Amsterdam: the food

Aug 13th, 2014, 12:45 PM
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IMDonehere, you wonder where the Amsterdam locals go, don't you? North of Jordaan is not "residential" as in "less touristy".

So, why didn't you go to Belhamel, or Lof on Brouwersgracht and Haarlemmerstraat?
menachem is offline  
Aug 13th, 2014, 01:54 PM
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Sorry, Menachem, we stayed in an apartment complex in a decidedly residential area, I think it is called Nord-Holland. There were no tourist attractions and if there were other tourists their cameras and upside down tourist books were not present on the main street Spaarndammerbuurt.

One morning we took the 14 bus to the end of line to Flevopark and walked back most of the way back to the Centraal Station. At the end of the 14 line we did find a delightful bakery in the midst of no where.

I do not know the know names of the polysyllabic neighborhoods we encountered, but we intentionally strayed from the normal tourist routes and still the food was mediocre at best.

Even the french fries which looked forward to eating were OK, but nothing exceptional, nothing to recommend.
IMDonehere is offline  
Aug 13th, 2014, 07:16 PM
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I struck up a convo with a fellow traveler who frequented Amsterdam and he gave me a few suggestions...The only one I can remember was Kantjil & de Tijger ( where we had dinner and thought it was quite good.

For breakfast we either had crepes or just snacked from the many bakeries which was always very nice...I would say to skip the hotel breakfast.
trizzy is offline  
Aug 13th, 2014, 08:50 PM
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Thanks everyone. I have made reservations at Blauw for Rijstaffel and Lucious for seafood. The rest we will play by ear. Taking into account all your suggestions.
packmybags is offline  
Aug 14th, 2014, 01:25 AM
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You were in de Indische Buurt, somewhat of a getto and a desert, as far as Food goes. It's getting slightly better there, because it's getting more gentrified, as in: they're doing a lot of social engineering and are pushing out the poor people who are now in affordable rent accommodation.

Gastrobar on Sumatrakade seems to have a following, but also attracts very mixed review on

Your best bet would probably have been a Turkish restaurant on Borneostraat

This is why I keep placing links to iens. I visit Paris quite a lot, and there I'll use cityvox to end up in restaurants with good guest reviews. I know that if I walk in from the street the chance is high that I'll end up with a dud.

@packmybags: Blauw is supposed to be quite good and innovative regarding Indonesian cooking.

Lucius is getting a 6.8 at

the word "tourist trap" is used.

I'd reconsider and book at Vis Aan De Schelde if you want seafood


I know where I would go.
menachem is offline  
Aug 14th, 2014, 01:29 AM
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A secret tip:
menachem is offline  
Aug 14th, 2014, 08:02 AM
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So in essence, you must spend at least 35 Euros in the right neighborhood in just the restaurant in order to get a satisfactory meal. But it is our fault for staying in the wrong neighborhood and finding mediocre food elsewhere. Got it.
IMDonehere is offline  
Aug 14th, 2014, 08:51 AM
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We had a delicious lunch at Harlem Soul Food very conveniently located at Haarlemmerstraat 77, Amsterdam. Really delicious hamburgers and novel nachos (yes you read that right!) Great lunch spot (and maybe more)

Also down the block from it is a little cafe serving Tramezzini sandwiches .... not as good as Venice but we had fun (might be take out only, can't recall)

We had some good Sichuan food at Sichuan Restaurant - you have to peruse the menu carefully to avoid the more traditional (western)dishes but are rewarded with spicy, delicious food for the effort

We enjoyed this Thai restaurant - service can be a bit slow

And although the reviews can be polar we had an enjoyable dinner at Seasons (on the same block as the Thai restaurant) - spent a pleasant time chatting with the owner and ordered a second serving of the scallops

We had such a great time in Amsterdam!
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Aug 14th, 2014, 10:53 AM
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I had excellent meals in May 2012 in Amsterdam at:

• Restaurant ZaZa's
• Brasserie van Baerle
• De Knijp
• Restaurant Pulpo
• Restaurant Le Pecheur

I stayed in the area near the Rikjsmuseum and Van Gogh museum and could walk to ZaZa, van Baerle, De Knijp, and Pulpo. I took a brief tram ride to Le Pecheur, which specializes in fish and seafood. De Knijp and Pulpo were moderately priced. The other three were more expensive.

