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Anyone who has ever visited Holland will be familiar with the ‘bruine café’ (brown café) – a typical Dutch bar where the colour brown is de rigueur, heavy Persian rugs deck the tables, and you can enjoy a refreshing Dutch beer in a convivial living room style setting with family or friends. Whilst you can usually order a portion of chips, a bowl of nuts or even a hearty serving of Dutch cheese or bitterballen (deep-fried meatballs) to accompany your drink at a brown café, you’ll need to move on to an ‘eetcafé’ if you’ve worked up a larger appetite…
The ‘eetcafé’ is a quintessentially Dutch phenomenon, not just because the interior is often reminiscent of a cosy bruin café, but also because they routinely serve a tempting range of typical Dutch dishes and snacks. Yet an eetcafé cannot simply be described as a restaurant – for as soon as the kitchen closes, the tablecloths, napkins and cutlery are swiftly removed from the tables and the eetcafé takes on the appearance of an ordinary bar until last orders. Another key difference is that eetcafés typically offer a choice of speciality beers on tap, and dogs are also permitted inside, as in the majority of Dutch bars.
The most popular Dutch eetcafé dishes and snacks include:
You’ll often receive a complimentary basket of garlic bread while you wait and the main course comes with fries and salad as standard.
Fancy rustling up a typical Dutch eetcafé menu at home? Click on the relevant links above to browse our recipes!
Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then why not visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants abroad?