My food travels in the Netherlands: Haarlem, The Hague and Amsterdam

Haarlem is a cute historical city, with an old market square that boasts several museums and an impressive church named (imaginatively) Grote Kirk. The city’s proximity to the sea, and Noord-Holland‘s fertile farmlands, means that food in Haarlem is wonderfully fresh and delicious.

After spending the day visiting the flower gardens in Keukenhof (one of my favourite things ever!), we took a train over to Haarlem to have dinner in this beguiling Dutch city. Haarlem is worth a visit if you’re in the area, and of course, remember to enjoy the food.

This is what I ate:

Specktakel

Specktakel is highly recommended on most lists of places to go in Haarlem. The menu changes every season which means you could regularly visit and enjoy something different each time. It also means you won’t get bored.

Sadly I can’t remember what I actually ate, but here are some pictures:

Starter

Main

Dessert

This was a selection of all Specktakel’s desserts and was amazing!

The food was worth the hype and I think the dessert was the best one I had in the Netherlands. Anything which has churros is a winner to me.

The Hague

The Hague is the Netherlands’ administrative capital and the seat of government. It is also home to the most popular seaside resort. We sampled this kibbeling (battered chunks of cod) on the pier overlooking overlooking Scheveningen beach.

Would you say a trip to the seaside is complete without fish and chips? I think not.

Amsterdam

We visited Amsterdam on our last day, before we went to the airport. I’d been to Amsterdam a few years ago and on this occasion we only had enough time to visit the Rijksmuseum.

Whilst there, we tried out the bitterballen, a traditional Dutch dish battered in a crunchy breadcrumb coating and filled with a gooey mixture of chopped beef, beef broth, flour, butter, herbs and spices. Bitterballen is traditionally served with mustard.

Best. dish. ever.

I had such a great time eating my way through the Netherlands and came home feeling very full. Very much looking forward to my next trip now!

My food travels in the Netherlands: Utrecht

I fail at travel blogging. I’ve been back from the Netherlands for over a month now and have been way too slow in uploading my pictures of the food we ate over there.

Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, built along two tree-lined canals (the main one being Oudegracht). It is often described as Amsterdam’s little sister, but has a character of its own. It is also a foodie dream!

Here is a round- up of some of the food I ate in Utrecht:

Oude Muntkelder

The Netherlands is known for its stroopwaffel, but is also big on its pancakes, with a pancake house on every corner.

Oude Muntkelder offers over 70 types of pancake which you can mix and match. I tried banana and Nutella, simply because I could.

If you’re going this carb- load, this is the place to do it. Delicious- recommended.

Humphrey’s Restaurant

First- the ambiance. Visiting Humphrey’s Restaurant is like stepping back into an old- school romance, resplendent with red velvet curtains and low lighting. It was so good, it almost upstaged the food.

Dinner is served as a three- course set menu so be prepared to eat a lot!

Coupe with three different types of ice-cream

Lamb burgers served on mini pitas with tabbouleh salad with mint and Greek yoghurt

Verdict: I loved it, but then, I would do.

Restaurant Blauw

According to locals and food guides alike, Blauw is the best restaurant in Utrecht. This was a rather lovely Indonesian place that was hard to get a booking for.
Blauw specialises in rijsttafel (rice tables). There is a choice of meat, fish or vegetarian options, which are served as 15-20 little ramekins of Indonesian dishes.

All the food!

Sadly, we didn’t leave room for dessert. This was entirely our own fault as no-one forced us to eat that much.

This place was amazing but don’t plan to eat the next day!

Special mention needs to be made to this melting concotion:

I really couldn’t complain about hunger during this trip as I seemed to never stop eating! Utrecht is a recommended destination- it’s full of culture, history and some fantastic food. It also helped that I was travelling with a local.

This was my second visit to the Netherlands after falling in love with the country when I previously visited two years ago. I will post some pictures of the other food I ate during my trip over the next few days.