Top 10 Dutch Food Specialities to Try in Amsterdam

One of the biggest treats of heading abroad is sampling the local cuisine. And Amsterdam is no different. From fried balls to mini waffles, you'll find a wide selection of delicious foods you won't find anywhere else. These are our picks for the top 10 Dutch food specialities to try in Amsterdam!

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10 - Haring

An acquired taste for sure, but you only live once and all that. Haring, or Hollandse Nieuwe, is raw herring. Usually served with a pickle and raw onion, it's customary to hold the little lad by its tail, raise it up, and then chomp at the head.

Well, not the head exactly, as they remove that, wash the body, and then preserve it in salt way before you order it. If that sounds like fun to you, you can find this acquired taste at most food markets.

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9 - Rookworst

These bad boys are the Netherlands' answer to hotdogs. Smoked, curled sausages with a crispy skin.

Enjoyers usually combine it with Stamppot, a mashed potato/veg combo, and Snert, a pork, pea, and leek soup. Mmm...delicious? Remember, this is a list of the top 10 Dutch food specialities to try in Amsterdam; they can't all be bangers. Yes, that was a sausage joke. Stick around for creativity like that!

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8 - Stamppot

This old-style Dutch classic is reminiscent of colcannon (for you Irish-adjacent out there). Mash a load of potatoes, add a slab of butter, chuck in some kale, cabbage, or sauerkraut (that one's on the Dutch), and mix it all together. Hey presto, Stamppot.

Often served with some cuts of smokey Rookworst, because sausages make everything better.

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7 - Snert

It might sound like something you find in a tissue after blowing your nose, and sure it might look like it too, but you're so wrong. You're so wrong you should feel bad. That's because Snert is actually a thick soup made of peas, celery, leeks, carrots, and pork. See? That actually sounds super delicious and definitely worth getting as soon as you land.

Snert is so thick that you keep the spoon vertical when eating it. Imagine, if you will, a gravy so thick, so green, and so full of peas and pork that you can eat it sideways. That's Snert, and it's one of the foods that exist on this planet.

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6 - Drop

Licorice is something you either love or hate, and, well, the Dutch tend to fall on the former. That's why they have a whole host of sweet types dedicated to it! They're called Drop, and they exist. In a rather hilarious statistic, the Dutch consume 2kg, or 4.5lbs, of Drop per person every year. I guess you could say they drop it like it's hot - into their mouths, because they love it. They love it so much that you can buy it in pharmacies. What a world we live in.

You can get sweet or salty variants, but we'd recommend steering clear of the salty stuff; only the sternest of Drop fanatics dare go near it. They're referred to locally as 'dropheads'. They're not, don't say that when you visit.

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5 - Pannenkoeken

The Netherlands' answer to the pancake, this tasty treat is somewhere between the thickness of your standard American fare and the super-thin French crepe. However, unlike in the good old US of A, the Dutch tend to eat these beauties for dinner. Another thing that separates them from their American cousins is the choice of toppings.

While American pancakes are almost exclusively sweet, albeit with sides of bacon and such, the Dutch throw loads of different toppings on their pannenkoeken. Cheese, apple, raisins, you name it, they may use it. Think of them as thin pizzas more than simply pancakes, though you can douse them in sugar if you so desire.

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4 - Kroket

These are the Dutch take on croquettes. For the uninitiated, croquettes are deep-fried 'dumplings' that usually contain mashed potato and white sauce. But we're in the Netherlands, so of course, you can add meat to the recipe.

You can find beef, veal, pork, chicken, shrimp, and many other fillings in Dutch Krokets, and you can pick them up from pretty much anywhere in Amsterdam. Even everyone's favorite creepy clown chain, McDonald's, is in the Kroket game, offering up a Kroket burger called, charmingly, a McKroket. We are truly in the darkest timeline.

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3 - Poffertjes

These battery beauties are like if pancakes and Pannenkoeken had gorgeous little babies. Made by combining the key power of yeast and buckwheat, Poffertjes are fluffy delights served with butter and sugar.

They tend to appear in the wild in winter when chilly residents need a little warmth pre-Christmas. It's also not uncommon to top them with whipped cream, sugary syrup, and forest fruits. Much closer to traditional American pancakes, then. Just tiny and adorable.

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2 - Bitterballen

The Dutch are big on beer - even if their strong, dark offerings are a far cry from the pale ales and sours often enjoyed across the pond. It's no wonder, then, that they worked tirelessly in the lab to create the perfect snack for their beer-drinking sessions. The result? Bitterballen.

Kroket's small friend is meek in stature but a monster in taste. Bitterballen are usually made with a mix of beef, broth, butter, flour, and a smattering of spices. Wrap all that in breadcrumbs and throw that thang in the deep frier. Out pops your white-hot beer buddy. Just be careful it doesn't annihilate your taste buds when you bite into it. Hot. Very hot.

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1 - Stroopwafel

Have you ever sat and pondered what it would be like to create a cookie out of a waffle? Well, ponder no more, you brave soul, because you've been beaten to the punch by the Dutch. Again. You thought raw, hanging herring was your idea, and now this. Go back to the drawing board, because Stroppwafel's got you covered.

No list of the top 10 dutch food specialities to try in Amsterdam would be worth its weight in salt without them. These thin, glazed waffle cookies are a thing of magnificence. Crispy but chewy, sweet yet savory, they tick every possible box you could ever possibly tick. Are they the best food ever created by humankind? Perhaps. Think we're yanking your chain? Try them for yourselves and see the light.

And those are our picks for the top 10 dutch food specialities to try in Amsterdam!

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