24 incredibly delicious Dutch culture food in Amsterdam

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24 incredibly delicious Dutch culture food in Amsterdam that you must absolutely try!

Amsterdam is not known for its food cuisine but a unique culinary experience awaits any hungry traveller. From croquettes in a vending machine to an unending parade of rijsttafel at a high-end restaurant, Amsterdam’s food culture is simply beyond the humble stroopwafel and liquorice drops. Here are the Best 24 experiences of delicious Dutch culture food in Amsterdam that you must absolutely try!

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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Savoury on-the-go food in Amsterdam

1 | Dutch chunky fries!

Food in Amsterdam | patatje oorlog
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patatje oorlog – a classic Dutch favourite | Image: Heiko Werkman

The Dutch have many versions of fries or ‘patat’ as they call it, but the real “Dutch chunky fries” is no ordinary fries! This carb-heavy classic Dutch fastfood in Amsterdam is created with several unusual combination of ingredients which are not usually regarded as complementary to each other but strangely satisfying on a bed of Dutch Chunky Fries 🙂

Ask for a ‘patatje oorlog‘ for a heart-warming bed of chunky french-fries, topped with raw onions and mayonnaise plus the added “special ingredient” – spicy peanut satay sauce. This mélange might seem unbelievably strange to a non-Amsterdammer but the ingredients work surprisingly well together, piping hot, hearty, salty and spicy – a must-try at least once kind of food in Amsterdam.

If spicy peanut sauce are not to your taste buds, ask for ‘patat speciaale’ for a mix of curry ketchup, mayonnaise and raw onions.

This quick, hearty, classic Dutch dish comes traditionally served in a paper cone, which makes it perfect to fuel a hungry traveller on a day-long discovery of unmissable things to do in Amsterdam.

Best places to try this incredible feast, delicious chunky fries that are fresh and homemade are:

Grizzl Gelderlandplein, Willem van Weldammelaan, 9A 1082 KT Amsterdam

Frietboutique, Johannes Verhulststraat 107 (Amsterdam-Zuid)

2 | Bitterballen

bitterballen | food in Amsterdam
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bitterballen – the ultimate in Dutch pub food

Bitterballen – the ultimate in Dutch pub food! They are deep-fried, crispy meatballs and traditionally served with mustard for dipping. The ‘bitterbal’ is made-up of a thick ragout, comprising a soft mixture of beef, beef broth, butter, thickening flour and spices. These are then coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. These tasty meatballs go very well with a pint or two of Dutch craft beer. You can find these in practically every drinking establishment in Amsterdam.

3 | Kroket

Food in Amsterdam | Krokets
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food in Amsterdam | kroket served as sandwich

Kroket or croquettes, call them what you will but these are an institution in Dutch food – even available out of a vending machine in Amsterdam. The ‘kroket’ is a meat-filled sausage like roll coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried. The original Dutch kroket is made from beef or veal ragout but there are several versions of it available these days. You can find them as chicken-satay, goulash, shrimps or a vegetarian version. Kroket are an ideal on-the-go snack and often they are served on white bread or hamburger buns along with some mustard.

In Amsterdam, you are never too far away from tasting a kroket – they are readily available from regular snack-bars, cafés, restaurants, or McDonalds. They are regularly on offer in FEBO, a fast-food chain that sells snacks via coin-operated vending machines.


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Dutch Fish | Food in Amsterdam

4 | Raw Herring

raw herring | food in Amsterdam
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the art of eating raw herring like a local in Amsterdam
herring sandwich | food in Amsterdam
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herring sandwich – raw herring, chopped raw onions and pickles

Take a day-off sushi and try these heavenly Dutch delicacy instead…well, heavenly for some!

Raw herring is a Dutch delicacy and tastes absolutely divine with raw onions and pickles. The best way to experience it is to eat it like a local – hang onto the herring by its tail, lower it vertically into your mouth and take huge bites of it!

