10 Typical Dutch Foods Everyone Should Try

Girls Who Travel | 10 Typical Dutch Foods Everyone Should Try

Do you love Dutch foods? Anytime I travel there are things I miss from home. Some of these things are food. Every country and culture has it’s own specialties, and some you just can’t find as easily abroad as at home. I remember when I was in Cairns, Australia, how super stoked I was when finding a bottle of curry sauce that we love for our frikandel speciaal, but also just as a sauce with our sautéed potatoes. The bottle was crazy expensive, but still we bought it and we enjoyed every drop of it!

10 Typical Dutch Foods Everyone Should Try

Girls Who Travel | 10 Typical Dutch Foods Everyone Should Try

1. Friet with mayo or ‘Patatje oorlog’

If you saw the movie ‘Pulp Fiction’, you know all about how Dutchies eat their fries. We don’t just eat them with mayonnaise. Are you going to eat fries and you want to go one step beyond mayo? Eat them with mayonnaise, peanut-sauce and, if you like, chopped onions. The combination of those hot and crispy fries with the cold mayonnaise, the hot peanut-sauce and of course the crunchy onions makes it such a delicious combo. It will be one big mess in your ‘zak patat’ or on your plate, and you need a napkin afterward, but it’s worth it! This is one of my favorite Dutch foods.

2. Drop

Did you know that a Dutch person eats an average of 2 kilos of licorice a year? You either love or hate it Dutch licorice . When you visit the Netherlands you will find a huge variety of it on the shelves in any grocery store. To keep things short, you can sort drop in 4 kinds. Soft and sweet, hard and sweet, soft and salty, hard and salty. The last type is probably what you associate with Dutch licorice. ‘Zoute drop’ is flavored with a special ingredient called salmiak. That is the one people love or hate. I’m a sucker for salmiak drop, very tasty on a hot summer day. Never had it before? Definitely give it a try.

3. Stamppot

Girls Who Travel | 10 Typical Dutch Foods Everyone Should Try

In the Netherlands we love our potatoes. They are one of the favorite Dutch foods. We are well known for ‘stampen’ and ‘prakken’ of potatoes. This can be easily translated: we love to mash this root vegetable.


A dish with a long history in traditional Dutch cuisine is ‘Hutspot’. It’s boiled and mashed potatoes with carrots and onions.


Another one that is a favourite in winter is replacing the vegetables from the Hutspot with sauerkraut and you have ‘Zuurkoolstampot’.


For those who think kale is a ‘new’ superfood … forget it! It has been one of the favorite Dutch foods for decades already. If you boil kale with the same potatoes as there are in the two other recipes you have ‘Boerenkoolstampot’. Do you want to finish it off as a real Dutch person? Add a rookworst, preferably the one from HEMA.

Modern Stamppotten

Nowadays you can find more modern stamppotten. It can include sweet potato and feta, or potatoes, broccoli, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and mustard. The last one is one of my favourites. Also the rookworst went through a transformation, now you can find it from all kinds of meats and there is also a vegetarian option!

4. Stroopwafels

Girls Who Travel | 10 Typical Dutch Foods Everyone Should Try

If you are talking about Dutch foods, don’t forget to mention stroopwafels! Those who have visited a market in the Netherlands are familiar with the delicious aromas of freshly baked stroopwafels. Not only the smell of these cookies freshly made is amazing. Their flavour and the fact that they are warm makes them even more spectacular than the ones that come out of a bag. The ‘stroop’ will ooze out between the two cookies. If there is no market nearby, but you are able to get the pre-packed ones, they are wonderful with a hot beverage. Make sure that the cup you serve you drink in is smaller than the cookie. After filling your cup put the cookie on top of it. Just a little tip: don’t leave the stroopwafel there for too long. Otherwise the cookie can get soft and you don’t want it to break and fall into your freshly poured drink!

