Possibly even more so than Paris, in my opinion, Holland is a food lover’s paradise. Lynette and I spent about four days basically wandering from restaurant to restaurant in Amsterdam with a few stops at museums in between. One of my favorite memories from study abroad is picnicking in a park in Amsterdam with cheese, a baguette, prosecco, and chocolate cheesecake from the supermarket.
(Want some actual sightseeing with that culinary tourism?)
Here are my top recommendations for foods to try on a trip to Amsterdam or elsewhere in the Netherlands…and be prepared not to count calories for the full duration of your stay.
Stroopwafels is number one because we got these on our plane ride to the Netherlands—preparing us for the cuisine to come even before we were on the ground. These delicious waffle-shaped cookies are filled with syrup or honey. Luckily for me, the ones that you can buy in the US are pretty similar to the ones in the Netherlands.
Before I traveled to the Netherlands, I had no idea the country was known for its cheese, but it’s actually been a part of developing quite a large number of cheeses. (You might recognize Gouda and Limburger.)
In Amsterdam, there are cheese shops all over the place, and most of them have dishes of free samples you can try.
Our favorite was the truffle cheese.
3) Dutch pancakes
There are actually a couple of kinds of “Dutch pancakes.”
The Dutch baby pancake that you can get at some diners in America is actually a German pancake; you might recognize its popover-like consistency and curled-up edges.
The pannenkoek is thinner than an American pancake but thicker than a crepe and is fried in a pan with butter. We tried this kind in Amsterdam. Pannenkoeks can be eaten flat but are sometimes rolled and eaten by hand, and the shop that we visited rolled them up with additions of your choice like fruit, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream. It was a vegan-friendly restaurant called The Happy Pig, which is the cutest name I can possibly think of.
Finally, poffertjes are puffy silver dollar pancakes heaped with powdered sugar. We bought them at the Keukenhof tulip festival, and they cooked them right in front of us.
4) Dutch fries
Dutch fries, or frites, are thicker than their American counterparts, and they are so good. I remember thinking they tasted like they were just sliced off the potato. There are stands/walk-up windows selling the fries to tourists here and there around Amsterdam Centrum (city center) that usually serve the fries in a cone with mayonnaise. We got ours at Manneken Pis, located near the port, which proclaimed itself to be the best fries in Amsterdam (they may well be right). Of course we got them with truffle mayo.
5) Dutch apple pie
Appeltaart is a pie filled with thick slices of apple and topped with a dough lattice pattern and streusel. Dutch apple is a common type of pie at American restaurants, so I knew we had to try the authentic version in the Netherlands. We walked across the city to Winkel 43 after Googling “Best Dutch apple pie in Amsterdam.”
It was good—it mostly just tasted like apple pie. I may have been distracted by the cute server at the bar. We did really enjoy the restaurant’s mango-with-fruity-compote dessert (also pictured).
I don’t know what kind of waffle this is, and I don’t think it’s specifically Dutch, but these street-food waffles piled high with chocolate, Nutella, fruit, whipped cream, and other sugary toppings were everywhere in Amsterdam.
Edibles: also everywhere.
What are your favorite Dutch foods? Which of the treats on the list would you most like to try? Personally, I could go for a stroopwafel.
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