The Netherlands might not be best known as a food destination. But you might be delightfully surprised to find savory Dutch snacks and divine Dutch sweets in Amsterdam and across the country. So I asked travel bloggers – many of whom are Dutch – about their favorites.

Here are 15 popular Dutch snacks you should not miss in the Netherlands. Most of them can be easily found everywhere, from bakeries to the street corner and even in supermarkets! 

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15 Best Dutch Snacks & Sweets to Try in the Netherlands | #DutchFood #DutchSnacks #DutchSweet #NetherlandsTravel #TravelEurope

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Savory Dutch Snacks

15 Best Dutch Snacks & Sweets to Try in the Netherlands - Hollandse Nieuwe Haring (Dutch Herring) | #DutchFood #DutchSnacks #DutchSweet #NetherlandsTravel #TravelEurope

#1. Hollandse Nieuwe Haring (Dutch Herring) 

A herring is a small, silvery fish caught in the North Sea around Norway and Denmark. (Oh, wait. The Dutch herring is not from the Netherlands?) Regardless of its origin, it is THE one Dutch delicacies you must try in the Netherlands.

“Hollandse Nieuwe” (Holland New) refers to the new Dutch herring that is freshly caught. June is the best month to try herring when the fish is the freshest and fattiest. However, the Dutch found a way to preserve them for an extended period to be served all year round.

In typical Dutch fashion, grab a herring by the tail and chow down the entire fish from head to tail. Wash it down with a bottle of Heineken.

Concerned it might be too fish? No worries. The Dutch herring is not entirely raw. It is gutted, cleaned, salted and preserved to eat. And if you cannot swallow your fear, you can always opt for a herring sandwich served with diced onions and pickles.

If you haven’t had it yet, don’t miss out on this popular Dutch snack. You can find it everywhere. Swing by this popular street shop called Frens Haringhandel on your next adventure in Amsterdam.

Suggested by Me of Chloe’s Travelogue

Where to Find the Best Dutch Herring

Frens Haringhandel 

Hours: 11 am – 5 pm (Sat & Sun closed at 5:30 pm) 

Location: Amsterdam [Open Google Map]

Day trips from Utrecht, Netherlands | #Utrecht #Netherlands #NetherlandsTravel #TravelEurope

#2. Dutch Cheese (Gouda Cheese) 

Did you know the Netherlands is the world’s third-largest dairy producer? Naturally, your trip to Holland cannot be complete without trying its highly regarded dairy products, cheese!

There are so many kinds of Dutch cheese: Beemster, Boerenkaas, Edam, Maasdam, etc. But the most famous name is perhaps Gouda.

Gouda is a semi-hard cheese made from cows’ milk, which is traditionally traded in a small town called Gouda. This yellow cheese is sweet and creamy.

The Dutch categorize the aging system into six stages. Young Gouda is aged for 4 weeks. Matured Gouda can be aged 8-10 weeks, or even longer, over 12 months.

Gouda cheese is tasty to eat by itself. Aged Gouda pairs well with medium/full-bodied red wines. It melts well, so you can use it for a grilled cheese sandwich or Mac and Cheese. Yum!

While Gouda cheese can be found in supermarkets worldwide due to its popularity, the freshest handmade ones are at cheese markets in the Netherlands.

If you haven’t been to one, be sure to swing by one of five Dutch cheese markets. Woerden Cheese Market, for example, is the last-standing traditional farmer’s market in the country, where the cheese is still commercially traded in true Dutch fashion.

Suggested by Me of Chloe’s Travelogue 

Where to Find the Best Dutch Cheese

Woerden Cheese Market

Hours: Saturdays from April to August, 11-11:30 am & 12-12:30 pm

Location: Woerden Kerkplein [Open Google Map]

>> If you cannot make it to Dutch cheese markets, opt for cheese tasting in Amsterdam instead.

15 Best Dutch Snacks & Sweets to Try in the Netherlands - Pannenkoek (Dutch Pancake) | #DutchFood #DutchSnacks #DutchSweet #NetherlandsTravel #TravelEurope

#3. Pannenkoek (Dutch Pancake) 

Pannenkoek is a Dutch pancake that is larger and thinner than the American version. (By the way, don’t get confused with the Dutch Baby, which actually is from Germany.)

