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The pancake is one of the most famous plates in Dutch cuisine. Short in stature but large in circumference, the Dutch pancake is served with mixed-in ingredients that can go sweet, savory, or quite experimental.
Here are three Cheapo picks for my favorite pancake shops in Amsterdam:
Pannekoekenboot (Pancake Boat)
Web site (in Dutch)
4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Pancakes on a boat? Only in the Netherlands. The Pancake Boat organizes one hour, 90-minute, and three-hour boat rides throughout the city on their large and authentic-looking boat. While patrons cruise through the canals the servers bring out rounds and rounds of pancakes. It’s an all-you-can-eat ordeal as you taste pancakes flavored with apple, or bacon, and add toppings like cheese or chocolate sprinkles.
The boat also offers theme cruises for kids, Sunday brunches, and romantic pancake excursions. The price starts at €15 per person per hour, and the normal cruise starts at 4:30 p.m. and again at 6 p.m.
Carousel Pancake House
This pancake house, round in shape like a pancake, boasts its own vintage carousel. The location is central, smack dab in the middle of Weteringschans roundabout, just next to the Heineken Brewery, and their menu is extensive. Prices are normal, about €12 for a typical ham and cheese pancake, although many patrons flock here for their sweet and sugary mini pancakes, or poffertjes.
What sets this pancake place aside from the others is its special character and relaxed atmosphere. Sure it’s for tourists and non locals, but it’s cute and their prices are reasonable. The service is decent, and the place is nice and spacious.
The Pancake Bakery
Open daily noon to 9:30 p.m.
The Pancake Bakery offers the real Dutch pancake experience when it comes to look, feel and flavor. Centrally located along the Prinsengracht, the two-level house offers an oh-so cozy and candlelit lower level and a high-ceiling top floor with a canal view. The space is small, and it’s common to share tables with other patrons, however the friendly atmosphere makes it all comfortable.
Tables are equipped with a pot of stroop syrup and powdered sugar, but we’d recommend getting creative with their exotic pancake menu. Why settle for the blueberry when you can dive into a pineapple? Or how about the Egyptian pancake with lamp, red pepper, garlic sauce and salad? Those with a sweet tooth will love dishes like “French”– a pancake with apple, raisins, vanilla ice cream, Cointreau and whipped cream.
Prices vary from €7 for the basics and €14 for the fancy selections.
Other cakes in town
There are dozens of pancake places around Amsterdam, many of them with an extensive menu and prices that aren’t too expensive. But your best bet is to venture off the busy plazas and select one that’s within your budget and memorable.
Do you have a favorite pancake provider? Tell us about it in the comments section.