While it’s true that many different pleasures can be found in Amsterdam, perhaps the most genuine Dutch happiness comes in a serving of small, round, spongy poffertjes drizzled with dark stroop (syrup), butter and a dusting of powdered sugar.
It may be blasphemous, but, for me, poffertjes blow traditional American pancakes away. They are delicately light, melt in your mouth and — when coated with stroop, derived from apple or pear — become a bullet train of saccharine euphoria that goes straight to the brain and leaves a smile on your face.
I was only in Amsterdam for the better part of two days, so my knowledge of the city’s poffertjes scene is not as extensive as I would like it to be. Yet I can rest easy knowing that I discovered De Vier Pilaren, which in my opinion, is the only poffertjes stop you’ll ever need.
Translated to “the Four Pillars,” De Vier Pilaren also serves Dutch pancakes and crepes, both sweet and savory. A large glass window into the kitchen allows guests to witness bakers deftly flipping poffertjes by the dozen in a specialized cast-iron pan. Once served, head to patio tables that offer prime canal-side people-watching, or you can load poffertjes into a to-go box and walk the streets.
About $6 will get you a small portion (10 pieces), and a “normal” portion (20 pieces) costs roughly $11. I am unashamed to say I expressed my patronage at De Vier Pilaren thrice during my trip — and would surely do the same again.