The 7 Must-Try Traditional Dutch Dishes

If there’s one place that’s actually a surprising heaven for food lovers, it’s the Netherlands. With a wide range of influences in the food, the vibrancy of Dutch culture really comes alive in its dishes. You’re sure to see a lot of tempting things here but there’s some traditional Dutch dishes that you simply have to try.

From tiny pancakes to croquettes from a vending machine, these are the tasty eats you have to try.

Must-Try Traditional Dutch Dishes

1. Stroopwafel

Originating from the Dutch city of Gouda, stroopwafels are hugely popular throughout the Netherlands. This sweet treat is simply two thin waffles stuck together with a layer of syrup. They’re best eaten hot and fresh from a street market vendor or bakery.

Image: @pastrysnobmsp

2. Bitterballen

Need something to soak up all that craft beer? This is the perfect pub snack. Bitterballen are deep fried crispy meatballs traditionally served with mustard for dipping – they can be found on the menu at most bars and casual restaurants in the Netherlands.

3. Raw Herring

You’ll see haringhandels (herring carts) all over the streets of the cities here, and it’s a real speciality. Ask for a ‘broodje haring’ to get the fish in a small sandwich with pickles and onions if you can’t brave it on its own. The herring is said to be at it sweetest between May-July, so try it then.

Raw herring Amsterdam food

4. Poffertjes

Nothing can beat a bag of these hot, buttery poffertjes (fluffy pancakes) from a street market vendor. These Dutch pancakes are usually much thicker than traditional American pancakes.

Sprinkle them with powdered sugar or syrup and let the good times roll.


5. Stampot

This is the ultimate comfort food when it comes to traditional Dutch dishes. It’s mash potatoes with other vegetables, traditionally sauerkraut, carrot, onion or kale. Stampot usually comes with a huge juicy sausage for an extra treat.

Image: @elvirafitcoach

6. Rijsttafel

The Indonesian influence on the Netherland’s cuisine is vast. It dates back from the times of Dutch colonisation of Indonesia, and no visit here is complete without a rijsttafel (rice table). It’s a feast of the most delicious dishes, such as Nasi Goreng and Nasi Putih.

Traditional Dutch Dishes

7. Croquettes from FEBO

Okay, technically not-so traditional, but these are a modern classic. The famous FEBO croquette comes piping hot and surprisingly fresh from vending machines all over the city. An absolute must-have after a night out, or even the morning after.

Traditional Dutch Dishes

Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

Contact [email protected]

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