What are the five best Amsterdam food experiences?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Liz Humphreys
  • Liz Humphreys

  • Correspondent

  • Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands

Though food may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Amsterdam, the city definitely does some foods better than other places. So if you’re looking for a true Dutch food experience, here’s what we suggest seeking out:
1. Cheese. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you can’t visit Amsterdam without trying some Dutch cheese (called kaas in Dutch). The best place to find it is at the Saturday farmers’ market on the Noordermarkt (in the Jordaan) or at the Albert Cuyp Markt in De Pijp, held every day except Sunday. There are also stores that specialize in Dutch cheeses ­— De Kaaskamer in the Nine Streets is one of the best.
2. Fries with mayo. The Dutch love their fries, called Vlaamse frites (Flemish fries) ­— especially when topped with mayo (though most Vlaamse frites vendors also offer toppings like curry, peanut sauce and cheese). A popular place to try Vlaamse frites is Manneken Pis on Damrak, or just look for the queues to see which places locals (and tourists) like best.
3. Apple tart. You can’t leave Amsterdam without sampling the famous apple tart (appeltaart in Dutch). Often closer to an apple cake than a tart, Dutch apple tart is usually heavy on the cinnamon and served warm. Join the throngs of locals at the Winkel café on Westerstraat for what many say is the best appeltaart in town.
4. Poffertjes. Mini pancakes topped with butter and powdered sugar, these addictive sweet treats can be found at Amsterdam’s markets (like the Noordermarkt and Albert Cuyp Markt) as well as at one of the city’s many pancake restaurants. We especially like The Pancake Bakery on Prinsengracht for its seasonal takes on poffertjes topped with fresh fruit.
5. Haring handels.
Amsterdam is the place to try herring or other smoked fish like eel or mackerel. You can purchase them from the carts (called haring handels) that are parked all over the city. If you’re feeling adventurous, order it like the locals do — topped with onions and pickles. If a sandwich is more your style, ask for broodje haring.

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