The borrelplank is a central part of Dutch culture, combining two of the nation’s favourite pastimes - snacking and drinking. Even though we’re stuck indoors, we can still indulge in an after work treat, with the added advantage of not having to hang out with those pesky colleagues.
Our selection of build-your-own-borrelplank ideas includes a rundown of some of the city’s best wine shops, breweries and delis to order from online or pickup in store. Share a borrelplank with your household or make an extra one to deliver to a friend for your next video call together!
The Homegrown Borrel
A typical Dutch borrelplank should be loaded up with as many finger foods as you can get your hands on. The best place to start would be somewhere like Kaaskamer where you can find cheese in pretty much any form: hard, soft, fondu, or a giant wheel. They also stock a range of spicy sausages, tapenades, nuts, bread, olives, and pretty much any snack that has or could ever accompany a cheese plate.
To wash all of this down, have a beer tasting courtesy Amsterdam’s most exciting local craft breweries - check out the tasting selections from De Prael or get a mix of IPAs from Walhalla. Two Chef's are taking things one step further with their beer and cheese pairing box, so you can sample their classic and lesser-known labels like Funky Falcon, White Mamba and Howling Wolf in combination with handpicked speciality cheeses.
If you’re not thirsty for beer but want to try some other local tipples, cocktail bar Flying Dutchman's drink package features their very own jenever-based creation with dark spices. Alternatively, Wijnwinkel Bob is a specialty store showcasing wine varieties grown here on Dutch soil by small-scale producers.
The Bougie Planche
In France the borrelplank is known as a planche, and building your own is an artform in itself. Obviously you’ll need to start with bread, good bread, so pick up a couple of classic baguettes from Boulangerie Noé or Le Fournil. After that, you can’t go wrong with a decadent cheese plate courtesy of Fromagerie Kef which specialises in creamy French cheeses.
For budding sommeliers, there are many wonderful independent wine shops to order from online or go in store and pick up a few bottles. Glouglou or Vleck's cosy stores stock a range of natural wines. For a real French twist, why not stop by the Albert Cuypmarkt for some fresh oysters and charcuterie to pair with each bottle and, of course, you can order your olives (and more) from Olives & More.
If you’re going all in, many restaurants across the city are delivering small plates to perfectly compliment this style of bougie borrel. We hear the salmon tartare from Bar Bouche is heavenly or Bar Alt’s borrel package contains a handpicked selection of olives, meats and cheeses.
The Fancy Aperitivo
To add a touch of elegance to your drinking session, Amsterdam has tons of Italian delis selling some of the finest produce from across Europe. At Pekel Deli, you can find everything from sardines to prosciutto and fresh focaccia. Alternatively Gallizia and Feduzzi sell a mouthwatering range of salamis, olives cheeses and tapenades.
To go with this, play bartender for the night with a delivery of signature cocktails courtesy of Tales & Spirits or Rosalia’s Menagerie - you have the option to include glassware to make it a really fancy treat. If that doesn’t suit you, Angolo Vinoso is a wine shop specialised in the import of natural wine made by small producers, predominantly from Italy.
The Spicy Fiesta
Now let's take the key components of the borrelplank (drinks and snacks) and heat things up a bit with flavours from Central and South America. La Reinita is an Argentinian deli making the most delicious empanadas. You can choose from a range of classic and unusual fillings - think truffle and mushroom, confit duck or spicy chicken - so you might need to order a selection.
For small dishes like nachos, ceviches, salsas and guacamole, look no further than the tantalizing Latin-American inspired menu of Salmuera. Pair these with one of their signature cocktails, Mexican beers, or a flight of smoky mezcals complete with a full introduction video by their in-house Mezcalero (somebody who distills mezcal).
If that doesn’t get your taste buds tingling, nobody says margarita party better than Coba Taqueria who are offering take-away packages of their most popular cocktails as well as taco-making kits complete with out-of-this-world salsas and hand-made tortillas.
The Picnic Adventure
For those who are itching to get out of the city, why not cycle to Zaanse Schans at the weekend and bring your very own borrel picnic with you? Borrl Kitchen Deli’s borrel packages include delicious dips, crackers and charcuterie sharing plates in a convenient picnic-sized box for two. Likewise Sterk Staaltje’s boxes are crammed full of crispy baguettes, salads, tapenades, meats and cheeses - perfect to share outdoors.
If you don’t want to carry anything with you, you can always head to Lab-44 in the Zaanse Schans area to pick up some sandwiches. Be sure to stop by Brouwerij Hoop for a selection of their delicious beers to fuel your ride back.