10 best typical Surinamese Cuisine in Amsterdam

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Best Typical Surinamese Cuisine in Amsterdam

Get to know the vibrant city of freedom from a beautiful culinary perspective which is beyond Gouda cheese and stroopwafels – Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam.

The Dutch food culture is unique, encompassing the many diverse and dynamic population in Netherlands, a legacy of its colonial times. The rich food culture of the Netherlands is best experienced in Amsterdam, an international city with a highly diverse population of 180 background, where the Suriname community has a high presence. Its no surprise that Amsterdam is known for its Surinamese cuisine, a relatively unknown Caribbean food that is worth exploring when visiting the Dutch capital. It is hard to define Surinamese cuisine but it is often listed alongside Javanese (Indonesian) cuisine because of its strong influence on Surinamese kitchen.

This guide on Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam aims to give you an overview of Surinamese unique melting-pot cuisine and a suggestion on the best ten must-try Surinamese food to seek out when on a city-break in Amsterdam.

Whilst we work hard to be accurate, and provide the best information possible, we also encourage you to please always check before heading out.

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An overview of Suriname’s diverse cuisine culture

The Surinamese cuisine is extensive and much influenced by the international and cross-cultural food brought by the people from all over the world who settled in Suriname.

About Suriname and its culinary history

Suriname is the smallest independent South American country, once a colony of the Dutch imperialism. It has a coastline along the North Atlantic Ocean and a shortest coastline in South America. Although it is a small country, Suriname is a highly diverse country in biodiversity and is the largest exporter of bauxite in the world.

The population embrace Amerindians, along with settlers from Asia, Africa and Europe. Thus, the Suriname culture is diverse, dynamic and strongly influenced by people from the Netherlands, Portugal, Indonesia, China, India and Africa. Since the population of Suriname are from many countries, this resulted in creating an extensive combination of food.

Surinamese kitchen

Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam
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Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam

The Surinamese kitchen is both rich and interesting, quite different to the rest of the South American cuisine. Influenced by the many groups and each group was influenced by each other’s cuisine culture, dishes and spices. Blending the cooking methods, various spices from all over the world with the indigenous fruit and vegetables, creating a unique melting-pot cuisine, spawning many dishes. All of these together became modern Surinamese cuisine. Therefore, when tasting any one of the 10 must-try Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam, you may find that the dish is a combination of Javanese, Chinese, Indian and more – all on one plate!

Suriname’s traditional food

Rice and Roti are staple in Surinamese cuisine | Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam
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Rice and Roti are staple in Surinamese cuisine | Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam

Suriname is both coastal and tropical. Fruits and plants along with seafood, especially shrimp are in abundance and feature highly in Surinamese cuisine. While rice and roti are staple, fruits such as coconuts, plantain and plants such as tayer (a tropical flowering plant that produces an edible, starchy corn) and cassava are essential accompaniments in their daily meals. Other basic ingredients include lentils, potatoes and sweet potatoes.

Beef and chicken are a large part of Suriname’s food production and naturally form an important part of their diet. Along with these, salted meat and stockfish (called bakkeljauw, dried unsalted fish) are prominent in Surinamese cooking. Vegetables such as aubergines, okra and yardlong beans are all essential in a Surinamese kitchen. When a little spice is needed, the Surinamese turn to Madame Janette peppers for that extra kick.

Madame Jeanette peppers | Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam
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Madame Janette peppers, a Suriname origin

While Suriname’s cuisine features colourful recipes, the only true national dish is rice and chicken.

So, what are the best typical Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam to seek out?

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Surinamese Cuisine in Amsterdam |10 typical dishes

The Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam is extensive and here are the must-try 10 best typical Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam.

1 | Roti

Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam
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Roti grilled wholemeal flatbread | Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam

Roti, grilled wholemeal flatbread is an Indian contribution to the Surinamese cuisine and this is a staple dish served alongside rice with chicken curry.

The Indonesian version of Roti is grilled flatbread, served with chicken masala, potatoes and vegetables. You place the chicken, potatoes and vegetables on the flatbread, roll them up and enjoy! No cutleries required 🙂

For a simple roti meal, ask for Roti Kippenbout – its roti and chicken curry.

2 | Pom

Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam | Pom
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Pom

Pom is a festive tayer root dish. Known as ‘Pomtajet’ in Suriname, Pom was introduced by the Portuguese-Jewish landowners as a potato casserole, from the Portuguese potato based dish, pomme de terre. When potato became expensive, it was replaced with tayer root.

The Pom dish includes chicken and shredded tayer root and citrus baked in the oven.

3 | Mixed rice | Moksi alesi

‘Moksi alesi’ or mixed rice is a popular rice dish made with salted meat, fish or shrimp and vegetables.

4 | Bami

bami.surinamese.Amsterdam
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Bami is a typical dish found in Indonesia and introduced to Suriname by the Javanese settlers. Bami or ‘bakmi‘ is a type of spicy Indonesian egg noodles stir-fried with meat and vegetables. It is also known as ‘mie goreng’.

*a popular dish in Malaysia, available all day.

