This half term we made our way to Amsterdam; I’ve already written about what to do there but we ate and drank so brilliantly that I just had to write a piece just about it. The Dutch aren’t world renowned for their own food and you wont find Dutch restaurants on your local high street, however they are very open people who have a history with lots of other cultures, this means there is some awesome world food in Amsterdam.
Brouwerij ‘t IJ Brewery
Out of everywhere on my list this is rightfully at the top. I love this place so much. Brouwerij ‘t IJ is a small brewery with premises inside a windmill. How much more Dutch can you get! Best of all its only a 30 minute walk from the centre.
Brouwerij ‘t IJ have a range of permanent beers as well as seasonal ones and special editions. With a beer menu that’s hard to pick from I’d recommend starting with their tasting paddle so you can get a feel for their beers.
The brewery has an amazing atmosphere, the bar staff are knowledgeable and they do simple but tasty bar snacks like sausages and cheese! You can even get glimpses of the brewery itself through glass windows at the back of the bar area.
Febo is a bizarre but really cool little chain which is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. They are numerous around Amsterdam and are basically a huge, open fronted, walk in vending machine. Perfect for grabbing a delicious little snack quickly and on the go – It’s almost like there are a lot of people walking around Amsterdam with the munchies!
You pop in your change, open a little door and retrieve your tasty warm treat! I’d recommend grabbing one of these sort of croquet things which come in a variety of flavours. Be-warned however as they may appear cold on the outside but can be very hot on the inside!
Jenever is the Dutch version of gin. The Wynand Fockink tasting room has an awesome selection of this spirit as well as many liqueurs. As well as original Jenever we tried some blackcurrant liqueurs which were delicious. The Wynand Fockink establishment is worth visiting even if you don’t normally like gin or spirits as it’s really interesting and more importantly fun!
Drinking jenever here is certainly a unique experience. The first thing you do is learn how to drink jenever. They fill the glass to nearly overflowing, which creates a “head” of surface tension on top. Then you put your hands behind your back, and lean over towards to the glass to slurp the first gulp. You are likely to upset your hosts if you lift the glass and end up spilling your jenever.
Ontbijtkoek is a breakfast cake which is served all around the Netherlands. It’s a traditional spiced treat made from rye which gives it the lovely rich brown colour. It is normally spiced with cloves, cinnamon, ginger, succade and nutmeg. We found ours at breakfast in the morning but also bought one from a supermarket to eat as a snack. Highly recommended!
Vlaams Frites Huis
In the Netherlands as in Belgium, chips are a sort of local delicacy. We were put onto the Vlaams Frites Huis which is supposed to be one of the best places to buy fries in the whole of Amsterdam. We were recommended to try the peanut sauce which was an amazing suggestion as it tastes incredible and is very different to the regular ketchup or BBQ sauces which you get in the UK.
Van Stapele Koekmakerij Chocolate Cookie
I’ve not seen a queue outside a cookie shop before. Not a real queue, with an employee keeping order and ensuring no one pushes to the front. Not until I went to the Van Stapele Koekmakerij shop. What is really amazing is that Van Stapele Koekmakerij actually only sell one item in one flavour – a chocolate cookie!
So one particular cookie that is able to get people queuing out of the door and is limited to just six per customer… It must taste pretty darn good right… Yeah it really does. This dark chocolate cookie has a smooth white chocolate filling. They are best eaten warm and straight from the shop. Easily the best chocolate cookie I’ve ever had.
Stroopwaffles are probably the most famous sweet treat in the whole of Amsterdam. They are two thin, circular waffles which are glued together with an uber delicious and sticky caramel filling. You’ll see them all over the city and I recommend finding somewhere that makes them fresh and from scratch.
Poffertjes Dutch Pancakes
We tried Poffertjes for the very first time from the Albert Cuyp Market. There was an expert Dutch pancake chef working in the market who was creating some really scrumptious looking treats. Poffertjes are a traditional Dutch batter treat which resemble small, fluffy little pancakes.
They have a light, spongy texture. Normally, poffertjes are a sweet treat, served with powdered sugar and butter so we decided to try them this way. As the butter melts it forms a sort of sauce with the icing sugar which is just incredible.
The Foodhallen is a relatively recent addition to the city which is located in the trendy Oud West neighbourhood. An old tram station now plays host to over twenty high end street food stalls selling a huge selection of delicacies from around the world. It is really cool and has great events like ‘Beats and Bites’ where a DJ plays while you hang out, eat and drink!
I really like how there are a few different areas so despite it being a really big building it still has nice areas to spend time in. With so much going on there is a real buzz about the place. I really liked the raised sports area which had screens to watch tv as well as its own bar and table football!
There are numerous bars which serve everything from cocktails, to craft beer and the classic Dutch Heineken beer. What is awesome is because of how it is set up you are pretty much encouraged to mix and match so all your friends can get different things to eat and drink and still go and sit together – great for groups with varied tastes!
Due to the great selection and cool atmosphere, we actually ate here more than once. When we did, we went for a tapas style affair and bought several small plates which we shared; this way we were able to sample as much variety as possible. I’ll run you through some great options. Firstly you’ve got to go to De BallenBar who serve the Dutch classic Bitter Ballen – yet another fried potato savoury snack.
Viet View served really awesome Vietnamese summer rolls. These are like a healthy, lighter version of a spring roll. Instead of deep fried they are made using rice paper to wrap up all the ingredients. A really healthy feeling yet delicious delicacy. They also served Bahn Mi and took me right back to my time in Vietnam last year.
From Vietnam we headed over to Mexico via the Taqueria street food stall…
After Mexico it was another short journey back to China for a Dim Sum selection. Steamed beautifully and served in a bamboo steamer. We also had some really light and fluffy pork filled buns from here. YUM!
The Butcher must have several locations around Amsterdam as we spotted a couple more during our stay. We shared a really awesome burger from here along with some sweet potato fries.
You can see them flame grilling the burgers right in front of you as you queue for your food – by the time they hand the burger over to you – you are really salivating!
Finally, we had a very posh hotdog from Bulls and Dogs. It was called the The Luxurious Dog and contained a pork sausage, wild mushrooms, truffle and hazelnuts. The fanciest and nicest hot dog I’ve ever eaten!