Dishes That Everyone Needs to Try in Amsterdam

Following my recent article on things to do in Amsterdam during the summer, I thought I’d reach out to all you foodies who may potentially be planning a trip to the Dutch capital in the next couple of months. I’m one of those people who absolutely has to try local cuisine whenever I go anywhere. In Ireland I ate the stews and drank all the Guinness, in Portugal I ate as much seafood as humanly possible, and in Brazil I loved the ‘Fazenda’ cuisine and the traditional restaurants in Sao Paulo which served amazing feijoada. I will admit, though, when I visited Amsterdam a couple of years ago the only real Dutch food I remember trying was Frikandel. Don’t hate me, foodies… I’m one of you, I swear. I just genuinely think I cared more about alcohol and other substances on that trip. I was 19 and a bit silly. Anyway, whether you’re planning your trip to Holland or if you’re just curious to learn about Dutch cuisine, here are the top 5 dishes in Amsterdam you need to try when visiting the Netherlands.

Top 5 Dishes in Amsterdam You Need to Try


In England, drunkenness leads to messy kebabs and pizza at the end of the night. In Holland, the answer is always bitterballen. These are little deep-fried crispy meatballs that are typically served with mustard for dipping. If you’re a sucker for pub food, then you’ll love these hearty snacks that are served at most Dutch drinking establishments.

Top 5 Dishes in Amsterdam You Need to Try: Bitterballen
Bitterballen, a Dutch culinary icon by Marijke Blazer on Flickr / CC BY 2.0


The ultimate Dutch comfort food, Stamppot is typically eaten in the winter months, but this doesn’t mean you can’t eat it in the summer, too. It literally translates to ‘mash pot’, and it includes potatoes mashed with other vegetables such as carrot, onion and kale. It’s served with a big, juicy sausage.

Top 5 Dishes in Amsterdam You Need to Try: Stamppot
Stamppot by ministeriebz on Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Broodje Haring

Broodje haring translates to ‘raw herring’, and it’s actually a popular Dutch speciality. To be totally honest I’m not entirely sure I’d enjoy it, but I’d definitely be up for giving it a go if the time came. You can get raw herring from a fishmonger or a street vendor, and if you can’t stomach it by itself, just have a raw herring sandwich. Definitely one of the top 5 dishes in Amsterdam you need to try. Erm… yum.

Top 5 Dishes in Amsterdam You Need to Try: Herring
Herring by albertstraub on Flickr / CC BY 2.0


If you, like me, have a seriously sweet tooth, then you’ll love the stroopwafels in Amsterdam, which are available from almost every street vendor in the city. It’s essentially a waffle made of two layers with a caramel-like syrup filling in the middle. Perfect for a walk along the canals after enjoying lunch at one of the city’s many restaurants.

Top 5 Dishes in Amsterdam You Need to Try: Stroopwafels
Stroopwafels by Jens Ohlig on Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Dutch Cheese

Come on, you can’t visit the Netherlands without trying their cheese. You just can’t. There are even street markets dedicated to local cheeses, so it’s definitely worth paying one of these a visit during your trip if you want the best of the best. If you’d prefer to actually sit down somewhere for lunch, most Dutch cafes serve baguettes/sandwiches with fillings including gouda, edam and leerdammer.

Top 5 Dishes in Amsterdam You Need to Try: Market on the Grote Mark
Market on the Grote Markt, Haarlem by naturalflow on Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

About Lauren Davidson

Since 2013, Lauren has been writing for various travel and lifestyle websites. Her first piece of writing was a travel guide on the Algarve region of Portugal, where she lived for over a year. Currently residing in Sheffield, England, she is studying Journalism and has a blog at You can follow her on Twitter at @Lozikinz.

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3 Responses

  1. Top Reasons to Visit Amsterdam This Summer | Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] the city’s vast museums, what better way to wind down before a night on the town than eating burgers in the sun? Yes, […]

  2. Avatar for Lauren Davidson

    Wesley from Trip Hotspot

    You are making me hungry.
    That looks delicious

  3. Avatar for Lauren Davidson

    Vakantiehuis Dordogne

    Amsterdam city is well known for their street food. Everyone should enjoy street food during their visit to Amsterdam, Netherlands. If you like fish then you should try at least once dutch special dish – Hollandse Nieuwe. Thanks for sharing.


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