Going beyond the scenic beauty and Madame Tussauds, of course, Amsterdam has a lot more to offer. The Dutch cuisine here is absolutely inviting for eager, hungry tourists wanting to explore the unique landscape, culinary or otherwise. Here is a list of Amsterdam’s regional delicacies that will make you plan your next trip just to satisfy your taste buds.
14 Most Popular Foods to Eat in Amsterdam
A delicious ground meat croquette filled with meaty ragout, Bitterballen contains a combination of parsley, veal, beef, broth, pepper, and salt. It is a crispy, deep-fried snack served with a mustard dip. Add a pint of cold beer to the equation, and you have the recipe for instant gratification.
A non-negotiable must-try, this chummy delight is not only a healthy snack but is also extremely easy to spot on the streets of Amsterdam. The herring is either grilled or boiled and often served with pickled onion or a variation of veggies. Although herring sandwiches are popular, having it as a bread roll is a crispy alternative.
3. Patatje Oorlog
Literally translated as ‘War Fries,’ this quirky dish of thick Dutch fries is a local favourite. It comprises potatoes deep-fried to perfection, topped with smooth mayonnaise, peanut stay, chopped onions, and curry ketchup. This bomb of flavour is served in cones, making it the perfect on-the-go snack that is also fulfilling.
Pronounced as “poffertjays,” they are soft, small, Dutch pancakes made from buckwheat flour and yeast that simply melt in your mouth. Nothing can beat a steamy plate of poffertjes sprinkled with powdered sugar or soaking in chocolate syrup on a cold rainy day. It also happens to be a popular street snack.
A circular, syrup-filled variety of waffles, Stroopwafels are available at every other bakery in Amsterdam. What could possibly be more enticing than a pair of baked, doughy cookies glued together with glazing, lip-smacking caramel sauce? Make sure you give this hot, gooey sweet piece of heaven at least one try.
When it comes to Amsterdam’s cuisine and Dutch snacks in particular, nothing beats the Croquettes. Typically made from beef or veal, Dutch Croquettes are essentially seasoned meat dumplings breaded and deep-fried for a fun bite. Although crispy on the outside, these fried balls are so soft on the inside that you will surely be pleased like never before.
7. Dutch Liquorice
Looking for a way to enhance your exciting sightseeing strolls around the city? Dutch Liquorice, or Dutch drops, as people call them, will take care of that. These little treats are both sweet and salty and soft and firm at the same time. The candies come in fun shapes and sizes with an almost umami flavour with subtle tang kicks.
There is nothing more Dutch than a piping dish of crispy Kibbeling. It is basically fish, typically cod, dunked in a well-seasoned batter and deep-fried until a beautiful, crackling texture is achieved. Kibbeling stalls can be found in abundance on the streets of Amsterdam, each serving this yum snack with dips ranging from simple aioli to complex remoulade and cocktail sauces.
Also known as Erwtensoep, Snert is a thick, hearty pea soup that is customarily served on New Year’s Eve. It is a green stew of split peas and a heap of veggies and pork. Traditionally accompanied by rye bread and sizzling rookwurst, a variety of smoked sausage, Snert is a heavenly wintertime soup that can also be enjoyed with sizzling Dutch bacon.
Literally translated as “oil balls,” Oliebollen is essentially a Dutch doughnut, which happens to be a traditional New Year treat. Oliebollen have a rich filling of dried currants, raisins, and apples, and the pastry is deep-fried to achieve a delightful golden colour and a crispy exterior. As though that wasn’t enough, these tiny treats are dusted with powdered sugar, making them irresistible to both the eye and the mouth.
Stamppot is the quintessential comfort food you simply cannot miss out on, especially if you visit Amsterdam in the cold months. Mashed potatoes, kale, and at times onions and carrots, topped with smoky sausages piled under sizzling bacon, this dish is the perfect winter food for a hearty meal.
Pannenkoeken, or Dutch Pancakes, have their origin in the Netherlands. Much thinner than its American counterpart, but not entirely crepe-like, this fluffy treat of a snack can be either sweet or savoury. It has a simple egg-milk-flour batter, so the real fun lies in selecting toppings and fillings. We’re talking about a drizzle of rich, thick apple syrup, or powdered sugar snowed delicately over a pile of these soft pancakes or a combination of mushroom and bacon on the savoury route.
13. Dutch Apple Tart
Any discussion on Amsterdam desserts is incomplete without the mention of Dutch Apple Tart. Sweet, buttery shortcrust pastry filled to the brim with sugary apples and invitingly seasoned with fragrant cinnamon; this dessert is truly a comforting hug disguised as food. Variations of this dish often star currants and sultana raisins and are topped with velvety soft whipped cream. If simplicity and luxury are a combination you love, Dutch Apple Tart is a must-try.
Speculaas are traditional Christmas treats that are available all year-round in the Netherlands. They are gently spiced shortcrust cookies that flaunt aromatic traces of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves with other seasonal spices. Speculaas are often windmill-shaped, but Christmas-themed elaborate designs such as St. Nicholas are also wildly popular during the festive season.