Head to a haringhandels (specialised herring carts) which are dotted around Amsterdam city to try this classic Dutch delicacy, usually costs anything between €3.00 to €5.00. Alternatively, ask for a ‘broodje haring‘ (herring sandwich) and enjoy the fish inside a soft and crispy roll.

Best time to try raw herring is said to be between May and July when the herring is at its sweetest and best.

5 | Kibbeling/Lekkerbekje

Kibbeling and Lekkerbekje are battered deep-fried white fish, most commonly cod or whiting sourced from the North Sea.

Kibbeling comes battered in chunks whereas Lekkerbekje are not. Both are absolutely delicious, served piping hot by the street vendors with mayonnaise herb sauce and lemon.

Dutch Cheese | Food in Amsterdam

Amsterdam - Henri Willig
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Amsterdam – Henri Willig | Image: georgina_daniel

Cheese is a big thing in Netherlands – they have been making kaas since 800 B.C. and was the second largest exporter in the world in 2019. Majority of Dutch kaas are semi-hard or hard cheeses with Gouda and Edam being the popular ones.

In Amsterdam, there is a kaas shop in every street, every corner and a few doors of each other. So, don’t go home without tasting some Edam, Gouda, Geitenkaas and Maasdammer.

Walk into a Henri Willig that is dotted around Amsterdam for a quick taste and guide to their wide selection of cheeses – from natural to smoked, herbs and garlic as well as chilli cheeses!

Next, visit the Reypenaer Tasting Room in Old Amsterdam for a professionally guided cheese tasting activity in a century-old warehouse.

Visit also Kaaskamer in Negen Straatjes (9 Streets) for cheeses from around Netherlands and the world.

If you want to learn more about the Dutch cheese, you could always venture out of Amsterdam a little and visit any of the top five cheese markets – Alkmaar, Edam, Hoorn, Gouda and Woerden. Here, you can witness how cheese merchants had conducted their business for the last six-hundred years.

The Dutch breakfast!

6 | Ontbijtkoek

Ontbijtkoek | food in Amsterdam
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‘Ontbijtkoek’ literally translates to ‘breakfast cake’ though delicious at any time of the day with a scrumptious layer of butter. This Dutch and Flemish spiced cake, comes in loaves with the main ingredients consisting of rye and spiced with cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.

Available in most hotels as breakfast item and you could buy them off a supermarket shelf.

7 | Hagelslag

hagleslag on white bread | food in Amsterdam
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hagleslag on white bread | food in Amsterdam

Hagelslag is basically chocolate sprinkles on white bread with butter for breakfast – loved by both young and old! Found on breakfast tables in most hotels in Amsterdam.

8 | Pindakaas

Literally ‘peanut cheese’ but this is just peanut butter. The delicious creamy texture of pindakaas makes it more than just a spread. It is an essential breakfast item found on most breakfast tables in Amsterdam.

Desserts and sweet treats | Food in Amsterdam

9 | Dutch liquorice

Dutch liquorice | Food in Amsterdam
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Dutch liquorice | Food in Amsterdam

The Dutch love their liquorice! Eating liquorice is sort of a national past-time here. Although the Dutch liquorice share many traits to similar sweets from around the world, the Dutch ‘drop’ is unlike the liquorice in other western countries. The ‘drop’ has a unique ingredient called salmiak that gives the ‘drop’ its distinctive salty taste. This unusual flavour gives the drop a subtle kick, balancing out the sweetness normally found in candies, giving ‘drop’ a moreish blend of flavours. The ‘drop’ comes in fun sizes, often in shapes of cut-up cylinders, smiley faces or cars. You can find them in every corner-shop, supermarkets, markets, candy-stores and gas stations.

