The Dutch capital is well known for being a vibrant tourist destination, but what about the food and drink in Amsterdam? The city offers visitors a wide variety of unique culinary and drinking experiences, from fine dining restaurants to leisurely food tours.
A great place to visit is the Jordaan area of Amsterdam. Which is filled with plenty of cute lanes crammed with unusual bars, restaurants and food markets. Meanwhile, a tour of the city will take you along the beautiful canals, tourist attractions and into some of the more notorious regions.
Food and Drink in Amsterdam
Below we take a look at some authentic experiences for food and drink in Amsterdam. Starting with the drinking culture, where you can easily mix with the locals. Followed by some of the food and traditional cuisine to try during your visit.
There are really cool bars all over Amsterdam, with high-class lounges, superb cocktail bars and down to earth craft breweries. In the summer months, there is nothing better than enjoying a drink on the terraces people-watching. Especially if you have had a long day exploring the local attractions.
The Heineken Experience
In particular, the Heineken Experience is one of Amsterdam’s most famous attractions. It is a museum that includes an interactive self-guided stroll through the factory, and of course, a Heineken tasting session! Although, we also recommend booking a brewery tour of the local independent bars and breweries.
There is nothing more relaxing than sipping jenever in a stunning setting and simply enjoying the atmosphere. Jenever is a clear, grain-based, malted spirit, with authentic distilleries only available in the Netherlands or Belgium. It is a blend of two or more spirits and considered a cross between whiskey and gin.
For foodies – read on to discover a selection of must-eat Dutch food classics. All of which you can discover during a food experience in Amsterdam:
Delicious herring can be found on various fish stands that are all along the streets. The soused herring is served with onions and pickles, with the fish itself being raw. The best way to eat this authentic dish is to hold the tail, dip it in the onions and then slide the fish into your mouth.
Cheese from the Netherlands is world-famous, so ensure you taste samples that are freely on offer. It’s also possible to book a food tour in Amsterdam dedicated to cheese, or even make some for yourself!
This dish is easily found during street food tours, with the crispy meatballs served at market vendors. The concept is fairly simple but very tasty and provides an insight into authentic Dutch cuisine. The chef slow cooks the meat and then it is put in the fridge until it solidifies. The meat mixture into rolled into little balls, breaded and fried to crispy perfection. They are just delicious to eat using your fingers, dipping each ball into a spicy sauce.
Dutch pancakes (pannekoeken) are delicious and can be covered or filled with various options – from savoury to sweet! Cheese and ham to cream, fruit, butterscotch and chocolate sauce. They are usually thinner than American pancakes. Often chosen as part of a main course, served with salad or vegetables.
Dutch fries are amazing, and Amsterdam has plenty of good places whereby you can enjoy different styles. For an authentic flavour, do try out a patatje oorlog, or ‘war fries’, they are served with a creamy and sweet Dutch mayonnaise, onions and Indonesian satay sauce (a dense peanut sauce which is super spicy).
This traditional delight comprises of two circular waffles that are pressed flat on a waffle iron. The waffles are sandwiched together with a sweet, gluey syrup and the edges neatly trimmed. You can watch them being prepared at the various markets and you can also obtain bags of broken stroopwafel too!
Food and Drink Experiences in Amsterdam
Here at tabl, we understand that to fully experience food and drink in Amsterdam, foodies wish to embrace the culture. Book a tour, activity, cookery class or experience in and advance, before you travel.