Dutch cuisine might not be as well known as the country’s other herbs, but it does still exist, and it’s pretty fantastic -- and just to prove it, we lined up nine of the capital’s most iconic dishes, and the best spots to get them…
Erwtensoep: Slagerij-Eetsalon Meester
As soon as the weather turns cold, erwtensoep begins to show up in full force. Basically a super-thick green pea soup (the thicker the the better, in fact), it's typically served with sausage. If your spoon isn't standing upright in it unaided, there's a problem.
Burgwallen Nieuwe Zijde
Confusing and delighting Starbucks patrons the world over, a stroopwafel is filled with a caramel-like syrup, and's supposed to be warmed over a cup of coffee/tea before eating. For the best in town, head to Lanskroon.
Kroketten/Bitterballen: Eetsalon Van Dobben
This traditional Dutch snack can be bought from self-serve vending machines, most restos, and snack bars across the country, but the best in town come from Eetsalon Van Dobben. They come in several varieties, but the main favorites are made with veal or beef. Usually served in a bun, it is tradition to smash the kroket between the bun before eating. Bitterballen are miniature round versions of the kroket, served with mustard rather than bread.
What happens when you smash together potatoes, vegetables and a little bacon (on purpose)? You get stamppot. The veggie of choice is usually endive but other varieties also exist (a mix of carrots, potatoes, and onions is known as hutspot). More of a side dish, stamppot is often served together with sausage.
Apple Pie: Winkel 43
Yup, apple pie. If you think that it's as American as, well, itself, then you just haven't had a thick slice of this shortbread pastry-cased, apple-&-raisins-loaded, sugar-and-cinnamon-spiced variety – Dutch apple pie is a staple on many menus. Head to Winkel 43 in the shadow of the Noorderkerk for one of the best pieces in Amsterdam.
Raw Herring: Vishandel Theo v/d Geest
If this was thrown onto a bullet of rice & wrapped in seaweed, you wouldn't bat an eyelid. But raw herring is delicious, and it's a typical Dutch snack -- it's served either in a bun covered in onions or held by the tail and dropped straight into the mouth, and can be found throughout the city. Visit a street-side herring stall or Vishandel Theo v/d Geest in Amsterdam Zuidoost to get the fresh stuff.
Drop: Het Oud-Hollandsch Snoepwinkeltje
Available in almost more varieties than there is cheese in a souvenir cheese shop, the Dutch love their black liquorice (known in Dutch as "drop") so much so that an estimated 32 million kilos of the stuff is consumed each year. Score your drop from the Old Holland Sweet Shop.
Poffertjes: De Carrousel
These light, round mini-pancakes are served covered in powdered sugar and with a slice of butter. Your mission is to ensure a little bit of butter makes it onto each and every one. Hit De Carrousel to do so.
Gouda Cheese: Farmer's Market on Noordermarkt
Ahhh, cheese. No trip to the Netherlands would be complete without consuming some of the, ahem, gouda stuff. But bypass the tourist shops and head to the Boerenmarkt op de Noordermarkt on Saturdays.
1. Slagerij-Eetsalon MeesterAmsterdamse Poort 87, Amsterdam
2. LanskroonSingel 385, Amsterdam
3. Eetsalon Van DobbenKorte Reguliersdwarsstraat 5, Amsterdam
4. MoedersRozengracht 251, Amsterdam
5. Winkel 43Noordermarkt 43, Amsterdam
6. Vishandel Theo v/d GeestBijlmerplein 862, Amsterdam
7. Het Oud-Hollandsch SnoepwinkeltjeTweede Egelantiersdwarsstraat 2, Amsterdam
8. De CarrouselTweede Weteringplantsoen 1, Amsterdam
9. NoordermarktNoordermarkt, Amsterdam
This eatery doles out a number of Dutch favorites, and has a menu chock-full of tasty fare like erwtensoep, honey-glazed chicken, and kippeling.
You can't go wrong with this bakery when you're craving fresh cookies, cakes, and other pastries (especially stroopwafels!).
This eatery combines an old-school atmosphere with a quality modern dining experience, offering up tasty sandwiches, kroketten, and other delicious dishes.
This Jordaan resto serves a variety of tasty dishes, but their pride and joy is the stamppot, which is mashed potatoes, veggies, and bacon.
This cafe, bar, and diner offers a friendly atmosphere and delectable fresh-baked treats, including what might be the best apple pie in the city.
If incredible seafood is what you want, then incredible seafood is what you'll get here. Pro tip: don't pass up the chance to try their raw herring.
Once you step inside, you'll feel like an adult in a candy store. Because that's what you'll be. They carry a massive variety of sweet treats including the Dutch favorite drop.
Pancakes, pancakes, and more pancakes. That's what you'll find here, albeit of the Dutch variety. But the second you taste one of their poffertjes covered in powdered sugar and butter, you may never go back to the traditional American pancake again.