10 | Stroopwafel

Amsterdam. Stroopwafel
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Amsterdam.stroopwafel

Famous world-over as a popular pastry from the Netherlands as a sweet treat, but nothing beats the freshly baked off a market stall in Amsterdam! Stroopwafel, originated in Gouda, a little town south of Amsterdam in the late 18th or early 19th century is a popular cookie eaten best with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Discovered by a baker using leftovers and breadcrumbs back in the day, the stroopwafel is made of stiff batter comprising of flour, eggs, yeast, butter, milk and brown sugar. Two thin layers of the waffles are stuck together with a layer of syrup.

The best stroopwafels can be found at Albert Cuypmarkt (from “the Guy in Cuyp” Melly’s and Dappermarkt. You could also visit a tearoom, Lanskroon, located at Singel 385 (near ‘het Spui’), Amsterdam.

Read: Best places to eat stroopwafels in Amsterdam

11 | Dutch Apple Pie

Dutch apple pie - food in Amsterdam
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The apple pie or appeltaart in Dutch is an impressive deep-dish apple-pie that is sold in every bakery and features in every cafe menu in Amsterdam. The apple-pie looks almost like a cake, infused with cinnamon, dotted with raisins and served with a generous scoop of whipped cream. Sometimes, the apple-pies are topped with chopped almonds. Apple pies are a popular comforting dessert in the Netherlands and the best in Amsterdam is said to be at Winkel 43, Jordaan neighbourhood.

12 | Bossche bol

Food in Amsterdam | bossche bol
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bossche bol

The bossche bol is similar to the cream-filled, chocolate-glazed profiteroles but these are more circular in form, almost the size of a tennis ball, and completely covered in dark chocolate. The dessert originated in the city of Den Bosch in the early 20th century and had since, become a favourite national staple. You can find bossche bol in local cafes and eateries as a dessert option.


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13 | Pannenkoeken

Dutch pancake | Food in Amsterdam
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Dutch pancake – a must try food in Amsterdam

Pannenkoeken is popular around the world and the Dutch version is rather large! Though large, they are thinner than the American pancake but thicker than the Frence crêpe. Dutch pancakes are made of flour, milk and eggs. They are available throughout the day and the Old Dutch Pancake House in Amsterdam Centrum does it light and crispy. You could have any toppings, from crispy bacon to fruits or simple syrup.

Read: Amsterdam in a Nutshell: 18 experiences in 48 hours

14 | Tompouce

Tompouce | Food in Amsterdam
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Tompouce

Tompouce is a heavy dessert! It is a popular food in Amsterdam and is essentially a cream sandwich where the cream is infused between two slabs of pastries, topped with bubblegum pink icing. The pink icing on top of the rectangular shaped cream-filled puff pastry is replaced with orange icing during the occasion of King’s Day, to honour the House of Orange-Nassau, the Dutch royal family. It is available in all good bakeries across Amsterdam but you could try Patisserie Holtkamp.

15 | Poffertjes

food in Amsterdam
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Poffertjes are a traditional Dutch treat. They are made of batter comprising of buckwheat flour and yeast, they look like mini pancakes but fluffier. They are typically served with a lump of butter and powdered sugar, readily available at restaurants and pancake house across Amsterdam. For best experience of fresh, hot buttery poffertjes, try them from a street market vendor during winter.

16 | Speculaas

speculaas | Food in Amsterdam
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speculaas, winter cookies a favourite in Amsterdam during the festive season

If you are visiting Amsterdam in December, buy some freshly baked speculaas which are exceptionally popular among the Dutch during the festive period of Sinterklaasavond, the main gift-giving celebration in Netherlands. Speculaas are delicious, containing the aromatic festive spices of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, mixed with butter, flour and sugar into speculaas batter, then baked for their distinctive texture.

17 | Oliebollen

Oliebollen | Food in Amsterdam
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Oliebollen – a special treat on New Year’s Eve in Netherlands

Oliebollen literally means ‘oil balls’ and is a traditional Dutch treat. They are deep fried sweet dumplings, sometimes containing fruit pieces, and dusted in powdered sugar, with taste similar to donuts. These small dumplings of wonder are usually served on New Year’s Eve. It is also a popular treat for Dutch families and are made at home during the winter months. You can buy them from the dozens of pop-up mobile vendors at the markets in Amsterdam during the holiday season.

