5 must try foods when you visit Amsterdam

While I know this isn’t exactly adventure related, I am a big foodie! My favourite thing to do while travelling is trying out new cuisines. This is an article I had written previously about my favourite foods in Amsterdam.

The capital of Netherlands, Amsterdam, is known for its stunning canals, colourful tulips and wonderful art museums. If you’re planning a visit do keep in mind that the city has great weather from March to October. With much to see, eat and do I suggest spending three to five days in Amsterdam to do it justice!

Taxis are relatively expensive in the Netherlands, making public transport, cycles or walking the best way to get around the city. You are likely to find yourself spending a day (or three) walking around the famous museum square. The square contains the famed Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum and Royal Concertgebouw – a beautiful concert hall. You are also likely to visit the historic Anne Frank house (be sure to get tickets online, as they sell out much in advance) and maybe even tour the Heineken factory. 

Regardless of the activities you plan, I’m sure you’re going to work up an appetite as you move about the city. Amsterdam is a city that takes its food very seriously. So here’s a list of my favourites just for you. 

Here’s our list of 5 must eats in Amsterdam: 

  1. Stroopwafels: 

This delicious snack is a traditional accompaniment to tea or coffee. It consists of two wafer thin waffles sandwiched between a layer of caramel. These buttery cookies are a must try for anyone travelling to Amsterdam.

Where to find it?

  • Get a freshly made stroopwafel from “The Original Stroopwaffels” cart in the Albert Cuyp market.
  • Or stop by Lanskroon, a small tea room which offers three different fillings with their big crispy stroopwafels.
  • You can also get these cookies in any local store, their most common supermarket is the Albert Heijn. If you get a store bought one, make sure you warm up your Stroopwafel by placing it on the top of a steaming hot beverage before you dig in. The store bought version also makes a great gift for all your foodie friends back home! 
  1. Loaded French Fries (Locally known as Patatjes)

This might not sound new or exciting on a list of must eats, but the Dutch people simply love their fries. Which makes this a “must try” when in the city. The hot, thick and crispy fries come loaded with the most amazing toppings and are served in a paper cone. They make for the most amazing street food which you’re going to relish every day when in Amsterdam.

There are many many different combinations of sauces that are available but the two you must try are the patatje oorlog (a combination of peanut sauce, mayonnaise and chopped raw onions) and the patat speciaal (with curry ketchup, mayonnaise and chopped raw onions).

Where to find it?

  • Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx is a tiny hole in the wall establishment that serves over 25 different varieties of sauces on their fries.
  • Frietboutique is known for their locally sourced potatoes, the fries here and cut and fried right in front of you. They’re so good you (almost) don’t need the sauce.
  • Anywhere really. You will be sure to spot many kiosks and shops selling these decadent fries. Don’t leave town without trying them.  
  1. Herring

Herring is another classic Dutch street food. It is a  small fish that is typically eaten raw with raw onions and pickles. While it may seem unappetizing to eat raw fish, the people of Holland have been doing so for hundreds of years. Try it for the experience if nothing else. Still not convinced about eating plain raw fish? Consider trying the herring in a broodje (herring sandwich) instead. 

Where to find it?

  • Stubbe’s Herring has been around for more than a century and is certainly the best place to try herring! Situated near the Central Train Station, the Stubbe’s is fairly easy to find. 
  • For the Herring Sandwich head to Vishuisje Herengrach. Also easy to spot via google maps.
  • Everywhere else – you will see stalls selling herring all over Amsterdam, so don’t fret if you can’t make the time to head specifically to Stubbe or Vishuisje Herengrach.
  1. Bitterballen

Bitterballen is a flavourful deep fried meatball – the meat inside is usually beef or veal. Not a typical street dish, you will typically see bitterballen in cafe menus. Though, a few food stands in busy tourist areas do offer versions worth trying. Order this dish as an appetizer, accompanied with chilled beer from the comfort of a cafe while you watch the world go by!

Where to find it?

  • Febo is a notable place to try Bitterballen. Not only is the bitterballen here one of the best but the restaurant also operates on an interesting and unique model. It is completely automated and uses giant vending machines to serve the food! 
  • De Ballenbar is a quaint food stand located inside a food market (Foodhallen). Run by a Michelin star chef, the food stand serves Bitterballen with innovative fillings such as shrimp and truffle. You can also try the original version of Bitterballen here. 
  • You will find Bitterballen in any cafe serving Dutch cuisine!
  1. Dutch Cheese 

The Dutch have been making cheese for generations which explains the number of cheese shops in every corner of the city. In fact, there is even a Museum of Cheese in Amsterdam! A popular local cheese that you might have heard of and tried is ‘Gouda’,  but there are several others that you must also try such as Edam, Limburg and Leidin. 

Where to find it?

  • There are plenty of markets in Amsterdam, but on the top of the list for cheese is the ‘Noordermarkt’. With six different stalls selling cheese, you’re sure to enjoy sampling and find many that you like. Unfortunately, the Noordermarkt is only open on Saturdays so plan your trip around it if you can.
  • Book a cheese and wine tasting at the Reypenaer Tasting Room, where a professional will tell you all about the delectable wine and cheese combinations while you sample. 
  • The supermarkets. The cheese aisles in the supermarket are absolutely huge. A trip to the closest grocery store is a good way to get a quick cheese fix.

While many people often talk about all the activities and sights Amsterdam has, the food is certainly not something that one should overlook. Make sure you try all the 5 dishes to get a taste of all that Amsterdam has to offer! 

Originally written for OnManorama by Deeya Bajaj

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