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Friday October 31st 2014

The Herring Tour of Amsterdam

Stubbe's Herring Stand in Amsterdam
All photos courtesy of Amazing Travel Photos

When in Amsterdam you can take all kinds of tours. There are free walking tours, bicycle tours, museum tours and tours of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. But one tour I could not find was a tour of Amsterdam’s Herring Stands.

Many people will say that the food in the Netherlands is not too exciting. Unlike many countries there does not seem to be any specific national dish. Sure you can find dozens of Argentinian steak restaurants, New York Style Pizza Parlors and Indonesian restaurants.

But what about Dutch food? Well one popular place to eat is at “food from the wall” joints called FEBO which is an automat-style wall of glass doors with deep-fried food. Croquettes are about 1.50 Euro. But this does not look very healthy to me and generally not too appealing.

Fortunately, there is one kind of inexpensive street food that is unique to Holland which is raw herring sold on the street from Herring stands. These stands sell fresh, raw herring. You can get it by itself or  “met brood” meaning on bread with onions and sweet gherkin pickles. The cost varies, but is normally about 3 Euros.

So here is a virtual Herring Tour of Amsterdam. This tour is free. However tipping is encouraged. How about 3 Euros so I can buy some raw herring?

Stubbe’s Haring
The first stop on our Herring Tour of Amsterdam is Stubbe’s Haring. This is located not far from Amsterdam’s Central Train Station. They have all kinds of fish including smoked salmon and shrimp. But of course the specialty is the fresh raw herring.

Stubbe's Herring Stand in Amsterdam

Now eating raw herring may not be for everyone. How do you know if you will like raw herring? Ask yourself, do you enjoy pickled herring? It is quite similar. Do you like to eat sardines straight from the can? Then raw herring may be for you. If you have ever been to SeaWorld and your mouth started to water when they fed the dolphins the raw fish, then you definitely want to try some raw herring in Amsterdam.

The friendly lady behind the counter made a first-rate herring sandwich with diced onions and sweet pickles. Delicious!

Stubbe's Herring Stand in Amsterdam

Henk’s Haring
Our next stop on the Herring Tour is at Henk’s Haring. It is situated right smack in the middle of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. This is very convenient. After spending a few hours window shopping and sampling the wares of the vendors (at 50 Euros per sample), visitors can regain their energy with some nice fresh raw herring. It builds stamina and is recommended between 20-minute workouts in the area.

Henk's Herring Stand in Amsterdam

The ladies behind the counter at Hank’s Herring are helpful and friendly. They were happy to pose for pictures displaying their herring.

Henk's Herring Stand in Amsterdam

Herring is a small fish. I think you can get two fillets from one fish, which goes onto one sandwich. If you get it “met brood” it costs just 3 Euros at Hank’s Haring. Don’t forget to ask for onions and pickles.

Henk's Herring Stand in Amsterdam

DE ZEEVANG
Our third stop on the Herring Tour is at De Zee Vang. This is located near the Royal Palace just off the stop for the #1 tram. There was a lot of construction in the area, so it may be hard to get to. But it is worth the trip.

DE ZEEVANG Herring Stand in Amsterdam

Here is your herring sandwich from De Zee Vang. Cost is a mere 3.30 Euros.

DE ZEEVANG Herring Stand in Amsterdam

Not only is herring healthy and delicious, but an inexpensive meal as well. And fish is brain food. Smart people eat lots of fish. How do you think dolphins and whales get to be so smart? Not from watching television, that’s for sure. It’s from eating all that fish!

Here is a link to some information about Dutch food at DutchAmsterdam.nl: Amsterdam delicacy: Herring

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