While the origin of the humble French fry generates much debate (which we’ll get to), there’s absolutely no denying the fried potato has reached its culinary zenith in Amsterdam (okay, and neighboring Belgium). Golden-brown and thick-cut, Amsterdam French fries are sold on nearly every street corner and come with an array of toppings. I hope you’re hungry.
French fries: An abbreviated love story
There is a long-standing dispute over who actually invented fries, with both the French and the Belgians claiming responsibility for their crispy goodness. Some argue vigorously that they should more properly be called “Belgian fries” or “Flemish fries,” especially since it appears that the Belgians may have beat the French to frying up strips of potato.
In any case, those who have tried to unravel the origins of crispy fried potatoes generally agree that their popularity skyrocketed during World War I when they were served in copious amounts to all troops, including the British, who ultimately referred to them as “chips,” and Americans, who adopted the moniker French fries (much to the Belgians’ consternation).
Frieten + Frites, Amsterdam’s take on the almighty fry
Forget ketchup. Amsterdam french fries come with anything and everything as a topping. You can find massive cones of fries topped with a fried egg and a combination of sauces, but most vendors keep it a bit more simple than that. Mayonnaise is probably the most popular topping in Amsterdam, but that is just the start. Other favorites include curry, peanut sauce, chili, cheese, gravy and garlic sauce, or any combination of sauces. Most places charge 50 to 75 cents for each sauce, allowing you to mix and match as you like. Patate Ooorlog is a popular french fry dish that features a spicy peanut sauce (“pindasaus“) layered over mayonnaise and topped with onions. Amsterdam frites are typically served in a paper cone with a fork.
Where to find killer Amsterdam French fries
Vleminckx Sausmeesters, or saucemasters, is a hole-in-the-wall place that has been serving Amsterdam french fries for more than 57 years. All of their fries come prepared by hand and their famously wide selection of sauces boggles the mind. Locals and tourists alike get their fry fix here. Expect a line. But it’s worth the wait.
Bar Boca’s is a sit-down joint so popular that reservations are required. At Boca’s you can choose from three different types of potatoes and three different types of sauce. Order all three of each, mix, match and share with friends.
Haha, I get it. “Chipsy.” Whether you need a snack to keep you clubbing, or want to try some of the best patate oorlog in town, Chipsy King is the place to go. Located near Centraal Station, Chipsy King is there when you need them, keeping late-night hours.