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16 Best Amsterdam Food You Need to Have

Amsterdam is heaven for almost any tourist. Whether it’s a girl’s weekend away, an art trip, gazing at one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, or slightly more clandestine pastimes, there are plenty of choices to keep you entertained.

One element of Amsterdam’s culture that is not celebrated nearly enough is its incredible foodie culture. This is the ultimate list of Amsterdam food you need to try.

Of course, there’s a well-known coffee culture, but few people know about the variety of available Indonesian food or delicious traditional Dutch food.

Best Amsterdam Food Tours

Stroopwafels for Sale at Albert Cuyp Market
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

A great way to experience a city’s traditional and local food culture is by joining a food tour that includes the city’s traditional foods. When you visit Amsterdam, you’ll have multiple options for food tours, which will help you learn more about the city and the history of the food surrounding it.

  1. Amsterdam’s Jordaan District Small-Group Food Walking Tour: Jordaan is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Amsterdam, featuring some of the most charming brown cafes and pubs. This small group walking tour provides a personal experience of enjoying the food culture.
  2. Amsterdam Wine and Cheese Evening Canal Cruise: This evening cruise offers a selection of fine wines and cheeses. You can relax and enjoy the beautiful city views while tasting some of the best local produce. It’s perfect for those who want to try traditional Dutch cheese and wine.
  3. The Grand Dutch Food and History Tour: Take in all Amsterdam offers in its incredibly diverse food scene. This local food tour combines history and food in one incredible session.

For those after a complete Amsterdam food guide, these are the best spots to eat.

The Best Budget Eats In Amsterdam

Surinamese Food At De Hapjeshoek

De Hapjeshoek
De Hapjeshoek / Facebook

For those who enjoy food on the go, Amsterdam street food has you covered. One option that stands out is hidden away in the Waterloopein station. De Hapjeshoek is a friendly Surinamese takeaway that is affordable for any budget.

While it’s incredibly convenient if you happen to be passing, it’s almost worth making a trip, especially for a Kipfillet Kerrie Broodjes. These sandwiches comprise rich, thick chicken curry sandwiched between two fluffy slices of bread. If you’ve never tried a curry sandwich, dig out 3 euros and treat yourself.

Of course, plenty of other sandwich-filling options, including the very popular salted cod. However, the chicken curry stands head and shoulders above the rest, so why not try a distinct choice?

Pizza And Prosecco At De Pizzabakkers

Inside of De Pizza Bakkers in Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Although pizza and prosecco might not immediately come to mind when you think about traditional Dutch food in Amsterdam, it still has to appeal. De Pizzabakers has executed two of our greedy favorites perfectly, making the whole thing affordable.

Pizzas start at 10 euros each, and a glass of prosecco is 5.65 euros. Although you might be able to find a cheaper pizza in the Amsterdam food scene, the bases here are light, crisp, and genuinely delicious, so they more than justify the extra euro you pay!

The team that with the ridiculously priced prosecco, and you’re in for a good night. There are a few locations across the city, but they can get pretty busy, so if you plan to visit at the weekend, then it’s worth booking a table in advance.

Dutch Food From A Vending Machine?

FEBO vending machine in Amsterdam
Yurgentum / Shutterstock.com

While vending machines are understandably left out of most Amsterdam food tours, one company has given an adequate reason to bend the rules, just this once.

FEBO de Lekkerste runs a chain of 22 vending machines, each serving delicious post-beer snacks 24 hours a day. While most vending machines serve refrigerated packet snacks only, FEBO serves piping hot savory treats at all hours.

For just 2 euros, you can treat yourself to a number of Dutch favorites. Crispy krokets are particularly popular, consisting of deep-fried potato, often mixed with cheese or ham. Frikkandel is another good choice, a sort of hotdog made from minced meat and deep-fried.

If deep-fried, salty junk food isn’t your thing, then perhaps avoid it, but everyone else should make a 2 a.m. beeline for these devilish machines.

See Related: Museums in Haarlem, Netherlands

Mid-Range Top Food To Eat In Amsterdam

Cook It Yourself At Miss Korea BBQ

Miss Kore BBQ Amsterdam
Miss Kore BBQ Amsterdam / Facebook

If you’re the kind of person who fancies yourself as a bit of a chef, then Miss Korea BBQ might be exactly the kind of restaurant you’ve been looking for. The main elements on offer here are incredibly fresh meat and fish.

