While the Netherlands is famous for tulips and cheese, there’s so much more to it. You’ll be missing out if you overlook the amazing dishes in the local food scene; it encompasses plenty of simple yet delicious Dutch snacks that are great for the road.
There are a lot of things to do in this popular European destination. As you explore the famous attractions in the Netherlands, here are some popular Dutch snacks you should try along the way.
What’s Special About The Snacks In The Netherlands?
One of the biggest attractions of Dutch snacks and treats is the wide variety of options available. Similar to traditional Dutch food and cuisine, you will also find strong Indonesian and Belgian influences within the snacks in the Netherlands.
The large selection of Dutch treats means you will almost certainly find something that you like. So go around and indulge; from fancy Dutch pastries to addictive Dutch biscuits, you might just crown a new personal favorite snack. We certainly did!
Drop (Dutch Licorice)
Drop is probably the most popular Dutch candy throughout the entire Netherlands! It’s a kind of licorice and it’s sold in almost every store and supermarket (and even airport) in this country.
You probably know licorice to be sweet, but this Dutch candy is often quite salty. Truth is not everyone gets used to this peculiar taste, and there’s a reason or origin behind it. Drop was actually first used as a remedy for cough in pharmacies, but it has grown to become popular as a regular Dutch snack as well.
There are different shapes, sizes, and flavors of licorice here so many people can find a kind they like. You can get soft drops that are really sweet, but also plenty of hard ones that are salty as well!
This is one of those love it or hate it kinda Dutch candy. Fans find it addictive, while haters absolutely cannot wrap their heads around why anyone would put that in their mouth.
Gevulde Koeken (Almond Cookies)
Another amazing Dutch snack is called gevulde koeken. These are cookies that are made from sweet butter dough and filled with a kind of almond filling. They even put an almond on top to complete the taste and classy visuals of the treat.
These Dutch biscuits are delicious to eat as a snack, but don’t say we didn’t warn you – beware of the calories! Gevulde koeken usually contains 3 spoons of butter and a lot of sugar per cookie. Although it’s not a particularly healthy snack, it certainly is delicious!
To make the Dutch treat even better, they cover the outside of a gevulde koek with egg, making it more crunchy with a glossy look. Grab one in a supermarket, the local gas station, or the kiosk of a train station if you’re craving an indulgent snack.
Stroopwafels (Caramel Syrup Waffles)
Stroopwafels is one of the most popular Dutch treats worldwide and our personal favorite! This was love at first bite and you simply cannot get enough of it. This Dutch snack consists of two thin waffles from baked butter that are glued together with a sticky syrup in the middle, called ‘stroop’.
Thanks to this caramel-like syrup, the waffles become one big cookie that’s absolutely delightful! You’ll find this Dutch candy in almost every supermarket in the Netherlands and even in airports. They make for great souvenirs and it’s often cheaper to get them in Europe than anywhere else, so you might want to stock up!
Speculaas (Spiced Biscuits)
If you love cookies, you should try one of the best Dutch biscuits called speculaas. These are cookies made with various spices giving them their distinct and sharp taste.
Speculaas are usually made with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. This Dutch treat is especially popular during November and December. Every 5th and 6th of December, the Dutch celebrate St. Nicholas Day by giving each other gifts and eating speculaas.
Dutch Street Food
Hollandse Nieuwe Haring (Dutch Herring)
One of the most popular kinds of Dutch street food is called ‘Hollandse nieuwe haring’. This is a herring that has a sour taste, which is not for everyone. However, many people truly love this Dutch snack!
Hollandse nieuwe haring is cooked with spices and apple cider vinegar – giving it its sour taste. This Dutch street food is then served with onions on top to really finish it off! If you enjoy pickled food as we do, definitely give this a try when you visit the Netherlands.
We like to pair this Dutch snack with crackers and alcohol, ideally along with a charcuterie board.
Kibbeling (Fried Battered Fish)
Kibbeling is a popular kind of Dutch street food and is something you should really try if you love fish! It’s made from cod’s cheeks and they come in a small bite-size, which is why it’s the perfect Dutch snack.
They cover the cod’s cheeks in a kind of batter and deep-fry it, after which you are left with a kind of fish version of chicken nuggets. Be careful when you are eating kibbeling though, as this Dutch food is usually very hot upon serving! And they typically look so appealing that you are tempted to just stuff one in your mouth immediately.
Patat (Belgian Fries)
Patat is the Dutch version of French fries. They are originally from the Northern region of Belgium, which is why they are also often called ‘Belgian fries’ or ‘Vlaamse friet’ in Dutch. These fries are a lot thicker than the small fries you probably know.
