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From Local to Global: Amsterdam’s Diverse Delicacies

From camembert-raspberry pancakes to a special oorlog sauce for fries, Amsterdam is teeming with worthy restaurants and ready for your tastebuds. Try a traditional Dutch lunch at a cafe dating back to 1642. Later on, a vanguard pancake awaits in the trendy 9 Straatjes neighborhood. At the end of your culinary tour, you might find it even more difficult to define Dutch cuisine!


RESTAURANT GREETJE (Peperstraat 23) Serving up Dutch regional dishes in a centrally-located and historical building, Restaurant Greetje’s interior resembles an old aristocratic house. The menu is eclectic, featuring such appetizers as Frisian sugar bread, ox tail soup, and smoked eel. Main courses include zander and pork ragout. Very popular with locals and tourists alike, advance reservations are highly recommended.


PANCAKES! AMSTERDAM (Berenstraat 38) Small, intimate, and in the hip shopping area of 9 Straatjes, the variety here is what wins us over. In addition to traditional Dutch pancakes with apple and powdered sugar, there are also American pancakes with maple syrup and savory offerings such as spinach with goat cheese and camembert with raspberries.


VLEMINCKX (Voetboogstraat 33) OK, so the Dutch didn’t invent French fries (the Belgians did), but the Dutch are very passionate and skilled “friers.” Vleminckx makes the best fries in Amsterdam–hands down. Located in a small alley off Kalverstraat, this hole-in-the-wall is hard to miss as no matter what time of day it is, there is always a long line. Once at the window, simply order your fries and choose from curry, ketchup, mayonnaise, peanut sauce, or oorlog (Dutch for “war”), a combination of raw onions, mayonnaise, and peanut sauce.


TEMPO DOELOE (Utrechtestraat 75) Due to the historic connection between the Netherlands and its former colony, Indonesia, Indonesian food here is practically native cuisine. A favorite is rijsttafel, an assortment of 30 small dishes served with rice and shared by all guests at a table. There are meat, fish, and vegetables with different sauces and condiments. Popular with tourists and locals alike, it’s best to make a reservation ahead of time.


CAFÉ PAPENEILAND (Prinsengracht 2) A classic “brown café” (named for the color of the wood used to make the tables and chairs inside), this is a perfect spot to go to if you want to see a typical neighborhood café catering mainly to the people who live here. This one dates to 1642 and serves coffee, cold beverages, breakfast, lunch, snacks, and desserts. Order the appeltaart (apple-flavored puff pastry) for a classic Dutch treat. Please note that most brown cafés only accept cash.

You might also enjoy reading, “Our Favorite 17th Century Mansions Along Amsterdam’s Canals” and “Get Your Art on in Amsterdam.”

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