They come marinaded in a seasoning of your choice, ready to be cooked to your liking on the grill at your table. This way of sharing is popular in Korea and Amsterdam because everyone at the table can enjoy the same protein but cooked exactly to their liking.

As well as cook-it-yourself meat and fish, there are also a number of delicious appetizers to try. When people ask what food Amsterdam is known for, they will rarely say Korean seafood pancakes. However, they would be wrong not to. The pancakes at Miss Korea BBQ are to die for.

They’re freshly made to order, perfectly light and fluffy, and packed with juicy shrimp and shellfish. Feel free to review the appetizers list, but you’d be a fool not to try the pancakes!

See Related: Coffeeshops in Amsterdam

Tuck Into A Gourmet Burger at Burgermeester

Outside the Burgermeester
Burgermeester / Facebook

Since 2007, Burgermeester has been known as the food you must eat in Amsterdam. With several locations across the city, this small chain has made waves on the burger scene. Since the beginning, they’ve always held a competition to create the burger of the month.

Patrons are invited to suggest their combinations. Whoever wins sees their burger grace the menu for a whole month. Not only that, but they and their friends can come and eat their creations for free.

Alongside the burger of the month, some favorites stay on the menu all year round. The Bief Royal is a delicious and slightly unusual option. It combines a heritage-breed beef patty with truffled egg, pancetta, and rich and creamy mayonnaise.

If you’re traveling as a vegetarian, then a burger restaurant might not seem like the natural choice. However, you’re remarkably well-catered for at Burgermeester. The Manchego is a juicy burger from sheep’s cheese and crisp Granny Smith apples. It’s served with a quince compote.

Oh, both of those burgers come in at 11 euros, plus sides and a drink; you should be able to eat like a Dutch King and still have change from a twenty!

See Related: Famous Historic Landmarks in the Netherlands

Best Indonesian Food Amsterdam at Restaurant Jun

Restaurant Jun - Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s a large Indonesian population, and their incredible food heritage can be smelled all over the city. A foodie’s guide to Amsterdam would not be complete without a trip to an Indonesian restaurant, and Restaurant Jun might be the most charming one.

The location of this restaurant is perfect for sightseeing as it’s an easy walk from the Anne Frank House and Vondelpark. Time your morning visit to end just in time for lunch, and you’ll be in for a treat.

If you’re new to Indonesian food, a good way to get to know all the different flavors is to order a rijsttafel, which translates as ‘rice table.’ This allows everyone who’s eating to try a few different dishes. Often Jun will serve sate telur puyuh, which is delicious but difficult to find in the Netherlands.

This dish involves marinating quail eggs in a hot, rich, spicy broth of soy sauce and Indonesian spices, then skewering them and serving. Delicious!

See Related: Irish Pubs in Amsterdam

Traditional Dutch Food In Amsterdam

Bitterballen at Literally Any Pub

Bitterballen with Dutch Flag and a Beer
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Bitterballen is one of those seriously moreish things, so moreish that you’ll wonder how they haven’t made it back to your home country yet. They make the perfect snack to go with a beer or soak up beer, or scoff on your way home.

Bitterballen is deep-fried, dangerously crispy meatballs generally served with a peppery and creamy mustard dip. While most places have their subtle variations on this classic Dutch snack, you’ll be able to get your hands on one in just about any pub.

See Related: Best Cafés in Amsterdam

Poffertjes at Royal Artis Zoo

Plate of Powdered Sugar Poffertjes

Poffertjes are another snack that is a favorite local food. Surprisingly, some of the best are at Amsterdam’s ARTIS Zoo. These snacks fall somewhere between a churro and a donut. They’re tiny little blobs of batter, fried until golden and then coated in powdered sugar.

Good ones should be as light as a feather, meaning you can have a full bag. If you can’t get to the ARTIS Zoo, then you’ll be able to get your hands on some poffertjes at any pancake house.

Brave Some Herring At Haring & Zo

Haring & Zo Amsterdam
Haring & Zo Amsterdam / Facebook

Herring is a favorite throughout many Northern European countries, and Holland is no exception. These slippery little silverfish are eaten here like America eats cookies or the United Kingdom eats chips.

