Whoever coined the phrase “as American as apple pie” surely hadn’t been to the Netherlands. Dutch apple pie, or appeltaart (or appelgebak), has been a quintessential sweet in the country’s cuisine for centuries, and countless cafes, restaurants, and bakeries in modern-day Amsterdam reflect this.

A common accompaniment to koffie (coffee), and often served met slagroom (with whipped cream), appeltaart differs from American apple pie in a number of ways: It’s baked in a spring-form pan, making it instantly deeper; it’s much drier inside, not at all syrupy; it’s really chock-full of big, firm hunks of apple (and often raisins or currants); and it tends to rely on sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, rum or brandy, and other warm spices for flavor. Find a good appeltaart in Amsterdam, and you’ll be hard-pressed to eat anything else for breakfast there, ever. (OK, we do love broodje kaas for breakfast too.)

Where to Try Appeltaart in Amsterdam

It’s no secret that Cafe Winkel 43 (Noordermarkt 43), in the hip Jordaan neighborhood, has one of the best appeltaarts in the city. Fortunately, it lives up to its reputation, and, despite being so well-known, it manages to retain a local vibe. Bonus: The cafe is on a busy corner near a popular Saturday and Monday market, affording some great people-watching. 

When: Mon, 7am-1am; Tues-Thurs, 8am-1am; Fri, 8am-3am; Sat, 7am-3am; Sun, 9am-1am. Mornings on the sunny outdoor patio here are your best bet, though you may have to wait to score a table. (No reservations are accepted.)

Order: Ask for appeltaart met slagroom (€4,40), which is typically served at room temperature, and prepare to have your mind blown a little. The thick-cut apples are moist, plentiful, and interspersed with plump raisins; the crust is deliciously crunchy; the slagroom brings just the right creaminess to the buttery pastry and tart apple sweetness. Enjoy with your choice of coffee—if you’re feeling indulgent, try a koffie verkeerd, the Dutch equivalent of café au lait.

You can also order a full appeltaart to take home with you here, but you must order it via phone or email at least one day in advance. If you’re in Amsterdam for a while and have a local apartment/house rental, this is a pro move right here.

Alternatively: The historic, canalside Café ‘t Papeneiland (Prinsengracht 2, map) likewise gets huge props for its appeltaart (and its outdoor terrace). You might peruse this roundup from Secret Amsterdam, or just find your own local café and give its appeltaart a try—how bad can it really be?

Last update: March 2024

WATCH: A one-minute trip through Amsterdam.