The beer traditionally brewed by Trappist monks to support their abbey is known as Trappist beer. Today, Trappist beer is produced in small quantities within the walls of only 7 remaining Trappist brewery/abbeys, and despite the lack of advertising it remains highly sought after. A good place to sample the beers and a plate of Trappist cheese is in one of the best local beer bars, Gollem.
Freshly made local food is scattered round the streets of Amsterdam. Much of the street food is either fried or covered in butter--or both. (Herring is an exception.) It's a wonderfully naughty treat. Keep a look out for vendors in central junctions, busy intersections and at markets.
Herring is sold in trailers around the city. The fish is gutted and cleaned straight from the net with only the pancreas left intact, as it provides the enzymes needed for curing. It is then salted for several days, resulting in a silky smooth and lightly salted fish. Sliced into bite-sized pieces, the herring is sprinkled with raw onion and paired with a pickled gherkin. The Dutch flag gives the finishing touch, and doubles as a fork. A true local culinary highlight.
Patat, re-fried French fries, served with peanut sauce and the classic mayonnaise squirted on top, are an equally famous Dutch specialty.
Poffertjes are Dutch miniature pancake pillows. Traditionally they are covered with powdered sugar and served with butter.
Local tearooms are a great place to start the day, stop for a snack, a light lunch, or afternoon tea.
On Mondays and Tuesdays Gartine restaurant-tearoom is closed as Kirsten and Willem-Jan Hendriks work in their small farm on the outskirts of Amsterdam. For the rest of the week they serve their produce alongside products from Slow Food's Ark of Taste as well as eggs from the Adopt a Chicken foundation. All the food prepared here is local, organic and seasonal, and changes accordingly. The Hendriks are also antique collectors, so the tableware and artifacts add to the intimacy. Open for breakfast, lunch, and tea. A reservation is recommended, as there are few tables.
De Bakkerswinkel is a small chain of bakery-tearooms specializing in traditional bread and pastries as well as seasonal hearty light food.
De tart van m'n tante is a Konditorei, café, and B&B near the Albert Cuyp market with brightly colored décor and unusual cakes.
Stientjes is a Dutch lunchroom that specializes in local nostalgia. The pastries, homemade cooking, and specialty products are all based on traditional recipes using local ingredients. Inside, the décor is both tranquil and vibrant as large Vermeer prints and utensils chandeliers hang in an otherwise traditional bakery space. Open till high tea, you can try the specialty suikerbrood, though you might as well try the entire pastry selection, available in sample portions.