After introducing herself and warmly shaking my hand, Chris, my Eating Amsterdam tour guide asked me a question.
“Did you have breakfast?”
“No,” I said honestly. It had been a busy morning.
“Good! Because we have a lot of food ahead of us!”
The Eating Amsterdam Food Tour of the Jordaan
And she wasn’t lying. My Eating Amsterdam tour took me on a culinary journey that crossed continents, traversed centuries of history and took me down many of Jordaan’s narrow alleyways and through the maze of Amsterdam’s canals. And there was food at every turn.
Beginning with Dutch apple pie at Cafe Papeneiland, one of Amsterdam’s oldest brown bars – so-called because of the wooden interiors and tradition of smoke darkening the walls – the hours that followed were more than a food tour, they were an excellent introduction to Amsterdam’s history, culture and culinary delicacies. Although I’ve lived in Amsterdam for more than a year, I found myself raising my eyebrows and uttering “Really?!” with genuine fascination on more than a few occasions. It’s hard to believe how much history and food is to be found just a few streets away from the Toren hotel.
When I first read that the four-hour tours only took in the Jordaan area, I was sceptical if they could fill the time with enough variety of food stops. But I was naive to even think that for a second. Yet in between our tasting stops I noticed more cafes, bars, restaurants, bakeries, delis and grocery stores. This food tour of Amsterdam opened my eyes to the foodie haven that the Jordaan is.
More than just a food tour…
As we walked through the streets of Jordaan learning what the area had once been liked and what kind of people have lived there over the decades, we stopped at a butcher, fishmongers, a sweet shop and a Surinamese take-away shop all serving up traditional Dutch dishes to both locals and us.
Because I believe this tour is best done with little knowledge of what’s to be tasted, I won’t list the specific foods that were served, but I will state that I enjoyed them all. A lot. Even the raw meat sausage and the pickled herring.
Oops. Well, that’s two foods you can look forward to trying.
Why Eating Amsterdam’s tours are a little bit different…
While Eating Amsterdam does offer a walking-only tour, I highly recommend the food and canals tour, which includes a boat ride along the canals. While there are many ways to see Amsterdam from the water, this canal tour is unique because the boat you sit on is one of the oldest saloon boats that has been offering private tours of Amsterdam’s waterways.
Oh, and there’s drink too. Because of course, you need something to wash down all twelve tastings down, including my favourite locally brewed beer from Brouwerij ‘t IJ.
But that’s all I’m going to tell you. Honestly.
Oh, apart from this one little piece of advice. If you do decide to go on an Eating Amsterdam tour, make sure you’re hungry, and not just for food but for knowledge and beautiful Amsterdam scenes too.
To make the most of this neighbourhood, stay at the boutique hotel, The Toren, Amsterdam