For some people, just the smell of herring is enough to put them off, but it can help to think of it as a sort of ‘Dutch sushi.’ If you feel like trying some, there’s a tiny street food stand called Haring & Zo that perfectly picks up herring with gherkins, onions, and a slice of rye bread. Although it can be intimidating for some, it’s surprisingly delicious and a cheap lunch option.

Line Your Stomach At Moeders

Plate of Food at Moeder's in Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Moeders is the Dutch word for Mothers because that’s exactly the cooking you’ll get here. The portions are enormous, and the food is the kind that warms you up and sticks to your ribs. Don’t forget to arrive hungrily; you’ll leave unbuttoning your waistband.

As you wait for your food, you’ll notice that all the walls are adorned with photographs of patrons’ mothers. If you have a picture to hand, you can add your own.

Order a main course of Sudervlees, a hearty beef stew served with cabbage and melty mashed potatoes. If you’ve got room for dessert, consider a competitive eating career.

Gorge Yourself On Dutch Pancakes

Amsterdam pancake cruise
Amsterdam pancake cruise / GetYourGuide

If there’s one thing that Amsterdam locals love, it’s pancakes. There are plenty of stands around the city, but if you’re after a day to remember, then book yourself onto a pancake cruise. The cruise will take you up the IJ River, where you’ll have plenty of opportunities to see Amsterdam’s architecture.

Once you’ve seen enough, go to the all-you-can-eat pancake buffet. There are many traditional fillings for pancakes, including fruits and jam for those with a sweet tooth and ham, eggs, and cheese if you fancy something savory. When you return to the dock, you’ll be full of pancakes, with a river tour under your belt, and talk about multi-tasking.

See these other top Amsterdam tours to explore the city. 

It Wouldn’t Be An Amsterdam Food Tour Without…

You guessed it! Space cakes, hash brownies, weed cookies, whatever you want to call them, Amsterdam is famous for them. There are so many coffee shops that it would be impossible to list all of them, though there are food tours that will take you around plenty of times.

If you can’t face a whole tour, a couple stands out from the crowd, including Paradox and Boerejongens. Paradox Cafe has an incredibly laid-back vibe, serves homemade space cakes that are out of this world, and makes ultra-indulgent shakes to go with them. If you’ve got the munchies, there’s no better place to be than Paradox. 

Boerejongens are slightly less cozy and more sleek and modern than Paradox. Nonetheless, don’t let the minimalist decor put you off. Their brownies won the competition for Amsterdam’s best edible last year. The red velvet cake is to die for or not weed.

See Related: Tips for Riding a Bike in Amsterdam

High-End Amsterdam Food

Explore Seasonal Produce At Restaurant Vermeer

Inside Vermeer Restaurant Amsterdam
Management / TripAdvisor

Many high-end restaurants have a ‘gimmick,’ but Restaurant Vermeer’s is beautifully simple and functional. Instead of ordering from a traditional menu, guests can choose how many courses they would like.

Next, you are presented with a list of seasonal ingredients. From these ingredients, they can choose any that they don’t like or particularly like. The chef creates a menu for the table to try from this information.

The seasonality of the menu means that you’re unlikely to get to try the same dish on more than one visit. Yet, there’s something special about having your own experience that is totally unlike anyone else’s. If you’re after beautiful luxury Amsterdam food that packs a real punch, then Restaurant Vermeer is the place to book.

See Related: Things Amsterdam is Famous For

Step Back In Time At De Silveren Spiegel

Front of the Silveren Spiegel Restaurant in Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

This restaurant has been here since the 17th century! Although changes have been made along the way, all of that elegance from the Dutch Golden Age remains. The restaurant is in a stunning townhouse in a popular part of town. The restaurant proprietors are a family and, as such, know a wealth of intriguing pasts about the building and even old menus.

Leave around three hours for your visit and treat yourself to the six-course menu – with wine pairings if possible. The menu does change three or four times per year.

Still, some favorite courses include Dutch trout, served as a tartare with chewy sourdough and crunchy beetroot, or Calf sweetbreads served in a rich and decadent gravy alongside perfectly plump pearl barley. This menu, especially with the wine pairings, is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. 

