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The Netherlands - Living

Eating habits

Anyone shopping in the Netherlands will quickly find that many products are either ready to eat or can be prepared in just a few steps. Ready-to-eat salads, packaged sliced vegetables, and single-person portions are available everywhere. Thus, the Dutch food industry has adapted well to the needs of the Dutch working population.

Although the trend shows clearly that in the Netherlands more and more healthy food on the table, but it is also clear to see that many dishes are already prepared to buy in the supermarket. Organic and semi-finished products are becoming increasingly popular. The modern Dutchman would like to live responsibly - this is suggested in shops - but has barely time to do so.

Small at midday, big at night

While it is still common in Germany to eat well at lunchtime, in the Netherlands usually a sandwich, a salad with crackers or soup with Karnemelk (buttermilk) is eaten. In a company, going to the next grocery store is not uncommon.

There are also companies with a canteen or small in-house catering. For tax reasons, an employer will, in most cases, transfer costs for lunch to the employees. Coffee, tea, pastries, and fruit are mostly provided free of charge. [1]

In the evening, Dutch people eat very differently, although it may well be that a certain rhythm is performed. It may be that some families make pizzas every Friday, pancakes on Saturdays and potatoes, meat and vegetables on Sundays (AVG: aardappelen, vlees en groenten). It can be clearly seen in the Dutch kitchen leftovers of the colonial and commercial times. Many dishes come from Indonesia or Suriname or are based on the food there. But other "exotic" dishes are to be found.

Vegan Kapsalon from Restaurant Gys


Dutch people like to eat in restaurants. The Dutch FoodService Instituut has repeatedly found that more people go to the restaurant, even for breakfast.

The selection of restaurants is very large, especially in the cities. Diversity is determined by trends, but also international influence and classic, Dutch restaurants. There are really all sorts of restaurants to choose from, from Chinese all-you-can-eat temples to the starred restaurant. The agony of choice can be difficult in cities, as there are many bad kitchens in tourist areas. But even there, one or the other pearl can be discovered. App ratings like The Fork can be used to view restaurant reviews and tables can be reserved.

Typical dishes

Dutch people like to eat raw herring, is probably known. But many other typical Dutch meals can be enjoyed either nationally or regionally. We want to highlight three:


Saté is a classic in Dutch restaurants. These are grilled meat skewers (chicken or pork) with peanut sauce. Atjar, fries, and salad are often served. Atjar is an acidic food consisting of vegetables and comes from Indonesian, Indian and Malaysian cuisine. The sour taste is created by fermenting the vegetables used. Atjar is often made with vinegar, to which all sorts of ingredients can be added: oil, salt, sugar and a variety of Asian spices. Another side dish is crab chips (kroepoek).


Meanwhile, this dish is available from a fry shop across the country. And, it has even made its entry into restaurants. Even in Germany, it can be eaten. But what is it? A short review in the story:

Kapsalon was created in 2003. Nataniël Gomes, the owner of a hairdressing salon in Rotterdam, repeatedly ordered his lunch dish at the nearby Turkish snack bar El Aviva. This lunch contained all his favourite ingredients, namely fries, kebab, cheese, salad and sauces. Customers who came to the hair asked the hairdresser what he would eat. This sent the customers to the Turkish snack to order there a "Kapsalon", so hairdresser, to order. It's so easy to start a success story.

In 2015, Gijs Werschkull of Restaurant Gys noted that Kapsalon is very popular, but there was no version for vegans or vegetarians. So, he has brought the first vegan Kapsalon on the market and made it a real restaurant dish.


This dish has made its way into the restaurants from grandma's kitchen in recent years. It consists of numerous variations. The base is boiled potatoes, which are pureed with raw, finely minced endives. Cheese and fried bacon can be added. There is also a piece of meat or smoked sausage (rookworst). Finished is the stamppot rauwe andijvie. The endives can also be added cooked. Alternatives are kale, sauerkraut, apples, spinach, ... Easy to cook at home and delicious in the restaurant too.

Delivery services

The Netherlands is also the country of delivery services to order food. Whether pizza, sushi or a hamburger is ordered, most of the time the delivery is carried out by Thuisbezorgd.nl, the Dutch version of Takeaway.com. They have a market-leading position and are represented nationwide. The website is available in nine language versions so that pizza or sushi can also be ordered in German.

Do not be surprised: restaurant visits in the Netherlands are on average more expensive than in Germany. And even the pizza that is delivered quickly costs 100% more than in Germany.

1 Belastingdienst (2019). Gerichte vrijstellingen, nihilwaarderingen en normbedragen. Retrieved on September 24, 2019, from https://www.belastingdienst.nl/bibliotheek/handboeken/html/boeken/HL/thema_s-gerichte_vrijstellingen_nihilwaarderingen.html