Five Dutch Snacks You Must Try in Amsterdam

Amsterdam might not have the reputation of a foodie city, but the delicious eats impressed me! Read this to find out which five dutch snacks you must try! |

Despite the fact that most people consider Amsterdam a “must-visit” destination in Europe, it was never a city I was particularly drawn to. Maybe it was its reputation as a party city. Maybe it was the fact that it’s expensive and doesn’t have particularly amazing weather. Whatever the reason, it wasn’t high (ha!) on my list of cities to visit.

Despite this, I found myself in the city of canals in September of 2015, visiting my good friend who was living there at the time. Amsterdam surprised me in a multitude of ways, but what particularly surprised me was how quickly I was charmed by the quirky neighborhoods and beautiful canals. And what surprised me the most was the delicious food I ate there (not that I’d ever really thought about what to eat in Amsterdam).

If my expectations for the city were low, my expectations for good food were even lower. The Netherlands isn’t exactly renowned for its world-class cuisine, but I was impressed – I didn’t eat a single bad meal or snack while I was there.

While I don’t think I ate any particularly traditional Dutch meals, I did consume my weight in Dutch snacks. In fact, I’d say I probably only ate three or four “real” meals while I was there, and spent the rest of my time snacking away. Clearly I make healthy choices while I travel.

Anyway, now that you’ve sufficiently read the world’s longest introduction to a post, here’s my guide of what to eat in Amsterdam  –  a list of the five Dutch snacks you must try.


1. Bitterballen

Amsterdam might not have the reputation of a foodie city, but the delicious eats impressed me! Read this to find out what to eat in Amsterdam (mostly snacks)! |

Translating directly to “bitter balls,” these are essentially deep-fried meatballs. But guys, these are not your ordinary meatballs. They’re made with a mix of beef broth and other spices then deep-fried, which results in crispy-on-the-outside and soft-on-the-inside bites of deliciousness. I ate these every single day because they’re that good. They’re often served with a side of spicy mustard. You can find bitterballen at virtually any café, but if you want to try some fusion bitterballen, check out De Ballen Bar.

Pssst: You can taste bitterballen and more on a food tour. Check out the one I did in Amsterdam in this review!


2. Pancakes

Amsterdam might not have the reputation of a foodie city, but the delicious eats impressed me! Read this to find out what to eat in Amsterdam (mostly snacks)! |

Dutch pancakes are in no way similar to American pancakes, except for the name. Served either savory or sweet, they’re giant and thin and remind me more of a crêpe than a pancake. But they are delicious. The best place to eat them? The aptly named Pancakes! Exclamation point included because eating a good pancake is an exciting endeavor y’all.


3. Frites

Amsterdam might not have the reputation of a foodie city, but the delicious eats impressed me! Read this to find out what to eat in Amsterdam (mostly snacks)! |

I’m going to be honest here. French fries are my food weakness. No matter where I am or what I’m eating, if French fries are an option, I’m getting them. Imagine my excitement to find that Amsterdam has shops dedicated entirely to fries! Dutch frites are thicker cut and less crispy than American fries, but still incredibly tasty. They’re often served with fritessaus, a sweeter and creamier version of mayonnaise, and raw onion. Depending on the shop, you usually get lots of different sauce options. I tried them the traditional way, with curry, and with garlic aioli. Get your fix at Vers Gesneden Friet or Frietboutique.


4. Appeltaart

Amsterdam might not have the reputation of a foodie city, but the delicious eats impressed me! Read this to find out what to eat in Amsterdam (mostly snacks)! |

Though you’d think it would be like the Dutch Apple Pie found in an American pie shops, apple pie (or appeltaart in Dutch) in Amsterdam is quite different. It’s significantly less sweet, much more dense, and is a lot heavier on the apples. Frankly, I wasn’t the hugest fan (I’m either really used to the sugary American version or I didn’t try a particularly great piece) but I do think it’s worth trying to taste the difference. I tried it at Kwekkeboom but my friend swears by the pies at Winkel43 and Cafe ’T Papeneiland.


