Dutch Culture: Food
Find out all about Dutch food culture below!

Dutch Snacks

As you can imagine, there is a wide range of typical Dutch snacks and delights that you can enjoy when you live in Utrecht. Some of the most famous Dutch sweet delights include: 


Speculaas                     Stroopwafels                Drop                        Oliebollen

Speculaas is a spiced Dutch cookie that was originally only enjoyed during the holiday of Sinterklaas in December. Now the cookies are enjoyed all year round. The cookies are also known as windmill cookies because they often come in this shape. However, the cookies also exist in all kinds of other shapes.

Stroopwafels are sandwiches of two thin waffles with caramel syrup in the middle. Stroopwafels are available in all supermarkets in the Netherlands, but the best stroopwafels are freshly made at markets in the streets.

Drop (or Liquorice) is a very popular candy in the Netherlands. The candy comes in four different flavours, mainly depending on taste and texture. Drop is either sweet or salty and soft or hard.    

Oliebollen are fried balls of dough often served with powdered sugar on top. The balls are usually enjoyed during the holidays, in particular on new year’s eve. In December, you can find lots of oliebollen stands set up around town.

The Dutch also have their own special type of fried snacks, that can be bought at the Dutch snackbars together with fries. The most famous ones are:


Frikandel                       Kroket                             Bitterbal  


Kaassouflé                     Mexicano                     Bamischijf

The frikandel is a deep-fried sausage-like snack, made of minced meat. You can also order a frikandel speciaal (special), as shown on the picture, which is topped with mayonaise, curry and chopped onion. 

The kroket is a deep-fried piece of meat ragout covered in breadcrumbs. Be careful not to burn your tongue when you take your first bite of kroket! 

The bitterbal is actually the same as a kroket, but unlike the kroket, the bitterbal is a small ball-shaped finger snack that is usually enjoyed at parties or in bars. 

The kaassoufflé is a deep-fried dough-based wrap filled with cheese and bread crumbs on the outside. Also with this snack: be careful not to burn your tongue! 

The mexicano is a rib-shaped snack made of spiced minced meat of beef, chicken and pork. The snack got his name because of the preliminaries of the World Football Cup in Mexico in 1984. 

The bamischijf is a slice of breadcrumbs filled with cooked bami, which is a Dutch modification of the Chinese-Indonesian noodle dish bakmi goreng. 

Because snackbars and the food they offer are so typically Dutch, we have created a fun way for you to discover the different types of snacks! Take the quiz: Which Dutch Snack Are You?

Typical Dutch Recipes

We have created a small selection of typical Dutch recipes for you. There is certainly much more to discover in Dutch cuisine, but these recipes make for a good start!

The dishes Erwtensoep and Boerenkool Stamppot are usually eaten for dinner during winter. Pancakes are also a dinner dish in the Netherlands and can be consumed all year round! To also add a nice sweet desert or pasty, a recipe for Appeltaart (apple pie) is included as well. We hope you can make these dishes a success and enjoy a delicious Dutch meal!

Where to buy food in Utrecht?

Utrecht offers a very wide variety of street markets, supermarkets and local grocery stores where you can find all the food you need.


The main market of Utrecht can be found on Vredenburg Square on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. On Friday the market also includes a farmers’ market where you can buy organic products from the local farmers.

On tuesdays, you can find local markets in Hoograven and Vleuten. A market in is held in neighbourhood Overvecht every Thursday and on Fridays, you can find markets in the neighbourhoods Kanaleneiland and Leische Rijn.

On Saturdays, you can find the famous flower markets at Janskerkhof and along the Oude Gracht, as well as a fabric market in the Breedstraat, all located in the heart of the city.

Supermarkets and local stores

The main Dutch supermarkets are: Albert Heijn, Jumbo, Plus, Dirk and Coop. In case you want to visit a discounter supermarket, the options include Lidl, Aldi and Nettorama. Each of these supermarkets have at least two locations in Utrecht and you can also order your groceries online from some of them.

In case you are a fan of smaller, local stores, you can visit the Kanaalstraat in the neighbourhood Lombok. This street offers a wide variety of multicultural shops, which gives the street a market-like atmosphere. Naturally, more local stores can also be found in other neighbourhoods of Utrecht.


Cooking workshop

Learn how to bake Dutch pancakes from through this instruction video!

Picture: Lansink, V.M. / 841366 / Het Utrechts Archief

Got any tips or questions for us or your fellow students?