“Street Food,” Amsterdam


Eating on the go is a necessity when you only have a few days in a city with so much to see… thankfully, Amsterdam is extremely accommodating with all of its terrific “street food.” If you are into herring, which I am not particularly fond of, there are several herring stalls all over the city. The month of May also means street3the arrival of the “fresh” herring and it’s a big deal for the locals, but I just couldn’t get into it. It tasted a bit like slightly going off fish with the blood clearly visible. I eat raw fish, lots of different sushi in fact, but the herring was not so easy. Served with pickles and onions, I suspect this is an acquired taste for most non-Northern Europeans. The pickled herring is a bit more palatable but still unusual for my palate…

Also available in many places are spectacularly good French fries that are sold in enormous street1cones and topped with rich mayonnaise. These do not appear to be as uniform as the pre-packaged nearly perfect American French fries you get at McDonalds or in the groceries (don’t get me wrong, I love those too) but rather more substantial cuts of potatoes. Deep fried to perfection, they are once crispy, soft, heavy and rich all at the same time. My wife, daughter and I would share a massive cone of fries and would have trouble finishing them all. And eating hot hot fries in near freezing weather is a pretty interesting experience on its own…

For dessert, there were several folks offering fresh street4strawberries with cream in generous clear plastic cups. They were likewise superb. Although the berries are grown locally, they must be greenhouse raised as the 35 degree F temperature outdoors meant it was too early to be coming from any farm fields. Nevertheless, as far as greenhouse berries go, these were extremely sweet and juicy. A single serving with excellent whipped cream on top was 2.50 Euro (PHP150!) but well worth it. I could easily eat two cups of this in one go…

Another local favorite are pancakes and waffles topped with street2all kinds of stuff like chocolate sauce, nuts, jams and cream. I took a photo of this pancake/waffle place on Queen’s day and we had intended to give it a try but when we returned later in the day it was jam-packed and we decided to keep walking… Oddly, during Queen’s day, there were several stands selling “American Hotdogs” and we had some of those…they were good and in addition to the hotdog, they had terrific toppings like fried onions, sauerkraut, onions, mustards, etc. Overall, street food in Amsterdam was pretty good!


12 Responses

  1. The European “street food” I’m dying to try but have never come across in real life are their deep fried chocolate bars!

  2. Deep-fried chocolate bars…yummm, sounds sinful XD Aren’t they supposed to be sold in those fish-and-chips stores?

    The fries look sooooo yummy, MM! I’m getting hungry just reading this post =9

  3. Market Man. Thank you for the pictures of Dutch Street Food. Pickled herring really is crazy. Some of them are so pickled. . you can just die eating them. Images of their “cold buffets” float into mind.

    Strawberries and cream! Lovely.

    BTW, you said: “they must be greenhouse raised as the 35 degree Celsius temperature outdoors meant it was too early to be coming from any farm fields”.

    is it really 35 degrees Celsius outdoors? I’d think you’d mean Fahrenheit but isn’t that also mind-chompingly too cold naman?

  4. I’m not sure if Amsterdam has it, but there are kiosks in some Dutch cities which sell Vietnamese food but when you see the menu, they have “loempia” and “piangsit” on the list. It could have been us, you know.

    And one more thing, if you ask them what restaurant serves great Dutch food, they will tell you “Dutch food? What is that?” Turns out that Dutch food is what I eat at the office cafeteria: brood en soep.

    And pickled herring too.

  5. wysgal, if you want deep fried chocolate bars, go to Scotland…. i haven’t been there, but it’s always feautured in travel/cook/chat shows here, they say that they deep fried almost everything….i remember Anthony Bourdain having one in his ” A Cook’s Tour” show……and yes they’re sold in fish and chips shops…..

  6. Those fries look good! However, since I’m not a huge fan of mayonnaise, I could do without it.

  7. fabian, you got me with the typo, I meant 35 degrees fahrenheit. It was wickedly cold on two days in Amsterdam, nearly froze our butts off… Barcelona was warmer and Florence is in between, though we woke up to the most spectacular HAIL SHOWER yesterday morning… Geez, how come I have never heard of fried chocolate bars? Carlo, I prefer ketchup with my fries too. Though a sprinkling of vinegar and lots of salt ain’t bad either!

  8. Marketman, you are getting nearer and nearer to the Jersey Strawberries and Jersey cream! Go accross to Paris, then take the TGV to St Malo, then a boat ride to Jersey!

    Btw, i found some clams in the market today but i will wait to buy them on Saturday so i can cook them fresh… can’t wait!

  9. love those fries and strawberries and cream. not too crazy about those herrings though.

  10. Deep-fried chocolate bars, deep-fried oreo cookies–sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar after they come out of the deep-fryer–are sold at various food stalls on the beachfronts and boardwalks of the U.S.A. I tried some out of curiosity, and thought…hmm…I’d much rather have those fat french fries from Amsterdam. At least those are more worth the calories.

  11. you should go find “siroop” or “stroop” waffles. thin, wafer-like waffles with cramel pressed into the center. they are only about 4 inches in diameter and often sold with hot coffee or tea. you put them over your hot cup to soften.

  12. Ah, great to see your site – we just returned from Amsterdam and were searching for great reminders of our trip. My husband REALLY got into the herring – we had to stop at every herring stand we saw. My fav. was the Poffertjes with gran marnier – YUMMY – can’t find those in the states. I’m searching for recipes and how to find a poffertjes pan! Also, with the french fries, it’s a different kind of mayonnaise – not like we have here in the states – it’s a little sweeter and a PERFECT complement to the crispy fries.



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