5. Stroopwafels

Amsterdam might not have the reputation of a foodie city, but the delicious eats impressed me! Read this to find out what to eat in Amsterdam (mostly snacks)! |

These are not the fluffy light waffles you’re imagining. A stroopwafel is basically a dense cookie – really thin and baked with a caramel type syrup. If you order a coffee or tea at any café, you’ll likely get a small one on the side. There’s also a “correct” way to eat these (that I didn’t know about initially). The regular sized ones are the perfect size to fit on top of a mug of tea or coffee. You top the mug with the wafel for a minute so that the steam softens the syrup, and then voila – a soft and gooey stroopwafel to go with your tea. They’re highly addictive and can be found at any café or grocery store.


What to eat in Amsterdam – the honorable mentions:

Dutch cheese: I didn’t have enough time to go to a cheese shop and sample a bunch, but I did have a dutch cheese croissant. That counts, right? If you’re planning on getting your connoisseur on, check out De Kaaskamer or KaasHuis Tromp. I may have to go back just to get my hands on some…

Poffertjes: These are basically small pancake puffs made with buckwheat flour and dusted with sugar. De Vier Pllaren seems to be quite the popular locale for these.

Indonesian food: I know this isn’t technically a Dutch snack, but I couldn’t resist adding it as a must if you’re figuring out what to eat in Amsterdam, because the Indonesian food in Amsterdam is amazing. I say this after having spent two months in Indonesia. Go to Blauw (make reservations) and order the Selera Blauw Rijsttafels Indonesian platter. You’ll get a huge sampling of Indonesian food, and your life will be complete.

Amsterdam might not have the reputation of a foodie city, but the delicious eats impressed me! Read this to find out what to eat in Amsterdam (mostly snacks)! |
The Indonesian sampler


Be sure not to miss this great guide on the top things to do in Amsterdam while you’re at it!


Have you ever been to Amsterdam? What other snacks would you add to this list of what to eat in Amsterdam? Share in the comments below!

Amsterdam might not have the reputation of a foodie city, but the delicious eats impressed me! Read this to find out what to eat in Amsterdam (mostly snacks)! |
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34 thoughts on “Five Dutch Snacks You Must Try in Amsterdam

  1. Lauren says:

    That’s soft cheese with the thick rind on top of your pancakes looks sexy AF. But I gotta say I’m crushed dutch cheese only made honorable mention!

    • Sally from Passport & Plates says:

      LOL, hey there fellow cheese lover! And I knowwww, I’m really disappointed I didn’t get a chance to do a proper sampling. All the more reason to go back I suppose! 🙂

    • Sally from Passport & Plates says:

      Thanks for the comment! I hope you get a chance to go soon. It’s a great city all around! 🙂

  2. Chantell Collins says:

    I can understand how you felt about not being that excited about going to Amsterdam. I felt the same way but then once I went, I was actually won over by how beautiful the city is. I just loved it! It was so long ago now that I can’t remember what I ate but after reading this list I am (Hungry!) and inspired to go back :).

    • Sally from Passport & Plates says:

      That’s so funny that you felt that way too! Most people didn’t understand my initial feelings. But I agree – it’s beyond beautiful and charming! I hope you get a chance to go back soon 🙂

  3. Luxury Travel Diva says:

    I must admit Amsterdam is not high on my bucket list, I think it is the association of English stag and hen weekends! However, you make it look very enticing and the pancakes and frites look good.

    • Sally from Passport & Plates says:

      That’s exactly how I felt about it initially to be honest! But if you look beyond the associated shenanigans, Amsterdam is a surprisingly charming city!

  4. Pinay Flying High says:

    Thanks to you now I want to eat some pancakes in Pancakes! :p
    My Dutch friends kept telling me I should try it. Bacon bits are included in their version which I think would be glorious! :p

    • Sally from Passport & Plates says:

      Oh yeah, Pancakes! is awesome! If you get a chance to try it, DO IT! You won’t regret it 🙂

  5. Paige Brown says:

    I could go to town on those meatballs, pancakes and frites especially! I haven’t been to the Netherlands yet, but I can see my mouth and stomach are going to love it! Cheers!

