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Cuisine of Amsterdam

By Viator, February 2014

4.5 2 Reviews | Add your review

The traditional cuisine of Amsterdam is straightforward and hearty. Simple meaty dishes feature such as snert (a calorie-ridden pea soup thickened with leeks, celery and smoked sausage and served with bacon and rye bread) or stamppot boerenkool (mashed potatoes mixed with kale and eaten with plump rookworst (smoked sausage).

Herring is the most popular fish to eat, pickled or raw, from street vendors. Tip your head backwards and munch them whole in local style or eat them in a bread roll, served with chopped onion and pickle.

Popular snacks include bitterballen (fried meatballs) served up tapas-like in most bars; a strong salami flavored with cloves called metworst is also often served as a bar snack. Belgian-style patat (fries) are bought from street vendors and consumed straight from the wrapper with plenty of mayonnaise.

As a result of the immigration into Amsterdam that started in the 17th century – and continues today – bringing spices and new styles of cooking, anything goes today in the city’s cuisine; Chinese, Surinamese, Turkish, Indian and Mediterranean dishes all play their part in the Dutch gourmet lexicon. Indonesian rijstaffel is practically a Dutch staple, with restaurants offering a feast of small dishes of savory rice, meats and curries to be tasted all together.

Amsterdammers have a sweet tooth, pouring chocolate sprinkles on all flavors of broodje (sandwich) and devouring pancakes sprinkled with sugar, waffles oozing with syrup and little round oliebollen (donuts).

Cheese is part of the Dutch psyche – The Netherlands is the biggest exporter of cheese in the world – and it’s eaten at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cheese flavors bread, fills sandwiches and covers burgers. The most famous Dutch cheeses are Edam, which comes in great yellow rounds, and Gouda, wrapped in red wax, but there are countless options; visit a high-end deli such as De Kaaskamer to choose from 300 different cheeses.

Amsterdam’s beers are justly famous, with world-beating names such as Heineken and Amstel; nowadays scores of micro-breweries contribute to the scene. Jenever  (Dutch gin) is still distilled in proeflokalen (gin-tasting houses) and comes in two styles: oude (old) gin is smooth and malty; jonge (young) gin is smoother but higher in alcohol content.

Getting to grips with Amsterdam’s cuisine can be made much easier by taking a guided walking tour; you’ll get expert advice and visit the best stores and bars for the chance to sample the wares and learn about the city’s gastronomy from the experts.

Tours & Tickets

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Amsterdam Canals Cruise with Dinner Cooked On Board

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 287 Reviews

Cruise around Amsterdam’s canals in the evening, and pair a decadent 4-course dinner – cooked on board – with sights of the city. As one of the few Amsterdam ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $105.13

Amsterdam Pub Crawl

4 star rating: Recommended 80 Reviews

Do you like to party? Book Amsterdam's most famous pub crawl and party like never before. This walking tour is the ultimate way to discover the city and its ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $23.83

Amsterdam Food Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 16 Reviews

Discover Amsterdam’s culinary history on a 2-hour food walking tour, led by an expert guide! While learning about the city’s gastronomic roots, sample ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $50.46

Private Tour: Amsterdam City Walking Tour

This private walking tour shows you some of Amsterdam’s highlights from a local's perspective. With a knowledgeable private guide by your side, learn about the ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 4 or 8 hours

From USD $77.10

Amsterdam Light Festival Cruise from a Glass-Topped Canal Barge Including Dutch Signature Dish

Admire the spectacular Amsterdam Light Festival while savoring a hearty meal on this holiday canal cruise. Listen to illuminating commentary about the 30 light ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 75 minutes

From USD $31.54

Small-Group Amsterdam Walking Tour with Cheese Tasting, Wine and Optional Canal Cruise

4.5 star rating: Recommended 2 Reviews

Get to know Amsterdam’s Golden Age history on a 3-hour tour of the canals and medieval center, finishing inside a traditional cheese shop! The small-group ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $35.04

Small-Group Holland Tour from Amsterdam: Cheese Farm, Zuiderzeemuseum and Canal Cruise

Visit Alida Hoeve cheese farm near Volendam, learn of Holland’s fishing heritage at Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuizen, and then enjoy an Amsterdam canal cruise on ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $210.26

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