Eating pancakes in Amsterdam is an experience not to be missed. These are pancakes are totally different in style to American pancakes or French crepes. Over the centuries, the Dutch have developed two very traditional types: Pannenkoek and Poffertjes.
Pannenkoek are large, up to twelve inches in diameter and slightly thicker than a crepe which may be filled with a variety of ingredients or left plain and eaten with appelstroop (a type of Dutch butter).
Poffertjes are much smaller, round and puffy. They are cooked in a poffertjsepan and usually topped with melted butter and powdered sugar. Although poffertjes began as a food for the poor centuries ago, they have become a traditional food with varying toppings at weddings, parties and festive occasions as well as being served in restaurants and cafes on a daily basis.
Although most restaurants and cafes include pancakes on their menus, it is worth searching out the specialists who really focus on this traditional food.
Located in a seventeenth century building on the Prinsengracht, it is easily identifiable by the number of people patiently queuing outside. A massive menu is available covering breakfast, lunch and dinner. Children can choose themes like pirate or animal pancakes. For adults, fillings include everything from cherry liquor, ice cream to Hungarian with chorizo, salami, paprika, tomatoes, onions and cheese.
With three outlets in Central Amsterdam: 9 Streets, Westermarkt and Central Station, Pancakes Amsterdam has a cheerful Delft blue décor. Create your own topping mix, or chose from a vast array of options veggie, meat, fish, savoury or sweet. The best-selling version combines spinach, smoked salmon, crème fraiche and lemon.
Carousel Pancake House
Once seen, never forgotten. This is definitely a unique venue close to the Museumplein. The circular building set in a pretty garden used to be a former fairground carousel. Inside, seats radiate around the central cooking area, and you can admire a selection of original carousel horses. The poffertjes are totally irresistible with topping including kiwi, Grand Marnier, avocaat, bacon, apple, and strawberries.
An experience in itself – eat all the pancakes you want while enjoying a cruise along the canals and around the harbour. The Pancake Boat (Pannenkoekenboot) leaves the NDSM Wharf on the 75-minute tour. Pay a fixed price to enjoy the views en route, eat pancakes and choose your toppings from the vast array on offer.
Advance booking is recommended as this is a very popular experience.
Sited on the Spuistraat, this is a good place to eat if you want organic, gluten free options. It emphasises authentic Dutch tastes such as Dutch Delight which is a mix of savoury and sweet filled with Gouda cheese and fig jam served cut into bite sized chunks.
Said to be one of the smallest pancake restaurants in Europe, it has been trading since 1961 in a historic sixteenth century canal house. Close to the Royal Palace, you climb steep, narrow stairs to dine in an upstairs room. There, visitors will find 100 teapots hang from the ceiling and quirky paintings of Old Amsterdam can be seen on the walls. You can even dine in the Royal Corner surrounded by royal portraits. The menu includes The King – Dutch strawberries and homemade cream.
The Pancake Club Lidesboiji 5
Trading since 1993, it sells poffertjes and sweet pancakes. Unusual mixes include strawberries & nutella, Greek yoghurt with strawberries and banana, or vegetables, ginger, pineapple and streaky bacon.
Set in a peaceful Amsterdam forest, it is very relaxing but queues can be long. A vast choice of pancake toppings available including a special for children called Kids Party with icing sugar, fruit sprinkles, sweets and a surprize.
Moak have three sites in Jodenbreestraat, Ciercqustraat and Ferdin Bolstraat and use spelt or oat flour in their pancakes. No pre-booking accepted, just turn up and find a seat. The menu is definitely different with offerings such as the G.O.O.D Morning and Pink Lady.
The Versace pancake stack includes real gold, while the Infamous is a combination of banana, chocolate sauce, cinnamon, melted peanut butter, strawberries and blackberries.