Food translator

Eating out in Amsterdam is no problem as there are hundreds of restaurants. Most menu cards are both in Dutch and English. Still, in some smaller restaurants or snackbars the menu may be in Dutch only. Here are some key words to help you along. And, remember, most Dutch can speak English.


Many chic restaurants use culinary terms that are derived from French. These words are easy to recognise: bavarois, bisque, compote, confit. Don’t bother to learn these as in those chic restaurants the waiters invariably speak English. Below you will find a list of common Dutch words you may need when reading the menu card.


Word List

  • appelgebak
    apple pie
  • appelgebak met slagroom
    apple pie with whipped cream
  • biefstuk
  • bitterballen
    deep-fried bite-sized meat ball
  • broodje
    bread role
  • erwtensoep
    pea soup
  • friet
    french fries
  • Hollandse nieuwe
    raw salty herring, the first catch if the season
  • kaas
  • kip
  • kroket
    deep fried saugage shaped meat ball
  • pannenkoek
  • poffertjes
    puffed mini pancakes
  • rundvlees
  • spekjes
    small pieces of bacon often added to salds
  • suiker
  • ijs
  • zout