Restaurants in Amsterdam: A Food Lover’s Travel Guide
Amsterdam is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with a rich history and a thriving food scene. From traditional Dutch cuisine to exotic international fare, there’s something to suit every palate in this picturesque European capital. In this travel guide, we’ll explore some of the best restaurants in Amsterdam, as well as offer tips on how to make the most of your dining experiences. So, let’s dive into the world of Amsterdam’s culinary delights!
1. Traditional Dutch Cuisine
When visiting Amsterdam, it’s essential to try some traditional Dutch dishes. Here are a few must-visit restaurants for an authentic local experience:
De Blauwe Hollander
Established in 1979, De Blauwe Hollander is one of the most famous Dutch restaurants in Amsterdam. Located near Leidseplein, the restaurant offers a cozy atmosphere and a wide selection of classic Dutch dishes like stamppot, erwtensoep, and hachee. Don’t miss their delicious poffertjes for dessert!
Moeders (Dutch for “mothers”) is a charming restaurant that pays homage to traditional home cooking. The walls are adorned with photos of mothers from all over the world, and the menu features Dutch classics like suddervlees, hutspot, and oma’s appeltaart. Be sure to book a table in advance, as this popular spot fills up quickly.
2. International Cuisine
Amsterdam’s diverse culinary scene reflects the city’s multicultural character. Here are some top picks for international cuisine:
Located in the trendy De Pijp neighborhood, Bazar Amsterdam serves up delicious Middle Eastern and North African dishes in a colorful, lively atmosphere. Enjoy favorites like falafel, shawarma, and tagines, accompanied by freshly baked Turkish bread and mint tea. The restaurant is also very budget-friendly, making it a great choice for travelers on a budget.
For a taste of Indonesia, head to Blue Pepper, where you can indulge in authentic rijsttafel – a Dutch-Indonesian feast of various dishes served with rice. The elegant setting and attentive service make it an ideal spot for a special occasion or romantic dinner.
3. Vegetarian and Vegan Options
Amsterdam is known for its excellent vegetarian and vegan options. Check out these plant-based dining hotspots:
This trendy vegan café and shop offers a variety of mouthwatering plant-based dishes, from hearty sandwiches to scrumptious desserts. Located near the Anne Frank House, it’s the perfect spot to grab a bite and relax after a day of sightseeing.
With locations in both De Pijp and Oud-West, Meatless District is a must-visit for vegetarians and vegans. Their menu offers a range of delicious and creative dishes, including vegan takes on traditional Dutch bitterballen and the famous Dutch weed burger.
4. Fine Dining
For a memorable dining experience, consider splurging on one of Amsterdam’s Michelin-starred restaurants:
Restaurant Ciel Bleu
Located on the 23rd floor of the Hotel Okura, Ciel Bleu boasts stunning views of Amsterdam’s skyline along with a sophisticated, modern menu. Chefs Onno Kokmeijer and Arjan Speelman create exquisite dishes using high-quality ingredients, earning the restaurant two Michelin stars. Be sure to try their signature dish, the Caviar Royal Osetra with langoustine and citrus.
Located in the iconic Rijksmuseum, this one-Michelin-starred restaurant offers an unforgettable dining experience. Chef Joris Bijdendijk focuses on using local, seasonal ingredients to create modern interpretations of Dutch cuisine. The beautifully presented dishes and elegant atmosphere make Rijks a perfect choice for a special night out.
5. Unique Dining Experiences
Amsterdam is full of one-of-a-kind dining experiences. Check out these unique options:
For a truly unique dining experience, head to REM Eiland, a restaurant located atop a former pirate radio and TV broadcasting platform in the Amsterdam harbor. Enjoy panoramic views of the city while dining on a menu that includes modern European dishes and an impressive wine list.
CT Coffee & Coconuts
Housed in a former 1920s cinema, CT Coffee & Coconuts is a multi-level café and restaurant that serves delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. The laid-back atmosphere and cozy seating areas make it the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely meal or coffee break. Don’t miss their signature coconut pancakes!
6. Food Markets
Amsterdam’s food markets are a great way to sample a variety of local and international dishes. Here are two popular options:
Located in the trendy Oud-West neighborhood, Foodhallen is an indoor food market that offers a wide range of cuisine from local and international vendors. From Dutch bitterballen to Vietnamese banh mi, there’s something for everyone. The lively atmosphere and communal seating make it a fun place to spend an evening with friends.
Albert Cuyp Market
As the largest and most famous outdoor market in Amsterdam, the Albert Cuyp Market is a must-visit for food lovers. Browse the stalls for fresh produce, local delicacies, and tasty street food. Don’t leave without trying a freshly made stroopwafel!
7. Practical Tips for Dining in Amsterdam
Here are a few practical tips to help you make the most of your dining experiences in Amsterdam:
- Many restaurants in Amsterdam are small and fill up quickly, so it’s a good idea to make reservations in advance, especially for popular spots and fine dining establishments.
- Service charges are usually included in the bill, but it’s customary to round up the total or leave a small tip if you’ve received excellent service.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for tap water, as it’s safe to drink and often served for free.
- Most restaurants in Amsterdam accept credit cards, but it’s always a good idea to carry some cash just in case.
With its diverse culinary offerings and unique dining experiences, Amsterdam is truly a food lover’s paradise. Whether you’re sampling traditional Dutch fare, exploring international cuisine, or enjoying a fine dining experience, the city’s vibrant food scene is sure to leave a lasting impression. Happy eating!