10 Foods You Must Eat While Living in the Netherlands

Some typical Dutch 'poffertjes'

Typical Dutch Food

Although Dutch cuisine might not be the main highlight of the country, the Netherlands does have some extremely tasty food on offer. If you are looking for some traditional and popular foods to sample while living in the Netherlands, have a look at this list, print it out, and use it as a checklist while discovering some of the most popular foods of the Netherlands.


Let’s start with Bitterballen, tiny meat chunks that are a perfect companion for beer. Once you’re nice and cosy with a glass filled with golden beverage, order a portion of Bitterballen (which usually come with mustard making for an irresistible combo).

The balls are coated in breadcrumbs and filled with a mixture of chopped beef or veal, flour, butter, herbs, and spices. And if you’re vegetarian no worries, there’s also a, sometimes harder to find, vegetarian version of the crunchy delicacy.

Goudse Kaas

Goudse Kaas (Gouda cheese) is one of the most famous Dutch products; the country is the world’s second largest cheese exporter topped only by Germany. And what’s better than having some in the country where it came from? And while you are living in the Netherlands, try some other famous Dutch cheeses such as Edam, Leerdammer, or Limburger.


Literally smoked sausage, these horseshoe shaped sausages are found in the supermarket, at the butcher, and perhaps most famously at the store, Hema. Heat it up and serve it together with stamppot, hutspot, or on a bun.


Everyone likes French Fries (or chips, if you call them that way), and Patat is the Dutch version of the popular snack. The Dutch make them longer and thicker than the usual fries, and serve them with dips like ketchup, mayonnaise, or peanut sauce. But if you want to try the real deal, order a patatje oorlog; that’s a portion of fries served with a topping of mayonnaise, peanut sauce, and raw onions. Okay, it may not seem like a mouth-watering bite to have, but you’ll be surprised by how good it tastes.


If you love black liquorice, then living in the Netherlands might be the best decision you ever made! You can find “drop” (as it is called in Dutch) everywhere and in a million different versions. While there are lots of different shapes and sizes, the two main versions of drop are sweet and salty.

Hollandse Nieuwe Haring

When it comes to food, the Netherlands is famous for cheese, and for haring. And Hollandse Nieuwe Haring (Dutch new herring in English) is one of the most famous foods you can find in the country. Prepared according to the Dutch tradition and then (sometimes) served along with chopped raw onion, this Dutch treat is traditionally eaten by lifting it above your head and then taking bites upward. You have to try it, especially after a couple of beers.


Poffertjes can be translated as mini pancakes and are the Dutch version of the popular treat. They are served with powdered sugar and butter that slowly melts on top. Yum!


There isn’t a better way to satisfy a craving for something sweet than to have some Stroopwafels, at least while you’re living in the Netherlands. This treat, made out of waffle and a caramel-like syrup, can be found almost anywhere. But bonus points if you get one fresh from the waffle iron while the caramel is still gooey.


Almost as tasty as Stroopwafels but not quite as attractive are Oliebollen, another traditional Dutch treat. They are deep fried dough balls served with powdered sugar on top. In other words, they are the Dutch version of donuts and can be bought on stands and stalls during the winter holiday season leading up to the New Year.


Last but not least are sprinkles. Yes, we all like some sprinkles on top of a cake or an ice cream, but you haven’t tried Hagelslag until you have had a Hagelslag “sandwich”. A common Dutch breakfast (or a weekend breakfast treat for some) is a slice of bread, spread with butter and covered with chocolate Hagelslag. It might seem like overkill, but in truth, for many it is a near-perfect combination.

Have you been living in the Netherlands for a while already? What are your favourite Dutch foods?

After you have typed in some text, hit ENTER to start searching...

Cookies Consent

To continue to the site, your consent to the following is required by applicable privacy law, including the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We and our partners use technology such as cookies on the site to personalize content, provide social media features, track your preferences, analyze traffic, and support and improve the site. Click "Accept All" to consent to the use of this technology.

Privacy policy | Close