  6. Restless Heart says:

    This all looks so good. I tried stroopwafel before that someone brought back for me and thought it was so good but I never knew about that trick of how to eat it using the mug, I have to try that!

    • Sally from Passport & Plates says:

      I initially didn’t know that trick either! I liked them on their own. But they’re even better steamed – you have to try it 🙂

  7. Janna C. says:

    Oh my these look so yummy! I love splurging on food whenever I travel. I would definitely try the frites and appeltaart!

    • Sally from Passport & Plates says:

      Yes you should! They’re all SO delicious. I’m partial to frites but good food while traveling is a must!

  8. Jamporter says:

    Yaaaas stroopwafels! I can actually have excessive amounts of those tasty sweet cookies! Those fries too, I didn’t get to sample them on my brief layover in Amsterdam but I will head straight for some fries next time I’m there!

    • Sally from Passport & Plates says:

      Same, they’re amazing! I can never eat just one :p
      And you must try the fries! You’ll become addicted!

  9. Fatima Ali says:

    I loved being in Amsterdam. Their frites are amazing and luckily the weather was good when I was there. When did you go to Amsterdam?

    Fatima |

    • Sally E says:

      Lucky you! Weather wasn’t great when I went in September. When did you go? But yes the frites are SO good…I ate them everyday! #notsorry

  10. Jen says:

    Yum!! I looove stroopwafels!! 🙂 I would like to try those honorable mentions! I’m going to save this list. We’re planning to go to Amsterdam this year. Love your post!! 🙂

    • Sally from Passport & Plates says:

      Stroopwafels are AMAZING! I can’t believe it took me so long in my life to discover them 😛
      And thank you! Glad to hear you’re going – it’s a great city and you’re going to love the food! I did a bunch of cool off the beaten track activities too if you want to take a look at the blog post Have fun! 🙂

  11. Assia Shahin says:

    Thanks Sally, this was so useful! It’s all on my notes for my upcoming trip to Amsterdam, which I’m sooooo excited about 😀


    • Sally E says:

      I’m glad you found it helpful, Assia! Amsterdam is surprisingly very much a foodie city. You’re going to love it! Enjoy your trip 🙂

  12. Cake + Whisky says:

    Very nice round-up! Looks like I didn’t do too badly as I managed to try most of those in only 2 days in Amsterdam!

    I could do with a couple of Stroopwaffels right now though! These things are seriously addictive!

    Sandra | Cake + Whisky

    • Sally E says:

      Oooh I’m impressed! You’re a champ!
      I LOVE stroopwaffels! Luckily there’s a shop in Los Angeles that sells them – so worth the trek!

  13. stephaniestraveldiary says:

    I am Dutch and I am happy you tried these delicious snacks.
    I have to say, we do not eat those things often LOL. Maybe a few times a year!

    Which one of the five is your favorite? I think mine are the bitterballen!

    • Sally E says:

      Haha yeah I figured as much! Mine is DEFINITELY bitterballen. I love savory foods and there aren’t any dutch places in LA so I am dying to get my hands on some!

  14. Danielle Wolter says:

    Those stroopwafels look great! Amsterdam is definitely not one of those places I think about when I think foodie trip. But it looks like we could make it work if we end up there 🙂

    • Sally from Passport & Plates says:

      Yeah, right?! It’s one of those places I never expected to have good food but I was pleasantly surprised! So many cities are filled with surprises 🙂

  15. Tag Along Travel says:

    I think there is a secret “drug” ingredient in the stroopwafels. I’m not a sweets person, but couldn’t stop eating them when I was in Amsterdam earlier this month. The herring kiosks on the street are another Dutch treat.

    • Sally from Passport & Plates says:

      LOL agreed! I’m not much of a sweets person either but I’m totally addicted! And ooh, how did I miss that when I went?! I’ll have to go back and try them out next time!

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