Traditional or contemporary? The size of a side-plate or the size of a dinner-plate? If you’re looking for The Netherlands’ beloved caramel waffles, Amsterdam is a great place to start.
Although the stroopwafel was actually invented in Gouda, Amsterdammers love their syrup and never more so than when sandwiched between two large rounds of crispy waffle, so if you’re looking to sample one, you’ve come to the right place.
The one from a market stall
Once you’ve finished your ‘Hollandse nieuwe haring’ (that’s new season herring to you) at the Albert Cuyp market, make sure you grab yourself a warm freshly made stroopwafel at the stall across the way. Watch them being prepared in front of your eyes on a Dutch waffle-iron and you’ll realise why they bear little, if any, resemblance to the ‘caramel waffles’ sold ubiquitously in Starbucks. Many of Amsterdam’s markets have their own stroopwafel guy so be sure to keep your eyes peeled. They are also the best place to pick up bags of broken stroopwafel ends which would make a pretty spectacular base for a cheesecake or banoffee pie!
The one from an old-fashioned tearoom
Another great place to buy a proper freshly-baked stroopwafel is from Lanskroon a small unassuming bakery on the Singel canal. This little tearoom doesn’t look like much but it’s one of the only other places left in the city making fresh stroopwafels and boy can you taste the difference if you compare them to the factory packs in Dutch supermarket favourite Albert Heijn. Tuck into a dinner-plate-sized treat with either honey or caramel fillings, for the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee. From April, Lanskroon also produces freshly made ice-cream.
The Instagrammable one
For something more contemporary, and if possible even more indulgent, head to Van Wonderen Stroopwafels on Amsterdam’s bustling Kalverstraat (they also have a second branch on the Gasthuismolensteeg). This bakery serves up the most Instagrammable waffles in town. The good news is that they are still freshly made – with giant warm waffles sliced in half in front of you and filled with hot syrup before being dipped in melted chocolate. Then, pick your choice of toppings from M&M’s to more traditional Dutch flavours like speculaas and nut brittle. The shops have been designed with a traditional feel but this is less about getting an authentic Dutch-treat, and more about a chance to snap yourself a canal-side selfie with an eye-catching stroopwafel the size of your head!
Poffertjes are mini cloud-like puffed pancakes made in a cast-iron pan that are served warm with butter and a drift of icing sugar. Dig your toothpick into the snowy mountain and there’s no going back. Although available in many of the city’s pancake restaurants, our favourites tend to be made fresh at street-side stalls. If you’re not lucky enough to make it to one of Amsterdam’s weekly or monthly food markets, you should find the poffertje stall daily at the wonderful Albert Cuyp market, just down from the stroopwafel guys.
Other bakery treats
If you aren’t completely sugared-out by now, why not head up the road from Lanskroon to Amsterdam’s other best biscuit at Van Stapele Koekmakerij. There’s almost always a queue outside and if you’re a cookie-lover it’s worth the wait.
Finally, for the finest traditional patisseries, there’s no other place to head than Holtkamp, suppliers to the Dutch Royal Family, and the home of Marc’s favourite -Tompouce – an incredibly Dutch confection which is basically a millefeuille topped with bubblegum-pink icing!
So, forget clogs, windmills and tulips, if you want an authentic Dutch experience, make sure you grab yourself one of these baked delights and partake in the Great Netherlands bake off – Amsterdam-style!
And for more inspiration check out this post with all our favourite places to eat around the city.