The dough is made from flour, yeast, some salt, eggs, milk and baking powder.

18 | Boterkoek

Food in Amsterdam | Boterkoek
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The Boterkoek/butter cake is an all-time favourite of the Dutch. It is dense, buttery and sweet. Contains hardly anything else except for butter, sugar and flour. Vanilla and lemon zest is added for light flavour. Available in all good patisseries across Amsterdam – Patisserie Holtkamp in Amsterdam is a great place to try.

19 | Spekkoek

spekkoek an Indonesian speacility | food in Amsterdam
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Spekkoek, an Indonesian speciality | food in Amsterdam

Spekkoek is the delicious legacy of the former Dutch East Indies. A layered spiced cake, originated from Indonesia is a harmonious blend of Eastern and Western traditions that has found a top spot in Dutch cuisines. The firm textured cake is painstakingly layered, baked and brushed. Spekkoek is incredibly rich, made with flour, plenty of butter, yolk and spiced with cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and star-anise.

In Indonesia, Spekkoek is served as a holiday treat or as gifts during local festivities. In the Netherlands, you will find Spekkoek is a dessert served in rijsttafel.

Soups and Dishes | Food in Amsterdam

20 | Erwtensoep/Snert

Snert | food in Amsterdam
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Snert – heartwarmingly delicious pea soup | food in Amsterdam

Erwtensoep or Snert is the Dutch version of pea soup. Rich, thick green stew of split peas, pork, celery, onions and leeks is heartwarmingly delicious and a favourite during the winter months.

Snert is traditionally eaten with slices of ‘rookworst‘ (smoked sausages) and rye bread. A good bowl of snert is best eaten the next day when flavours are all well-blended and the soup itself is so thick that a soup-spoon will stand vertical when placed in it!

Widely consumed across Netherlands, you will find street vendors in Amsterdam serving this delicious soup to ice-skaters on the frozen canals.

21 | Stamppot

stamppot - Dutch culture food in Amsterdam
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stampport topped with rookworst | food in Amsterdam

Stamppot is an old-style traditional dish and the ultimate in Dutch comfort food. The dish is similar to bubble-and-squeak in England and traditionally consists of mashed potatoes, kale, onions, carrots and sauerkraut.

Stamppot is a winter-dish and enjoyed best with rookworst. Many restaurants in Amsterdam have this dish on their menu throughout the year.

22 | Rookworst

Rookworst is a popular Dutch smoked sausage and mostly eaten with ‘stamppot’ and an ingredient in ‘snert’. It is comparable to a hotdog and best eaten in a roll with onions and mustard. Widely available in supermarkets and hotdog street vendors.

23 | Surinamese Roti

food in Amsterdam
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The one thing that you must absolutely try in a Surinamese dish is the ‘roti’. Roti is a flatbread and is the main part of a Surinamese dish, accompanied by several other components such as spicy curry, potatoes, beans and boiled eggs.

Surinamese restaurants as well as take-out joints in Amsterdam serve ‘roti’ accompanied by ‘sambal’, a super spicy condiment made from crushed chillies with a touch of salt.

Surinamese cuisine is part of Amsterdam’s heritage due to the Dutch colonialism and it is well worth exploring by a visit to a Surinamese restaurant or by being part of food tour in Amsterdam.

Read: 10 Best Typical Surinamese Cuisine in Amsterdam

24 | Enjoy a rijsttafel

rijsttafel | food in Amsterdam
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Amsterdam has a strong Indonesian influence and the food scene is ever so present throughout the city. No culinary experience in Amsterdam is ever complete without a visit to an Indonesian restaurant.