5. Snert

This one I don’t like at all. Maybe it’s because the consistency of this soup can be very thick, or maybe because I had a bowl of snert once that could definitely not be classified as delicious. I have to say that it’s one of the favourites of some of my friends abroad. It’s Dutch pea-soup. It’s mainly served with pieces of rookworst. It’s a very hardy soup that you eat on a cold winter day.

6. Haring

Girls Who Travel | 10 Typical Dutch Foods Everyone Should Try

We all know the images in the Netherlands holding some kind of raw fish above their mouth. It’s called haring, a fish commonly found of in the ‘Northern North Sea’. You can eat haring on it’s own, but many people eat it with raw onions and pickles. Other people really like it on white bread. I like my haring best when it’s ‘Hollandse Nieuwe’ season. That is how we call the period between mid May and the middle of July.

7. Boterham met hagelslag

Girls Who Travel | 10 Typical Dutch Foods Everyone Should Try

Chocolate sprinkles aren’t just one of the best toppings on ice-cream. Actually, it’s an essential part of Dutch foods for breakfast. You may think: chocolate for breakfast? Yes, that is correct! A piece of bread with ‘hagelslag’, as we call the sprinkles here, is very common for breakfast and lunch in Dutch households. Do you want even more chocolate? There are also vlokken. They are thicker chocolate pieces. And we don’t just put chocolate on bread. We put all sort of sprinkles on it. Check out the website of De Ruijter. They are one of the most famous suppliers of sprinkles in the Netherlands, since 1860 to be exact! We even have special sprinkles to celebrate the birthday of a baby. The Dutch love their ‘hagelslag’.

8. Bitterballen or kroketten

When you visit the Netherlands and are looking for Dutch foods, don’t miss out on these warm treats: bitterballen en kroketten. The breaded and fried snacks are usually filled with a meat stew. Although nowadays you can fill bitterballen and kroketten with everything. The cheese filled ones are very popular.

Don’t let the name ‘Bitterballen’ misslead you. They aren’t bitter. The name comes from the fact that originally bitterballen were enjoyed while drinking a ‘bittertje’, a dutch kind of liquor. Nowadays we eat bitterballen with all sorts of beverages.

9. Kaas

When you think of Dutch foods, cheese always comes to mind. Gouda, Edam, Maasdam, Leerdammer en Old Amsterdam. Yes, some of these are towns in the Netherlands, but they are mainly well known as types of Dutch cheeses. I don’t think that this dairy product needs any introduction. Did you know that every Dutch person eats 14,3 kilos of cheese a year? The Netherlands produce 650 million kilos of cheese annually. No wonder that my country has the reputation of being the cheese country of the world. Beside cow cheese you are also able to find sheep and goat cheese in the Netherlands. I personally really like the last one, especially aged goat cheese. Do you love Dutch cheeses? When you visit the Netherlands make sure to experience one of the cheese markets in Gouda, Edam, or Alkmaar.

10. Poffertjes

Do you like pancakes? If you like Dutch foods, you should try ‘poffertjes met poedersuiker’. Poffertjes are a real dutch treat. They are small fluffy pancakes normally eaten with powdered sugar and butter, mainly a festive treat on markets and festivals. It’s very cool to see how the maker prepares fresh poffertjes for their customers .

Would you like to try poffertjes, but can’t you find any fresh ones? Almost all supermarkets in the country sell ready-made poffertjes that only need to be warmed in a microwave. They also sell baking mixes to make fresh poffertjes, but for making them at home you need a special poffertjes pan.

Are you craving any Dutch foods at the moment? All around the world you can find food stores that offer foods from other countries. If you can’t find them in any store nearby, check out the internet! It’s full with suppliers of national and international food. When you can’t travel to the Netherlands, the country’s favourite Dutch foods will come to you! What food items do you miss when you are abroad?

Click here to listen to Away She Goes, the Girls Who Travel podcast. On this episode: recreating your favorite meals at home.

Martine Muis

Martine is from the Netherlands. Six months of the year she travels with her husband who works on a cruise ship. When she isn’t exploring new places she loves to read, write postcards, and crochet. You can follow her on Instagram as @martinemuis, on her blog, or watch her video's on youtube.

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