What do you think of when you think of Amsterdam? Galavanting around the red light district, musing Van Gogh’s masterpieces or smoking it up in the coffeeshops maybe? Or drinking Heineken, partying hard and visiting the Dutch windmills perhaps?
Whether it’s culture, history and canals or sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, the list above is probably what most people think of when thinking about Amsterdam.
Way down the list however, is the food. Not the food that’s packed full of sugar and preservatives catering for the stoned tourist looking for munchies. Good quality Dutch food. Maybe it’s the bad reputation Amsterdam has gained over the years due to its seedier side, but Amsterdam is rarely associated with good quality Dutch food.
It doesn’t have to be like that though. If you’re a foodie after some decent, traditional Dutch grub in Amsterdam you’re in for a treat. So long as you know what you’re doing and where to go, you can experience excellent Dutch food at very reasonable prices.
So here we go, for your pleasure, and for perhaps the most indulgent day of Dutch food you’re ever going to have in Amsterdam, here are our fave eating joints. 5 a day? 5 meals a day, that is, from breakfast through to dinner, here are our recommendations on where you should go!
And if you get lost, here’s a map with full directions!
A. Breakfast – Pancakes! Amsterdam
So, we’re in the city famous for their pancakes and we’ve heard that Pancakes! Amsterdam do the best pancakes in town. Of course we had to try it out!
The pancake selection is vast and we had a tough time deciding. In the end we opted for a traditional apple and raisin set of 3, along with a not so traditional American pancake with bacon and maple syrup. If you like sweet fruity flavours, the traditional is worth a try. Alternatively, the American, although not traditional, will certainly tickle your taste buds. Overall, as far as pancakes go, Pancake! Amsterdam fairs well. Soft and fluffy texture, toppings galore and an abundance of sugary goodness and flavour. Bring along your sweet tooth!
Where? Berenstraat 38
How much? €6-€12
B. Brunch – Vleminckx Sausmeesters
Vleminckx sausmeesters are known as the best chips in Amsterdam so the perfect spot for a spot of brunch. Location-wise, it’s hidden in a side street near the shopping street of Kalverstraat. It’s easy to miss, but you’ll recognise when you’re close. Sniff for the aroma of fried chips in the air. Look for the smiling people walking past you enjoying their cone of chips. And above all, look for the ever-present mass of people queuing in line by a hole in the wall.
The chips are amazing. Double fried goodness, achieving the perfect balance of soft fluffiness in the middle and crunchiness on the outside. There are an impressive selection of sauces but definitely try what the locals get – the traditional oorlog, meaning war, sauce which is half peanut sauce, half mayo sprinkled with fresh onions. Delicious! And absolutely worthy of the accolade ‘Best chips in Amsterdam!’
Where? Voetboogstraat 33
How much? €2-€4
C. Lunch – Gartine
On Tripadvisor, Gartine is currently the highest ranked restaurant serving Dutch food in Amsterdam. It’s focus is slow foods, as opposed to fast food, which means fresh, home-grown and more sustainable foods. The restaurant itself is small, cosy, always incredibly busy and seats just 24 at a time so bookings or early visits are recommended.
The menu is limited but the quality is extremely high. We went for the Hartog’s whole grain bread topped with cream of winter leek and gorgeous goats cheese and the Sour dough roll topped with sauerkraut, rosemary and a traditional Dutch sausage from the Beemster region. Both were delicious.
It’s easy to see why this place is ranked number one and gets so busy. This was the best meal we had in Amsterdam by some margin. Fresh, sustainable, ethical, local, home-grown, traditional and most importantly, great tasting. Phenomenally good food!
Where? Taksteeg 7 BG
How much? €20-€30
D. Snack – Eetsalon Van Dobben
Head down through Kalverstraat to Eetsalon Van Dobben just off of the Rembrandtplein for a croquette roll. This famous establishment has been serving what are known as the best croquettes in Amsterdam for several decades now and today it is a household name. Served in a bun and with Dutch mustard, these croquettes are the perfect snack for when you’re on the go. You can also get one free with the I amsterdam City Card (which by the way is highly recommended if you plan on visiting a few museums)
Where? Korte Reguliersdwarsstraat 5-7-9
How much? €2-€4
E. Dinner – Hap Hmm
Finish off your evening at Hap Hmm, a charming restaurant, located well away from the tourist path. It’s an extremely popular spot for locals and gets incredibly busy so get there as early as possible. When you get there, you’ll understand why it’s so popular. Cheap, honest, simple food that is delicious and apparently ‘how mother used to cook it’. The beef stew is their specialty and along with fries, broccoli and a surprisingly tasty mash of beetroot and strawberries, this is the perfect way to round off an epic day of Dutch food indulgence!
Where? Eerste Helmersstraat 33
How much? €10-€20