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Netherlands

The Netherlands for Natural Wine and Food Lovers!

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The surprise is great for those who visit the Netherlands for the first time. In this country where land and water combine and sometimes merge, the big cities look like villages, nature is at every corner, and the food and culture is unique. What is certain is that one returns with a sense of peace that permeates the memories for a long time. Do you want to go to the Netherlands? We understand you... Go ahead; it's good for your morale.

In the Netherlands, nothing is ever far away

Canal view in Amsterdam
Canal view in Amsterdam

When we say the Netherlands, it is obviously Amsterdam that comes to mind first. Its canals, along which it is good to stroll during the day, its houses with large windows that light up at nightfall, its cafés with long wooden tables, and its cosmopolitan atmosphere give it an undeniable charm. It is of course a must-see, starting the long list of destinations as attractive as the others offered by the 12 provinces that make up the country. And all of them are within easy reach by train, or almost. From Amsterdam, it takes less than 25 minutes to get to Utrecht.

 

Also crisscrossed by pleasant canals, it is often considered as a small Amsterdam but much less touristy. Don't miss the Saint Martin's cathedral with its huge tower that proudly dominates the city. Inside, you can even have a little coffee if you feel like it. From there, it's only 45 minutes to Rotterdam, itself only 25 minutes from The Hague. Both have their own character. Rotterdam has many faces: it is a port in its raw state, a concentration of architecture, and a beautiful playground for those who like shopping.

 

More discreet, The Hague is worth a visit. This elegant city is home to the Binnenhof, a magnificent architectural ensemble and a major venue for discussing the country's political affairs, and the long and very popular Scheveningen beach. In less than two and a half hours, you can also travel to the eclectic and lively city of Groningen in the north of the country or to the beautiful beaches and resorts of Zeeland in the south. Some cities can even be visited on a day trip. How do you get there? By pedaling, of course. Just hop on a bike and discover the surroundings "Dutch style". It is easy to reach Delft from The Hague or Rotterdam, Haarlem from Amsterdam...

A land of art and culture

 Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

It's true! The Netherlands has the highest density of museums in the world. There is something for every taste and every age. Their diversity is a real invitation to travel through the country's history, culture, and traditions. Long under Spanish rule, the Netherlands experienced a period of great prosperity between the 17th and 19th centuries. This "Dutch era" was marked by strong artistic, scientific, and commercial development, notably thanks to the creation of the famous Dutch East India Company. It gave the country its masterly painting, its beautiful historical cities, which we have just mentioned but also a wealth and a power, partly acquired by those darker facets of oppression and slavery.

 

Like every European country, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, formed in 1815, has also known the dark hours of the wars of the 20th century and paid a heavy human toll during the Nazi occupation. So push the doors of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam or the Mauritshuis in The Hague to enjoy the masterpieces of Rembrandt or Vermeer. If the paintings of Van Gogh museum give you the shivers, you can also go to the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo (Gederland province). Don't forget to visit the Anne Franck House in Amsterdam and the Royal Blue Earthenware Factory founded in 1653 in Delft. With children, go to the Railroad Museum in Utrecht, the Marine Museum in Rotterdam, or Batavialand, the museum dedicated to the history of the province of Flevoland, which was raised from the sea in 1986 thanks to reclamation.

 

In spring, you will not tire of admiring the fields of tulips in bloom at the Keukenhof Gardens between Haarlem and Leiden or the windmills of Kinderdijk near Rotterdam, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And for design lovers, the Netherlands is a land of choice. Known throughout the world, Dutch Design continuously infuses Dutch culture. To get a taste of it, we recommend the incredible Schröder House by architect Guerrit Rietveld in Utrecht, the exhibitions at the Duhrkirche Museum, and the magnificent collection of fashion, photography, and design at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam.