I used Trip Advisor to get a read on Amsterdam restaurants and sorted it out from there based on customer reviews, proximity to my hotel, and my food preferences. If you go to Trip Advisor, you can get reviews and access to the websites or you can just google the restaurants and get the reviews and URLs.

Have a tasty trip to Amsterdam.
wanderful is offline  
Aug 14th, 2014, 11:14 AM
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I see that Yelp has said that Restaurant Le Pecheur has closed. You might want to check that.
wanderful is offline  
Aug 14th, 2014, 12:07 PM
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Nope, IMDonehere: there are resources plenty for finding good restaurants. But don't go complaining that the food is mediocre if you don't use them. The locals do, that's where the reviews come from. You have to know where to go, and if you don't, which is unavoidable if you are a stranger in a city, ask people who are in the know: their knowledge can be had online, for free.
menachem is offline  
Aug 14th, 2014, 12:10 PM
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Wanderful: tripadvisor is mostly tourists. is local people reviewing their restaurant experiences.

And the Het Parool page I linked to, proefwerk is a professional opinion, knowledgeable and balanced of a good cross section of restaurants. Even if you go by the marks given only, you'll have a good, local dining experience.
menachem is offline  
Aug 14th, 2014, 01:58 PM
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Menachem, we have visited 40 countries and half the states and understand that you are going to wonder into both good and bad restaurants, but I wish I found some good ones in Amsterdam.
IMDonehere is offline  
Aug 14th, 2014, 04:35 PM
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This thread has details about my lunch at Seafood Bar, a well-regarded fish and shellfish restaurant near Vondelpark that we visited late last year on a layover from South Africa to New York; contemporary space; lovely staff:
ekscrunchy is offline  
Aug 14th, 2014, 05:01 PM
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There are places you visit for the food, or the art, or the ambience. You do not visit Holland for the food. That can be a relief! Enjoy your liberation from mindfully appreciating every morsel of your meal, and get on with the other important things it does offer. Anyway, herring and onion is good!
Fra_Diavolo is offline  
Aug 14th, 2014, 07:22 PM
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Far discolor, I like your style!
packmybags is offline  
Aug 14th, 2014, 10:28 PM
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I really wonder at people who have the resources available to get to a good restaurant who then choose not to use those resources, but afterwards see fit to complain about mediocre food. And then only remember herring. It really boggles the mind.

If I'm on holiday I'm extra careful with where I spend my money, after all, it's all for "play" so I try to make sure I make every euro count. I avoid going to restaurateurs who figure I'll be one of many guests who'll never darken their doorstep again. What's wrong with a little research? At home, would you go to a restaurant by vague recommendation only? Without checking reviews?

Fra Diavolo, you mean you do not want to eat well while in The Netherlands, considering a good meal is not to be had anyway? Please have mercy on people who live their lives here!
menachem is offline  
Aug 14th, 2014, 10:55 PM
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To state the obvious there are characteristics,good and bad, for every place. Amsterdam is a wonderful walking city with some world class museums. They people are extremely cordial and always seem ready for the next joke. They have preserved many of the charming buildings and canals and tolerate the quirky and the different. Public transportation is efficient.

When you find a perfect city, please report back to us but begging for mercy is not only unbecoming but an odd request.
IMDonehere is offline  
Aug 14th, 2014, 11:44 PM
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You might want to take a look at my trip report on two weeks spent in Amsterdam; click on my name to find it.
Michael is offline  
Aug 18th, 2014, 12:15 AM
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IMDonehere: obviously people who live in Amsterdam will never eat a decent meal, since you haven't had one there. Pity those poor souls....
menachem is offline  
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