The Dutch pancakes are made from a simple batter of flour, eggs and milk. You can eat it plain. The Dutch typically douses it with Stroop (a thick apple syrup) and powder sugar.

They can also be served savory or sweet, depending on the fillings. Fruits (apples, raisins, pineapples, etc.), cheese and thinly sliced bacon are most common. But you may choose a different mix of fillings to be added to the batter.

There are many ways to enjoy this popular treat as breakfast, lunch or snack. As the pannenkoeken are thin and as large as a pan, some Dutch roll them up to take a bite. It is also ok to use a fork and knife.

Many restaurants in the Netherlands serve Dutch pancakes. But if you ever make your way to Utrecht, visit a cute cottage nestled in an idyllic Dutch countryside for the best Dutch Pancake experience.

Suggested by Me of Chloe’s Travelogue

Where to Find the Best Dutch Pancake

Teahouse Rhijnauwen

Hours: 10 am – 8:30 pm

Location[Open Google Map]

>> Hop on a Pancake Cruise in Amsterdam or Rotterdam. All-you-can-eat pancake on a canal cruise? Sounds pretty darn good to me!

15 Best Dutch Snacks & Sweets to Try in the Netherlands - Bitterballen (Dutch Meatballs) | #DutchFood #DutchSnacks #DutchSweet #NetherlandsTravel #TravelEurope

Bitterballen | Image by The World in My Pocket

#4. Bitterballen (Dutch Meatballs)

Bitterballen (Dutch meatballs) is a staple of Dutch cuisine and one of the most popular snacks in the country.

The round meatballs are made from a mixture of beef, butter, flour roux and plenty of gravy. These deep-fried little balls are flavored with parsley and nutmeg, which give them a very aromatic taste. The coating is a simple breadcrumb and egg mixture in which the balls are rolled before being deep-fried.

They are crunchy on the outside and creamy inside. It is hard to describe what they taste like, but they are incredibly delicious. Dip the Bitterballen in hot mustard and try them with a cold beer. This is the classic way to enjoy them in the Netherlands!

You can find these delicious Dutch meatballs everywhere, from high-end restaurants to corner take-aways. Most of the restaurants in Rotterdam will also serve Bitterballen.

Suggested By Joanna of The World In My Pocket

Where to Find the Best Bitterballen

Hudson Restaurant 

Hours: Mon – Thurs 4 pm – 11 pm | Fri 4 pm – 2 am | Sat 12 pm – 2 am | Sun 12 pm – 11 pm

Location: Witte de Withstraat, Rotterdam [Open Google Map] 

15 Best Dutch Snacks & Sweets to Try in the Netherlands - Kibbeling (Fried Fish Nuggets) | #DutchFood #DutchSnacks #DutchSweet #NetherlandsTravel #TravelEurope

#5. Kibbeling (Fried Fish Nuggets)

One of the best snacks you’ll find in Holland is Kibbeling. It is a delicious mouthful of fish — often cod or traditionally cod’s cheeks. And they are quite addictive!

Kibbeling is basically the fish version of chicken nuggets. The bite-size fish is battered, deep-fried and served with tartar sauce or mayonnaise. Served warm, usually in a little tray with a fork, you’ll find Dutch people eating these all over the country.

Kibbeling can be scorching when you first get them. So allow them to cool down a bit to avoid burning your mouth.

These traditional Dutch delights are sold all over the place, particularly by street vendors. If you want to try them, head over to a street market. You have a high chance of finding them there.

Suggested By Kathryn Bird of Biker Girl Life

Where to Find the Best Kibbeling

Frens Haringhandel

Hours: 11 am – 5 pm (Sat & Sun closed at 5:30 pm) 

Location: [Open Google Map]

15 Best Dutch Snacks & Sweets to Try in the Netherlands - pindasaus (fries with peanut sauce) | #DutchFood #DutchSnacks #DutchSweet #NetherlandsTravel #TravelEurope

Dutch Fries with Peanut-butter Sauce | Image by Ashleigh’s Atlas

#6. Pindasaus (Fries with Peanut Sauce)

If you’re looking for the most famous Dutch food in the Netherlands, make sure you try patat met pindasaus (fries with peanut sauce).

