Rotterdam Market Tour: Dutch Street Food at Blaak Market!

In this episode, I’m taking you with me as we head out on a Rotterdam market tour! Rotterdam is the Netherlands‘ second-largest city, known for its futuristic architecture, lively cultural scene, and rich maritime heritage. 

I’m exploring the city with my friends Melissa and Mike, and we’re starting at the iconic Blaak Market, which offers a wide array of amazing foods! Join me and let’s explore it together!

What is the Blaak Market?

A row of vendors at Blaak Market, a popular Rotterdam market in the Netherlands | Davidsbeenhere

The Blaak Market in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, is a bustling open-air market in the heart of the city. This Rotterdam market is a treasure trove of fresh produce and fish, clothing, artisanal goods, and street food. It’s a lively and friendly atmosphere where visitors can sample delicious Dutch delicacies and shop for everything from traditional cheeses to unique handmade crafts. 

Fresh Corn

Grilled corn at Blaak Market in Rotterdam | Davidsbeenhere

After asking Mike which foods I should try at this iconic Rotterdam market, we made our first stop at a vendor selling grilled ears of corn. He grills them with butter and adds salt and cream to finish it off. It was extremely tasty and buttery, and perfectly salted. It was also very warm and perfect for the chilly weather. Adding a squeeze of lemon juice made the flavors pop even more!

Fries at Bram Ladage

A paper cone filled with fries topped with Dutch mayo, peanut sauce, and diced onions | Davidsbeenhere

Next, we headed over to a stall selling a Rotterdam staple, fries. The people there even let me fry them myself. They fry the fries for one minute. The fries also differ from the fries from Belgium because they cook them at a higher temperature and re-fry them. The people here only use vegetable oil, as opposed to the beef fat that they use in Belgium.

Finally, they added Dutch mayo, peanut sauce, and diced onion. I loved the Indonesian influence of the peanut sauce. They were crispy, hot, and fluffy on the inside, and the addition of the cream and sweet peanut sauce was an incredible flavor and texture combination. I added some of my David’s Been Here Hot Sauce and some sambal to add a bit of spice! My Rotterdam market tour was off to a great start!

The Produce & Spices in a Rotterdam Market

Bins filled with containers of different spices in Blaak Market, a popular Rotterdam market | Davidsbeenhere

From there, we saw some vendors selling vegetables, including bitter melon, chilies plantains, ginger, green beans. Further on, we found some spice vendors selling Surinamese masala, Szechuan peppers, sate kruiden, sambal pepper, garam masala, and dozens more! The spice vendor was from Uzbekistan and gave me a blend called Taj Kruiden, and I gave him a bottle of my David’s Been Here Hot Sauce, which he tried with some lentil soup. 

Further on, we found some Turkish bread vendors and others selling cheese, including a creamy one containing herbs. They also had a delicious truffle cheese that was so good I had to buy some! The vendors at this Rotterdam market were so friendly, it warmed my heart! 

Smoked Salmon and Seafood in a Rotterdam Market

David Hoffmann lowers a piece of fresh smoked salmon into his mouth | Davidsbeenhere

My Rotterdam market tour continued with vendors selling both fried and raw fish, including calamari, fried shrimp, smoked salmon, and various croquettes. I had to go with some smoked salmon belly. You peel the skin off first. It was smoky, buttery, creamy and full of flavor. I’d never had salmon this good! I’d had some amazing salmon in Helsinki, Finland, but this was even better!

Next, I had another piece they’d peeled for us. It had a delicious layer of fat on it. Squeezing a bit of fresh lemon juice on it gave the salmon an acidic kick that balanced out the briny flavor. It was easily one of the best things I had on my trip. It truly blew my mind!

We also saw vendors selling lots of raw fish, including herring, which is a staple in the Netherlands. It was neverending fish!

Smoked Cheese & Chestnuts

Several varieties of fresh cheese at Blaak Market | Davidsbeenhere

Next, I tried some cheese containing garlic, paprika, and onion. They also had some amazing truffle cheese, and another that contained port wine! It reminded me of manchego and was very buttery, but the wine added an unexpected element. It was similar to another cheese I’d had at Mrizi i Zanave resort in Albania! That one had been soaked in a barrel of wine!

They also had smoked cheese, which also contained some delicious herbs. It almost had the texture of a nice sausage! I couldn’t get enough of all the different cheeses. I also loved one that contained hot pepper, which was spicy but not overbearing.

Next, we met a Turkish vendor selling hot roasted chestnuts fresh off the grill. They were delicious. It was delicious and smoky. He steams them and then grills them once someone places an order so they’re hot and fresh! Further on in this Rotterdam market, we found clothing, antiques, books, and movies

Pizza in a Rotterdam Market?

A square-shaped slice of thick-crust pizza at the Rotterdam market, Blaak Market | Davidsbeenhere

Our next stop was a shop called Little Italy, which is a Rotterdam staple. I went with their Italian pizza, which was on a thick, fluffy crust. It was topped with paprika, onions, and mushrooms. I loved the slight crisp on the bottom. The flavor took me right back to Italy!

Back at the market, we found a woman selling almond spice cake and stroopwafels. The almond spice cake was very sweet. I could taste cinnamon, which went well with the nutty flavor. 

Poffertjes and Surinamese Food at Blaak Market

Fresh poffertjes topped with butter and powdered sugar | Davidsbeenhere

Then, we found more clothing vendors selling items like Mickey Mouse shirts before stopping at a vendor selling poffertjes, which are mini Dutch pancakes. They top them with butter and powdered sugar. They’re incredible—the best pancakes ever! The poffertjes went well with a bit of wine with a shot of rum. It had a definite holiday flavor with a bit of cinnamon, orange, and cranberry flavor!

Finally, we stopped at a Surinamese stand selling lots of different dishes, including coconut bread, doubles, and chutney. I went with a bara with two different chutneys on it—a tomato chutney and a chili chutney. It had a nice, delicious punch of heat to it. This bara was different from the bara I ate in Trinidad and Tobago, as it was thicker and hollow on the inside. The texture was chewy. They also sell jars of their chutneys!

We also briefly went into a covered market that looked like an open-air hangar. Above us and on the walls were windows, which I was told are apartments where people live! What a wild and unexpected way to end my Rotterdam market tour!

Where have you been?  

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