I wasn’t expecting great food in Amsterdam but was pleasantly surprised to find that wasn’t the case. From Dutch pancakes and artisan cheese to stroopwafels and traditional dishes, there are so many things to try. Have to admit I wasn’t brave enough to try the traditional raw herring. Maybe next time.
Café Van Kerkwij
Café Van Kerkwij is a classic Amsterdam Cafe and Restaurant. It is located in the Red Light district tucked into an alley. I probably would of missed it all together if it hadn’t been recommended. There is no menu, your choices are presented at the table by your waiter. Everything is freshly made and very unique. They are open from 11am to late in the evening. Great food, charming restaurant and friendly fun staff. It’s on my must list for any trip to Amsterdam.
No trip to Amsterdam is complete without trying Dutch pancakes. Dutch pancakes are different than your typical syrup laden American pancake. They are usually savory and served with bacon, ham, and/or Gouda cheese. Lunch or dinner is the most common time for Dutch pancakes unlike us Americans who eat pancakes for breakfast. The line for The Pancake Bakery was wrapped around the door. They have both sweet and savory pancakes, Nicole went for the savory and I went with the sweet. Yum! I have also heard great things about The Happy Pig Pancake Shop, Pancakes!, and .
Reypenaer cheese comes from a long tradition of artisan cheese making in the Netherlands. It’s a variety of Gouda cheese that is matured naturally. To experience it for ourselves we went to a Reypenaer Cheese Tasting. We were given samples of each of their cheeses and wine parings. For our untrained pallet the older cheeses were a bit much. It was a fun experience not to be missed for cheese and wine lovers.
We had the traditional Dutch apple tart at Winkel 43, the pieces large enough to share. It’s not as sweet as American Apple Pie, but very good. Be prepared for crowds, this place is very popular.
In Volendam we had dinner at De Lunch. They only use fresh ingredients and have a variety of dishes including soups, fish, sandwiches, and hamburgers. All your regular cafe offerings with affordable prices. The best part though is the location, sitting right on the harbor the views are fantastic.
Next door to De Lunch is Wolly’s Waffles. They specialize in Stroopwafels, two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel syrup filling in the middle. It’s a great souvenir to bring home. They also have a location in Amsterdam in the Albert Cuyp Market.
Salsa Shop – Fresh Mexican Kitchen
As a general rule I don’t eat Mexican food outside of Texas (can’t beat Tex-Mex), but I was desperately craving spicy food. I found the Salsa Shop online and decided to give it a chance. They advertises healthy Mexican food made fresh with all natural ingredients and secret salsa recipes made by their own chef who was born and raised in Mexico. The concept is very similar to Chipotle in the U.S. I ordered the chicken tacos with the Smokey Pineapple Chipotle salsa. The tacos were amazing and fiery hot just like I like them. If the Salsa Shop was in Dallas I would eat there every week!
McDonalds – Don’t be Proud
Just for the record I rarely eat at McDonalds. But when you find yourself in a country where you don’t speak the language, it’s raining and you’re hungry, well, beggars can’t be choosers, McDonalds fit the bill. But be careful using the self-service kiosks. Ordering in English was fantastic, but I accidentally ordered 4 packs of Chicken Nuggets!
Do you have a favorite place you like to eat in Amsterdam? Comment below to share.
Want to find out more about our time in Amsterdam? Checkout Part 4 of our European Itinerary.