Snapshots from Amsterdam: The Best Street Food


Similar to a Spanish croqueta, the breaded, crispy, deep-fried balls are filled with a roux-thickened beef-based filling. Beef gets cooked down with vegetables and butter before being bound in a thickened beef broth sometimes flavored with curry or nutmeg. The mixture is then chilled, rolled into balls, breaded, and deep-fried. The most common accompaniment is strong dijon mustard.

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

I just saw my wife for the first time in two months. She's been studying in Denmark, but agreed to give up a weekend to meet me in Amsterdam. Of course, once we got there, I realized that I only had two days before I had to catch my flight back home, and that's hardly enough time to sample the crazy mix of French, Scandinavian, and Indonesian influences that form the backbone of their food scene.

Needless to say, she was not exactly 100% pleased with the ratio of time-spent-searching-for-awesome-fries to time-spent-taking-romantic-hand-holding-walks, despite my unsuccessful attempts to convince her that the two need not be mutually exclusive.

I think I made up for it by taking her to one especially nice dinner seated in the awesome outdoor patio at Hemelse Modder. I say "I think" because I was honestly too enthralled by my asparagus tasting menu to notice whether or not she was enjoying it as much as I was. (I still love you.)

There's an excellent snacking culture in Amsterdam, fueled, no doubt, by the equally excellent drinking and consuming-of-other-legal-narcotics culture. Snack bars line most of the major shopping and socializing districts, while kiosks, stands, and carts can be found serving everything from chicken sandwiches and bitterballen (Dutch croquettes) to hot dogs and Vlaamse frites (Flemish fries).

Check out the best things I ate in the slideshow »