Updated: Jan 4
If you are looking to eat like a local when in Amsterdam, there are three key foods you should add to your list! Complete with our top recommendations of restaurants to find authentic favorites, the below outlines foods you cannot miss when traveling to Amsterdam!
1. Bitterballen (Croquettes)
Bitterballen is deep fried, bread crumbed, Dutch meatballs generally eaten to soak up large quantities of beer. They are typically eaten as appetizers or pub food and you will be able to find them at many locations throughout Amsterdam. They are also known as croquettes (kroket), which is technically a larger version of bitterballen but essentially the same thing.
To try an authentic and tasty bitterballen, we recommend heading to Eetsalon van Dobben. This is a truly authentic Dutch restaurant, opened in 1945, and offers a full menu of affordably priced Dutch cuisines. They serve their croquettes on a brioche bun with a crisp outside and soft, creamy inside. Stop by for a quick snack, or a full meal!
Another favorite is Cafe Hoppe, a historic pub dating back to 1670. As one of Amsterdam's oldest Cafe's, this is worth a stop not only to take a walk through history, but to pair some delicious noms and brews together. Cafe Hoppe is a must if you are looking to meet some locals, grab some excellent quality local tap beer, and try their superb bitterballen. It has become a favorite to many due to its unique atmosphere, diverse crowds, and authentic feel.
2. Poffertjes (Dutch Pancakes)
Traditional Dutch pancakes are called poffertjes. They are a battered treat resembling small, fluffy pancakes and are typically served with powdered sugar and melted butter as a dessert or snack.
There are three places we recommend for authentic tasting poffertjes. First is The Pancake Bakery, which will delight your senses with their delectable fluffy battered treats! Served with melted butter and powdered sugar, these warm pancakes will melt in your mouth. Tucked away alongside an Amsterdam canal, this is one of the oldest pancake places in the city.
Second, is De Carrousel, a family-friendly establishment with fun carousel décor. They serve Dutch pancakes and poffertjes alike with strawberries on the side. We highly recommend trying their caramel Poffertjes. The brown sugar caramel sauce is rich and will easily satisfy your sweet tooth.
Last but not least is Poffertjes Albert Cuyp, which is a stand located within Albert Cuyp Market. Reasonable prices, friendly service, and a wide selection of toppings, this little stand is worth a stop for a delicious traditional treat! The poffertjes are cooked right in front of you, which allows you to admire the process and learn how to make these wonderful Dutch desserts. Consumed by locals and tourists alike, be sure to try a traditional poffertjes when in Amsterdam.
If you are looking for the real “Syrup Waffles”, look no further! The stroopwafels at Rudi's Original Stroopwaffels at the Albert Cuyp Market are as authentic as it gets, served to locals and tourists alike. Stroopwafels are two thin vanilla cinnamon wafer cookies filled with a delicious caramel syrup. Stroopwafels are said to have been originally invented when a baker added syrup to some leftover breadcrumbs. They soon became a sensation and have been enjoyed across the Netherlands ever since. Be sure to try one for yourself!