Raw Herring aka Hollandse Nieuwe
A traditional dish and one my grandfather used to love, I knew I had to try the herring. I was nervous, as I always am for some reason before putting a hunk of raw fish in my mouth, especially not disguised in rice or with sauce on top. I am so glad I pushed through my trepidation, because it was ridiculously delicious. I was actually shocked about how fresh it was and how it didn’t taste fishy at all. Just a bit pickley and topped with copious amounts of pungently yummy onions. What an awesome snack.
Where to try it? Nieuwmarkt Market Square, a stone throw from the beautiful Waag building [Nieuwmarkt 4, 1012 Amsterdam, The Netherlands].
Savory bites of pure delight, the Dutch are amazing at snacking. Honestly, when I ordered the dish I wasn’t exactly sure what was in it…actually, neither was our waiter! Upon further investigation we learned that these deep-fried and breaded balls are filled with a creamy, meaty (possibly beef, chicken, or veal…sometimes mushrooms) concoction. They are perfect dipped in mustard and paired with a beer.
Where to try it? Gambrinus [Ferdinand Bolstraat 180, 1072 LV Amsterdam, Netherlands] is in the De Pijp neighborhood, a really relaxed pub with indoor (ask to sit on the second floor!) and outdoor seating, super friendly wait staff, and serves a great dinner as well.
The Traditional Meal:
Moeders, Rozengracht 251, 1016 SX Amsterdam, Netherlands
The name of the restaurant is the Dutch word for mothers, so you know they’re going to take care of you in here. The walls are covered with pictures of peoples mothers, if you bring one they will put it on up as well. You’ll find traditional Dutch fare on the menu, real comfort food. You can order the Dutch Ricedish which is a combo of Dutch specialties, you can order a la carte, or you can try the three course tasting menu. I tried the three course, and everything was impeccable, starting with the complimentary hearty bread and bean spread.
I picked an assortment appetizer which blew me out of the water. A lot of items I wouldn’t normal order, but I loved trying them all together. An oyster with hollandaise sauce, a goat cheese and spinach tart, a mini open faced lox sandwich, cheese, and an open faced tuna sandwich. It was so much food, but all so yummy I cleared the plate. For the main course I went for the fish of the day with veggies which was perfect, and unbeknownst to me it came with a side of fries. This was a great surprise, because I had been hearing about how great Dutch fries with the mayo-like dipping sauce were. Extremely addictive…Dessert once again I tried the variety. Mini-curd, mini dutch pancakes aka poffertjes (which I will be discussing again in a later post), and ice cream. What an ending! I absolutely love Dutch cuisine, and I’m sure you will too if you eat here because the food is fantastic. Just make sure to call ahead for a reservation, every seat was occupied or reserved in this snug space.
I’ve tried them before in the states, and of course they’re a delectable dessert…how could two sweet waffles held together by caramel glue be anything but divine? However trying one hot off the press, oozing with warm caramel syrupy goodness is an incomparable win.
Where to try it? Albert Cuyp Market [Albert Cuypstraat, Amsterdam, The Netherlands], the largest street market in Amsterdam. You can find a variety of other traditional Dutch snacks here as well!
I love pie, and so do the Dutch. I heard that there was a best apple pie in Amsterdam, so I made a point to check it out. The verdict? Absolute excellence. A huge hunking slice of pie that was not too sweet, which I appreciate. Real hearty chunks of apple that retained their identity, a sturdy yet soft crust, and a mountain of whipped cream. I can’t imagine any detail that could have been improved upon, try the pie.
Where to try it? Winkel 43 [Noordermarkt 43, 1015 NA Amsterdam, Netherlands], a really cute little café that serves coffee in the AM and beer in the PM. I loved the energy inside at night. Come for the pie, stay for the vibe.