Don’t get me wrong. I’m as much about organic, eco-friendly, locally-sourced, environmentally-sustainable food as the next person, but we all have weak moments. For me, these always occur in the Netherlands, and perhaps more specifically, in the Frituur (which translates as both cafeteria, and deep fryer…).

A frituur is a takeout restaurant specializing in the fine art of deep-frying, serving friet (french fries) alongside an eclectic mix of dishes, from Indonesian-style items like the Nasi or Bami Ball (deep fried balls of rice or pasta with Indonesian spices) to the traditionally Dutch Broodje Kroket (bread with a croquette).

During my time in the Netherlands, however, I’ve noticed that many tourists tend to shy away from the frituur, except perhaps to buy fries. Luckily (or perhaps unfortunately) for me, I have tried many of the frituur specialties and can make some recommendations for the gastronomically shy. Whether you are in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Groningen, Maastricht or anywhere in between, here are my top 6 frituur dishes worth breaking your diet for:


Photo Credit: Stichting Frietopia

Friet Speciaal: Any stop at the frituur would be incomplete without an order of fries. Since fries with ketchup likely isn’t pushing your palette too far, check out the Friet Speciaal: Fries topped with mayonaise or frietsaus (lower fat…as if it makes a difference at this point), curry sause, and chopped onions.


Gehaktbal: Ok. It’s a “Meatball”…but don’t feel underwhelmed. This small order could give both IKEA, and your Italian grandmother a run for their money. Order it by itself, or on a bun, and hey, why not throw some mustard and mayo on it for good form. You’re clearly past the breaking point now anyway.


Photo Credit: accidentalhedonistKroket and Bitterbal:  These dishes are essentially the same, consisting of a deep-fried, battered, meat and cheese ragout, differing only in size and shape. The “Croquette” takes on an oblong shape while the “Bitter Ball” is round. Historically, these dishes got their start when chef’s needed a way to use leftover meat and cheese. By turning it into a thick ragout and frying it, what was once on its way out, could become staple fare at pubs, frituurs, and restaurants alike. While the name Bitterbal may sound off-putting, neither the Kroket or Bitterbal are bitter in taste. Originally, the Bitterbal was served alongside a small glass of Dutch jenever (similar to gin), otherwise known as a bittertje. 


Photo Credit:  GuusbosmanFrikandel: This minced meat sausage is likely one of the most popular Dutch fast food snacks alongside the kroket. Unlike most sausages, however, the frikandel is skinless and, you guessed it, deep fried, likening it in some ways more to a meatball. The frikandel is made up of a combination of meats, the exact details of which I don’t dare ask, and can also be made “speciaal” by serving it with mayonaise, curry sauce, and chopped onions.


Photo Credit: Herman SaksonoNasi Goreng and Bami Goreng Balls: Another delicious, and originally left-over-based, concoction, the Nasi and Bami Balls are made of deep fried battered balls of popular indonesian dishes Nasi Goreng,  a rice dish, and Bami Goreng, a pasta dish.

While the photo features Nasi Goreng in its un-deep fried form, the snack is similar in appearance to a kroket.


 Photo Credit: Andy Field (Hubmedia)Kibbeling: For those familiar with Fish and Chips, this dish may in fact seem the most recognizable out of the highlighted dishes. Kibbeling is deep fried cod typically served with a garlic aioli or mayonaise. It’s amazing, and you can usually recognize the smell of deep fried fish from a few hundred meters away, which is great because it is always easy to find.


If you’ve tried any of these Dutch dishes, or have a suggestion for something that’s missing, leave a comment. Otherwise, eet smakelijk (enjoy your meal).

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JP Bervoets

JP Bervoets

JP has spent the last decade working in the not-for-profit sector and has called Canada, the Netherlands and South Africa home. He’s travelled to over 30 countries and currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada. His interests include photography, cycling, playing guitar and working on Departful. JP co-founded the site in 2012.

Departful is a full service travel agency for busy professionals seeking unique and transformative custom travel experiences. We create memorable holidays that are 100% tailored to our clients, saving them time and energy by handling all of the little details while providing value by leverage our expertise and network of travel partners. We are based in Toronto.

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Departful is a full service travel agency for busy professionals seeking unique and transformative custom travel experience. We create memorable holidays that are 100% tailored to our clients, saving them time & energy by handling all of the little details while providing value by leverage our expertise and network of travel partners. We are based in Toronto.

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