A culinary heritage to be discovered

Choux restaurant
Choux restaurant

The gastronomy of the Netherlands is traditional Dutch cuisine with international flavors and a touch of avant-garde. Each region and city has its specialty, but in every corner of the country, there are great classics you must try to eat like a Dutchman. For example: bitterballen, fried meatballs that are eaten as an aperitif or to satisfy a late-night hunger; stroopwafel, a waffle filled with caramel syrup; rwtensoep, a split pea soup with sausages; the excellent stamppot stew and oliebollen, fried doughnuts with or without raisins. And to digest all this, we take a drop, a small traditional licorice candy. But the most important thing is that on the plate, it is fresh products, coming directly from local producers and cooked in respect of the seasons: seafood from Zeeland, fish from the North Sea, asparagus, strawberries and anchovies from North Brabant, lamb from Texel, herrings, cheeses, homemade cider... Both healthy and responsible...

A new wave of creative cooks has taken over the national culinary scene to spotlight Nordic cuisine and Dutch flavors through their dishes. 

Gezellig or the Dutch state of mind

This picture of the Netherlands would really be incomplete without mentioning gezellig. This adjective is a small, typically Dutch word for which a translation is almost impossible. A subtle mix of "friendly" and "warm", it is used in every sentence in conversation. For example, spending an evening in front of the fireplace when it rains hard outside is gezellig. Sitting in a softly lit café reading the newspaper is still gezellig. Sharing a plate of bitterballen with friends while enjoying a glass of natural wine is still gezellig. Similar to the Danish hygge, this concept is fundamental in Dutch society. For the traveler, it perfectly illustrates what one feels in the Netherlands: a well-being linked to what one discovers, what one has on one's plate, and the pleasure of the shared moment. And we are looking forward to it...

A windmill in the beautiful Dutch countryside
A windmill in the beautiful Dutch countryside

A Word From The Natural Wine Expert:

Marcel De Cocq

Marcel De Cocq

Marcel De Cocq

February 8th 2023

As one of the leading natural wine advocates, Marcel shares his passion for natural wine on his blog @marcel.de.cocq. In a continuous journey, he takes his audience on an adventurous discovery trip through focused informative wine reviews, and cellar visits, and highlights wine bar and restaurant hotspots. 

The movement of natural wine in the Netherlands has existed since the last decade and was founded in Amsterdam in the period around 2013 - 2015 when at the finer end of dining, or bistronomy if you like, zealous natural wine restaurants like BAK and Choux first opened their doors presenting their signature innovative refined cuisines, soon followed by cave/bar à manger GlouGlou, who all now as well established prime movers still flourish with recognition and reward.

Succeeding developments in Paris, Copenhagen, London and New York, their break with conservative conventions, principally focussing on sustainability with the conscious consumption of seasonal regional artisanal produce, sensibly accompanied with joyous excitement of natural wines transparently ethically grown environmentally respectful, free from any additives was particularly well received by a young, open-minded, internationally oriented audience ready for change, which ignited inspiration for many pioneers following who now more and more commendable define new standards.

On Raisin, Amsterdam remains the country’s ever-booming, blooming and bustling epicenter, where also not to miss; the most comprehensive, iconic and overwhelming wall of wine in the stylish, Nordic-influenced 4850, at the channels between Amsterdam’s monumental dock warehouses, restaurant Entrepot. Experience the Japanese-inspired Gaijin creations by Australian chef Alex Haupt in 101 Gowrie. In the city’s hip industrial North, with its big terraces widely overlooking the water of the IJ river, restaurant Hotel de Goudfazant and their neighboring arthouse cinema / natural wine bar FC Hyena. Or in the same vein, Skate Cafe a warehouse wine bar with a skate-ramp! Also, in the North, make sure to grab a few slices in Euro Pizza and have a good look on the wine list there. Or the pizzeria situated in an old garage with an entrance evoking Berlin club vibes, Klaproos. Enjoy the bistro groove of Bar Centraal (GlouGlou’s younger brother) and on walking distance from there certainly check Café Binnenvisser. Further, Otto Volante the wonderful warm and welcoming new offspring of Bar Centraal. Then, Bambino with Italian swing, the bistro funnily named as the child of restaurant BAK. In the historic city center amid the Jordaan, Bar Pif with in the East their bistro Alex + Pinard. Score fresh pastry or beautiful bread in sourdough bakery / natural wine shop Levain et le Vin . And last but certainly not least, explore “complex simplicity” in Cafe Remouillage where a redefinition of less is more gets new meaning.

