What to Eat in Amsterdam: Poffertjes

Eat Your World explores the quintessential dishes of Amsterdam


Eat Your World spotlights regional foods and drinks around the globe, from New York to New Delhi. Visit their Netherlands section for more of the best Dutch dishes in Amsterdam.

What: Even better than the large Dutch pannenkoeken are these fluffy mini pancakes, served with a mess of powdered sugar and butter. To make them, batter — typically including yeast and buckwheat flour — is poured over a hot cast-iron pan with shallow half-spherical molds, à la Japan’s takoyaki, and then each little pancake is flipped. You’ll see them in some restaurants, but the best poffertjes are made fresh on the street at markets, during festivals/fairs, and in the city’s squares.

Where: Once we smelled these at the Noordermarkt (Noorderkerkplein), a flea market in the Jordaan that turns into an organic farmers’ market (Boerenmarkt) on Saturdays, there was no holding us back. The stand selling them was signed simply Amsterdamse Poffertjes; the same vendor sets up at the Albert Cuypmarkt some days, too.

When: Saturdays, approximately 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Noordermarkt; Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday approximately 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Albert Cuypmarkt.

Order: An order of poffertjes — you can get 10 (€2/$2.60), 20 (€4/$5.21), or 30 (€5/$6.52) — comes to you über-fresh here, with a heavy shake of powdered sugar (watch out for black clothes!) and a generous knob of butter, which starts to melt upon contact with the hot treats. (Nutella and other toppings are also available for a fee, but we think: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.) Moist and chewy inside, crispy outside, they’re downright addictive.

Alternatively: Poffertjes are most common during the cooler months, so if you can’t find an outdoor vendor, you’ll have to resort to what’s second-best: a restaurant. You’ll find these at most pannenkoeken restaurants, including Pancakes! Amsterdam — but it’s the difference between good and great when compared with the fresh street version.

Laura Siciliano-Rosen is the co-founder of Eat Your World, a website that spotlights regional foods and drinks around the globe. Follow Eat Your World on Twitter @eat_your_world.


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