5 Best Traditional Dutch Foods

Dutch food is so unbelievably delicious! The traditional local cuisine had been also based on fishing and farming, which centuries ago were actually the main industries. Nowadays The Netherlands are known for its delicious foods that represent a great mix of the best of traditional dishes with a modern touch. So don't miss your chance to taste its famous local beers, sweets, cheeses, etc. etc, etc. You will love it! So before you start the unforgettable trip to this wonderful country, read our guide and discover 5 best traditional Dutch foods!

1. Stamppot

Stamppot is one of the central dishes of the Dutch cuisine. It is usually cooked in winter and is made of mashed potatoes mixed with vegetables like kale or carrots and is traditionally served with rookworst (smoked sausage). This is a classic recipe, however, the dish has many variations! It can be cooked or served with slow-cooked meat, bacon, diced fried spek (a kind of bacon), green apples, stroop (treacle) or tossed with diced speck, sometimes even with curry powder, raisins or slices of pineapple or banana for giving a stamppot an exotic touch! Taste any of them at a local restaurant or even at someone's kitchen!

2. Patat

Patat is a Dutch version of frites, chips or french fries. It considered to believe that originally, french fries are coming from Belgium. However, in the neighboring Netherlands this is also an important part of the gastronomic culture. They are always served with mayonnaise and often supplement this popular treat with another fried snack on the side - frikandel or kroket, both deep-fried meaty snacks. This is a popular street food, which you can find in most of local bars as well. Taste it!

3. Bitterballen

Bitterballen are a savoury Dutch meat-based snack, typically containing a mixture of beef or veal (minced or chopped), beef broth, butter, flour for thickening, parsley, salt and pepper, resulting in a thick roux. This is a popular snack in bars that goes very well with a beer and good company! Bitterballen are usually served with a ramekin or small bowl of mustard for dipping. This is a "must eat" food if you are travelling to The Netherlands! Don't miss your chance to taste it!

4. Hollandse Nieuwe Haring

If you haven't tasted it, you haven't been to the Netherlands! Hollandse Nieuwe Haring is representing local culture and lifestyle as nothing else could do that! The raw herring fish is typically served with chopped onions, and can be eaten with or without bread. Herring should only be called Hollandse nieuwe if caught between May and July. The fish should also be prepared according to the Dutch tradition where the freshly caught fish are gutted onboard the fishing boats, leaving the pancreas in the fish. Dutch herring are traditionally eaten by holding the fish by the tail and dunking it into your mouth with your head thrown back. If that doesn't seem appealing, haring can also be eaten in bite size pieces or on a sandwich called broodje haring.

5. Stroopwafels

And finally, the sweetest part of the Dutch cuisine - Stroopwafels! A delicious chewy cookie, the stroopwafel (syrup waffle) was first made in the town of Gouda in the Netherlands during the 18th century. In fact, until 1870 stroopwafels were made only in Gouda and there were about 100 bakeries selling these treats in that city alone. Stroopwafels are made from two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel-like syrup filling in the middle. A popular way of eating stroopwafels is to put one of them of the top of your cup of tea or coffee and let the caramel inside melt a little. Mmm... it is so delicious!


Traditional Dutch dishes and foods is so original that it may seem even strange or unusual for people from different cultures. But if you travel, you should taste all of them, and make sure, they are unbelievably good!


Kate Makogon
Traveler and adventure seeker. Expert in travelling in Europe. Foodie and art lover. Can't stop wondering the beauty of this world.