Since the city is always in motion and constantly evolving, great new initiatives can spring up like mushrooms, with current cool newcomers on the block; Café Twee Prinsen, VRR, Cornerstore Amsterdam, De Nada, Mundi, Café Beurre, Paindemie, Restaurant Breda and Restaurant klein Breda

Besides great gastronomy, also the vast majority of natural wine importers are concentrated around Amsterdam, with good competition providing a dynamic lavish variety of portfolios generously reflecting on the many frequently changing wine lists in the city where with adventure, there is always something to discover, and for a relatively small country in Europe the choice is truly copious.

There are even awesome annual wine fairs worth attending: ViNoSo, Mesjogge and Soif.

Where for natural wine, Amsterdam remains a capital and a source of inspiration, its stories of success have influenced many prosperous praiseworthy establishments in other regions of the country with fresh inventive concepts that are also really worthwhile to experience and to travel for:

Utrecht: Hèron , Café SaaR, Café-Restaurant Terroir and Restobar Rosie.

Rotterdam: Restaurant Rotonde, Restaurant Renilde, Restaurant Lux, Restaurant Très, Bar Cult, Bar Blije wijnen, Café Prêt à Boire and Kaapse Maria.

Den Haag: Restaurant de Kade and Restaurant Portfolio Arnhem: Restaurant The Green Rose

Nijmegen: Restaurant de Nieuwe Winkel, Bistrot Regent and Bistro Flores

MORE THAN 174 VENUES IN 10 regions WAITING FOR YOU!

Get a taste of the Netherlands!

We currently have 78 bars, 112 restaurants and 58 wine shops listed in 10 regions and 26 cities in Netherlands.


Eat and drink like a local in Netherlands

Get a taste of the cities!

Discover all the cities in Netherlands

LOCAL, SEASONAL AND ORGANIC MINDSET IN SIGHT!

Amazing food nearby in Netherlands:

Pimientos De Padron - Bouzy - 524006
Pimientos De Padron

Pimientos de Padron with cashew crème and chermoula

Bouzy

6198 KM

Bar Restaurant

Fermented Aubergine - Restaurant ñ - 527209
Fermented Aubergine

Fermented eggplant, grilled & glazed off with honey, green pea emulsion, p…

Restaurant ñ

6198 KM

Restaurant

Pesce Crudo - Bartine - 649930
Pesce Crudo

Sea bass, fermented rhubarb, jalapeño

Bartine

6199 KM

Bar Restaurant

Wild Mushrooms, Chestnut & Egg Yolk - Basaal - 391146
Wild Mushrooms, Chestnut & Egg Yolk

Girolles, trompette de la mort, pied de mouton

Basaal

6199 KM

Bar Restaurant

Burrata Asparagus - Wijnbar Goeswijn - 458813
Burrata Asparagus

Burrata, grilled green asparagus, dill oil, lemon, almond shavings

Wijnbar Goeswijn

6207 KM

Bar Restaurant

Indian Curry - Bertmans - 694273
Indian Curry

RED MASALA, GEROOSTERDE TOMAAT, ZOETE AARDAPPEL & BLOEMKOOL, PILAW RICE, S…

Bertmans

6215 KM

Restaurant

Steak Tartare - Restaurant Renilde - 706959
Steak Tartare

Garlic - Coffee

Restaurant Renilde

6215 KM

Restaurant

Bread Pudding - Williams Canteen - 635352
Bread Pudding

brioche - cranberry coulis - vanilla sauce

Williams Canteen

6216 KM

Bar Restaurant

LOOKING FOR THE MOST EXCITING WINES?

Natural wines at their best in Netherlands!

10 regions and 26 cities in Netherlands WHERE YOU’LL FIND NATURAL WINE & GREAT FOOD:

Cities ordered by regions:

No matter where you go in the world, this is your chance to discover the most exciting regions and cities where you'll find great venues serving natural wine and great food, make a pick!

5861 Europe

174 Netherlands