Amsterdam Food Tour! Surinamese Food in the Netherlands

Welcome to Amsterdam, a city known for its whimsical canals, vibrant culture, and mouthwatering food. When it comes to its culinary scene, Amsterdam is a smorgasbord of flavors, where traditional Dutch fare collides with Surinamese, Turkish, West African, and Indonesian influences. Strolling down its historic streets, you’d be hard-pressed to not come across its iconic herring stands, stroopwafel vendors, bitterballen, and much more on an Amsterdam food tour.

But Amsterdam’s food scene is more than its local dishes, as the city is an international melting pot of flavors. From traditional Surinamese food to Turkish favorites, and from Indonesian fare to West African staples, this city is rife with global flavors. And I’m about to explore it all with my friends and guides Melissa and Howard. Come with me on this epic food tour of Amsterdam, The Netherlands!

Traditional Herring and Mackerel at Ijmuider Vi Handel

Traditional raw herring on my Amsterdam food tour in The Netherlands | Davidsbeenhere

I started my Amsterdam food tour at this local fish shop that sells incredible herring and fried fish. Inside, I met the owner, Tony, whose great-grandfather started the shop in 1960. They sell l I wanted my herring the traditional way: sliced and served raw, with pickle slices and diced white onion. It’s tender and flavorful, and you eat it with a toothpick with a Netherlands flag on it!

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I also tried some nice smoked mackerel. I liked the tenderness and the flavor. You can eat it warm or cold! Then, I enjoyed some of their fried kippling (cod) with tartar sauce. The batter was golden brown and crispy and contrasted nicely with the tender, flaky fish. It also went well with my sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy David’s Been Here Hot Sauce.

Then I got to see them clean the herring in the kitchen, including how they remove the bones and some of the scales.

Indonesian Amsterdam Food at Warung Mini

David Hoffmann and his guide Melissa eating Surinamese pom buns at Warung Mini in Amsterdam | Davidsbeenhere

This Surinamese spot has offered many Surinamese favorites since 1977. I tried some of their SOETE BOI, a coconut-ginger alcohol that blew my mind. It’s ice-cold and you swish it around in you mouth once before swallowing. The only thing I could compare it to was limoncello!

I also tried an Orangeade, which was similar to horchata. I let the guys there try some of my David’s Been Here Hot Sauce, which is made by a Surinamese-American company called Su Yum Foods. I also tried some of their sauces, which contained scorpion pepper and lingered in my throat!

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Next, they made me a pom bun with the sauce on the side. It’s a fluffy bun with pom on the inside. Pom is a casserole-like dish containing stewed chicken, root vegetables, margarine, citrus juice, tomatoes, onions, oil, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. It’s both savory and sweet! Adding the Trini chocolate scorpion pepper sauce added a real kick of heat!

I also tried a unique cinnamon roll that was in an almost flower-like shape and very light and fluffy, and packed with vibrant cinnamon flavor! I followed that with some blood sausage, beef sausage, and tripe with picked onions. It went well with the sauce! They don’t use blood in this sausage, but it’s very good! The beef sausage was great, as was the tripe. But the blood sausage was my favorite!

Turkish Amsterdam Food at Leziz Restaurant

Lahmajun, a Turkish flatbread similar to pizza, on my Amsterdam food tour | Davidsbeenhere

Here, I got to watch the cooks prepare lahmajun, a Middle Eastern flatbread from Turkey that’s topped with minced lamb and spices. It’s almost like a Middle-Eastern pizza! It cooks up nice and crispy, and is served with tomatoes and a wedge of lemon.

It’s crispy and fatty and full of flavor. Adding the lemon adds a nice acidity. I also had some fantastic charcoal-grilled chicken wings with oil, garlic sauce, hot sauce, and tomato sauce.

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The chicken was smoky and flavorful by itself, but I loved adding some spices, oil, and sauces. There was a bit of paprika, and I liked the honey ketchup, and the sambal and garlic. We also had some meat patties, which were juicy and fatty. I liked adding some of the spicy spices.

They also have soups and ayran, a type of liquid yogurt drink.

Unexpected Amsterdam Food: Surinamese Chinese Cuisine

Surinamese Chinese food in Amsterdam, the Netherlands | Davidsbeenhere

My Amsterdam food tour continued with something you might find surprising: Surinamese Chinese food! There’s a large Chinese population in Suriname, and the immigrants from China have brought their dishes and culture over to Suriname. Surinamese Chinese food reimagines Chinese dishes with Surinamese ingredients and spices and is a big part of the culture there!

This restaurant sells lots of delicious dishes, including herring fried rice and broodje makreel (mackerel sandwiches). The broodje makreel was fluffy and briny, with a really nice flavor. They also had broodje warm vlees, or pork & peanut sauce sandwiches. The fatty pork and the sweet peanut sauce was the perfect combination. They also had some delicious pork belly!

But the herring fried rice was exceptional. The rice had a nice crispy texture, and the herring was tender and flavorful!

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Fresh Leaves Restaurant & Catering

David Hoffmann eating fufu with vegan vegetable stew as the cook at Fresh Leaves Restaurant looks on | Davidsbeenhere

The woman here is Congolese, and her restaurant sells West African food, including a bit of Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, and Congo. I watched them prepare fufu, a vegan vegetable stew, and tons of chicken! It’s been open for almost 2 years. They also have a sorrel drink that’s spicy and made from hibiscus and African ginger. The sorrel drink is very potent!

The fufu comes wrapped in a saran wrap package. It went incredibly well with the vegetable stew, which contains eggplant and lots of other vegetables. It was very flavorful, and the eggplant is smooth and melts in your mouth. The fufu really fills you up, though!

She also makes a salad containing barbecued chicken, plantains, and corn. It was delicious! The sweetness of the plantains with the smoky chicken blew me away.

We also had some jollof rice with goat meat. The goat meat was fatty and full of flavor, especially the meat closest to the bone. It was fresh, juicy, and tender! What a great way to end my epic Amsterdam food tour!

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