Discover A Secret At Restaurant Bougainville

Private Dining Table at Restaurant Bougainville
Management / TripAdvisor

It’s crazy to think that one of Amsterdam’s best-kept secrets is hiding right over Dam Square, but it’s true! To enter Restaurant Bougainville, you must take the hidden lift.

Once inside, it feels like you have escaped the city’s hustle and bustle. On arrival, guests can enjoy a glass of champagne or a cocktail in the bar before heading to their tables. The decor is wonderfully quirky but not over the top. With that said, let’s move on to what we’re all here for: the food.

Guests can eat a surprise menu that works much the same as at Restaurant Vermeer. Or, if you’d instead choose a la carte. Both options are delicious, and dishes often include a mouthwateringly tender carpaccio or an ‘unusual’ savory ice cream.

The food here is a little more challenging, and fussy eaters should perhaps stick to ordering a la carte. If you’re eager to stretch your palate and experience some of the most creative dining Amsterdam offers, then Restaurant Bougainville could be the perfect foodie heaven.

See Related: Hidden Gems of Amsterdam

What to Eat in Amsterdam Summary

Dutch Cheese Shop (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

With its incredible cultural heritage, it’s no surprise that Amsterdam has more than its fair share of great restaurants. Whether your budget is 3 or 300 euros, you’re guaranteed to be able to find a little slice of heaven with this Amsterdam food guide. Here’s a summary table highlighting famous Dutch food to try while visiting Amsterdam:

Food Description
Stroopwafel A sweet snack made from two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel syrup filling in the middle.
Bitterballen A popular Dutch snack, these are deep-fried balls filled with a mixture of chopped meat, beef broth, flour, butter, herbs and spices.
Poffertjes These are small, fluffy pancakes that are typically served with powdered sugar and butter.
Haring Raw herring fish, typically served with onions and pickles. It’s a must-try for seafood lovers.
Patat Dutch-style fries, often served with a variety of toppings like mayonnaise, ketchup, and a peanut satay sauce.
Oliebollen A traditional Dutch food typically eaten on New Year’s Eve, these are deep-fried sweet dumplings, often filled with raisins and dusted with powdered sugar.
Kroket A deep-fried roll with a meat ragout filling, covered in breadcrumbs. It’s typically served in a bread roll (broodje kroket) and is a popular fast food item.
Erwtensoep Also known as snert, this is a thick pea soup, often eaten in the winter, and is traditionally served with slices of rookworst (smoked sausage) and rye bread.
Kaas The Netherlands is famous for its cheese, and Amsterdam is no exception. Try Gouda, Edam, or Maasdammer.

On your next visit, why not try to tick off every Dutch favorite on the list? Or treat yourself to a special meal somewhere that’s a bit of a budget buster.

Of course, there’s no such thing as a complete foodie guide anywhere. New restaurants pop up all the time. Even the most thorough traveler doesn’t always get around to every hidden gem.

FAQs

What food is Amsterdam famous for?

Amsterdam is famous for several Dutch foods, with Stroopwafels, a sweet treat consisting of two thin waffles stuck together with a layer of sweet syrup, being particularly iconic. Other notable foods include raw herring, often served with pickles and onions, and Dutch cheese, with Gouda and Edam varieties being the most recognized. Bitterballen, deep-fried meatballs served with mustard, are a classic Amsterdam snack often enjoyed with a beer.

What is the traditional cuisine in Amsterdam?

The traditional cuisine in Amsterdam is rooted in traditional Dutch foods, which are typically hearty and simple. Staples include dishes like erwtensoep, a thick pea soup with smoked sausage, and stamppot, a comfort food that mixes mashed potatoes with different ingredients like endive, kale, or sauerkraut. Both sweet and savory Dutch pancakes are also a key part of the city’s culinary tradition.

Is Amsterdam known for Indonesian food?

Yes, Amsterdam is known for Indonesian food due to the historical connection between the Netherlands and Indonesia as a former Dutch colony. ‘Rijsttafel,’ a Dutch term that translates to ‘rice table,’ is particularly popular. It consists of many small dishes of Indonesian foods, including rice, satay, pickles, and condiments, intended to broadly sample Indonesia’s diverse flavors.

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