Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Header image University of Groningen Student Blog

11 Dutch foods you should try during your stay in the Netherlands

Date:21 February 2024
11 Dutch foods you should try during your stay in the Netherlands!
11 Dutch foods you should try during your stay in the Netherlands!

We all know the trusty cheese sandwich or the sandwich with hagelslag [dark, milk, or white chocolate sprinkles usually eaten on bread]. Still, there are loads of other things that are typically Dutch and, most importantly, delicious. In today’s blog, we list 11 Dutch foods you should try. Read along because you might find a new favourite! ;)

#1 Ontbijtkoek

To stay within the categories “breakfast” and “lunch” a little longer. Ontbijtkoek is a spiced cake made from rye flour, sugar and spices such as cinnamon. It is eaten most often during breakfast, lunch or as a snack. Dutchies put butter on a slice or put ontbijtkoek on their bread (yes, really!).

#2 Snert

Snert or erwtensoep is not every Dutchie’s cup of tea, but I really like it! It’s a thick soup mainly made of (split) peas and some other vegetables like carrot, potato, leek etc. with rookworst [smoked sausage] in it. Because of its thickness, it’s the perfect nourishing meal for a cold winter evening!

#3 Drop

I feel like with Dutch foods, it’s often a case of you either love it or hate it. So, here’s another one: drop [liquorice]! These little sweets made from the extract of the roots from the liquorice plant are generally popular among the Dutch, but many visitors don’t like them. They come in many different flavours: sweet, salty, with honey. You name it. Buy a bag and try it out, but make sure that you don’t buy Engelse drop [English liquorice] because that’s a different thing! ;)

#4 Patat with joppiesaus “Patatje Joppie”

There’s nothing really special about patat or friet [fries], but together with joppiesaus, it gets interesting. Joppiesaus is a sauce developed in a snack bar in Glanerburg, Twente, in 2002. It gets its distinct flavour from the onions, egg yolks, sweeteners and curry powder that are in it. The original recipe for the sauce is a secret, so if you want to taste the authentic sauce, you have to go to Twente. If you want to try the flavour, you can buy Lay’s crisps as well.

#5 Poffertjes

You’ve probably already tried some good old Dutch pancakes, but have you ever tried poffertjes? If not, you’re going to love it! They basically are just small, fluffy pancakes baked in a special pan designated for poffertjes. Most often, it’s served with powdered sugar and butter, but you can also get it with syrup or Gouda cheese.

#6 Stamppot

I don’t care what you say, but stamppot is probably the most diverse dish of all Dutch dishes because it can be made with so many different vegetables. Nothing is too crazy. It’s essentially made with mashed potatoes and other vegetables such as kale, endive or carrots, etc. Some of my favourites are stamppot boerenkool [stamppot with kale] and a sausage on the side or hutspot, which is made with mashed potatoes, carrots, onion and sometimes an apple to make it sweet. This dish is also served with sausage or bacon. Just like snert, it’s a perfect meal for when it’s cold.

#7 Groninger koek

Another koek, but this time a typical Groninger delicacy. Groninger koek or Grunneger kouk is a cross between bread and cake and is typically made with rye flour, water, and sugar. It’s served with coffee or tea. You can buy them with raisins, anise, anise and raisins, currants, nuts, more sugar, etc. It’s delicious!

#8 Stroopwafels

Although stroopwafels are a well-known Dutch delicacy, I still wanted to mention it to people who have never heard of it. The treat consists of two thin waffles with syrup or caramel in between and was first made in Gouda, a city in the province of South Holland. If you’ve never tried it, then go to the Vismarkt right now to do so!

#9 Kapsalon

Another greasy Dutch food is the kapsalon. It’s fries covered with shawarma and topped with melted cheese, a salad, and garlic sauce or sambal. Instead of shawarma, it’s also often made with kebab, döner, gyros, chicken or falafel. The dish was invented in 2003 by Nataniël Gomes who owned a hair salon (kapsalon in Dutch) in Rotterdam. During his lunch breaks, he would go to the nearest shawarma shop to order a dish with these exact ingredients. Eventually, his order became known as the kapsalon. The dish contains many calories but is delicious and amazing to eat after a night out.

#10 Roze koek

This is the last koek I will talk about, I promise you. The roze koek [pink cake] owes its name to the pink fondant icing on top of the dense cake. Sometimes the little cake has a jam filling. I don’t really have anything other to say than that it’s an incredibly sweet treat that the Dutch usually eat during coffee time, so if that’s what you’re looking for, you should try it out!

#11 Tompouce

The tompouce or tompoes is iconic. So iconic that you probably already know what it is, especially if you’ve been here during King’s Day, on which you literally can’t escape the orange tompouces. It’s a rectangular pastry consisting of two layers of puff pastry with yellow pastry cream in between and pink iced glazing on top. The specific orange tompouce has a funny history behind it, so if you’re curious, read our blog on the history of King’s Day.

We hope you’ll enjoy these 11 Dutch foods as much as we do! Let us know which things are your favourites or if there are things you’d like to try in the comments below. Eet smakelijk [bon appetit]!

About the author


Hiya! I’m Hylke, a Dutch MA English Literature student. People often ask me if I’m Frisian, but sadly I’m not; I just have a Frisian name. I love reading, writing, meeting with friends, and the colour yellow, so much so that I take pictures of every yellow wall I can find!


Loading comments...