Foods to try in Amsterdam
The eats you just have to indulge in on your next visit to the Dutch capital
Having evolved from being a city on the bank of the river Amstel in the 12th century, to e of the world’s leading financial capitals, Amsterdam has much to offer -architecture, historic canals, the Van Gogh Museu and its red-light district, and of course cannabis coffee shops. But here are 10 gastronomic reasons that should put it on your travel plans.
Start from top left.
1. Chocolate snuff
In Amsterdam you can find a bunch of stuff to shove up your nose, but the only kind we are allowed to recommend is the chocolate snuff. It’s essentially pure chocolate ground to a fine dust. You have to use a straw and sniff in the line. You will feel a chocolate explosion in your head, but not before a burning sensation in your nose. The intense experience lasts for a few seconds where all you can smell, taste and feel (burning) is chocolate.
Try it at: Metropolitan (Warmoesstraat 135), in the red light area
Cost: It’s free, but while there buy some salted chocolates and raspberry jam filled chocolates. At 6.95 Euros for 100 gms, the chocolates are expensive but one taste will put the price in perspective
2. Croquette Bitterballen
Croquettes and bitterballen are an Amsterdam must have. It’s practically tradition. Both croquettes and bitterballen are made of the same stuff -white sauce with some meat rolled up, or made into a ball, dipped in breadcrumbs and fried. They taste like heaven and a heart attack rolled up in one tiny package.
Try it at: Febo is a popular joint that serves several types of bitterballen and croquette. Purists might say quality has been compromised at the chain, but a few beers down you will be wolfing this stuff by the dozen. Our favourite croquette at Febo was the one with the veal filling called kalfskroket (around 2 Euros each).
3. Aged Gouda
Gouda may sound like a cliche, but anything you have had here is just masquerading as good gouda. There are a bunch of gouda brands in Amsterdam, some you will find in the tourist areas. They come with promises of lasting long enough to the return trip home. There are also upmarket and fufu cheese sellers that sell you the same cheese at a higher price and a very small window in which to consume it. You can also buy your gouda from Amsterdam’s famous market for a fraction of the price (2 Euros for 500 gm).
But, regardless of where you buy it, opt for the gouda that’s aged the most -like wine, it seems to get better with age.
4. Indonesian Rice Table
Indonesian cuisine may seem like it doesn’t belong, but the Dutch had colonised Indonesia in the 1800s and the result was a taste for Indonesian spices and cooking. The effects can be seen in local sausages, dipping sauces and other foods. The rice table or rijsttafel is the Indonesian version of the thali -eat this in a big group so you can order one with the most side dishes. As the name suggests, the main ingredient here is rice and there are up to 15 side dishes to go with it). You may want to go to a rice table experience with a big appetite.
Try it at: Sampurna, next to the flower market
Cost: 35 Euros per person, minimum two people per meal.
5. Craft beer
There are several popular microbreweries that serve their own craft beer and local traditional style eats. We tried several of these places, most of them packed on a Friday night. They serve India pale ales, stouts and any style of beer you can care to remember. Some even have tasting platters, so you can try the entire range without getting sloshed.
Try it at: Brouwerij de Prael, Brouwerij ‘t IJ (housed in a windmill) and Bierfabriek
Fries are the pride and joy of street food in Amsterdam -you can find one practically on every street. They are thick cut Belgian styled fries with lots of toppings and even bigger choice of sauces. Portions tend to be huge so think twice before ordering a `large’.
Look for places that are crowded, as they tend to have fresh batches, hence crispier fries. Try the Joppiesaus instead of mayo or cheese sauce.
Try it at: Some of the best places to have these crispy taters are Manneken pis (yes, it is exactly what you think it sounds like) and Burger bar (while here, have a Kobe Burger too).
Poffertjes are puffy bite-sized pancakes served hot off the pan, usually sold in batches of 10, powdered with sugar and topped with a big dollop of butter. If your clothes aren’t covered with sugar powder after eating it, you haven’t got the right one. Poffertjes are cheap and the cost includes a range of toppings including more sugar powder, honey, jam or even Grand Marnier.
Try it at: Amsterdam famous market
Cost: 2 Euros for 10 pieces (we managed a bargain for 12 pieces, since we were the first customers of the day)
8. Raw Herring
Raw herring and pickles may not sound appetising but it is absolutely brilliant and goes very well with beer. Though it’s a little slimy, the raw herring doesn’t taste fishy when combined with chopped onions and pickle (ask for extra pickle, trust us you will want more). The same places that serve raw herring also serve fried cod (kibbeling). Try one of those too, with the several dipping sauces that are available. Feel free to experiment.
Try it at: Any local market
Cost: Around 2 Euros
9. Jenever Jenever is a Dutch gin
Flavoured with juniper berries, the alcoholic drink is often consumed with a glass of beer, one sip of each at a time. There are two versions of Jenever -old and new. The old one is consumed at room temperature and savoured for its flavour, while the new one is consumed ice cold. Both are served in a tulip-shaped glass filled to the brim.
Try it at: Most old time pubs in Amsterdam serve Jenever
There are more types of sausages in Amsterdam than the time you will have to consume them in just one trip. The most famous of these is the Rookworst, a juicy pork sausage that is made in a natural casing and smoked. It goes very well with cheese and bread. There is also a large range of air dried sausages available at most convenience stores. Salty, they go well with beer.