Tourists Should Know How To Eat This Iconic Amsterdam Food Like A Local

The Netherlands may not be known worldwide for its cuisine, but once you visit Amsterdam, you'll discover delectable local foods such as slavink (minced meat wrapped in bacon), bitterballen (fried meatballs, kind of), and a whole world of wonderful cheese. One of the most iconic foods in Amsterdam and beyond is the stroopwafel, a crowd-pleasing sweet treat found in supermarkets, cafes, and specialty stroopwafel shops.

If you're new to the dessert, be aware that it's nothing like your standard waffle except for the honeycomb texture. Its name translates to "syrup waffle" in English, but you can think of a stroopwafel as more of a cookie than a breakfast pastry. It's thin yet made of three layers, namely two layers of wafer and a caramel syrup center, almost like a cookie sandwich.

Whether you get your stroopwafel fresh from a stand or packaged from the store, here's one tip to help you enjoy it like a local: Warm it up before eating it. And nope, that doesn't mean nuking it in the microwave or toasting it in the oven. Dutch locals have an even simpler method for warming their stroopwafels that you can try in your hotel room or while strolling around the city.

Grab a steamy drink to warm up your stroopwafel

Dutch culture is all about gezelligheid, an untranslatable concept used to describe a cozy and charming atmosphere (which can be referred to by the adjective "gezellig"). Cold, hard stroopwafels aren't gezellig, but warm stroopwafels with a gooey caramel middle are, especially when shared with friends, although you can still enjoy the treat while exploring Amsterdam alone. To channel those cozy, wholesome vibes, many locals serve a hot cup of tea or coffee (which can also be gezellig on its own) alongside the sweet cookie.

To soften and warm the stroopwafel, simply place it over the cup and allow it to steam. This trick works great with a mug, though a to-go cup from a cafe can also work if you're walking around Amsterdam. Ideally, the cup should be small enough in diameter so that the stroopwafel sits on the rim without falling in the drink, as the goal is to eat a soft stroopwafel, not a soggy one. Wait patiently for a few minutes before removing the cookie and taking a bite. You should notice a slightly melted caramel center and tender layers of wafer. Divine.

Where to eat stroopwafels in Amsterdam

Whether you're in Amsterdam for a day trip or an extended vacation, consider stopping by a confectioner specializing in stroopwafels to discover why the dessert is so popular in the Netherlands. Lanskroon, located in central Amsterdam, is known for its "Kingsize" stroopwafel, available in either honey or coffee-caramel flavors, and it also serves coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, making it the perfect place to try the steamy cup hack. If you prefer an Instagram-worthy cookie, look no further than van Wonderen, a shop near the floating flower market. These stroopwafels are dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with candies and other fun toppings, but they tend to be priced higher than most, and you might have to wait in a long line before ordering. Such is the power of social media.

If you can't decide between eating on the spot or taking stroopwafels to go, get both at Rudi's Original Stroopwafels. Rudi's has been a staple at Amsterdam's Albert Cuyp Markt for years, and the vendor serves traditional Gouda-style wafels that can be eaten fresh and warm or bagged up and taken home as a souvenir.