When I went to Amsterdam last weekend I thought I will try something new! I guess many of you have already visited the city, so you’d agree with me that it would be nice to mix things up a bit! That’s why I took part in a food tour to discover Amsterdam’s culinary traces.
Hungry Birds Food Tour
Hungry Birds is a new concept I came across: It is a guided walking food tour through the city, founded by two enthusiastic girls Esther-Hanna and Zosia, who met in Indonesia and quickly learned about their shared love of food. So, back in Amsterdam they decided to put their ideas into action to give the tourists a real glimpse of its culinary side! And I can tell you, it is simply delicious!!
Delicious Dutch Food
We were greeted by Esther at the Albert Cuypmarkt, well prepared with a happy mood and a bottle of water for each of us. From the beginning you could notice that this is going to be a great experience. The atmosphere was totally relaxed (even though the weather was not) and everybody was thrilled to get flashed by the Dutch food. Our Hungry Birds teacher Esther explained us however, that the food in the Netherlands, and particularly in Amsterdam was greatly shaped by its ex-Colony of Indonesia. We started by popping in to an Indonesian supermarket that has been around for ages and tried out sweet and savoury deliciousnesses. One of my highlights already… Great start!
A real contrast to that made FEBO, a takeaway chain, which was established in the 50s. To satisfy the customers quicker they created little vendors so that all you need to do is inserting your change, et voilà, you can take away your snack :) They serve a fantastic variety of croquettes, but the best is, everything is organic and freshly made. This makes a nice change to fast food chains that can’t keep up with the quality and sustainability of FEBO. (Of course the change for the vendours is provided for you).
And on we went to get ourselves a healthy snack for in-between…Yoghurt Barn was our next stop. This place was modelled after New York’s Frozen yoghurt shops and is absolute hipstery, I love it! Esther popped in and came out with mouth-watering portions of Hang-Op (the name for traditionally made Dutch yoghurt). It was topped with seeds, nuts and berries and OMG-delicious! Have I mentioned, do not eat before that tour?! The portions you get will fill you up, but in a nice way!
Across the street, we went by United Pancakes, a lovely place set up by two sisters who offer handmade pancakes topped with their home-made syrup. I totally binged on the delicious sweet stuff and couldn’t get enough, especially from their Chocolate Cookie creation. Great plus: You can buy the syrup in the store and bring it with you to enjoy at home.
A short walk later we arrived at a small international supermarket, where we could try out nice buns filled with spicy ingredients, which gave us an extra boost for the remaining tour. So if you haven’t done your shopping yet, that would be the time to stock up on your exotic flavours.
Then it was time for the ultimate Dutch food experience: Heering & Kipperling! We went towards the huge Albert Cuypmarket, a street market that is on every day apart from Sunday. There you can binge on anything you wish! The smell is amazing and a bit like torture if you have to watch your Guru-kilos… So we stopped at a nice fresh fish market stall, where we could sit down to enjoy this authentic dish. The lady served us herring, which is eaten raw, dipped into onions and any sauce you like. Even though this is a huge bunch of raw fish it was ‘helemaal lekker’, as the Dutch would say. For the ones who DON’T DO raw, they got Kipperling, a piece of tastily fried fish.
Another stop on the market involved tasting Stroopwafels. You might have tried this before, it is a very famous cookie/waffle, filled with caramel or actually molasses. Normally you serve it covering the top of a hot cup a coffee, so that the caramel melts inside. We didn’t have the coffee, but – to our luck – the owner of the stall had a nice freshly baked waffle for us and it was simply divine!
So as you can imagine, we were all super full already, but what would a visit to Amsterdam be without… – right, cheese! So, on we went to one of Amsterdam’s best cheese shops where we were already expected with a glass of wine and a plate with eight cheeses to taste. I can only tell you so much, the truffles cheese – gosh, amazing! I took a kilo of this taste explosion home…
There we were at the end of our tour, some drunk from the food, others pregnant with a food baby, and all of us comatose. But each and every single one of us extremely happy. Sad to say goodbye to Esther, since she was our food angel but we are all planning to go back and experience this great tour again.
What makes all the places so special, apart from its amazing food and the wonderful guide Esther, are definitely the owners of the shops. With great enthusiasm they explained how they established their business, what difficulties they’ve overcome and how it has developed. What really comes across is the love for food that everyone shares and seeing the passion “behind the scenes”, which is probably something many of us have forgotten.
Now some useful facts about the tour: Apart from the tour itself being amazing, it is also a great way to get to know new people. When you like travelling on your own, sign up for the Hungry Birds Food Tour and be ready to make friends quickly. When you’re travelling in a group, no problem, the tour can also be booked only for you guys. Or if you want to work off all the calories immediately, you can also book the Hungry Bikers tour! You should count 3-4 hours in for the whole tour and make sure you start off with an empty stomach. The tour costs €59pp and is absolutely worth its price. Forget all set 3-course dinner menus, this one the new level of tasting a city :).