Best Traditional Dutch Foods

During all of our Amsterdam Countryside Tours, we offer our guests a hand-made, delectable Dutch pie. But you will no doubt encounter many other traditional dutch foods throughout your journey in Holland. We have put together a list of our country’s favorite traditional foods. You must try as many of them as possible, as they are a big part of Dutch culture, are all very delicious and perhaps something you may even want to try making at home!

Herring. Known as ‘haring’ in Dutch, you will find these at food/snack stands all over the city. They are offered as whole and raw with chopped onions, or pickled and served in pieces. Another variety is Hollandse nieuwe haring, which is fattier, and found more in the summer months.

Stroopwafels. A scrumptious Dutch sweet that can be found at most markets around the country. Usually they are made fresh right in front of your eyes (because let’s face it, waffles don’t keep very long and are best eaten fresh.) The combination of caramel and hot, fresh waffles is magnificent. 

Pannenkoeken. This is the ‘official’ Dutch version of the pancake. However, it is larger and thinner, more like a French crêpe. It can be found eaten throughout the day and with various other foods, or dipped in whatever suits your fancy.

Pepernoten. The Dutch most often consume these in December during the holiday season. These cute little crispy cookies are made with cinnamon, and make a wonderful snack with coffee or tea. There is a Dutch shop called HEMA that sells snacks – you will find them there. They can also be found covered in chocolate.

Gouda cheese. While gouda is one of Holland’s most favorite types of cheese, do try as many different types of Dutch cheese as you can. Kaasland (‘Kaas’ meaning ‘cheese’), in particular, has not only fresh gouda, but Edam and Beemster cheeses. 

Engelsdrop. Known literally as English drops, this is a licorice that is common most everywhere and sold in all the candy shops and supermarkets. In fact, many different types of candy names end in ‘drop’ in Dutch. And for adults, look for Dropshot, which is a liquor made with salted licorice.

Stamppot. Best served with meatballs or sausage, it is mashed potatoes with spinach, sauerkraut and other veggies. This is the perfect warm-up meal for a cold winter’s day.

Snert or Erwtensoep. A traditional winter slip pea soup, and a staple of the Dutch diet. Served in many bars with a food menu, you know you’ve found authentic snert if the spoon stands in the bowl on its own. It’s that thick, rich and tasty.

Poffertjes. This is a wonderful hand-held snack that is actually like a little pancake made with yeast and buckwheat flour. But have several served on a plate with powdered sugar and butter…ah, you will have a hard time stopping! Also try them dipped in Nutella.

Tompoes. These pastries are often served with afternoon coffee or for birthdays. It has a delicious glaze of pink icing on top, or orange icing for King’s Day. Between the special dough is baker’s cream, making this a very rich and satisfying treat.

Rookworst. A delightful Dutch smoked sausage, and most often eaten with stamppot. Most people compare it with a hotdog, but this type of sausage is bigger and the skin is tougher, giving it that satisfying ‘snap’ when you bite into it. 

Kibbeling. A popular Dutch comfort food, very akin to the famous English fish and chips, only without the chips! It is pieces of cod or pollock, deep fried and dipped in tartar sauce or other mayo-based sauce. They are found in markets all over the Netherlands.

Bitterballen. Found in most bars all around the country, these are tasty balls of beef or veal surrounded with a crunchy coating and fried, and typically served with mustard. It is a classic appetizer that is great for parties.

Kroketten. Very similar to bitterballen, but with a longer shape, sort of like a mozzarella stick, only made with meat. The Dutch can often be found stuffing these in between slices of bread to make a sandwich!