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Classic Dutch pea soup erwtensoep, snert closeup in the plate on the table. horizontal top view from above
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Typically Dutch foods

Dutch winter foods to eat in Amsterdam

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so slip into something elasticated and eat your way around these Dutch seasonal delights.

Snert

Classic Dutch pea soup erwtensoep, snert closeup in the plate on the table. horizontal top view from above
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Typically Dutch foods

It’s green. It’s more delicious than it looks. It’s snert. Often you’ll see it called erwtensoep or Hollandse erwtensoep but it all means the same. Snert is emblematic of Dutch winter cuisine, and it’s the ultimate winter warmer: a thick pea soup packed with onions, celery, leeks, carrots and sliced smoked sausage (rookworst), traditionally served with rye bread and smoked bacon.

Fondue

It may not have its origins in Holland, but fondue has a very special place in the hearts of all Dutchies. What could be cosier than huddling around a cauldron of hot melty cheese with a bottle of red on a winter’s night? NOTHING that’s what. There are plenty of places to get your fondue fix in Amsterdam – some favourites include Cafe Bern‘t BlaauwhooftFondue & Fondue and Café Jaap at the Jaap Eden ice rink. Or check out this guide to cheese shopping in Amsterdam to make a fondue at home. 

Stamppot

Rustic cuisine with “Boerenkool spamppot” or smoked sausage cabbage, traditional Dutch food. With a typical Dutch plate. stamppot boerenkool .
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Typically Dutch foods

Stamppot is a big lovely mess of mashed potato mushed up with other vegetables including sauerkraut, kale, spinach or turnip greens. Sometimes the potato is smashed with carrots and turnips, and then it’s called hutspot. You’ll normally find it served with a big ol’ smoked sausage or a pork chop at a traditional Dutch restaurant.

Suddervlees

Looks aren't everything. Suddervlees literally means "braised meat" which translates on the plate to a big hearty beef and ale stew. It makes absolutely no attempt to look attractive (see picture), but with its punchy combo of slow cooked meat, beer, onions and seasoning, it’s winter on a plate for many people in the Netherlands. Get it with frites to mop up all that lovely gravy.

Oliebollen

Oliebollen (which translates to "oily balls" – yum?) are so special that you can only get them for a few short winter months. Traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve, they’re essentially deep fried dough balls dusted with powdered sugar, studded with raisins and currants. Look out for the oliebollenkramen (stalls) which appear around Amsterdam in mid October, and eat as many as you possibly can before they disappear for another year.

Poffertjes

Homemade Dutch Poffertjes Pancakes with Powdered Sugar
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Typically Dutch foods

Repeat after me: "Poff-fert-jus". There, now you know how to say it, you have no excuse for not ordering trays and trays of these tiny pancakey treats while you’re in Amsterdam. Get them steaming hot from a street vendor, slathered in melty butter and powdered sugar, and devour them whole. What a time to be alive.

Dutch pancakes

Homemade Apple Dutch Pannekoek Pancake with Powdered Sugar
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Typically Dutch foods

Nice things about eating massive pancakes in winter: everything. Thankfully pancakes are as ubiquitous as bicycles in Amsterdam, so drizzle them in syrup and sugar and let the good times roll. Take a look at some of our favourite pancake houses if you’re in need of inspiration.

Chocolate letters

Go into any food store in November or early December (pre-Sinterklaas) and you will probably see lots of giant letters made from chocolate. These "chocoladeletters" are an integral Sinterklaas tradition in the Netherlands, given as gifts to reflect the first letter of the recipient’s name. It’s also absolutely fine to buy them for yourself.

Hot Chocomel

Romantic couple drinking hot chocolate on valentines day
Image from Koen Smilde

Wrapping your hands around a mug of hot chocolate milk on a winter’s day is one of life’s simple pleasures. You’ll find hot chocolade (usually the Dutch brand Chocomel) on the menus at most cafes and street markets in Amsterdam - ask for yours with a splash of rum if you want to feel a bit naughty.

Dutch apple pie (appeltaart)

Selective focus of a piece of apple pie on white plate served with whipping cream on the side, Homemade apple pie on wooden table with blurred green garden background.
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Typically Dutch foods

Holland’s national pastry comes into its own in the winter months, and there’s nothing more enjoyable than sitting on a heated terrace on a crisp winter’s day, tucking into a thick slice of freshly baked apple pie. Dutch appeltaart is a thing of wonder: with layers of sliced apple tightly packed under a layer of yummy doughy pastry. Winkel 43 and Café Papeneiland are both commonly said to have the best appeltaart in Amsterdam, but there can be only one winner – and only one way to find out.