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From Poffertjes to Okonomiyaki: Amsterdam’s Best Pancakes

by Siobhan Gunner

posted on December 13, 2018

No trip to Amsterdam is complete without eating pancakes for dinner at least once. Home to not one, but two traditional varieties — bite-sized, puffy poffertjes, and enormous, thin pancakes that are simply referred to as Dutch-style — restaurants here have also embraced varieties from around the world. Here we’ve highlighted spots serving up everything from the classics to all-American short stacks and okonomiyaki (savory, eggy Japanese fritters that are filled with vegetables). As you dig into a mouth-watering stack, you’ll be filled with childlike glee.

Photo Courtesy: @sodamnhungry

You’re never very far from a PANCAKES Amsterdam, as this mini-chain boasts four locations throughout the city. Catering to a diverse mix of tourists, the menu takes a global approach with both Dutch- and American-style pancakes, and a rotating monthly special (if available, the French clafoutis are the way to go). As far as toppings go, you can’t go wrong with cheese, a short stack drizzled with Belgian chocolate sauce, or a combination of blueberry compote, yogurt, and lemon.

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Ham and cheese pancake, apple and cheese pancake, smoked chicken pancake, poffertjes

Photo Courtesy: @thaliemoon

The Happy Pig Pancake Shop takes a conscientious approach to The Netherlands’ century-old tradition: many of its ingredients are organic, and a vegan-friendly batter is available. Instead of serving them on an oversized plate, as most places do, the pannenkoeken are rolled up, making them a convenient grab-and-go option. Fillings and toppings run the gamut, with many vegan options helpfully marked on the menu.

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Everybody's Sweetheart, Dutch Delight, Chili from da House, build your own pancake

Photo Courtesy: wandervibes01

Small, plump, and wonderfully fluffy, poffertjes are little cushions of joy. The recipe for success is pretty simple: a combination of wheat and buckwheat flours are mixed with milk, eggs, and a hefty amount of butter, before being poured into a special cast iron pan that’s dotted with round indentations. These portable little pancakes are often eaten out of hand at street markets; if a sit-down setting is more your speed, head to De Vier Pilaren. We like them best served simply: with a dab of butter and a thick blanket of powdered sugar.

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Poffertjes, pancakes Vier Pilaren, pancakes with ham and cheese

Photo Courtesy: stephhays

For something a little bit different, consider Japanese Pancake World, where okonomiyaki (Japanese for “cook as you like”) are on offer. While both the Japanese and Dutch share a love for pancakes at dinner, the ingredients used couldn’t be more different: at their simplest, these fritters are packed with puréed mountain potato and shredded cabbage. The fun part lies in choosing your toppings (think yakisoba noodles and egg, seafood, or marinated beef, spinach, and onion). Peachy pink flakes of bonito, mayonnaise, and deep-brown okonomiyaki sauce round things out.

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Osaka deluxe okonomiyaki, don-don-style okonomiyaki, butatama okonomiyaki, Super Power Okonomiyaki

Photo Courtesy: @thepancakebakery

The Pancake Bakery honors its setting — a cozy 17th-century canal house on the historical Prinsengracht (Prince’s canal) — by serving up classic Dutch pancakes, aka pannenkoeken. Enormous and thin (somewhere in between the thickness of a French crêpe and an American flapjack), they’re substantial enough for dinner, which is fitting, as the Dutch eat them into the evening hours. Syrup and powdered sugar provide the finishing touch to your filling of choice: ham and cheese is traditional; for something sweet-leaning, consider the combination of bananas, rum, and whipped cream.

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Banana and Nutella pancake, The Hawaiian, The Napoli, stroopwafel, poffertjes

Photo Courtesy: mookpancakes

MOAK is a modern destination for pancakes, serving American-style stacks with unexpected toppings; the soundtrack: throwback hip-hop tracks. Lush greenery provides chill vibes, and the menu boasts many healthyish options (natural sweeteners are used in lieu of white sugar, and the pancakes are made with whole-grain flour). Some highlights: The Pink Lady (smoked salmon, creme fraiche, avocado, dill, and olive oil), The G.O.O.D. Morning (Greek yogurt, granola, cinnamon, strawberries and honey), and Mancakes (bacon, cheddar cheese, grilled onions, maple syrup) Here, pretty much anything goes.A

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The Blue Magic, Mancakes, The Pink Lady, avocado salmon, The G.O.O.D. Morning

Photo Courtesy: ree7amsterdam

Fuel up for afternoon spent shopping in the Nine Streets at Ree7, an all-day cafe with an Instagram-friendly interior and menu to match. Soup, salads, and smoothies are there for you, if you’re looking for a light lunch; if something more indulgent is in order, the mascarpone- and fruit-topped pancakes won’t let you down.

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Açai bowl, roast chicken sandwich, Ree7 burger, Good Mood Pasta, homemade carrot cake

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