If you’re in Holland, you’ll notice many little shops selling fries in paper cones. One of the most popular ways to eat these in Holland is with pindasaus. 

Pindasaus is a peanut sauce or curry sauce. It’s equivalent to having ketchup or tomato sauce on fries. Pindasaus tastes similar to a satay sauce that you may know from satay chicken kebabs.

Mostly, locals eat patat met pindasaus at the little fries shop in Holland. Vleminckx de Sausmeester is one of the popular fries shops in Amsterdam.

You’ll also find patat met pindasaus at most Dutch restaurants. You can buy pindasaus in a tub from the supermarket as you would buy ketchup; you can add it to your food at home to your liking.

Suggested By Ashleigh of Ashleigh’s Atlas (Instagram)

Where to Find the Best Pindasau

Vleminckx de Sausmeester

Hours: 11 am – 7 pm 

Location: Amsterdam [Open Google Map

15 Best Dutch Snacks & Sweets to Try in the Netherlands - Kroket (Croquette) | #DutchFood #DutchSnacks #DutchSweet #NetherlandsTravel #TravelEurope

Kroketten at ‘t Hoogt | Image by Cosette is Cookin

#7. Kroket (Croquette)

kroket, or croquette, is a traditional Dutch food with a savory bite. It is crunchy on the outside and soft inside. The thick ragout roll is dipped in egg wash, flour and bread crumbs and then deep-fried.

The most common and popular version is with beef inside. However, there are many variations with ingredients like cheese, shrimps, mashed potatoes, asparagus, veal, satay and goulash.

Kroketten are eaten all year long on a bun or as is. For dinner, it is served with fries, apple sauce and mayonnaise. For lunch, the Dutch eat two kroketten on bread with butter, mustard and salad on the side.

The kroket is a daily snack sold everywhere in the Netherlands. You can get a kroket at a snack bar, lunchroom or a restaurant.

Suggested by Cosette of Cosette is Cookin’ (Twitter)

Where to Find the Best Kroket

t Hoogt

Hours: 11 am – 9 pm

Location: Soest [Open Google Map]

Traveling around the Netherlands? Consider buying a city pass to save money and time. Here is a thorough comparison of 5 most popular Dutch tourist saving cards >>  

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15 Best Dutch Snacks & Sweets to Try in the Netherlands | #DutchFood #DutchSnacks #DutchSweet #NetherlandsTravel #TravelEurope

Dutch Sweets

5 Unmissable Things to Do in Gouda beyond Cheese Market | 2. Stroopwafels | #Gouda #DutchCheeseMarket #theNetherlandsTravel #TravelEurope

#8. Stroopwafels 

A Stroopwafel, or siroopwafel, is a thin waffle cookie filled with caramel filling. It is believed to be originated from Gouda.

This iconic Dutch treat is the tastiest when freshly made. So if you see it on the street, grab the opportunity to taste it on the spot. It would be difficult to resist the aroma anyways.

Once you taste it, you will want to bring some home. As stroopwafels can be easily crumbled inside the luggage, choosing one in a tin box is recommended. The tin box can be a souvenir after consuming cookies inside; it usually mimics a Delftware with the illustrations of the most unique Dutch things such as tulips and windmills.

When you enjoy this famous Dutch cookie at home, don’t forget to place it on a hot coffee or tea for a minute. The hot steam melts the caramel filling, and you get yourself a yummy treat. This is the way the Dutch do it!

You will find stroopwafels all around the country. If you travel to Gouda, you may want to visit Stroopwafel Factory; the admission comes with free tasting. Or, treat yourself to a freshly baked one at Rudy’s Original Stroopwafels at Albert Guyp Market in Amsterdam.

