The Foodhallen is probably the best AND worse place for people who are indecisive. We actually stumbled upon the Foodhallen by chance on Easter Sunday when we were hungry and desperate to find something that was open. When Alex found it on google maps, the first thought that came to mind was a shopping mall food court. So it’s safe to say we didn’t have very high expectations.
On their site, they describe themselves as “the first indoor food market in the Netherlands”. The FIRST! I wonder if that’s actually true. But that is indeed what the Foodhallen is. An indoor food heaven that will titillate your senses.
It was chock full of people the day we went, and at first, it was a little bit overwhelming. But then I noticed all the different smells and stands and I found myself automatically drawn to the place like I was being pulled by a string. My first impression was that it was foodie paradise and there was a nice vibe.
We decided to walk around first to get an idea of what was available and then we went straight to the de Ballenbar. Actually, I had heard about this place but had no idea it was in the Foodhallen. de Ballenbar specializes in the Bitterballen, a famous Dutch snack. Here’s a description of it from Wikipedia because I don’t even know how to describe it other than to say it’s ridiculously tasty!
“Bitterballen are a Dutch meat-based snack, typically containing a mixture of beef or veal, beef broth, butter, flour for thickening, parsley, salt, and pepper, resulting in a thick roux” – Wikipedia
I don’t typically eat beef, but I made a little exception just so I could try it. And I’m not even going to lie, I did have another one a little while ago. It’s a dangerous snack though. If it wasn’t made of beef, I could probably eat like 20 of them in one sitting. It’s funny how I’m raving about bitterballens, when here in the Netherlands, it’s almost as commonly served in bars as a basket of fries! If you ever have the chance, it’s definitely a must try.
Because there are so many different stands, Alex and I split up and set out to find something for our dinner. He got a steak sandwich from Entrecôte and I got a veggie burrito from Fento.
Keep reading for my breakdown of the place/the stands we tried!
Address: Bellamyplein 51, 1053AT Amsterdam
If I’m not forgetting another Bitterballen experience prior to this one, I think de Ballenbar took my virginity! According to Alex (someone who has had them before), they were rather mediocre and overpriced. Perhaps I do need to try more to form a better judgment on whether it’s a bad or good bitterballen, but I thought the different flavors were great and quite creative. I do however agree that the price is a little steep for what they are!
I didn’t try the sandwich personally, but here’s what my bf Alex had to say about it.
“It was good, but I wouldn’t eat it again. I also think that I might’ve waited too long to eat it so it got a little soggy. Definitely eat it asap! The bread was also a bit meh and I just don’t think steak belongs in a sandwich unless it’s a Philly cheese steak sandwich.”
I got the veggie burrito and I definitely think it would’ve been better if I had consumed it straight away rather than wait until I got home (even though we only live 5 minutes away). I must say, I’ve definitely had better veggie burritos at lower costs. But overall, even though I wouldn’t get it again, I didn’t hate it either. The flavors were still pretty good, and it tasted really fresh.
I think the Foodhallen is the perfect place to go to with co-workers, friends or on a date even. There are just enough stands to choose from, and all offer something a little bit different to the next. And because there are so many different choices, everyone is likely to find something they desire. I will probably go back sometime in the future but maybe with a bigger group of people so we can try more things. However, be aware that it isn’t a cheap experience. But heeeeey, sometimes you just have to treat yo self!
Thanks for reading! If you’ve gone before, do let me know what you thought by leaving a comment. Or if you tried completely different food stands I’d be curious to know too for future reference. Also, if you’d like to see my blog posts as soon as I post them, don’t forget to follow my blog :).
The chatty foodie,
over & out