Vier Porties Bitterballen, Graag – A weekend of gluttony

Four portions of bitterballen, please – Een weekend vol vraatzucht

Last weekend, we had friends over from England, so despite my suggestions of a day in Utrecht or Gouda, they were fixed on Amsterdam. No surprises there. So when in Amsterdam… do as the Amsterdammers do. We took them for bitterballen… and they were perhaps the best bitterballen I’ve tasted thus far!!!

Saturday (Valentine’s Day) 

We went to the SkyLounge at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam (cor, that’s a mouthful!) because it’s close to the station and THE VIEW… oh, THE VIEW! Undoubtedly one of the best views in Amsterdam. My Dutch friend introduced me to this place last summer but told me I had to keep it a secret… however a) I asked her permission before posting this and b) if you Google ‘best views in Amsterdam’ it comes up anyway… so…

Yeah, the SkyLounge. (Other sky bars are available.)

This place is ultra-swanky, so when paying €8.50 for 6 bitterballen: they’d better be damn good! And that they were! Seriously posh bitterballen – they tasted homemade. So I’ll give them my highest score so far – 9.5/10 with half a point being deducted due to the price. (Ha! Look at me being all Dutch!)


After devouring our borrelhapjes we set off towards Woo Brothers on Jodenbreestraat. We’ve been here once before for their Asian fusion food (with the same friend – her choice) and yet again, they didn’t disappoint. Here’s their sashimi platter, plus marinated oysters just to the right. Mmmmmmmmmm…


I love that this place is full of locals and the tourists haven’t cottoned on yet. It’s quite young, hip and trendy (and I realise I sound completely old, unhip and untrendy just by saying that) and the prices reflect the outstanding quality of food. It’s not crazy-expensive, but it’s not cheap either. Here, you definitely get what you pay for.

We had to take an early dinner slot as it was Valentine’s day and they were fully booked after 7.15pm (unsurprisingly – so best to book in advance if you want to eat here). Food tips: the oysters, salt and pepper squid and the soft shelled crab are all finger-lickin’-good!

At the end of the evening – and I have no idea how they managed it – but my friends wanted to order a waffle, so we took them to Delicious on Nieuwmarkt square. Along with The Dutchie, they had a huge waffle, ice cream AND cream each. I didn’t take a photo as I might just have split my stomach in the process!!

Sunday (Tour d’amour)

We were back in the Dam again on Sunday for a Tour d’amour of the Rijksmuseum. A (Dutch) friend of ours is a tour guide, so this was her wedding gift to us. All together now: “ahhhhhhh”.

We went with the Dutchie’s family and some friends, 11 of us in total, and learnt about many of the lesser known paintings in the museum, all with the theme of love.

The tour ended with De Nachtwacht (The Night Watch). Not really about love, but you can’t go to the Rijksmuseum and not visit the most famous painting there, right?


[Want to see more Rijksmuseum pics? Check out my Instagram account.]

Back to the food: we visited Cafe Loetje which is around a 5 min walk from the Rijksmuseum. (They have seven branches in total, the one we went to was on Johannes Vermeerstraat).

“Specialty steaks & classical Dutch dishes are served at this bustling cafe with a shaded terrace.” Right you are, Google.

So, what did we order? More bitterballen!!! 🙂 I feel full just looking at this picture…


They look the same, but in fact: the bitterballen on the left are gewoon bitterballen (normal bitterballen) and the ones on the right are garnalen bitterballen (prawns!) In the middle you see vlammetjes! (Spicy ground beef enveloped in a little parcel and deep-fried.)

These bitterballen get 8/10. Love the flags, a really cute touch! But the colouring is too dark and they’re not round! 10/10 for taste though, especially the prawn bad boys!

After the sharing platter (which we shared with the whole table, not just us fatties), the Dutchie had a ‘Bali’ steak, served with a special hot sauce – this place is famous for its steaks, so it had to be done! I went for the slightly less adventurous Pastrami club sandwich. All in all: good grub, good service and the place had a really friendly atmosphere.

And, when the bill came? We went Dutch!! (Everyone paid their own bill.) What else? 😉

A weekend of pure gluttony. Oh… and this coming weekend I have another friend coming over from England! Eat, Sleep, Bitterballen, Repeat. Poor me, eh?

We’re probably going to try Brouwerij ‘t IJ but if you have any other ideas or inspiration, please let me know in the comments below! Thanks!

Hayley x

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  1. Sigh, now I want bitterballen so bad. But, it always irks me a bit when my Finnish friends talk about coming to the Netherlands to visit us, they are asking how far Utrecht is from Amsterdam, whether it’s a long trip by train and if it’s expensive. Sigh, as if there was nothing else to the Netherlands than Amsterdam. 😀

    Of course, Amsterdam is a nice touristy city and it does have some great shops and restaurants and museums etc but still, give the rest of the Netherlands some love too! But then, that’s what you do and it’s one of the reasons why I really like your blog. You showcase other places as well, and I have actually made a list of places and museums and eateries to visit based on your reviews. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Senja! I completely agree with you! I love Amsterdam too, but there’s so much more to this beautiful country then just the capital! Glad you enjoy that I’m trying to showcase the rest of Holland too. More posts of that ilk coming soon… I have a long list of places I want to visit this year! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just thought I would note that if you ever have vegetarian guests, you might take them to Cafe Thijssen ( for veggie bitterballen if you are in Amsterdam. I am sure there are more places to find them, but that’s the first I’ve seen in my short time here and it’s a nice place for a drink. More info for your bitterballen files! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, dear…I’m very silly. All this time, I’ve been reading about your love for bitterballen and now I’m starting to wonder where I can get some where I live…

    …completely forgetting, of course, that Holland, Michigan is a nice little Dutch enclave where I could probably get all the bitterballen I can handle!

    I think I ought to make a trip to the Tulip Festival this year. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love to read your blog. I am Dutch but we lived abroard in Nz and finally came back because we missed our family.
    My advice, it’s maybe to cold right now but in summer time you can try Giethoorn. It’s soort of the Venice of Holland 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A tip for when you’re back in Amsterdam; the Foodhallen. An old tramshed is transformed into a cultural hotspot with a cinema, 2 restaurants, library, shops and a large food centre. The food centre can be quite packed, but they have a variety with amazing small food vendors, like for example the… *wait for it* Ballenbar! Here they serve a variety of culinary bitterballen. It looks very ‘gezellig’ inside and the atmosphere is awesome. But do plan to visit it somewhere around 2PM, as it can get pretty crowded during lunch time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Omg! I miss Holland so much…. and I really miss the bitterballen, they were my favorites when I was there! … I’m new in WordPress and I’m really loving this thing 😀 ! … I was in Holland for three months last year! I really loved this country… and now I’m learning dutch!

    I’d like to make bitterballen in my country! I’ll look for the recipe in google, but if you know any other, maybe kind of secret or family recipe I’ll be grateful if you share it 🙂

    And again I love your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

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