Suggested by Me of Chloe’s Travelogue

Where to Find the Best Stroopwafels

Rudy’s Original Stroopwafels

Hours: 9 am – 5 pm (Closed on Sunday) 

Location: Albert Cuyp Market [Open Google Map]

15 Best Dutch Snacks & Sweets to Try in the Netherlands - Poffertjes | #DutchFood #DutchSnacks #DutchSweet #NetherlandsTravel #TravelEurope

A plate of poffertjes with jams | Image by Wandering Bird

#9. Poffertjes

If you’re heading to the Netherlands, you must must MUST try Poffertjes at least once while you’re there.

Possibly twice.

Traditionally, they were used in Dutch churches for weekly communion. During the French Revolution, they had a shortage of wheat flour, so they substituted it with buckwheat flour, resulting in these mini marvels.

These mini dutch pancakes are popular street food today and are prevalent at events or celebrations. Watching the vendors make them is entertainment all in itself.

Made in a special dimpled pan, they’re light and fluffy mouthfuls. They are typically served warm with melted butter and covered in icing sugar. You can also get them with jam, honey, maple syrup and even Nutella.

You can find these all over the Netherlands, particularly in the main tourist areas. But if you’re driving or motorhoming in the Netherlands, you can even buy your own pan and try making them yourself. They’re not as difficult to make as they might seem. Watching the batter puff up to become mini pancakes is so satisfying.

Suggested By Kathryn Bird of Wandering Bird

Where to Find the Best Poffertjes

Albert Cuyp Market

Hours: 9 am – 5 pm (Closed on Sunday) 

Location: Amsterdam [Open Google Map]

15 Best Dutch Snacks & Sweets to Try in the Netherlands - Appeltaart (Dutch Apple Pie) | #DutchFood #DutchSnacks #DutchSweet #NetherlandsTravel #TravelEurope

Dutch Apple Pie at Winkel | Image by Girl with the Passport

#10. Appeltaart (Dutch Apple Pie)

Looking for delicious food that you absolutely must try while in the Netherlands? If so, order some Dutch Apple Pie.

It’s locally known as appeltaart. It differs from other versions of apple pie in that pies are typically quite tall and made with a brown sugar shortcrust pastry and then filled with cinnamon apples. Sometimes raisins may even sneak their way in there.

Always take your appeltaart with slagroom (whipped cream) on top! It tastes perfect when ordered with a steaming cup of koffie verkeerd (coffee with milk/latte).

Appletaarts can be found all throughout the Netherlands. But one place that you absolutely have to go to get some apple pie in the Netherlands is Winkle 43.

Winkle 43 is truly one of Amsterdam’s hidden gems. It is a vibrant eatery known for its delicious apple pie, which is served with a giant dollop of fresh whipped cream. It’s also filled with cooked apples. And its light, flakey crust is truly divine.

Suggested By Kelly of Girl with the Passport

Where to Find the Best Dutch Apple Pie

Winkle 43

Hours: Mon: 7 am – 1 am | Tues – Thurs: 8 am – 1 am | Fri: 8 am – 3 am | Sat: 7 am – 3 am | Sun: 9 am – 1 am

Location: [Open Google Map]

15 Best Dutch Snacks & Sweets to Try in the Netherlands - Limburgse Vlaai | #DutchFood #DutchSnacks #DutchSweet #NetherlandsTravel #TravelEurope

Limburgse Vlaai | Image by Exploring the Netherlands

#11. Limburgse Vlaai 

One of the most famous traditional Dutch sweet treats is the Limburgse vlaai, a local specialty from the Southern Province of Limburg. It can be called a Limburgse vlaai, only if the whole pie with the filling is baked all together.

Limburgse vlaai is a type of pie made of yeast dough and filling. Popular fillings include cherries (kersenvlaai), apricots (abrikozenvlaai), plums (pruimenvlaai), and gooseberries (kruisbessenvlaai). The fruit vlaais are covered with a lattice top.

There are other variations of the vlaai. The rice pudding vlaai (rijstevlaai) is topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. The custard vlaai (kruimelvlaai) is topped with crumbled butter and sugar mix. And there is also the linzenvlaai – a sweet dough pie with apricot jam.

The vlaai was first mentioned in the 12th century as a traditional pastry in Belgian Limburg; however, its roots can be traced back to South Germany. It used to be baked for special occasions in traditional bakehouses.

