The culinary scene in Amsterdam is subdued compared to the overwhelmingly influential food culture found in Paris or Rome, but if you know where to look, you’ll be rewarded with delicious, authentic munchies. There are plenty of different ethnic foods available in the city – with Indonesian, Argentinean, Thai and Tibetan restaurants offering exotic fare. American fast food staples like McDonalds and Dominos have also invaded the city as well, but since the point of travel is exposing oneself to new and different experiences, try to avoid the tried-and-true in favor of something really Dutch!
Basically a tiny pancake, poffertjes have a light, fluffy texture and are made in a special pan. An order of poffertjes typically contains a dozen or so of these bite-size cakes doused in butter and powdered sugar. Poffertjes and their larger relatives, pannekoeken, can be found at streetside stands in the popular Albert Cuypmarkt or at numerous pancake houses found throughout the city. Our favorite haunts are Pancake Corner at Kleine Gartmanplantsoen 51, and for late-night poffertjes, check out the hectic tourist spot Satellite Sportscafe at Leidseplein 11.
A delicacy in Europe, herring is served in a variety of ways, usually with pickles and raw onions, so be sure to bring some Tic-Tacs for afterwards! Pickled herring can be found at a variety of street stands, so be sure to try a herring broodjes (sandwich) for a delicious snack! Our favorite place is Vishuisje Herengracht, located at Utrechtsestraat 61 near the corner of Keizersgracht.
Forget cannabis – what the Dutch really excel at is making fine cheeses, and Holland has become the largest cheese exporter in the world. The Dutch take great pride in their cheese making, and the fine cheeses of Holland are remarkable for their distinct, rich flavors. To get a good idea of how special these cheeses can be, try a three-year aged Gouda, Maasdammer or Edam. For a fun afternoon excursion, attend a cheese tasting session at the Reypenaer Cheese Tasting Room, located at Singel 182.
Two very thin, hot waffles form a sandwich oozing with caramel in the middle for an unforgettable munchie! Find stroopwafels at street stands such as the one in the Lindenmarkt’s Saturday market, located along the Lindengracht between the Prinsengracht and Lijnbaansgracht.
These balls of deep-fried, breadcrumb-covered meat ragout are a popular Dutch bar snack, and can be found at many of the traditional “brown bars” throughout the city. Usually dunked in mustard and accompanied by a nice crisp Amstel, bitterballen aren’t bitter at all – the name stuck from back in the day when these savory treats were accompanied by bitters. The best bitterballen in Amsterdam are reportedly found at Café Luxembourg at Spui 24 or Café Stevens at Geldersekade 123, but seriously, try them anywhere you find them – or make them at home!
Don't miss your chance to sample these great treats. Come to the 26th annual HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup this November. Get your judge's pass today!