as much as I love to find you the best holiday deals in the Internet, I also love to discover the places where I send you. :) To do this, your Holidayguru travelled to Amsterdam last weekend and I experienced this amazing city by food… what looks like a typo actually isn’t, because I discovered Amsterdam with the lovely guide of Hungry Birds and had a great time during their Street Food Tour. Let me tell you about my experiences and let you know why you shouldn’t miss out on this marvellous food experience on your next trip to Amsterdam!
Hungry Birds Street Food Tour
The story behind Hungry Birdsis as follows: two enthusiastic girls, Esther-Hanna and Zosia met in Indonesia and quickly learned that they share one passion: their love of food. So back in Amsterdam and exploring the city by visiting the local bars and restaurants, the two of them had the idea to offer guided walking tours through the city. Then the best way to show your friends the city where you live is by taking them out to a good restaurant, right? :) So why not making it a tourist attraction? I think that it is a great concept that even got honoured on TripAdvisor as #4 Activities in Amsterdam with a flawless rating of 100%!
And believe me: thanks to the lovely way of story telling, you quickly feel like you’re among friends :)
Local Street Food, Local Stories, Local Life
Well prepared with a happy mood and a bottle of water for each of us, Esther welcomed us at our meeting point. I knew from the beginning that this is going to be a great experience… even though the weather was not. The atmosphere was relaxed and after a short introduction of every Hungry Bird in our round, you quickly feel like being surrounded by friends.
Our Hungry Birds guide Esther started the tour by explaining that the food in Amsterdam was mainly influenced by its ex-colony of Indonesia. So the first stop was right next to us and we popped in to an Indonesian supermarket. This shop has all of the Indonesian delicacies you can think of and we tasted a pastry with meat and the super delicious Spekkoek. Oh believe me, if you like sweets as much as I do, you’re going to love this thousand-layer spice cake! What a phenomenal start :)
Our next stop was a Dutch takeaway chain called FEBO. The first shop was established in the 50s and the croquettes quickly got very popular. So, to satisfy every customer as quick as possible they created little heated vending machines. You only need to pick your favourite croquette, insert your coins and there you have your snack. They offer a huge variety of croquettes and best thing about them is that everything is organic and freshly made. This ensures constant good quality and is the main reason for their success. Our Hungry Bird Esther provided the change for the vending machine to eat one of them…yummy!
With the chicken croquette in our tummies we went straight to the next spot, the Yoghurt Barn. This place is inspired by New York’s Frozen yoghurt shops and is an absolute must-see and must-eat! Honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of yoghurts :D BUT I loved these ones! Esther came out of the shop with a mouth-watering (and big) portion of ‘Hang-Op‘. That’s the name for the traditionally made Dutch yoghurt (it has less than 1% fat). The topping of the yoghurt was with seeds, berries, nuts and if you made it through the big portion down to the bottom you could taste apple with cinnamon…D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!
Did I tell you NOT to eat BEFORE the tour? You get generous portions on every stop that might fill you up, but believe me, they fill you up in a nice way :)
Just across the street we headed to United Pancakes. This is a lovely and cosy place set up by two sisters who offer handmade pancakes with their home-made syrups. You can buy most of the syrups in the store and bring them back home :) I totally binged on the pancakes with their Dutch waffle syrup! But this syrup creation is a secret and remains a mystery… enough reason for me to return to this place and to eat more pancakes with this syrup :D
With a satisfied sweet tooth we walked to a small international supermarket. It offers many specialities from almost everywhere and you can buy spicy ingredients as well some takeaway food. We got a spicy baguette which gave a us a boost for the remainder of the tour.
A short walk later we arrived at the market stalls of the huge Albert Cuypmarket, preparing for the ultimate Dutch food experience: Heering & Kipperling! The street market is on every day apart from Sunday and this is the place to find some good food! The amazing smell brought us to a nice fresh fish market stall where we could sit down under outdoor heaters to enjoy the next food round. The female owners of the stall can be easily recognized by the red flower in their hair. The mother and her daughter brought us fresh herring that you have to eat raw, dipped into onions, gherkins and any sauce you prefer. For the ones who are not into raw fish, they also served Kipperling which is a piece of tasty fried fish. I liked this one :)
Following the market street we went to another stop on the market and we got the chance to taste the divine Stroopwafels. Maybe you already know these waffles from one of your Amsterdam trips: it’s a very famous big cookie filled with caramel. Traditionally the Stroopwafels get served on top of a hot coffee or tea cup, so that the caramel inside of the waffle gently melts. We hadn’t a hot cup of tea on our tour, but we were lucky enough to taste the waffles in a traditional way, because the owner of the stall served us a freshly baked waffle…it tasted like haven!
I think you can imagine, that we were already quite full and it would have been a tasty ‘torture’ if you have to watch your guru-kilos :) It might sound ‘cheesy’… BUT you simply cannot make a food tour through Amsterdam without CHEESE :D
So the last stop was in one of Amsterdam’s best cheese shops. The staff of the shop greeted us with a glass of red wine and a huge cheese plate with different kind of cheeses. I don’t want to tell you too much about it, but I loved the cumin cheese!! Or as Esther described it: “That’s cheese with cumin, not to be mixed with human!” :)
There we were, at the end of our delicious street food tour through Amsterdam. Some of us pregnant with a food baby and some of us in comatose state. I could have fallen directly into my mediation position and I slept like a baby that night :)
I felt a bit sad to say goodbye to our Hungry Bird Esther, because it was like saying goodbye to a friend.
One satisfied Hungry Bird
My conclusion of this street food tour was, it really deserves the 100% rating on TripAdvisor. Thanks to Esther who is a lovely person who loves what she’s doing and thanks definitely to the owners of the shop! All of them told us their story, from their ideas to dealing with difficulties whilst establishing their businesses. You easily get caught up in their enthusiasm and you get a great glimpse ‘behind the scenes’.
For the end of my Amsterdam Food Tour experience, I’ll give you some more useful facts about Hungry Birds:
The tour is a great opportunity to make some new friends if you travel solo, and to share a lovely food experience through Amsterdam. Besides that you taste some delicacies at the same time as discovering the beauty of the city.
If you travel with a group, it is no problem to sign up for the Hungry Birds Food Tour only for you and your friends.
The Hungry Bikers tour is ideal to work off some of the calories immediately.
The whole tour takes around 3-4 hours and a gurutastic tip is: make sure that you start the tour with an empty stomach!
The tour costs €59/ around £44 per person and is absolutely worth the price.
Hope you enjoyed reading my article…I’m hungry again now :D