Today, it is still the most popular treat at birthday parties. You can find vlaai everywhere in Limburg (both in the Dutch and the Belgian regions) and in major supermarkets throughout the country.

Traditional bakeries in each city and town in Limburg have the vlaai made with the recipes passed from one generation to the next. To taste this special recipe in Maastricht, the capital city of Limburg Province, stop by one of the two most famous bakeries: Bakkerij Mathieu Hermans or Bakkerij De Bischopsmolen.

Suggested by Daniela Koleva of Exploring the Netherlands 

Where to Find the Best Limburgse Vlaai

Bakkerij Mathieu Hermans 

Hours: Tues – Wed & Sat: 8 am – 4 pm | Thurs – Fri: 8 am – 5 pm | Sun: 9 am – 12:30 pm (Closed on Mondays)

Location: [Open Google Map]

Bakkerij De Bischopsmolen 

Hours: Tues – Sat: 8:30 am – 5 pm | Sun: 9 am – 5 pm (Closed on Mondays)

Location: [Open Google Map]

15 Best Dutch Snacks & Sweets to Try in the Netherlands - Oliebollen (Dutch Donuts) | #DutchFood #DutchSnacks #DutchSweet #NetherlandsTravel #TravelEurope

Oliebollen | Image by KarsTravels

#12. Oliebollen

Oliebollen (literally translated to “oil balls”) are deep-fried dough balls that can be stuffed with currants, raisins and chopped apples.

The batter usually contains flour, milk or water, yeast, sugar and salt. Eggs can be added, and yeast can be replaced with beer. Balls are scooped from the batter and then deep-fried in sunflower oil. They are served with powdered sugar.

An oliebol tastes like a donut, although less sweet. The inside of the ball has a sponge-like structure, so it has more texture yet is less dense than a donut. Also, it tastes a bit heavy yet not too fat.

Oliebollen are typically eaten on New Year’s Eve in the Netherlands. Usually, people make their own oliebollen on December 31st and share them with family, friends, and neighbors in the evening.

Bakeries, grocery stores and gebakkramen (pastry stalls) also sell them. The gebakkramen pop up in November everywhere in the city centers; they are in business until January.

Besides oliebollen, try other festive snacks such as berliner bolls, apple beignets and other kinds of beignets.

Suggested By Cosette of KarsTravels (Pinterest)

Where to Find the Best Oliebollen

BROOD&KO 

Hours: Mon -Fri 8 am – 6 pm | Sat 7:45 am – 4 pm

Location: Bodegraven [Open Google Map]

 

Hollandse Gebakkraam Marie Heinekenplein

Hours: 12-10 pm

Location: Amsterdam [Open Google Map]

15 Best Dutch Snacks & Sweets to Try in the Netherlands - Hagelslag (Chocolate Sprinkles) | #DutchFood #DutchSnacks #DutchSweet #NetherlandsTravel #TravelEurope

Hagelslag | Image by The Best Travel Gifts

#13. Hagelslag (Chocolate Sprinkles)

If you’ve ever lived or worked with any Dutch, you may have noticed that they love bread. And particularly thin loaf slices with typical Dutch toppings, such as Hagelslag. Dutch people can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

So if you are looking for the most popular Dutch food to try, you should go for a slice of bread with Hagelslag!

Hagelslag is basically just tiny chocolate sprinkles. All you need to add is some butter to make the sprinkles stay on your bread.

Typically, you will not find bread and Hagelslag on the menu in Dutch restaurants or cafés because Dutch people just eat Hagelslag at home. The good news is that you can find Hagelslag in literally every supermarket in The Netherlands.

Just head to the bread toppings section, and you will find many different Hagelslag brands and variations (dark chocolate, white chocolate, anise sprinkles, or larger sprinkles called vlokken). Buy some butter and a loaf of bread. Then, you can have yourself a typical Dutch breakfast or lunch.

And once you’ve tasted the sweetness of Hagelslag, you will surely want to bring some Hagelslag as a Dutch gift or souvenir home!

Suggested by Lara Hartog of The Best Travel Gifts

Where to Find the Best Hagelslag 

Check out any supermarkets like Albert Heijn around the country. Albert Heijn has its own brand. Some other popular brands include Venz and De Ruijter.

