Amsterdam is a wonderful place to be in! With its artistic heritage, your eyes will feast on the beauty that surrounds. Tagged as the City of Peace, those who enjoy a laid-back life would certainly love to be here. Take a stroll along the streets or ride a boat through their canals as you admire the well-known Dutch gable houses. Of course, your trip will not be complete without delicious traditional food.
As part of your itinerary, why not chill in a café? A lot of coffee shops are just at the corners since it has been a significant part of Amsterdam’s culture way back in the 1970s. While enjoying a regular Cup of Joe (or try Koffie Verkeerd instead, which is the caffé latte here) take a look at the delectable food that you should definitely try while savoring the relaxing vibe of the coffee shops in Amsterdam. Here’s our list of traditional food in this great city.
1. Appeltaart (Apple Pie)
One of the traditional foods in Amsterdam will surprise you, as you are probably familiar with this! It is the Appeltaart or Apple Pie, which is an appetizing pastry that can be found at almost any coffee shop in the streets of Amsterdam. The Dutch twist for this comfort food plays along with the texture, doughy and moist on its layers then crispy-like-cookie crust. As for the taste, the blend is the highlight, making sure that the flavor is packed in the apples and that it is not too sweet. Such attributes make this an ideal light snack that will not fail to enchant your taste buds, even if you are not exactly a sweet tooth! The signature Appeltaart is generously topped with whipped cream, making each bite a taste of heaven.
According to the locals, the most delightful Appeltaart can be found at Winkel 43 or Café ‘T Papeneiland, which are both located at the de Jordaan quarter. Did you know that these stores hit up to thousands of slices sold? That speaks volumes, of how yummy Appeltaart is!
2. Poffertjes (Mini Pancakes)
These are the fluffy mini pancakes that are made with yeast and buckwheat flour, topped with powdered sugar and butter. The conventional pancakes can be cooked with common pans, however, Poffertjes retains the puffy texture by using special pans with shallow molds, good for these goodies (think how the Japanese takoyaki is made). These easy-to-eat, bite-sized treats will be a fantastic light snack to eat on any day.
Imagine how the delightful smell of this snack wafts especially during winter or fall when the Poffertjes are sold on the street corners! One can find these delightful treats almost anywhere from restaurants to food festivals, but they say that the best Poffertjes can be found just at the street markets. You can check out places like Sunday Market or Rollende Keukens.
3. Bitterballen (Dutch Meatball)
There is one more thing that Dutch is known for—their love for beer. Just beer is not enough for a session, right? There has got to be some bite-sized snacks to go along with it! Bitterballen fits the description perfectly, so when you are up for a visit to the pub or bar in Amsterdam, expect to have these crunchy treats in their menu. This Dutch-styled meatball is made with beef or veal, broth, then rolled with flour are spices. With breadcrumbs for the last coating, it will be deep fried in oil. However, there are varieties into it right now. Be careful though, because this tasty snack is always served hot especially in the filling! They say that you can find the best Bitterballen at Le Grand Café Luxembourg. If variety is what you are looking for, then De Ballenbar is the place to go!
4. Erwtensoep (Dutch Split Pea Soup)
The Erwtensoep, also known as snert, is the hearty soup that will keep you full and satisfied whilst experiencing the warmth during chilly weather. Be warned that this is not just any other ordinary soup, however, because it is known to be so thick that you may (theoretically) keep a spoon upright in it! The soup is filled with pork and vegetables including onions, garlic, leek, split peas, potatoes, carrots, and celeriac. To further the Dutch cuisine for the soup, there are complementary foods to add such as the Rookworst (the local smoked sausages) which are placed at the bottom of the bowl or rye bread with Katenspek (Dutch bacon). How yummy!
5. Stroopwafels (Syrup Waffle)
Served across the entire region, Stroopwafels is the Dutch treat that contributed to what the Netherlands is famous for! These are the thin waffles with a crispy & chewy texture and a caramel filling in the middle. Enjoy this Dutch treat with tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, as the Stroopwafels are made to fit especially for such beverages. Trust us, your trip will never be complete without trying this out.
These treats are on demand even in other countries so it is a good idea to try this out too while it’s freshly made here in Amsterdam! The Stroopwafels are made available in groceries or in a café but you may also find those at street markets like Noordermarkt Farmers Market.
6. Rookworst (Dutch Sausage)
Also known as the Dutch-styled sausage, Rookworst can be found in just about every food corner in Amsterdam—supermarkets, food parks, restaurants, you name it! This mixture of ground meat and spices has the smoked flavor. The best ones are those made in smokehouses. Make sure to try these sausages fresh and hot from food corners or you can also cook them. For a variety of this plus other Dutch foods, get one in Slagerij Vet at Zeeddijk 99.
7. Hollandse Nieuwe Haring (Raw Herring Fish)
Dare to be adventurous? Then try the Hollandse Nieuwe Haring! It is a raw herring fish that is served with some onions and bread (if preferred, you can have it in a sandwich). An interesting fact: Did you know that this kind of fish can only be called this way if it is caught sometime between May and July? Trying out this local delicacy will probably be your most memorable one. The way to eat it? Hold the fish from the tail, tilt your head up, then gobble up!
8. Goudse Kaas (Cheese From Gouda)
If you are a cheese lover, then you should definitely try out the Goudse Kaas! Having the creamy and nutty taste, this cheese will definitely give you a different cheesy experience! Cheddar cheese and parmesan may be the famous types of cheese, but did you know that Goudse Kaas is actually the most commonly eaten cheese in the world according to cheese.com! Bars and pubs here serve this type of cheese and they say that pairing it with wine or beer is just magnificent.
9. Stamppot (Mash Pot)
Looking for a meal that will keep you full? Then Stamppot is for you! This traditional meal is rich with stomach-filling vegetables. It is famous here in Amsterdam and is a great meal to eat especially during the winter. You may have heard of mashed potatoes, but this one has its style, combining it with various vegetables such as carrots, kale or cabbage (zuurkool or sauerkraut), onions and endive. Rookworst is paired with this traditional food, so for sure, you will feel very satisfied with this Dutch meal!
10. Patat (Flemish Fries)
Originating from North Belgian, this popular street snack shows the Dutch’s love for potatoes. Patat, also known as Flemish fries, are heavily produced around the streets of Amsterdam. These Dutch fries or chips are served with a generous scoop of mayonnaise with the alternative to add onions and peanut satay sauce. Having the latter will bring the combination called oorlog or war. Check out this interesting Dutch twist for fries in the street food corners!
Enjoy beautiful Amsterdam
The chill vibe of Amsterdam makes this place worth the visit. So while you are there, maximize the time to go around and experience the place, culture, and cuisine! Now that you know some of the delicious food to try at Amsterdam, why not share the knowledge with your friends? Don’t forget to share if this list made you want to have a fun food trip while enjoying beautiful Amsterdam.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.