5 | Gado-gado

gado gado | surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam
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gado-gado

Brought to Suriname by the Javanese settlers, gado-gado is an Indonesian vegetarian dish made up of blanched or steamed vegetables and hard-boiled eggs, boiled potato, fried tofu, tempeh* and lontong**. This mish-mash of vegetables is then topped with spicy delicious peanut sauce.

*tempeh – a traditional Javanese soy product made from fermented soybeans.

**lontong – compressed rice cake wrapped in banana leaf.

6 | Bakabana

bakabana | pisang goreng | Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam
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Bakabana also known as pisang goreng

Bakabana is a Surinamese dish that has an Indonesian origin. These delicious little treat are made with ripe plantain, battered and deep-fried, served with a generous amount of spicy peanut sauce on the side. It is popular in restaurants as well as from street vendors.

*Also known as “pisang goreng” in Malaysia and a popular snack for afternoon tea-time.

7 | Goedangan

goedangan Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam
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goedangan

Goedangan is a refreshing Surinamese salad typically arranged on a platter. The vegetables consists of blanched green cabbage, green beans, bean sprouts, and garnish with hard-boiled eggs, cucumber slices and fresh shredded coconut. The salad dressing is made from a combination of coconut milk, yoghurt, lime juice, brown sugar and chilli peppers.

8 | Surinamese Pie/Pastei

The Surinamese pie is a Creole-style chicken pot pie. Brought to Suriname by the Jewish settlers and is a common meal.

9 | Bojo cake

bojo cake. surinamese cuisine. amsterdam
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bojo cake

*You could also try this bojo cake when in Malaysia, usually available as a treat for afternoon tea.

The bojo cake is a delicious slice of heaven! This Surinamese dish is a dessert made with coconut and cassava. Usually served at celebratory events.

10 | Broodje Pom

boodje pom.surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam
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This is Pom (#2 above) served in a bread roll – best on-the-go dish.


Other dishes commonly on the menu are:

Moksi meti – roasted pork and chicken stewed with kousenband, or green beans served with a choice of white rice, or Indonesian style stir-fried noodles, bami goreng or Indonesian style fried rice, nasi goreng.

Bara – spicy, herby doughnut dipped in sauce or topped with your favourite topping.

Pindasoep – spicy peanut soup.

Her Heri – Stew of cassava, sweet potato, plantain and salted cod.

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Where to eat Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam

If you are looking for high-end restaurants or fine-dining specifically dedicated to catering for Surinamese cuisine, you will be disappointed. However, you will find a selection of popular Surinamese dishes served as part of an extensive menu at high-end hotels and restaurants. There are many eateries and hole-in-the wall dotted around the city that offer a good selection of Surinamese dishes. One of the best ways to get to know the Surinamese cuisine is to try some of the best-loved typical Surinamese dishes at some of the popular authentic Surinamese eateries in Amsterdam.

Here is our selection of the best places to experience authentic Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam.

1 | Lalla Rookh

Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam
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Lalla Rookh in Amsterdam comes highly recommended by the locals for the best Roti and accompanying dishes in town. There are both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options available. They also serve the Surinamese soda, Fernandes for an all-round Surinamese experience.

Located near Oosterpark in the east of Amsterdam.

Address: Wijttenbachstraat 290, 1093 JK Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Opening hours: Monday – Sunday: 12 pm to 10 pm

2 | Warung Spang Makandra

Warung Spang Makandra has been serving up quality Surinamese/Javanese food since 1978. They don’t take reservations, so there might be a wait during peak times. Conveniently located near De Pijp’s Albert Cuyp Market.

Address: Gerard Doustraat 39, Amsterdam. Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 11am-10 pm; Sun: 1pm-10pm

3 | Sranang Makmur

Another authentic Surinamese/Javanese eatery is Sranang Makmur near Dappermarkt in Oost.

Address: Wyttenbachstraat 14.
1093JB  Amsterdam

4 | Roopram Roti

Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam
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Rotiroll Chicken | Roopram Roti | Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam

Roopram Roti serves authentic roti rolled up in masala chicken and vegetables. This is a popular eatery and often with a long queue. A good selection of Surinamese roti rolls are offered.

Address: Roopram van Woutstraat 37, Amsterdam

5 | Swieti Sranang

Swieti Sranang is a great place to grab food on-the-go. A tiny take-away that specialises in authentic Surinamese sandwiches, snacks, roti and nasi (rice) specialities. The satay is highly recommended.

Address: Brouwersgracht 125, Amsterdam
Opening times: 
Mon-Fri: 12pm – 9pm; Closed Sat & Sun

6 | Tokoman

Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam
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© Tokoman

Tokoman specialises in traditional Surinamese dishes serving sandwiches, rice and noodles with meat and vegetables.

Address: Waterlooplein 327, Amsterdam
Opening times: 
Mon-Sun: 11am – 7pm

7 | Albina

This simple restaurant takes its name from a little town in Suriname, serving up a combination of traditional Surinamese dishes and Chinese food. Albina is popular for the thin noodles with meat and vegetables. Try also gado-gado, a vegetable dish with peanut sauce.

