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7 must-have foods at Dutch Christmas markets

The air is cold, the streets are decorated, and the magical Christmas markets have finally arrived. We’re ready to devour some unmissable seasonal delicacies!

Is Christmas in the Netherlands the best time of year? Almost undoubtedly! Here are some good ideas of how to use the allowed extra holiday calories ?


It’s steamy and spicy, the ultimate Christmas market date. Image: Daria-Yakovleva/Pixabay

Of course gluhwein is the first on our list. One cup is like a big hug, it warms you up from the inside and gives you the energy to try all the other goodies.

If you don’t drink alcohol, there are always nice alternatives like hot chocolate with whipped cream (but without the cream doesn’t work the same, trust me!)

Bratwurst (or any kind of sausage on a bun)

Sometimes you just need a big hunk of meat. Image: Carmen Monge

For the meat-lovers, your Christmas snack is the easier spot to find, you can smell it all over the market! Just follow your nose and you will find a huge BBQ with many types of sausages and with several types of sauces.


The Dutch love potatoes and pancakes, so this is logical. Image: Carmen Monge

For the vegetarians among us, you can always find some of these greasy and delicious fried potatoes pancakes. I recommend eating them with mouth-watering apple sauce!


It may be German, but we’ll adopt it as our own. Image: Carmen Monge

Since all major Christmas market traditions originate from our friendly neighbours, this dish is a must! Prepare for the germanic and french version of pizza, it is like a very thin crust with assorted topics, such as bacon, green onion, and cheese…delish!


Excuse me, your mouth is watering. Image: Carmen Monge

This is called Flame Salmon, and it is grilled salmon – delicious! You can have it on a bun, or a plate. This is a healthier option, in my opinion, it has good fats, comes with salad and it is warm. Sadly, you cannot find it in every Christmas market in the Netherlands but it is very common in Germany and France.


Anything deep-fried is good in our books! Image: Carmen Monge

Christmas and New year’s eve is not complete without this Dutch delicacy! You can choose between many varieties, but the original is plain or with raisins and powder sugar. The original is good, but my go-to is the Appelbol. It reminds me of an upgraded version of Mcdonald’s apple pie and it is healthier than regular oliebollen (well, maybe not but I prefer to think it is!)


What’s better than pancakes? A bunch of teensy pancakes! Image: Carmen Monge

Isn’t everything better when it’s made teeny-tiny? For pancakes it’s definitely no exception. Not only are these tiny, fluffy discs of dough delicious, they’re bite sized which means less time cutting, and more time eating![td_smart_list_end]

BONUS: regional delicacies!

The best way to get to know a location is through your taste-buds. Image: Carmen Monge

It doesn’t matter which Christmas market you visit, there will be a traditional dish from the region. For example, if you go to Maastricht you will find Limburg Vlaai (special fruit tart from there), or if you go to Gouda you can find many different kinds of cheese from the region. So if you are visiting a new city Christmas market, make sure you do some research first to check for the regional and local produce!

Which one is your favourite Christmas treat? Which of your favourite Dutch Christmas market foods have we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: Carmen Monge

Carmen Monge
Carmen Monge
After moving 5 times between continents, this Costa Rican blogger ended up falling in love with Dutch life. She is ready to share her passion for everything eatable, walkable and enjoyable between canals and windmills. She spends her days reading reviews, missing tropical weather, mastering travel budges and marking spots on google maps. She tries to experience how the locals live by eating local food and hiking around.


  1. Olliebollen are my favořite Christmas treat. Although my parents immigrated to Canada from The Netherlands in 1950, they continued many of the Dutch traditions and customs, especially for their four daughters when they were born in Alberta.

  2. Oh, but what about Speculaas???? I make huge batches of them here in Hermanus in the Western Cape for family and friends at Christmas and they have told me they would be very upset if they didn’t get a parcel of them at Christmas!!!!


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