Patat is a really popular kind of Dutch street food and is even often consumed for dinner all throughout the Netherlands! Although it’s renowned across the entire country, many people have different names for these delicious fries. A large part of the Netherlands calls this Dutch snack ‘patat’, but many people simply refer to it as ‘frieten’ (fries) as well.
It’s one of the most popular Dutch snacks you’ll find and you can enjoy it with all kinds of sauces, like mayonnaise or ketchup for example.
Patatje Oorlog (Loaded War Fries)
Patatje oorlog is another Dutch street food that’s really popular in the Netherlands. It’s a variation of the regular patat and topped off with a kind of peanut satay-style sauce, chopped onions, and mayonnaise.
Although it’s not widely known as one of the most prominent Netherlands snacks, patatje oorlog is often made differently in various restaurants. There are some who make this with mustard, tomato sauce, and lemon as well.
Patatje oorlog directly translates to ‘war fries’, which are also known as ‘loaded fries’ since it’s topped with a whole bunch of ingredients and sauces.
Pannenkoeken (Dutch Pancakes)
If you want to try a delicious Dutch pastry, you should go for pannenkoeken! This is basically the Dutch version of American pancakes, with quite a few differences. Pannenkoeken is really thin and a lot bigger than your typical pancakes as they usually take up an entire frying pan.
Not only is this Dutch street food often eaten as a snack, but it’s popular as lunch or breakfast in Holland as well. Some locals even eat this Dutch pastry during dinnertime as a side dish with pea soup in the winter.
Pannenkoeken is usually enjoyed with powdered sugar or syrup, but you can eat it with any toppings you like. This Dutch treat also tastes amazing with apple, cheese, bacon, or spinach!
Tompouce (Puff Pastry With Cream)
Another delicious Dutch pastry is called a tompouce. It was first invented as a variation of the French Napoleon dessert and has become really popular throughout the country.
A tompouce is made from two biscuits from puff pastry, which are filled with a rich kind of cream in the middle. The top biscuit is topped off with a layer of frosting in the color pink, which is how they are usually known.
However, around King’s Day, they change the color of the frosting to orange to honor the prince and his family! You can find this Dutch pastry in pretty much every bakery and supermarket.
Appeltaart (Dutch Apple Pie)
One of the best Dutch treats you will find is the appeltaart. Basically the Dutch version of apple pie, it tastes absolutely amazing! Appeltaart is made from sliced apples with lattice pastry, which forms a perfect combination of flavor and texture!
They often serve this Dutch pastry on birthdays, but it’s so popular that you can find appeltaart in restaurants and cafes. Try your piece of appeltaart with some whipped cream or even ice cream for the ultimate indulgence!
Savory Dutch Snacks
Bitterballen (Dutch Meatballs)
Bitterballen is one of the most popular Dutch snacks you’ll find! They are often served at parties, but you can find this Dutch street food in bars and even restaurants as well if you’re looking for a nice snack in between drinks or meals.
This Dutch treat is made from finely chopped beef, which is seasoned with different spices to give it its flavor. After this, the balls of meat are coated in breadcrumbs and then deep-fried. If you ever go to the Netherlands, be sure to try this Dutch snack!
Kroket (Dutch Croquette)
Another similar yet amazing Dutch street food is the kroket. This is basically a bigger version of the bitterballen, since the fillings in both snacks are the same, only the kroket is bigger.
A kroket is made in a cylindrical shape and is not just good as a snack, but maybe even a light meal. Simply put the kroket between a bun or two slices of bread, slap on some mustard or other sauces, and enjoy a delicious Dutch treat!
Worstenbroodje (Meat Puffy Pastry)
Another one of the popular snacks in the Netherlands is a worstenbroodje. This is a meat puffy pastry and can be found in almost every supermarket in the country!
It is made with a puff pastry together with spices and eggs and then filled with a savory kind of meat that’s also seasoned with spices. You can eat this as a delicious snack, but also as a quick lunch if you’re in a hurry!
Lastly, you should totally try a Dutch snack called a bamischijf. This street food is one of the many Dutch delicacies inspired by Indonesian cuisine. The filling of a bamischijf is from the same bami as in the dish called ‘Bami Goreng’.
The noodles from the Bami Goreng are coated with breadcrumbs and then deep-fried in hot oil. A bamischijf is perfect if you’re looking for the best snack after a night of clubbing. You can also enjoy them as a side dish with patat.
Discovering Popular Dutch Snacks In The Netherlands
If you want to know more about the culture of this European country, trying the various Dutch snacks is a delicious way to start. Not only will you discover the different influences within Dutch cuisine, but also the gastronomic scene that the Netherlands is famous for.