One thing that springs to mind when you think of Holland and food is of course cheese. Whilst the Dutch love their cheese – Edam, Gouda, Leerdammer and Maasdam to name but four, the love of food stretches far beyond that. Being one of the world's truly international cities, with its imperialist past and standing as it does at the crossroads of many shipping routes, Amsterdam offers culinary delights from near and far alike.
Another typically Amsterdam food is the herring. The “Haringhandel” or “Herring carts” can be found across the city selling fresh herring in a variety of different forms depending on your taste. A fairly good choice for those new to this particular delicacy is the “Broodje Haring” (Broodje means a small bread roll) where the fish comes with onions and pickles.
Like Belgium, its neighbour immediately to the south, waffles are also a popular dish in Amsterdam and throughout the Netherlands. Available at cafés and restuarants, you can also pick up a waffle at various markets throughout the city. Stroopwafel are the local favourite served with copious amounts of sweet golden syrup!
Ethnic foods form a major part of the Amsterdam restaurant scene with influences coming from around the globe. Although you will likely find restaurants from just about anywhere, below we will give you the low-down on the most popular types of ethnic cuisine in the city...
Indonesian food is a treat for the eyes as well as the palate. As a former Dutch colony, many Indonesians live and work in the Netherlands and many have opened restaurants in Amsterdam. The food itself is somewhere between Thai and Indian (although many claim it is better than both of these!) and has its own unique style, flavour and fragrance. A perennial favourite dish is the “Rijstafel” which is similar to an Indian Thali or Spanish tapas in that it is made up of many small dishes and served with rice.
The Dutch love a good steak house which is patently obvious by the sheer number of Argentinian and other nationality steak houses that can be found around Amsterdam. They range from the moderately priced casual affair right through to the fine dining experience and can come with chips (frietjes) or any other combination of potatoes and vegetables that you could possibly imagine!
Pizzas come in all shapes and sizes and again will range from the “by the slice” corner pizza outlet to the gourmet type. Italian food is in general very popular in Amsterdam as in many other cities and many restaurants in town
Frietjes are basically chips. With mayo. Usually. The Dutch love chips almost as much as the Belgians and so if you don't get them as a side order with your meal, you won't have to walk very far before you find somewhere that will sell them.
FEBO is not something we would recommend but the Dutch appear to love this slightly strange eating experience which is essentially hot bland snacks in an automatic vending machine on the street. Put your money in, choose your snack (hot dogs, hamburgers, chips etc.) and get your snack. Simple. Not so tasty though.