15 Best Dutch Snacks & Sweets to Try in the Netherlands - Gevulde Koeken (Almond Cookie) | #DutchFood #DutchSnacks #DutchSweet #NetherlandsTravel #TravelEurope

#14. Gevulde Koeken (Almond Cookie)

Crave for a delicious Dutch snack? Check out some gevulde koeken. 

Gevulde koeken are usually made with a sweet butter dough. These cakes are around 10cm wide and perfect for on-the-go munch. 

It’s not the healthiest cake, as each one traditionally has up to 3 spoons of butter and more sugar than you can weigh. But don’t let that put you off, as they are also very delicious! 

The outside of the gevulde koek is covered in egg, which makes the cookie more crunchy and glossy. The inside is stuffed with an almond filling. Lastly, adding an almond on top makes all ingredients come together nicely.  

You can quickly grab gevulde koek on the go in supermarkets, train station kiosks and local gas stations. That’s because the Dutch eat it on their way to somewhere on the train. Enjoy it over a cup of coffee for the best tasting experience. 

Suggested by Zoe of Together in Transit

Where to Find the Best Gevulde Koeken

Find it at supermarkets, train station kiosks or gas stations.

15 Best Dutch Snacks & Sweets to Try in the Netherlands - Dropjes | #DutchFood #DutchSnacks #DutchSweet #NetherlandsTravel #TravelEurope

Dropjes | Image by Amy Mitchell via Adobe Stock

#15. Dropjes 

Dropjes, or drop, is Dutch licorice so popular that you can find it in many stores, supermarkets and at the airports in the Netherlands.

Perhaps the biggest surprise for those expecting licorice to be a sweet treat is that this peculiarly Dutch treat is often salty. Honestly, it is an acquired taste that some love, but others might never get used to it.

Drop originated as a cough remedy sold in pharmacies. And people became used to the taste. Even today, many Dutch folks will reach for a packet of a drop when they have a sore throat!

Typically, the licorice is black. But today, it comes in all shapes and sizes; you can find a variety of tastes and textures, even sweet varieties which appeal to a broader market. Most dropjes will be soft and sweet, hard and sweet, soft and salty, or hard and salty.

Good to KnowZout means salty, whereas zoet means sweet. These Dutch words sound very similar yet make a huge difference in taste!

If you love the idea of salty licorice treats, look out for oceaandrop in sea creature shapes. For extra salty, check out the infamous dubbel zout marked with a DZ!

For those with a sweet tooth, try apekoppen (monkey’s head) instead.

Suggested by Coralie of Grey Globetrotters 

Where to Find the Best Dropjes

Check out any supermarkets like Albert Heijn around the country.

Where to Eat Dutch Food in Amsterdam

You know how easy it is to fall into the tourist traps. If you need help from local experts to find Dutch food in Amsterdam for locals, here are some food tasting tours you can join.

>> Amsterdam Food Tasting Tour of Jordan: Sample a whopping 13 dishes non-stop during a 3.5-hour tour

>> Amsterdam Red Light District & Food Tour: Tour the Red Light District in a private group and learn about the Dutch food culture. Taste 3 Dutch snacks.

>> Amsterdam Private Food Walking Tour: Enjoy a guided walking tour in the heart of Amsterdam and taste local snacks. 

>> Amsterdam Walking Food Tour: Rain or Shine, meet other travelers to taste the most quintessential Dutch delicacies together.

Where to Go Next in the Netherlands

>> Amsterdam Itinerary for the First-time Visitors: Explore the charming, liberal Dutch capital in just 4 days

>> 5 Best Amsterdam Museums

>> Rotterdam: A hip, modern city with funky architecture

>> Delft: Imbibe in artisan Delftware and Vermeer’s masterpieces like The Girl with a Pearl Earring

>> Utrecht: Visit Europe’s Most Beautiful Canal City with a 2,000-year history

>> De Haar Castle: The largest castle in the Netherlands with rich history, lavish decor and well-groomed gardens

>> Gouda: The most famous Dutch cheese city, but more than just a cheese market

Bon Voyage!

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