10 Must Try Foods in Amsterdam – Eat Like a Local in Amsterdam

On my first visit to Amsterdam, many years ago, it’s safe to say that the food was not a highlight. However, there is an excellent food scene in Amsterdam nowadays, and traditional Dutch food can be quite delicious. Here are my must try foods in Amsterdam, from sweet to savory!

must try foods in Amsterdam - canals in Amsterdam
Beautiful Amsterdam

We focused on traditional Dutch foods as well as modern and foreign influences during our last Amsterdam trip and took great two Amsterdam food tours while there (Hungry Birds and Eating Amsterdam). Through the tours and our many meals out, we discovered some must try foods in Amsterdam that you can’t miss on your next visit!

And if you have time to see more than Amsterdam while there, I highly recommend it. There are plenty of options for public transportation or you can rent a car and see most of the country in as little as a week’s time!

Read more: Rotterdam food guide

10 Must Try Foods in Amsterdam

1. Stroopwafel

Let’s start with one of Amsterdam’s sweetest bites– the humble stroopwafel. This Dutch symbol has gone global in recent years, it’s even sold in my local Starbucks! But the packaged stroopwafels you’ll find abroad don’t compare to the fresh, made-in-the-moment street food variety you’ll find in Amsterdam.

must try foods in Amsterdam - hot stroopwafel
A stoopwafel stand at the Amsterdam food market
must try foods in Amsterdam - stroopwafel
My delicious stroopwafel!

A stroopwafel is made of thin layers of dough filled with an extremely sweet and piping hot caramel syrup. A quick press on the hot griddle and they’re ready to be enjoyed. They can also be packaged and will last for ages — simply put them on top of a hot beverage to make the center gooey again!

2. Herring

Another famous Dutch food, and in my opinion one of the absolute must try foods in Amsterdam, is herring (haring in Dutch).

Herring in Amsterdam - must try foods in Amsterdam
Very pretty herring on our food tour!

In Amsterdam herring is a street food, sold at herring booths throughout the city. Dutch herring is sold raw– though in reality it’s been fully frozen (to make sure it’s safe) and then semi-cured in salt, aged for a few days in oak, and the bones have also been removed. Served with onions, it’s definitely an intense bite, but it’s one of my favorite Dutch foods!

While the herring in Amsterdam is delicious, locals tell me I have to check out Volendam, a gorgeous Dutch fishing village located on Markermeer Lake, northeast of Amsterdam. You can buy herring and other seafood at little stalls all around the harbor. Definitely on the list for next time!

3. Cod

While we’re talking about fish, we should mention cod. Salt cod is famous throughout the world (especially here in Spain!) and it’s no different in the Netherlands. Deliciously fried salt cod is available at many of the fish booths around town. Served with homemade tartar sauce, it makes the perfect lunch.

must try foods in Amsterdam - cod
Delicious fried cod and tartar sauce

4. Poffertjes

If you can’t pronounce this food, don’t worry– just look for it on the menu! These mini Dutch pancakes come covered in sweet sugar syrup, and are fluffy and delicious. On a cold and rainy day in Amsterdam there’s nothing better than popping into a local café for a heaping plate!

must try foods in Amsterdam - pancakes
Dutch pancakes with butter and syrup

5. Mint Tea

And while you’re enjoying your pancakes, sip on a piping hot mug of mint tea. Not actually tea at all, in Amsterdam it’s common to order a hot infusion of fresh mint. It sounds simple, but it’s really relaxing — and even better when it comes with a mini stroopwafel on top!

Mint Tea in Rotterdam
Steaming hot fresh mint tea!

6. Satay

One of my favorite foods in Amsterdam (besides herring!) is satay. Doesn’t sound Dutch? Well, it most certainly is a staple of the local Dutch cuisine! Indonesian restaurants and take-away counters are popular throughout Amsterdam, and we ended up eating quite a lot of Indonesian food throughout our trip. I still dream about the spicy peanut sauce!

must try foods in Amsterdam - satay
Addictive satay, one of my favorite foods
Cute Dutch houses must try foods in Amsterdam
Cute Dutch houses

7. Oorlog french fries

When you visit Amsterdam you must visit Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx and order the oorlog fries. You’ll receive a crispy cone filled with hot homemade fries, topped with mayonnaise, peanut sauce and raw onion. It may sound odd, but after only one cone you’ll be hooked for life! It’s definitely something worth eating in Amsterdam each and every time.

must try foods in Amsterdam - oorlog
Oorlog fries — a must!

8. Chutney

A totally new food for me this trip was chutney, which we tried on the Hungry Birds tour in an Indonesian and Surinamese specialty shop. We put different chutneys (both sweet and spicy) on top of empanadas, and they were delicious. I bought a bunch to take home!

must try foods in Amsterdam - chutney
Sweet or spicy?

9. Dutch cheese

Touristy as it was, we stopped into the many cheese shops around town. All were extremely generous with their free samples, and really knew how to sell! There were 50+ different types of cheeses on offer, and I loved them all. The most famous is Old Amsterdam, but try the aged Gouda– it’s incredible! I only wish we brought more back.

Next visit I’d love to take a cheese-filled road trip to visit Gouda, I’ve heard it’s amazing!

must try foods in Amsterdam - cheese
Dutch cheese <3

10. Bitterballen

Bitterballen are the ideal bar snack, perfect when ordered alongside a towering Dutch beer. These ground meat croquettes are often served with mustard and are one of the most popular local foods you’ll see people ordering. They’re not as creamy as Spanish croquettes, but they definitely do the trick!

must try foods in Amsterdam - bitterballen
Yummy bitterballen

What do you think? Have you visited the Netherlands? Any must try foods in Amsterdam you think I’ve missed?

Comments

  1. What about pannenkoeken? This Dutch pancake is as big as your plate and must be stuffed with bacon. A must have on a bitterly cold day.

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