By Liesbeth Smedes

The Netherlands is full of mysterious, hidden cultural treasures you can’t find anywhere else in the world and one of them is our typical Dutch cuisine! By now you probably know ‘poffertjes’ (the little pancakes on the blog cover) andpannenkoeken (the big brother of ‘poffertjes’), so I would like to share some other local dishes with you!

In our previous blog, Wirasha explained to you guys How To Become A True Amsterdammer. The first step is of course to visit the Albert Cuyp Market, where you can buy all kinds of Dutch food. In this blog, I will recommend you 10 must try Dutch dishes, so that after this you can call yourself a true Dutch foodie. You can find most of the coming dishes at the Albert Cuyp market in Amsterdam area 'De Pijp'!


Hi! My name is Liesbeth, student at the VU and I am your typical tall (1.64), orange loving, dyed blond hair, brown-eyed Dutch girl who was born in this beautiful sunny country. Currently, I am doing my master Marketing which made me a perfect fit to be part of the ESN VU Amsterdam Marketing Committee! Since I am Dutch and eating is one of my favourite hobbies, it felt like my duty to tell you guys the most important aspects of the Dutch cuisine. So ... here are 10 Dutch dishes you have to try!

1. The bitterbal


We start off with a popular one, the ‘bitterbal’! Bitterballen are a typical Dutch ‘borrelhapje’  (small snack) that you usually share with your friends along with some beers. You can get them at almost any bar/cafe. The 'bitterbalis fried and filled with a mash of meat, so don’t think it is vegetarian. From own experience, some international students mistake them for potato croquettes, but don’t worry! Nowadays they make vegetarian versions, so just ask if they serve them or look for them in the supermarket.

2. Erwtensoep


In wintertime, we Dutchies love to eat a bowl of ‘erwtensoep’ (pea soup), also called ‘Snert’. It is a thick soup that will keep you nice and warm in winter. You can of course buy it in the supermarket at the soup section, but it is more fun to make it yourself! Check out the recipe here.

3. Stamppot


For a meal in the evening, the most common typical Dutch one is ‘Stamppot’ and we have lots of different ones, the more classical types of ‘stampot’ are the ‘Andijviestamppot’ and ‘Stamppotboerenkool’. For the original recipes click here, but do you want to mix it up a bit check out these recipes (these are in Dutch, so start taking classes 😃)

4, 5 & 6. The best Dutch Fish Dishes: Hollandse Garnaaltjes, Haring & Kibbeling




The Dutch are fish lovers, so of  course  we have some good traditional fish dishes! We have typical Dutch shrimps ‘Hollandse garnaaltjes’ (my favourite), which are only sold and caught in the Netherlands. Next to that, not to forget, ‘Haring’ (herring). The Dutch eat salt or sour haring, and to make it complete, eat it with some union. Tip of the day: buy the 'haring' at a 'viskraam(fish stand) and not in the jars sold at the supermarket, you will taste the difference! And while you are there anyway ‘Kibbeling’ is worth the try too! This is fried codfish with pepper and salt and it's delicious (to be a complete Dutchie, add ‘ravigote’ sauce).

7. Stroopwafels


As a student sometimes you just need a break from studying, partying, everything else that comes with the busy student life and just  have  a cup of tea or coffee. Well, we have the right  treat  that comes along with that, the ‘Stroopwafel’. Put it on top of your hot tea or coffee cup for a minute and the caramel inside will melt and your relaxing may begin. Did you know we have free 'stroopwafels' and hot coffee for you at the ESN VU Amsterdam Office Hours? You can check for yourself if you like it!

8. Kapsalon


Even though relaxing is important, we are still students and we like to go out. That is why in The Netherlands we have a great late night meal to fill  your  ‘after party’ cravings, the ‘Kapsalon’! It  consists  fries, gyros meat, (Gouda) cheese and lettuce. Sounds weird, but it is really tasty! (supported by all the Dutch ESN VU Amsterdam members) The ‘Kapsalon’ is a must try after a night out in Amsterdam. Don’t forget the garlic sauce! 

9. Broodje hagelslag


After a night out (of studying at the university library!), the next morning arises and breakfast needs to be served. What better way to start your day with a ‘Broodje hagelslag’? Yes, here in The Netherlands we put chocolate sprinkles on our bread, many think it is strange until they try it themselves. I would encourage you to try this too, thank me later!


Thanks for reading my blog! I hope that you are curious to try out my 10 recommended Dutch dishes. Of course, we have many more typical Dutch snacks and dishes. Come by our Office Hours every Monday and Wednesday between 12:00 - 15:00, where we offer free coffee and a different Dutch snack every week for you to try! Do you know other Dutch dishes which international students really should try at least once? Let us know in the comments!

For the ones who are going to try the dishes... 'eetsmakelijk' (enjoy your meal)!

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Read more:
ESNblog1: 6 Essential Survival Tips for Living in Amsterdam
ESNblog2: How To Become A True Amsterdammer