Address: Albert Cuypstraat 69, Amsterdam
Opening times: 
Tue-Sun: 10:30am-10 pm; Closed: Monday


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On a final note…

The capital of Netherlands has a long and interesting history such as the Golden Age canals, gabled houses, world renowned museums along with the freedom tag associated with the city. Amsterdam prides itself for its diverse population, rich cuisines and its affluent cultural life as well, that makes it a unique European city to visit at anytime during the year. This capital city offers a multitude of things to do, both on the best-of-the-beaten track or off-the-beaten track and a comprehensive transport system for convenient travel from the airport as well as around the city.

Added to this are the variety of cuisines that reflect the multi-faceted society of the city where the Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam is well worth trying. Sincerely hope that this guide will inspire you to seek out some of the Surinamese dishes for an authentic experience of the Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam.

Have a great time exploring Amsterdam 🙂

xoxo

Quick facts on Amsterdam, Netherlands

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52° 22′ 40.6416” N and 4° 53′ 49.4520” E
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Amsterdam Coat of Arms

City: Capital of Netherlands

Population: 1,149,000

Mayor: Femke Halsema (since 2018)

Zone: Central European Time Zone | Central European Summer Time

Elevation: -2m (-7ft) – Dam Square

Nearest Airport: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

Train Station: Amsterdam Centraal Station

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Surinamese food in Amsterdam
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best Surinamese food in Amsterdam
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10 best typical Surinamese Cuisine in Amsterdam first published at timelesstravelsteps.com

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Food brings people together and this is so evident of Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam where you see all the influences next to each other on a plate | Surinamese food | Surinamese food in Amsterdam | Where to eat Surinamese food in Amsterdam | What is Surinamese food? | Visit Amsterdam | Dutch food | Dutch culture food | Dutch food in Amsterdam | What to do in Amsterdam | Places to eat in Amsterdam | Where to eat in Amsterdam | What food to try in Amsterdam | Food culture in Amsterdam via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/
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By Georgina

Georgina is a Travel Blogger, Travel Writer, history buff, wine (red) enthusiast and a lover of all cultures. She gave up the corporate race to embrace a more meaningful lifestyle to travel more, to write and to share the very best of her adventures. Georgina has lived in three continents, and now, based at a stone's throw of London, which is her home. She has a special interest to bring the best of Britain to her audiences worldwide. Becoming newer from each travel, Georgina enjoys sharing her travel stories, drawing her readers into her world of boomer adventures while immersing them in the history, culture and food of a region. Together with her own informative, in-depth writing style, practical tips and suggestions on her blog, Timeless Travel Steps, Georgina make travel dreams a reality. She is happiest waking up to the chirpy sounds of the birds or sipping wine over sand in between her toes, while watching the rolling clouds melt into darkness.

11 comments

  1. I never would have imagined Surinamese food to have a niche in Amsterdam! How cool is that? This food looks so good, I would love to give it a try sometime whether it be in Suriname itself or Amsterdam.

  2. I don’t think I’d ever heard of Suriname before, much less Surinamese food. But it looks really delicious. And one of the best things about exploring any city is finding it’s best ethnic cuisines. I love how you connected the other traditions that influenced some of the Surinamese dishes. When I make it to Amsterdam, I’m definitely going to seek out this lesser known cuisine.

  3. Many thanks, Sue. Yes, I admit I didn’t know much about Suriname until I delved deeper into its history – definitely a destination to visit. Their cuisine is absolutely delicious and authentic, so similar to Indonesian food for sure.

  4. This really made my mouth water! I had no idea how diverse Suriname was & have eaten what I thought was Indonesian in Amsterdam before but maybe it was Surinamese after all. Either way I love the fusion elements that you describe & it all looks delicious. Definitely a good reason to visit Amsterdam…or Suriname for that matter 😉

  5. Amsterdam truly offers a lot more than the obvious – the food culture is one of them. I am completely with you on the Madame Janette! 🙂

  6. Malaysia does have some of the dishes, perhaps they don’t refer to it as Surinamese cuisine – the ‘mee goreng’, ‘pisang goreng’ are in Malaysian cuisine as well.

  7. Thank you so much for your kind words Ade. Surinamese dish is very similar to Indonesian, and Chinese mixed together and I enjoy them as well as they touch the roots of my heritage, Malaysia. Hope you get to try one of these dishes when you visit Amsterdam

  8. Oh. My. God. Why does Malaysia not have a Surinamese restaurant yet?? This is like our food, but with new twists we haven’t seen yet! I’m so hungry now.

  9. I have never heard of Surinamese cuisine so it was interesting to read about this offering in Amsterdam. Strange that it originated in South America and was brought back. Although less strange to read that it represents a mix of cultures from the travellers that reached South America. I might be ok with this cuisine if I could steer clear of the Madame Janette peppers! The dishes look colourful and full of fresh vegetables. Always a bonus when we travel. Certainly something different to try in Amsterdam.

  10. As you know my city was recently voted one of the best in the country for food and the best for Street Food. Therefore finding a cuisine I have never even heard of makes it an impressive blog. It looks so interesting and brings a part of Amsterdam to us I never knew anything about.

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