice what to say on his date, the clip is below.
There are 16 different types of Dutch cheese to try. When you are in Amsterdam pop into the Cheese Museum-they have lots of cheese tasters to try. There are still five traditional cheese markets in the Netherlands.
This being is not really a type of food, but need to be on this list. Genever is a Dutch Gin and this will go well with your Dutch food. It is also called Jenever or in English call it Dutch Gin. It is a Juniper-flavoured national and the traditional liquor of the Neverlands.
Gin was invented in Dutch by a Dutch physician who added juniper berry to the common brandy and made the first type of gin. Dutch gin has a very high alcohol percentage of 35%.
The first Dutch gin was sold only in pharmacies as an herbal medicine. It was boiled with juniper berries was used to cure skin diseases. It is served in a slender glass and filled up to the top of the glass. Netherlands people take the first drink without using their hands, by leaning forwards to the glass and shipping it to avoid spilling any.
The most popular fish that the Dutch people love to eat is herring and can find on a Dutch menu. They have been eating it raw for years. It is a fatty fish that has a strong smell, but is very good for you! They serve it lightly brined/salted with chopped onions and pickles. You need to try some Amsterdam Herring! On my food tour, I tried it. Not for me –it is a love or hates its food. Some of you will love and others who love all kinds of fish will simply hate it.
In Amsterdam herring is a street food, sold at booths/street vans throughout the city. Some Dutch people have a special way to eat it: they get it’s by the end/tail and then start eating the head part first. If you want to eat it this way you ask for “herring by the tail”.
Most of the foods would be great to try after you have been to an Amsterdam coffeeshop.
What do you think? Have you visited the Netherlands? Any must-try foods in Amsterdam you think I’ve missed? Also, what are your thoughts on trying any of the foods from the list?
Find out some more restaurants in Amsterdam to try more Dutch food from a Dutch menu,
Also if you are considering going to Amsterdam then read this. The ultimate Amsterdam Itinerary 3 days.