Travel Tips: What To Eat In Amsterdam
Pannenkoeken: Dutch pancakes are replicated (to little success) around the world for a reason. Thinner than American pancakes and thicker than crêpes, these plate-sized pancakes are treated like pizzas with many toppings (bacon, apples, raisins, cheeses, etc.). The plain ones, though more rare, are eaten with powdered sugar or a simple syrup.
Poffertjes: These miniature, fluffier pancakes are made with buckwheat flour and yeast and topped with butter and powdered sugar. They’re served on a white paper plate the size of your hand with a miniature fork and are most easily found in the fall and winter from any street vendor. They can also be eaten with syrup, whipped cream, or fruit topping (strawberries) if you’re looking for something a little more decadent.
Kaas: Dutch cheese cannot be missed while you’re in the city. Gouda and Edam are the most well-known (and so much better fresh) but there are many other varieties of hard cheeses that the Dutch produce. The easiest way to taste several of them without buying a block of each is to sample some at one of the farmers’ street markets on Saturdays.
Appeltaart: This is the apple pie that outshines all other apple pies. This is what apple pie is meant to taste like. It’s deeper than American pie and relies on the huge chunks of apple, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar, and rum (or brandy) for flavor. It isn’t syrupy or runny, but rather dry (in the best way), and seems more akin to eating a crust-covered apple than a typical pie.
Kroket: These fried cylinders are stuffed with ragout (read: gooey stuff) made from beef, veal, chicken satay, shrimp, or even a vegetarian mess. They’re meant as a snack, but quickly turn into a meal when placed on the bread/buns and smothered in mustard. (more…)
Final Thoughts: Amsterdam
Amsterdam has a rich culture that is relaxed and artistic. It is as progressive and green as expected, but the historical aspects of the city are more intriguing and occasionally surprising. (more…)
Amsterdam: Do or Don’t
DO use public trams if you’re staying outside the city. They’re fast, clean, and have easy-to-understand maps/scrolling lists to find your stop and to follow along with which stops are coming up next.
DON’T get caught up in the tourists’ Amsterdam you’ve heard about (the pot, the Red Light District, etc.) without also exploring the city for its art, architecture, and history.
DO wander the major squares, like Rembrandtplein, in the mornings or later afternoons after the crowds have cleared.
DON’T ignore the alleyways. Use them between major crossways; there are dozens of cafés, butchers, delicatessens, and art shops that you would otherwise miss.
DO check when museums, cafes, and restaurants are open before heading out for the day. Some of them are only open certain days while others close mid-afternoon. You don’t want to miss out on a place you really wanted to go because they closed an hour before you got there. (more…)