For obvious reasons, I’ve been wanting to write this post since FOREVER… But I’ve been putting it off because I hadn’t yet had the chance to visit the Ballenbar. And y’know… they call themselves ‘de Ballenbar’ so either they know their shizz about bitterballen or they’re big fat liars and have built a brand based on selling rubbish bitterballen… Thankfully, it’s the former!! So much so, that they go straight to #1 on the list.
So here you go folks, here are my top 5 places to eat bitterballen in Amsterdam:
Inside the Foodhallen, Bellamyplein 51, Amsterdam | deballenbar.com
Let’s get straight to the point. All of the bitterballen here are good… but head and shoulders above the rest are the bouillabaisse ballen. OH MY OH MY OH MY! It’s no wonder really – as the filling was created by Michelin star chef Peter Gast. They’re fishy but not too fishy with a nice hit of prawn flavour; so good you don’t even need a dipping sauce! Forget what you think about bouillabaisse and try them – you won’t be disappointed!
Simply divine. De beste bitterballen ooit! (The best bitterballen ever!)
Price: Proeverij €6.50 for 5 bitterballen (Tasting board with 5 different types of bitterballen: beef, chorizo, bouillabaisse, goats cheese and Tom Kha Kai).
Top floor of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam Centraal Station, Oosterdoksstraat 4, 1011 DK Amsterdam | skyloungeamsterdam.com
Previously my number one place in Amsterdam to feast on tiny deep fried balls of heaven… Seriously posh bitterballen!
Good size, decent chunks of meat inside and tangy mustard mayonnaise as an accompaniment. Oh and the view is alright too! 😉
Price: €8.50 for 6 bitterballen.
3. Cafe Loetje
Loetje have 9 branches in the Netherlands, most of them are located in Amsterdam. The one I’ve visited is: Johannes Vermeerstraat 52, 1071 DT Amsterdam. | loetje.com
The two types of bitterballen look the same in the picture below, but in fact: the bitterballen on the left are kalfs bitterballen (veal bitterballen) and the ones on the right are garnalen bitterballen (prawns). Both delicious but the prawn ones definitely have the edge!
Price: Kalfsbitterballen (veal) €5.25 for 6 and Garnalen (prawn) €5.50 for 6.
4. Eating Amsterdam Tours / Cafe Luxembourg
Eating Amsterdam: Herengracht 124, 1015 BT Amsterdam | eatingamsterdamtours.com
Cafe Luxembourg: Spui 24, 1012 XA Amsterdam | luxembourg.nl
These guys are sharing position 4 simply because they serve the same bitterballen! They come from the famous Holtkamp bakery. In 2012 their kalfsvlees (veal) bitterballen were awarded the title of ‘best bitterballen in Amsterdam’ out of the 140 cafes, bars and restaurants tested!
Price: Eating Amsterdam Tours start from €70pp for a 4 hour tour. Cafe Luxembourg: €6.50 for 6 bitterballen.
5. Gewaeght Cafe
Nieuwmarkt 16, 1012 CR Amsterdam | gewaeght.nl
Picking number 5 was a hard choice as there as so many contenders on Nieuwmarkt (it’s a popular square in Amsterdam, close to the red light district). However the ‘gezellig‘ atmosphere swayed it for me. Gewaeght Café is an old-fashioned pub, jam packed with paintings, records and memorabilia relating to 50’s, 60’s and 70’s music. The fact that they serve great bitterballen is just one more reason to go there!
Price: €5 for 6 bitterballen.