Albert Cuyp Market in Amsterdam: Ultimate Dutch Food Tour

Nestled in the vibrant heart of the De Pijp district in Amsterdam, the Netherlands is the Albert Cuyp Market. This daily street bazaar is the largest of its kind in Europe and is home to dozens of street vendors selling favorites like stroopwafels, artisanal cheeses, Surinamese cuisine, Turkish coffee, fresh herring, vibrant produce, and much more. 

The market traces its humble origins back to the early 20th century. It was officially established in 1905, but its informal trading activities date back even further, to the late 19th century. It was named after Albert Cuyp, a renowned Dutch painter from the 17th century. The street on which the market lies also bears his name. Over the decades, the market has evolved from a small collection of carts and makeshift stands into a sprawling, dynamic marketplace. We’re exploring it all today with my guide Melissa and cameraman Mike!

Turkish Coffee and Darras Coffee Roasters

Turkish coffee boiling in a pan of hot sand at Albert Cuyp Market in Amsterdam | Davidsbeenhere

My first stop in Albert Cuyp Market was a vendor selling Turkish coffee and Arabic coffee, which they prepare by cooking it on a pan filled with hot sand. The sand gives the coffee a unique, earthy flavor that goes well with the notes of cardamom in the coffee. The man working there is from Damascus, Syria.

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The stall is located near the entrance to the market and sells other delicious coffee drinks like Ristrello, espresso, pumpkin lattes, Arabic coffee, and espresso macchiato, as well as Sahara Tea!

Some vendors open every day, but others are only there certain days of the week, so you never know who will be there any given day. 

Za’atar Sandwiches at Albert Cuyp Market

A flatbread sandwich containing za'atar, tomatoes, labneh, cucumbers, and pomegranate seeds | Davidsbeenhere

Next on my tour of Albert Cuyp Market, I visited a stall selling Middle Eastern sandwiches. The vendor there is Lebanese and Syrian, and offers several different flatbread sandwiches, most of which contain a unique Middle Eastern spice blend called za’atar. He’s been there since 2015. 

Toppings for the different sandwiches include mozzarella cheese, arugula, olives, pomegranate seeds, cucumber, tomatoes, labneh cheese, fresh mint, hot pepper paste, hummus, tahini, eggplant, and more.

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He takes a fresh pita and spreads za’atar and oil over it before baking it. Then, he added some labneh, tomatoes, cucumber, pomegranate seeds, mint, olives, arugula, sumac, and olive oil before wrapping it foil. Then, he added some pomegranate syrup. It was very creamy, and the pomegranate added a tangy sweetness! It took me right back to my time eating Lebanese food in Lebanon!

I also tried some of his gouda cheese! Other nearby vendors sell wood crafts, clothing, stuffed animals, clothing, plant bulbs, and accessories

Chicken and Tripische Winkel in Albert Cuyp Market

Freshly cooked chicken in Amsterdam | Davidsbeenhere

At a vendor with a Surinamese flag out front, I tried some juicy, delicious rotisserie chicken with a seasoning blend on top. Then, I moved on to Tripische Winkel, a traditional Surinamese market that sells hot sauces, chili peppers, bara, beer, and produce.

From there, we saw a vendor selling Pinsa Romana, a type of pizza from Rome whose dough is leavened for 72 hours for high digestibility and crunchiness. It shows just how diverse the food in Albert Cuyp Market is!

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Poffertjes at Dutch Little Pancakes

David Hoffmann and his guide Melissa eating poffertjes, or Dutch pancakes, at Albert Cuyp Market | Davidsbeenhere

We stopped at Dutch Little Pancakes, a stand in Albert Cuyp Market that sells poffertjes, which are small Dutch pancakes, as well as stroopwafel. They cook the pancakes in griddles with tiny holes. Then, they dust them with powdered sugar and a pat of butter. You can also get them with Nutella, which is more for tourists. Locals typically eat them without it!

They’re fluffy and crispy, and a bit doughy. They’re so tasty, and the butter goes very well with them. Poffertjes are delicate and light, and the perfect silver dollar pancake!

Stroopwafel in Albert Cuyp Market

A freshly made, golden brown stroopwafel filled with caramel | Davidsbeenhere

Next, we got a traditional sweet called stroopwafel, which is a thin waffle cut in half, with caramel spread between the two. We also saw some vendors selling a variety of artisanal cheeses. We tried a 1.5-year-old cheese that was very creamy and dense. We also had a creamier young cheese that was softer and had a more mild flavor. 

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Then, I tried the stroopwafel. It cost 3 Euros and was like a thin, sweet cookie! The caramel inside was steaming hot but tasty!

Traditional Herring at Vlaardingse Haringhanded 

David Hoffmann takes a bite of a traditional Dutch herring at Albert Cuyp Market in Amsterdam, the Netherlands | Davidsbeenhere

Finally, I stopped by this amazing fish shop to get some traditional herring. You can also get herring sandwiches. They’ve served them the traditional way, non-sliced with onions and a pickle spear, since 1916.

The best way to eat them is to grab the tail, hold it high above your head, and lower it into your mouth. It’s the way the locals do it! It’s amazing, tender, and flavorful. It falls apart in your mouth, and the onions and pickle spear complement it well! It was the perfect way to end my tour of Albert Cuyp Market in Amsterdam!

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