Rijsttafel (rice table) is an authentic Indish-Dutch experience where a large meal is served in an Indonesian restaurant. The meal features a medley of small dishes like egg rolls, satay, pickles, vegetables alongside a variety of rice dishes from all over the Indonesian islands. Rijsttafel was developed during the colonial era, giving the colonials a taste of Indonesian food from across the islands.


Practical tips when visiting Amsterdam

Plan ahead…

1 | Travelling to Amsterdam/Schiphol Airport by Air?

Travelling from/within Europe, use a budget airline for cheap fares and you reach Amsterdam direct and in comfort. Look-up EasyJet and Jet2 fares who are pretty good in this respect. Their offers on flight + hotels comes with great value for money choices along with assurances for peace of mind.

2 | Travelling from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam City Centre

You could get to Amsterdam city centre by either public transport, airport taxi or private door-to-door transfer. As for public transport, you have two choices – by rail and by bus. Read the Complete Guide to Public Transportation from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam city and pre-book your tickets.

3 | Travelling by Train from/within Europe to Amsterdam Centraal Station

Travel touch-free and download your digital ticket immediately – If you are travelling by train to Amsterdam Centraal Station, buy your train ticket from Eurail that has an extensive partnership with European providers of rail services. Their offer on train tickets are competitive and one of the best for European travel. Click on the link below and do a search for your travels.

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As well, you may want to look up Trainline who are also competitive in their train ticket pricing.

Upon arrival at Amsterdam Centraal Station, you could take a taxi or a tram to your neighbourhood/hotel. Read about the choices you have on public transport options.

4 | Places to Stay in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a popular city visited throughout the year and there is no end to the remarkable choices that unfolds once you start searching places to stay. Read the recommended Beautiful places to stay in Amsterdam and book your stay to secure a favourable price.

5 | Things to do

Amsterdam offers a multitude of things to do, from off-the-beaten path adventures, nightlife and incredible cruises along with fascinating food tours – there is not a moment to be bored in this city of freedom. Read about ideas for a 48-hour visit and the Unmissable 28 best things to do in Amsterdam.

You may also want to explore the outskirts of Amsterdam that has picturesque villages that you would absolutely love or visit Amsterdamse Bos, for a day of fun and relaxation.

6 | A road-trip in Netherlands while visiting Amsterdam?

You don’t really need a set of wheels if you are visiting Amsterdam as the city is compact, therefore easily walkable, public transport is good and the trains are excellent. However, if you are planning to explore Netherlands, then hiring a car is a great option. You could easily pick-up your car from Schiphol Airport or at Amsterdam Centraal. Travel Supermarket is best as it checks thousands of providers and brings you live availability. Click on the image below and secure your price.

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7 | Travel Insurance

Finally…never leave home without travel insurance. World Nomads is highly recommended – their comprehensive cover, competitive pricing and their excellent customer response is second to none.

On a final note about food in Amsterdam

All though Netherlands is not well-known for its cuisine, nonetheless there is a rich heritage associated with the exciting, flavourful and “full of history” cuisines that reflect the people of this country. Visiting Amsterdam and trying any one of the 24 Dutch culture food mentioned in this article is an experience not to be missed.

Sincerely hope that this guide has been valuable in your search for incredibly delicious Dutch culture food in Amsterdam to try when you visit Amsterdam. If so, use the links embedded in this article to book your travels, place to stay or activities you intend to do. TTS earns a commission from qualified bookings/purchases at no cost to you. As always your support is highly appreciated to keep this blog going. Do get in touch if you have any questions about our trusted partners.

Have a great time in Amsterdam!

xoxo

Quick facts on Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam on world map
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52° 22′ 40.6416” N and 4° 53′ 49.4520” E
Amsterdam flag
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Amsterdam flag
Amsterdam Coat of Arms
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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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24 Incredibly delicious Dutch culture food in Amsterdam first published at timelesstravelsteps.com

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Amsterdam's food culture is simply beyond the humble stroopwafel and liquorice drops.  Here are the Best 24 experiences of delicious Dutch food in Amsterdam that you must absolutely try! 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.

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