The best places to eat in Amsterdam

street food in Amsterdam
Updated 2022-08-15 13:44

Amsterdam is a rich melting pot of many cultures; half of its residents are Dutch, while the other half are of foreign origins. With over 176 nationalities, this city certainly has a wide variety of cuisines to experience. However, the two main cuisines that really stand out are Dutch (of course) and Indonesian. We'll explore the foods you should try at these restaurants once you have settled in Amsterdam.

Indonesian food to try in Amsterdam

Indonesian restaurants are usually reasonably priced and have huge portions. One thing you must try is the rijsttafel (rice table). Although it involves Indonesian food, you'll only see the rijsttafel here in the Netherlands. Rarely will you see this served back in Indonesia.

It's practically a feast; you'll be served many side dishes, rice in different styles, and some meat dishes. At some restaurants, this can total 40! The rijsttafel is a great way to try Indonesian cuisine.

Dutch food to try in Amsterdam

If you're just looking for a snack, try some bitterballen or other borrelhapjes (deep-fried bar snacks) at any bar or cafe; many restaurants also sell them as appetizers. Bitterballen are deep-fried meatballs eaten with mustard.

In the winter, you'll want to have stamppot and erwtensoep. Stamppot is a traditional dish that's essentially mashed potatoes with sausages that taste like hot dogs. There are a few variations on stamppot where the mashed potatoes have either sauerkraut, kale, or carrots.

Erwtensoep is the Dutch version of pea soup; it has peas, carrots, potatoes, leeks, and slices of the same sausage they use in stamppot.

For dessert, try stroopwafel, poffertjes, or appeltaart. Stroopwafel is made of two thin wafers with caramel in the center; the Dutch love to put these on top of their coffee cups to warm up and soften the caramel inside.

Poffertjes taste very similar to American pancakes but are much smaller in size. They're usually served with powdered sugar and butter, although some places may add fruit toppings as well.

Appeltaart is essentially good old apple pie. You can usually get a slice of it with some homemade whipped cream.

Popular places for eating out in Amsterdam

There are plenty of places to grab brunch at, but one popular hot spot is Omelegg. Not only are their egg dishes delicious, but their decor is cozy as well. Since the original restaurant is so busy, they have two locations now: one in the city center and one in De Pijp.

For sunny days, take the free ferry over to Amsterdam Noord and dine at Pllek. This restaurant has a vast artificial beach, which makes for a slice of sandy paradise right within Amsterdam. Not only do they serve food, but they also have a long list of activities, such as festivals and yoga classes.

If you want to have a great selection of food and drinks, try Foodhallen. This is a huge food hall where you can find anything from sushi and dim sum to Iberico sausage and pastrami sandwiches. On some nights, there's live entertainment too, so the ambiance is great.

Street food in Amsterdam

While you're in Amsterdam, you should have haring at least once. This is raw fish (herring), topped with onions and pickles; some eat it between slices of bread.

If you aren't a fan of raw fish, that's ok. Get a portion of kibbeling instead. This is deep-fried white fish that's served with a dipping sauce; garlic sauce is a favorite.

Another street food the Dutch love is fries. But these aren't just any fries—they're thick-cut, double-fried fries. They're usually served up with mayonnaise, but there are plenty of other sauces to try, such as samurai sauce and curry ketchup.

Eating on a budget in Amsterdam

For those who are on a tight budget and don't have a lot to spend, there are always the regular fast-food chains, such as McDonald's, Burger King, and KFC. However, there's also a Dutch chain you should try: FEBO.

This fast-food restaurant has a unique automat system where you unlock the partitions by depositing your money. Then, you take out your piping hot food (which can be croquettes or burgers), and you can be on your way.

Otherwise, most (if not all) grocery stores have cheap sandwiches and microwave meals you can pick up for just a couple of euros.

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