MTV NOM: Eat Your Way Around Amsterdam
This was amazing...
Amster-Dayum, we love this city! If the way to your heart is through your stomach, let’s just say you’ll fall head over heels with Amsterdam.
We met up with the fabulous folks at Eating Amsterdam Food Tours and our entertaining guide Rudolph helped us stuff our faces with the city’s best dishes during a four hour Jordaan Food & Canals Tour (aka heaven). We munched on everything from traditional Dutch Stroopwaffel (scrummy caramel waffle biscuits) and Ossenworst (cold smoked beef sausage) to Gouda, beer and popular international cuisines. Nom. Nom. NOM.
Here’s our roundup of the best things to do in Amsterdam - which mostly involved chowing down on delicious Dutch food:
Scoff some Dutch Appeltaart
Apple pie packed with cinnamon-y goodness and an amazing thick crust. Apparently, when Bill Clinton tried a slice at Cafe Papeneiland, he ended up ordering a whole pie to take home! Good plan.
Have your Fill of Bitterballen
These are basically fried gravy balls - horribly unhealthy but amazingly delicious. To eat them like a local, dunk them in mustard. Spoiler: you (almost certainly) will burn your tongue.
Try Surinamese Food
Suriname used to be a Dutch colony so many people moved to Holland when the country gained its independence. This is why you’ll come across lots of Surinamese food (like satay chicken) in Amsterdam - and it’s a must try.
Eat Raw Herring
Let’s just say we were looking forward to this stop on our food tour the least - but raw herring (or ‘haring’) wasn’t nearly as bad as we were expecting. It’s been eaten here for over 600 years - so strap on a pair and try it at least once.
If you don’t fancy it raw, try ‘kibbeling’ - which is a bit like British fish and chips (but served without chips). The Dutch say it’s better as it’s less greasy - we wouldn’t go that far (mmm… fish and chips!) but it was tasty!
Down a Shot of Tulip Vodka
A hidden gem: most locals don’t even know about tulip vodka but, when we had a shot to wash down our haring, it definitely packs a punch!
Poffertjes, we’ve decided, are basically the definition of food porn: mini, puffed pancakes covered in butter and icing sugar. Little bites of heaven! We, of course, inhaled the lot!
Know where to go for ‘the perfect burger’
Listen up because you’re about to hear one of Amsterdam’s biggest secrets: Bar Brasserie OCCO at the Dylan Hotel has launched a very special off the menu burger, which they claim is ‘the ‘perfect burger’. It took two years to perfect the recipe and is only served medium rare with onion and pickle. No sides, no sauces, no extras; just burger (well, maybe a beer to wash it down). Juicy, delicious and not too greasy.
But here’s the twist - you won’t find it on the menu so you have to be in the know to reserve a coveted spot. They serve 12 burgers (no more, no less) at the bar at 6.30pm on Tuesdays - book in advance or you have no chance of tasting what could be the best burger of your life.
Now, to burn off some of those calories…
Hire a bicycle
Amsterdam is one of the most cycling-friendly cities in the world. In fact, the city has more bikes than people! So, for an authentic way to see the city, hop on your bike (to burn off those poffertjes) and get exploring.
Check out a museum or gallery
For a dose of culture, head to Museumplein where you’ll find the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art. Don’t underestimate the value of a tour guide, like Amsterdan Art Tours, who can fill you in on all the facts you didn’t know you needed to know about the artworks.
Anne Frank’s House
“People can tell you to shut up, but they can't keep you from having an opinion”, Anne Frank wrote on 2 March 1944. Clever gal.
Anne Frank’s House - the very house where Anne and her family were in hiding for two years - is moving and thought-provoking. See the rooms as they were when Anne and her family lived there and learn more about this incredible teenager whose diary made her famous. Top tip: book your tickets online in advance.
Cruise the canals
Amsterdam - sometimes known as “Venice of the North” - has over 100km of canals and over 1,500 bridges! It’s impossible to miss them but, rather than just wandering along them, the best way to see the city is to take a canal cruise.
There are loads of different tours to choose from but, with Eating Amsterdam, we cruised along on a historic saloon boat while eating local cheese, meats and bitterballen and washing it down with a bottle of Dutch beer. Not. Bloody. Bad!
The Red Light District & Museum of Prostitution
It’s a given you’ll probably wander around the famous Red Light District. But if you’re curious about what really goes on behind the curtain (How many prostitutes are there in Amsterdam? How much do they charge? Do they pay taxes?), the Museum of Prostitution is a real eye opener. There’s even a ‘Confessions’ section at the end where visitors share their own erotic secrets!
Try an Indonesian rice table
In Amsterdam, Indonesian food is as popular as Indian curries are in the UK. If you’re not familiar with Indonesian dishes, give the ‘rijsttafel’ (rice table) a try - they’ll bring out a load of different dishes, you’ll probably have no idea what most of them are but they’ll all be delicious.
Visit a coffee shop
More than a quarter of the 4.5 million tourists who visit Amsterdam, go to a coffee shop - where you can legally buy marijuana, hashish and space cakes. Would you be one of them?
Visit the world’s only floating flower market
Brighten up your Insta feed with the stunning colours of Amsterdam’s Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market). Beaut!
Now, to end with a very different type of restaurant. At Van Kerkwijk, there’s no menu. Staff talk you through that day’s specials at your table and you choose on the spot. Awesome!
MTV Travelled With… Eating Europe Tours, who offer a 4-hour Jordaan Food & Canal Tour and The Dylan Amsterdam, a stylish and intimate boutique hotel which offers its guests sensational personal service. Rooms start from £261 per room per night based on two people sharing a double room including tax. For further information on The Dylan, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +31 20 530 2010 to book.