Top 5 food destinations in the Netherlands
The Netherlands seems to be mostly known for Amsterdam, but it would truly be a shame to not visit & see more of our little country. Since I can imagine it can be hard to figure out the must-visit cities in the Netherlands for foodies by yourself, I made a list of my personal top 5 food destinations!
Of course, first on this list has to be Amsterdam. This is the most popular city in the Netherlands for tourists, and it has a lot to offer in terms of food.
Since it is catered to tourists, it’s pretty easy to find authentic & traditional Dutch food here. The downside, however, may be the increased prices and the potential tourist traps if you just stick to the main roads of the popular districts. So don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path & explore!
Since Amsterdam is a major city, you’ll find that its food scene is overall somewhat more trendy than in other Dutch cities. It has a lot of fully dedicated restaurants for vegetarian & vegan travelers, and a lot of restaurants & cafés that are very ‘Instagrammable’.
I will definitely make a more elaborate list of Amsterdam itself in the future, but these are the general areas you have to visit: De Dam, Leidseplein, Grachtengordel, Rembrandtplein & Kinkerstraat.
Rotterdam is an absolute must visit for foodies! A ridiculous amount of the cafes & restaurant that I would still like to visit are situated in Rotterdam. The city is very on point when it comes to food trends and Instagram worthy interiors, but it somehow all feels a little more laidback and accessible compared to Amsterdam.
When visiting Rotterdam as a foodie, these are the areas you shouldn’t miss out on: Markthal, Wilhelminaplein, Witte de Withstraat, Goudsesingel & West-Kruiskade.
To me, Eindhoven is the city that never sleeps. You can walk into a bar on a Sunday or Monday evening and the place will be packed like it’s a Friday night. The Dutchies of the south know how to have a good time, and it shows in the variety of food hotspots that Eindhoven has to offer.
Most of the food hotspots in Eindhoven are only a short walk away from the train station and are conveniently gathered in the city center.
Where to go in Eindhoven: Markt, Stratumseind, Smalle Haven, Strijp-S, Kerkstraat, Kleine Berg.
I may be a bit biased since I was born there, but Utrecht will always be my favorite city in the Netherlands. Like Amsterdam, it has its charming historic buildings & canals, but it is usually way less crowded.
Most of the cafes & restaurants are conveniently situated around the central station and main canal, and it’s pretty much all connected to eachother.
I suggest strolling around the Oude Gracht, enjoying some drinks and bites by the canal, and visiting the Dom tower.
There’s a lot of variety in terms of food, and lately there have been more and more promising vegetarian and vegan restaurants popping up.
Areas you should visit in Utrecht: Oude Gracht, Hoog Catharijne, Neude, Voorstraat, Janskerkhof, Domplein, Donkere Gaard, Drieharingstraat, Steenweg.
5. The Hague | Den Haag
I personally especially love Den Haag because it offers an extensive variety of Asian food. Furthermore, because it’s located right by the sea, you get a lot of different views, all in one city. The city center is full of charm and warmth with its historical architecture, and along the coastline, you’ll experience a somewhat more trendy vibe with all of the beach clubs.
Not sure where to go? Try exploring around these areas: Grote of Sint-Jacobskerk, Gedempte Burgwal, Gedempte Gracht, Het Plein, Herengracht, Scheveningen.
General tips for eating out in the Netherlands
Since this seems to differ even among other European countries, I thought I might mention that in the Netherlands, restaurants mostly tend to be closed on Mondays in the bigger cities. We don’t have set rules across the country though, so be sure to check business hours beforehand to avoid disappointment.
The tipping culture in the Netherlands isn’t as big as in for example the United States. The restaurant staff receives relatively fair wages and therefore aren’t reliant on tips.
However, if you received excellent service, a 5 to 10 percent tip of the total bill is customary.