The Best Dutch Foods to Try When You’re in Amsterdam

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I think a key component of traveling is enjoying the local food. Food can tell so much about culture, history, and tastes. Different countries – even different regions or cities within a country! – can have distinctly different foods and flavor profiles that reflect that local environment. I don’t think the Netherlands is particularly famous for their food but I really enjoyed trying Dutch food. I’ve been to Amsterdam, Groningen, Utrecht, Gouda, & Lisse in the Netherlands and all of these foods were easy to come by and delicious. No trip to Amsterdam is complete without trying at least some of these foods!

Stroopwafel

Yes, the very same that United re-introduced on domestic flights to much fanfare. There’s a reason why passengers LOVE stroopwafels: they are delicious. A thin, crispy waffle with caramel sandwiched in between. Delicious.

This tasty little cookie originated in Gouda so you’re more likely to find fresh stroopwafel stands here. They are harder to come by in Amsterdam so be sure to buy a fresh one if you can find them.

Stroopwafel Dutch Food

Dutch tradition is to place the cookie on the rim of your coffee cup. The warmth from the coffee will warm up the cookie and make the caramel even more melty and delicious.

Bitterballen

My Expat friend who lived in Amsterdam for a few years introduced these to me. He lovingly described them as “deep-fried meat gravy balls that you dip in spicy mustard.” I couldn’t decide if that sounded delicious or repulsive, so he insisted on getting an order.

Fact: they are delicious. I’m not a fan of Dutch beer so I often enjoyed it with Belgian cherry beer. Sweet beer combined with the salty tangy deliciousness of bitterballen …. take me back, please.

Poffertjes

Tiny, mega fluffy baby pancakes. Typically a street food and often served with powdered sugar. They can also be served with Nutella, strawberries, and whipped cream.

Dutch Pancakes Poffertjes
Poffertjes courtesy of Fun Food and Travelling

Pannenkoeken

When people talk about Dutch pancakes, these are what they mean. They are basically plate-sized crepes, but thicker. They can be served sweet or savory but the Dutch often prefer eating them at dinner time with meats & cheeses. I have a sweet tooth so I lean towards that kind of pannenkoeken – look at this delicious pancake!

Apple pancakes at Zaanse Schans, a perfect Amsterdam day trip from The Daily Adventures of Me
Apple pancakes at Zaanse Schans, a perfect Amsterdam day trip.
From The Daily Adventures of Me

Patat

Also known as french fries! Dutch fries are similar to Belgian fries in that they are often a bit thicker than the fries you may find at a fast-food restaurant. Thicker than fast food, thinner than steak fries: that’s the patat.

Street vendors will sell these in easy-to-carry paper cones with the sauce on top. Mayo, ketchup, or curry sauce are popular toppings.

Dutch Food Patat

Gouda

Yes, gouda originated in the Netherlands, specifically in Gouda. Pro tip: NEVER say “goo-dah” when talking about either the city or the town. Clear your throat while you say “how” and round it off with a “da”. Say it wrong once and you’ll be swiftly corrected.

There are cheese stores all over the Netherlands but of course, they are extra plentiful in the town of Gouda. If you love cheese, it’s definitely worth a day trip.

Enjoy the gouda wedges and consider rounding off the experience with gouda beer soup. DELICIOUS.

Note the cherry beer in the background … it is my favorite beer in the world.

Appeltaart

AKA Dutch Apple Pie!

The Dutch know what’s up when it comes to apple pie. But you know who knows how to school even the Dutch on the perfect Appeltaart? Winkel 43 in Amsterdam.

Check out TripAdvisor. Everyone agrees – their apple pie is the best. There will be a crowd when you go unless you visit in the morning. Blasphemy, you say – I can’t have apple pie for breakfast! Nonsense. It has fruit. Go have that apple pie for breakfast.

And yes, get the whipped cream.


Are you traveling to Amsterdam? Be sure to check out my post on everything to check out in Amsterdam!


Foods to Try in Amsterdam

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