Dutch food culture is more than pancakes and cheese, though these are a couple of the most well-known dishes you can find here.
The Netherlands offers a culinary experience unlike any other because of its diverse history, with all the cultures that have impacted Dutch cuisine living in relative proximity to one another.
If you’re a tourist and you want to explore the best Dutch food, check out our list of different types of Dutch food!
Bread and Baked Goods
The Dutch cuisine has more than its fair share of baked goods that are just as delicious and well-known as those you can buy at any Dutch bakery. Some of these traditional Dutch foods, such as the Appelflap and Oliebollen, have been around for over a hundred years.
Appelflappen, also known as Appelflap, is a traditional Dutch food. They are small pastries shaped into triangles so that they can easily be stored and carried with you as you go about your day.
This traditional Dutch pastry has a long history that dates back to the Middle Ages. It’s traditionally made with dough, raisins, sour apples, and powdered sugar, and then either fried or baked—both versions can be eaten for breakfast or as a snack.
Appelflap also pairs well with other Dutch foods, such as sausage rolls and cheese sticks, which are common additions to the breakfast menu.
Stroopwafel is a famous food from the Netherlands. It is a sweet pastry made by joining two thin-layered crispy waffle cookies.
A delicious sugary syrup is filled between both layers of waffles to add taste. Butter, yeast, flour, brown powdered sugar, eggs, and milk are used to make the batter for the waffles. Stroopwafel is a globally known Dutch pastry first made in Gouda, Amsterdam, back in the 19th Century.
Appeltaart is one of the most admired traditional Dutch foods. It is made by covering the honeyed apple slices with a tasty pastry lattice. You can also add cinnamon and raisins to it for taste.
Some whipped cream and a steaming cup of coffee would be a great companion to it. This popular and traditional Dutch food dates back to the middle ages.
Boterkoek is an easy-to-make soft butter cake, a delicious traditional Dutch food. Boterkoek dough is made by adding sugar and butter to the flour and adequately kneading it.
The dough is then baked till it swells into a spongy cake. You can also add almond paste or vanilla to it, depending upon your taste.
Oliebollen is a doughnut-like pastry from the Netherlands. It is also known as smoutballen. The tasty Dutch food is made by frying the raisin-filled pastry balls.
Powdered sugar is used to garnish the Oliebollen. It is a traditional food in the Netherlands, especially served with berry filling at formal events like New Year.
Paasbrood or Kerststol is a traditional loaf in the Netherlands. It is an essential part of the Dutch feast at the religious festival, Easter.
The ingredients like flour, milk, eggs, yeast, lemon juice, sugar, cardamom, butter, and raisins make Paasbrood. The traditional Easter bun is filled with delicious almond paste to increase the taste.
Tompouce, also known as Tompoes, is a famous Dutch pastry named after a dwarf stage actor Admiraal Tom Pouce, Jan Hannema’s stage name.
Making this Dutch apple pie is quite an easy task. Just take two rectangular pieces of the baked puff pastry sheet. Apply a vanilla cream layer on one crispy sheet and place the other puff sheet on it. Then spread the pink or orange glaze on top and enjoy eating it.
Dutch Snacks, Appetizers, and Finger Foods
Dutch snacks, appetizers, and finger foods are at the heart of Dutch food culture. You can’t walk far without seeing evidence of their presence.
You’ll see them in cafes on every corner, being enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea, like bitterballen or kroket.
Bamischijf is a traditional snack loved by many in the Netherlands. This Dutch appetizer is very similar to Indonesian cuisine.
Bamischijf is prepared by coating the fried noodles and vegetable balls in breadcrumbs and deep-frying them in oil. It is better enjoyed with thick sauces and ketchup.
Bitterballen is one of the most famous traditional Dutch foods, and almost all the Dutch food-lovers are in love with this savory snack.
Bitterballens are spicy beef balls coated with breadcrumbs and deep-fried in hot oil. In the Netherlands, people love to have mustard sauce with this delicious snack.
Huzaransalade is a unique yet delicious Dutch salad. It is an integral part of lunch as a delightful snack and healthy salad in the Netherlands.
Huzarensalade is also used as an additional serving along with BBQ. It’s a tasty combination of potatoes, carrots, peas, tomatoes, raw cucumbers, boiled eggs, mayonnaise, and gherkins.
Kroket is a Dutch fast food, identical to Bitterballen in taste and shape. It consists of marinated meat, potatoes, cheese, and spices.
The mixture is rolled into cylindrical shapes and coated with breadcrumbs. Then it is fried in hot oil and served with different sauces. It is usually found in snack bars and cafes.
Pepernoten, also known as Peppernuts, are irregular-shaped spicy cookies. Pepernoten is traditionally baked on the 5th of December to celebrate Sinterklaas Day. The day is associated with a saint, Nikolas.
The ingredients required to make these Dutch biscuits are flour, brown caster sugar, cold butter, salt, and gingerbread spices.
Dutch Breakfast & Lunch Foods
Every Dutch breakfast and lunch starts with one thing: bread. The Dutch diet is very different from the American diet, with a heavy emphasis on meat, cheese, and bread. The typical Dutch breakfast consists of a few slices of bread with a variety of toppings, such as peanut butter and honey or savory toppings.
Hagelslag is a mouthwatering Dutch breakfast food with quite a simple recipe. You just need to toast the bread with butter and spread some chocolate sprinkles on top and the quick breakfast is ready. Enjoy munching on it with a steaming cup of coffee.
Hagelslag is a Dutch word that means ‘hailstorm.’ It refers to its invention during a hailstorm by the director of VENCO, B.E. Dieperink.