Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Netherlands: Top 10 best Amsterdam food tips

The Netherlands is perhaps not so well known internationally for its food, or certainly not in the way that countries like Italy are famous for amazing eating experiences.

But over my years of visiting Holland I have slowly discovered more and more Dutch food and come to the conclusion that the Dutch really care about making and eating good food.

Here are 10 best Amsterdam food tips – tasty treats you must not miss when visiting Amsterdam or the Netherlands:

1. Dutch Cheese

They don’t call the Dutch ‘cheeseheads’ for nothing. Apparently archaeologists have found remnants of cheese-making equipment dating back to 800 BC. Those big yellow wheels of cheese stacked from floor to ceiling are one of the most iconic symbols of the Netherlands.

One of the first things I learned when my Dutch family came to visit me was that they like to eat cheese sandwiches for breakfast! You will have heard of Gouda and Edam, those lovely semi-hard yellow cheeses from their eponymous villages. But there are many other types of Dutch cheese – I especially love the farmers-style cheeses.

Last time I was in the Netherlands I did a Eating Europe Jordaan Amsterdam food tour, which included a canal boat ride and ever since the cheese tasting that was included in the tour I have developed a real obsession with aged Gouda. It’s amazing!

Amsterdam, Netherlands

2. Bittebollen

This is my new favourite Dutch treat (more thanks to the Eating Europe Jordaan Amsterdam food tour for introducing me to these). Perhaps because they are the typical Dutch food, and ideal, accompaniment to a lovely beer. They are savoury balls filled with a veal ragout then deep-fried in a crunchy breadcrumb coating.

Bitte bollen in Amsterdam

3. Dutch Pancakes (Pannenkoeken)

I can never visit Holland without going out for pannenkoeken. It is a perfect family get together lunch meal and there are many specialist Dutch pancake restaurants in Amsterdam and across the Netherlands. Dutch pancakes are large and very thin, although not quite crepes. Dutch pancakes are more of a proper meal than a breakfast dish and the Dutch are very imaginative about what they put on top of their pannenkoeken. I had an amazing one the winter before last with goats cheese, honey, pinenuts and lambs lettuce.

4. Drop

Not everyone likes licorice. I always have liked this black sweet but tasting Dutch licorice was an education for me. You can buy drop everywhere in Holland but the best place in Amsterdam is Oud-Hollandsch Snoepwinkeltje in the Jordaan neighbourhood. You will not believe how many different varieties of drop there are – all beautifully displayed in glass jars. The owner’s name is Mariska and she’s just lovely. She can help you choose a suitable drop for your taste – I loved the honey ones but also the really salty style.

5. Herrings

I was quite resistant to trying herring in Amsterdam as the thought of eating raw fish is difficult but I eat sushi right? So I tried it on my Jordaan foodie tour and actually it was great! The Dutch get very excited about Haring or ‘Hollandse Nieuwe’ (Dutch new herring), which is caught in season between May and July and prepared in a particular way. People bid on the first catch of the year and pay quite ridiculous prices for this delicacy!

6. Poffertjes

This is my long-standing Dutch favourite – poffertjes are tiny pancakes that are very light and fluffy. Yeast and buckwheat flour are used and they are served with a big lump of melting butter and a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar. I love stopping at a street stall and gobbling a coneful of warm deliciousness, especially in winter.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

7. Stamppot

Stamppot is a traditional Dutch food that I tried when I asked for a traditional Dutch dish at a restaurant on my very first trip to Amsterdam. If you are looking for Amsterdam restaurants, find one that serves stamppot. It is made of mashed potatoes mixed with vegetables such as carrots or endive. Stamppot is a satisfying winter meal – perfect comfort food for a cold evening.

8. Stroopwafels

I had actually been introduced to stroopwafels before I even made it to the Netherlands, as my London landlady was given some by a Dutch friend. Now you can even buy them in the supermarket in the UK so I think you can safely say these delicious waffles made from baked batter and filled with sticky syrup are very popular. They originate from Gouda and were first made out of bakery leftovers during the late 18th or early 19th century.

9. Oliebollen

This is a typical New Year’s Eve treat in the Netherlands and they are a little like donuts but quite different at the same time. Oliebollen are another typical street food in Amsterdam and people also make them at home. They are basically deep-friend dough balls and can have raisins in them and a sprinkling of powdered sugar on top.

Dutch apple pie

10. Dutch Apple Pie

This is a new Dutch desserts speciality that I have only recently discovered. Lots of countries make apple pie but Dutch apple pie is in a class of its own. The crust is more cake-like than flaky pastry and they use special apples and slice them thinly for the filling. Freshly baked and served with cream at one of the oldest ‘brown cafes’ in Amsterdam – one of the best places to eat in Amsterdam is de Papeilland – Dutch apple pie is hard to beat.

Cafe Papeneilland in Amsterdam's Jordaan

And one more tip on Amsterdam food for good luck!

Wandering Kiwi Jr loves it that you can have chocolate sprinkles on your breakfast toast in the morning in the Netherlands! Actually so does Mr Wandering Kiwi.

So make sure you try some Hagelslag when you visit Amsterdam. They are sprinkles for sandwiches (for breakfast or lunch) and the most popular ones are chocolade hagelslag, although you can also get varieties like licorice.

By Natasha von Geldern

Have you visited Amsterdam? What was your best Amsterdam food experience?


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  1. Hi, Oct 2017 we will be taking a river cruise from Basel, Switzerland thru the Rhine & ending in Amsterdam; we’ll spend 4 days in Amsterdam before going home (US). Your blog is wonderful, will be a great help/guide! Two things on my mind, luggage & laundry. We don’t want to drag too much around, but river cruise requires some dressier clothes than normal trips we take. Also, season will require some warmer clothes (bulky to pack). What kind of luggage would you recommend for two 60yrs+ Americans so it carries alot but isn’t too heavy or big? Also, will we find self laundry shops in these cities? thank you!

    • Hi Linda, thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you find my blog useful! Your river cruise sounds amazing – some thing I would definitely like to do! I would take one medium suitcase each and one small daypack each to carry on your back during excursions off the boat. Around 68 x 46 x 26 cm or not too much bigger. I have a case with rotating wheels and I find that easy to move around when travelling. For October travel in Europe you will need to be prepared for a variety of weather. Think about packing thin layers – a couple of thin fleeces or jumpers, a scarf, warm hat and gloves, and a wind/waterproof coat can all be combined to keep you warm. I would take my lightweight down vest as well. Look for clothes that dry quickly and don’t crease. For evenings I would take a plain dark skirt and then few pretty tops that can be easily rolled up. Add tights, a nice cardigan and necklace and there you have it. All European cities will have laundromats, although you might want to do some research so you don’t spend all day finding them. I hope that helps, feel free to ask more questions.

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