Street food snacks to try when you’re really, really hungry in Amsterdam
Is it just you or are those canal houses starting to look a little wonkier than before? It is 4.20pm after all, and you’ve been riding around Vondelpark for the best part of the morning, knocking back frothies at Heineken Museum, and are thoroughly Van Gough-ed out after your visit to Rijksmusem. Or maybe it was that coffee shop stop earlier… Either way, you’re exhausted and you're famished. Luckily, you've come to the right city.
The likes of Naples and Istanbul may get all the glory when it comes to street food in Europe (Foldable pizza! Falafel!), but their Netherlands neighbour holds its own in the snack department – especially the bite-size, deep-fried kind – whenever the munchies... I mean, cravings... strike.
Maccas fries have nothing on the Dutch variety. Known as frites to the uninitiated, Dutch fries come double fried, smothered in sauce and served in a cone (because of course they do). Go Dutch with mayo and curried ketchup, as well as some raw white onion if you’re not planning on smooching anyone afterwards.
Sandwiches are the benchmark on which a country’s culinary canon is judged, and the Dutch version doesn’t disappoint. Try broodjes from Benny’s Chicken at Albert Cuyp Market in the cool-kid suburb of De Pijp. This popular market stall does a roaring trade in marinated chicken to eat on the go, and their signature broodjes is a crispy baguette stuffed with satay-like chicken covered in melted cheese. Run, don’t walk, people.
With a seriously crispy exterior housing a gooey mix of cheesey beef ragu, bitterballen are next-level drinking snacks. Served with a side of mustard for dipping, you’ll find bitterballen at almost every local eatery and any good bar that serves food.
Not every baked good served in Amsterdam is made with the ol' wacky backy. Stroopwafel, cinnamon-scented waffles glued together by a syrupy caramel centre, is the g-rated sweet treat that will get you through any long day of sightseeing. You can buy them in almost every souvenir shop, but they’ll be fresher (read: warm and gooey) from a street vendor.
One for those with more adventurous taste buds, pickled herring is a delicacy found all over the city. The fish is frozen, laid in salt to ferment and then eaten by hungry hoards with pickles and white onion (seriously, again with the raw onion). Eating it is a real art form; pick up its tail and drop it into your mouth in one swift motion, bones and all. Be sure to take a photo or Boomerang as evidence, as you may not go back for seconds.
If only there was somewhere that you could get all of Amsterdam’s best savoury snacks in the one place… Oh, there is, and it’s called FEBO, aka wonderland of fried things. Fitted out with walls of vending machines that dispense hot snacks at all hours of the day, FEBO is a local institution. Join the late-night hoards with coins at the ready and take your pick from burgers, crumbed sausages (frikadel), croquettes and something called kaassouffle (melted gouda cheese in fried bread!) for the stumble home.
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