Amsterdam has a thriving food scene with unique dishes and treats that you won't want to miss out on. These excellent foods all have something special to offer, whether you're looking for something sweet, savoury or something you've never tried before. Thanks to a cosmopolitan mix of cultures within the city, you can find many world cuisines here, although it's often prepared in a unique way.

    Even if you have tasted Dutch delights, nothing will ever quite match what Amsterdam itself has to offer. Here, you'll find a degree of authenticity that shines through in every bite, provided you know what to try. Here are the best Amsterdam foods everyone should try.



    Taste Netherlands' popular sweet treat

    Stroopwafel is one of the most iconic foods in the country, showing off Dutch excellence with its sweet taste and popularity with dessert and treat lovers. A stroopwafel is a thin waffle with a layer of syrup in the middle. This syrup can vary quite a bit, but the traditional way is to make it using brown sugar, butter and cinnamon.

    You can find stroopwafels all over town on virtually every corner. They've become a staple of the city and the country as a whole, so you'll never have to look far to find them. They can come in many different varieties, so plan to enjoy them several times while vacationing.



    Try deep-fried meatballs

    Bitterballen is a popular Dutch food that is essentially deep-fried meatballs usually made from beef. It is most often enjoyed as a snack, especially at bruin cafes. It is derived from a similar Spanish dish first made around the 17th century, but its specific origins have been lost.

    Modern Bitterballen offer a lot more variety than its 17th-century counterparts did. In general, bitterballen is made from beef, beef broth, flour and several different seasonings. You'll find several different filling options, however, with chicken and veal being quite common.


    Dutch pancakes

    Enjoy speciality pancakes

    Dutch pancakes are popular for locals looking for a good breakfast, as they are light but notably filling while coming in a variety of different flavours. Compared to standard pancakes you may typically find in the UK or America, these are thinner and larger on average.

    At their most basic level, these pancakes are made from flour, milk, salt and eggs. Several different add-ons can be found virtually anywhere that offers them, like banana, chocolate and almonds. You can also opt for savoury pancakes flavours with ingredients like smoked chicken, bacon, onion and cheese.


    Raw herring

    Try Amsterdam's Infamous Fish

    Raw herring is a common street food in Amsterdam, though not quite appropriately named since the Herring is never technically served raw. Herring is found in the waters in Amsterdam, so it's readily available for street vendors. After being caught, the fish is cleaned, gutted, salted, then frozen. The process is designed to optimise its taste and tenderness.

    If you're looking to try raw herring, you won't have to look far to find it. Street vendors offering herring are all over town. For the most part, you'll find it freshly prepared and served alongside pickles and onions, though many locals prefer it as part of a sandwich.



    Enjoy classic Dutch delicacies

    Dutch cheese is one of the most iconic and recognisable parts of the local cuisine in Amsterdam, offering options that originate from nearby locations in the Netherlands. Quite a few different kinds of Dutch cheeses are available, so make sure you try them all during your visit.

    Most of the cheese production in Holland, in general, is dedicated to Gouda, so that'll be the most prevalent around Amsterdam. This semi-hard cheese comes in many subtypes as well. You'll also find plenty of Edam cheese in town with its salty and mellow taste. Maasdammer is a popular option, too, with its unique domed shape.



    Enjoy small fluffy pancakes

    Poffertjes are a popular sweet treat in Amsterdam that are essentially small fluffy pancakes designed to contrast well with Dutch pancakes based on size and thickness. The size difference doesn't put them on par with American or English pancakes, mind you. They are notably small, being just slightly larger than a 25p coin in most cases.

    These sweet treats are typically prepared with icing sugar applied to the top along with a bit of butter. Picking these up from a street vendor will normally have you eating them with a toothpick, though it's pretty easy to do so. They're made fresh all over town, so you won't have problems finding them.



    Try a traditional pea soup

    Snert is a simple, traditional Dutch pea soup that offers fillings and satisfying flavours you won't want to miss. Typically, it's quite thick with split peas as the primary ingredient, along with other various chopped vegetables like onions, carrots, and potatoes.

    You'll find a few different options for Snert, depending on where you go. Numerous vegetarian options are available throughout town, but you will more often find it with meats like pork and sausage. It's always served warm, so it's gratifying if you're visiting during a cold day.



    Enjoy a cream-filled pastry

    Tompouce is a popular cream-filled pastry with a long Dutch tradition, with most vendors using traditional style with modern ingredients. It's made from puff pastry with cream inside and sweet icing on top.

    While Tompouce is delicious, it does have a bit of a reputation for travellers who aren't quite used to it. While conceptually, it's quite close to a Napoleon, the Tompource is much sweeter. They are typically made with pink icing. Additionally, the cream and the icing can be hard to manage while eating, making it more suitable for a sit-down meal than walking down the street.


    Dutch apple pie

    Taste a deep dish pie

    Dutch Apple Pie is one of the most iconic desserts available in Amsterdam, where it's also known as an appeltaart, offering sweet flavours with crisp fresh apples. The most important thing you need to remember is that it's not quite like the apple pies you'd find in North America.

    Instead of making a thin pie with enclosed apples, chefs making the Dutch Apple Pie have much more to work with. It is a deep-dish pie looking a lot like a cake, and it uses many firm apples without the hard rolled crust. Additionally, a Dutch Apple Pie implements extra ingredients like nuts, raisins, and spices.



    Try Amsterdam's winter comfort food

    Stamppot is a popular, local comfort food that's gained a well-deserved reputation for keeping people warm at night with its satisfying taste. Meaning mash pot, Stamppot is a mixture of several ingredients like mashed potatoes and mashed vegetables in a bowl. Vegetarian options are available, but most include meat as well.

    Given the nature of Stamppot, the exact ingredients used can vary quite a bit. Boerenkool, for example, is made using kale, while hutspot style is made with winter carrots and onions. When it comes to meats, sausage is the most common, as it's easy to manage implementing in the bowl.

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