Amsterdam Restaurants

Not so long ago, Dutch cuisine consisted mostly of fried food—french fries, bitterballen, and frikandel (deep-fried sausages)—along with thick pea soup and hearty meat and potato dishes. These days, however, Amsterdam restaurants serve much higher-quality and more varied food than ever before.

Many forward-thinking Amsterdam restaurants have embraced a "New Dutch cuisine," using organic and locally sourced meat, fish, and seafood, and expertly cooked vegetables served with interesting sauces and side dishes. Some chefs are taking it a step further and growing produce and herbs on land or rooftops attached to their restaurants—garden to table cooking, if you will. Multicourse tasting menus or small plates that you can mix and match are popular at upscale eateries, making use of what's freshest at the moment, perhaps farm-fresh asparagus or North Sea mussels. The classic standbys are still widely available, too—it's hard to resist those delicious bitterballen—but they're often prepared in updated, modern interpretations.

Amsterdam has a wealth of international cuisines. The city has long been known for its Moroccan, Turkish, and Indonesian food, and there are excellent Vietnamese eateries, where you can finally get a decent bánh mì, as well as pretty much every type of cuisine you might be craving. Another thing that's big on the Amsterdam food scene these days is brunch. Traditionally, the Dutch opt for relatively simple breakfasts of buttered toast with chocolate sprinkles (called hagelslag), but places for more American-style brunch—eggs Benedict or oatmeal with fresh fruit—have popped up throughout the city, attracting the city's trend-followers. Although steak restaurants have existed for years (and continue to open on a regular basis), hamburgers are also trendy, with tiny spots elbowing their way in to become the most popular in town.

Pockets of interesting dining are emerging away from the city center, too, but Amsterdam is a small city, so don't be daunted by distance. Everything's still easy to reach by cab, tram, or bus—or make like a local and burn off some calories by renting a bike.

Despite all these changes, one thing's stayed relatively the same: the pace of service. Expect a wait to get menus, to order, and then to receive your food. You just have to go with it: it's the Dutch way!

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  • 1. Bazar Amsterdam

    $ | De Pijp | African

    A golden angel–capped church provides the setting for this kitsch-filled restaurant, where inexpensive and flavorful North African cooking—from...Read More

  • 2. Beulings

    $$$$ | Eastern Canal Ring | Contemporary

    Hidden in plain sight down an alleyway in the crook of the Canal District, this small insider's secret serves up a six-course seasonal chef...Read More

  • 3. Bistrot des Alpes

    $$$ | French

    Considering its Northern European location, it is, of course, entirely possible to encounter miserable weather in Amsterdam any time of the...Read More

  • 4. Blauw

    $$$ | Oud-Zuid | Indonesian

    It's become a bit of a tourist favorite, but many Amsterdammers still believe that this is the best Indonesian rijsttafel in town—so if you...Read More

  • 5. Bord'Eau

    $$$$ | Red Light District | French

    Inside the regal Hotel de l'Europe, this playfully modern French restaurant is elegant without being stuffy. Of course, the ingredients are...Read More

  • 6. Café Duende

    $ | Jordaan | Spanish

    Located a short walk from Noorderkerk, Duende is the oldest tapas bar in Amsterdam, dishing out tasty plates of garlic prawns, bacon-wrapped...Read More

  • 7. Carstens Brasserie

    $$ | Centrum | Dutch

    With a dizzying array of recently opened restaurants offering so-called New Dutch Cuisine, it's looking like Dutch food has finally been given...Read More

  • 8. Cheesy Cakes

    $ | Eastern Canal Ring | Bakery

    Blink and you'll miss this hidden specialist, where you can indulge in the best (and most beautiful) cheesecake in the city. While you'll always...Read More

  • 9. Choux

    $$$$ | Oosterdok | Contemporary

    A delight for vegetarians and omnivores alike, this organic, veggie-centered eatery (albeit with meat and fish as accents, if you choose), close...Read More

  • 10. De Foodhallen

    $ | Oud-West | International

    Modeled after Madrid's indoor San Miguel market, this always-packed food hall in a former tram-maintenance building is unfailingly popular with...Read More

  • 11. De Kas

    $$$$ | Amsterdam-Oost | Mediterranean

    Situated in a 1926-built former municipal greenhouse is a lovely, modern, and light-filled restaurant (you're surrounded by glass) serving...Read More

  • 12. Felix

    $$$$ | Dutch

    Named for the Felix Meritis cultural center in which it resides, a "home for the curious mind," this restaurant, which opened in January 2020...Read More

  • 13. Gartine

    $ | Centrum | European

    This snug breakfast, lunch, and high-tea favorite is strewn with flea-market finds (such as a gorgeous Portuguese chandelier and charmingly...Read More

  • 14. Gebr. Niemeijer

    $ | Centrum | Bakery

    Fix your morning woes with some of the city’s richest croissants, butteriest brioche, and most perfect pain au chocolat at this artisan French...Read More

  • 15. Graphite

    $$$ | Contemporary

    From the QR-code you'll need to enter to the deliciously dark decor, seductive low-slung lighting and intimate booths for two, it's all about...Read More

  • 16. Greenwoods

    $ | Leidseplein | British

    Famous for their full English breakfast, Bloody Marys, and Irish soda bread, Greenwoods Keizersgracht dishes out hearty brunch specials daily...Read More

  • 17. Greetje

    $$$ | Oosterdok | Dutch

    For Dutch food at its best, head to this homey—some might even call it old-fashioned—restaurant, where the chef takes rarely seen or forgotten...Read More

  • 18. Hotel de Goudfazant

    $$$$ | International

    In a high-ceilinged former garage—still housing a number of classic cars—this large, modern, and convivial restaurant is worth the trek across...Read More

  • 19. La Perla

    $ | Jordaan | Pizza

    The folks at this restaurant, tucked away on a side street, have perfected the art of wood-fired pizza. Made from fresh ingredients imported...Read More

  • 20. Mamouche

    $$ | De Pijp | Moroccan

    Romantic and charming, this candlelit North African restaurant with exceptionally friendly service has been a hit with locals and tourists alike...Read More

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