While staying in Amsterdam for our honeymoon, we discovered an awesome food market called Foodhallen (aka “food hall”, wow, original name there!!). Name tasing aside, it was an awesome opportunity to see what Dutch pop up kitchens have to offer and to enjoy Dutch food on a shoestring. Located about 100 meters from our hotel, Hotel De Hallen, and I admit we ate there most nights just because it was such great value.
Benefits of Visiting DeHallen Foodhall
- Enjoy a range of local favourites as well as international dishes.
- Enjoy vegan or vegetarian food on a shoestring.
- Listen to local musicians entertaining the local crowd.
- Large, central and reasonably priced bar if you want a glass of Prosecco or wine.
- Easy to get to on a tram from central Amsterdam (about 12 minute ride from Damrak).
5 Hit & Miss Dishes from Foodhallen
HIT: Raclette from Caulils Kaas
RACLETTE! “Watch me now, whoop whoop, shake it baby!” Yes, this stuff gets me grooving! The KING of disgustingly deliciously rich and gooey, sinful and disgustingly awesome TOASTED CHEESE sandwiches with SO much *boom pow* in them!
Yes, this is how good this cheese sandwich tastes. It so rich it almost tastes like Marmite. Yeah, the flavour is THAT deep! I bought it from Caulils Kaas, a notible cheese sandwich store within the food hall. Hot, gooey, crunchy, rich and salty; pair it with a glass of bubbly and you’re good to go!
I may or may not have had this more than once on our short trip to Amsterdam…
[2019 Update: Dutch journalists still list Caulils at De Hallen but it’s not listed on the official website.]
HIT: Bitterballen from De Ballen Bar
Is a trip to Holland complete with some kind of crumbed deep fried ball or log? No. Another absolute Dutch classic, bitterballen, were high on my list of my tries.
Essentially croquets (deep-fried mash potato balls), De BallenBar offers a number of bitterballen with different flavorings including Tom Kah Kai, Boulle Bouisse (seafood stew), pork, dutch cheese and truffle. All served with lovely mustard for a touch of acid, yum!
They’re also crunchy and gooey and are a good taste of what Amsterdam is all about: self indulgence. [Full blog post review here on De Hallen Bitterballen.]
MISS: Waffles and Yoghurt from Yogert Fruz
It had to be done! A Nutella waffle with frozen yoghurt. I LOVE frozen yoghurt and the combination worked super well with Nutella. But, unfortunately, this was a case where things looked better than the tasted. Boo.
The waffles are made in the morning/afternoon and then heated up. I’m not sure if it’s one of those situations where they thought we were British and gave us a dud (as soon as people realise we’re South African, their turn around in attitude is remarkable) but overall, this was a fail.
As good as it looks (and the toppings were delicious) don’t go out your way to buy one.
[2019 Update: It seems this both has since left De Hallen so one less chance to waste money by accident.]
HIT: Wagu Burgers from The Butcher
As much as we love Dutch food, a taste of home is always welcomed for us meat munching South Africans. We were impressed when we saw this wagu burger stand but weren’t sure if they would be good or not. Well, we can vouch for them, delicious!
Called The Butcher, they cooked the burgers to absolute perfection (medium, yes please!), topped with melty cheese and fresh garnish. These burgers were hot off the griddle and just what we needed after a days of deep-fried action. (Although, I should note that their fries were good too! 🙈)
MISS: Vegetarian Wraps – The Green Brothers
By the end of the week I was a little over the fast-food so I opted in for a vegetarian wrap on our last night. While it was positively freezing in Amsterdam, I just had to have something fresh and healthy.
Sadly, it definitely wasn’t the most amazing wrap I’d ever had, which is pity considering vegetarian and vegan food has progressed so much over the last 10 years. I’m happy I had it because it was what I needed after a long week of Dutch cheese, but again, don’t go out your way to have one unless you’re really missing something healthy.
Where’s the Seafood and Treats?
Just to clarify, there are also a number of seafood and bakery type stands. I just happen to not like seafood or shellfish and don’t have the biggest sweet tooth. But my husband is a very fussy eater and he even managed to find something tasty to eat. So there is something for everyone.
I really enjoyed our evenings at De Hallen’s Foodhallen and would happily visit again. It was nice to see how the vibe changed from night to night and if I recall correctly, Monday nights and Wednesday nights seem to be quite a vibe. But I recommend checking out their Facebook page for further updates on what’s going on at the hall.
If you’re in Amsterdam and looking for a good vibe and great food, find Foodhallen at Bellamyplein 51, 1053 AT Amsterdam in De Hallen, Amsterdam. Happy eating!