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. &samhoud places Restaurant

    $$$$ | Oosterdok | Eclectic

    This bi-level waterfront restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Oosterdok serves some of the most creative (and dearly priced...Read More

  • 2. Bord'Eau

    $$$$ | Rembrandtplein | 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

  • 3. Choux

    $$$$ | Oosterdok | Contemporary

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

  • 4. Ciel Bleu

    $$$$ | De Pijp | French

    This elegant two–Michelin star French dining room nods to modernity with colorful design touches, but the food at the "Blue Sky" leans more...Read More

  • 5. De Kas

    $$$$ | Amsterdam-Oost | Mediterranean

    Chef Gert Jan Hageman turned Amsterdam's 1926-built municipal greenhouses into a lovely, modern, and light-filled restaurant (with a glass roof...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. La Rive

    $$$$ | Amsterdam-Oost | French

    Inside the InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam Hotel—the lodging of choice for royalty, dignitaries, and rock stars—La Rive is the city's unparalleled...Read More

  • 8. Librije's Zusje

    $$$$ | Eastern Canal Ring | Dutch

    You can expect great things from this elegantly understated sister restaurant to the three–Michelin star Librije in Zwolle, northeast of Amsterdam...Read More

  • 9. Marius

    $$$$ | Mediterranean

    This casual neighborhood bistro draws a relaxed local crowd with its seasonal preparations of seafood and meat served with farm-fresh vegetables...Read More

  • 10. Rijsel

    $$$$ | Amsterdam-Oost | Belgian

    With a bright, modern dining space lined with long communal tables and an open kitchen, this popular French-Flemish restaurant in Amsterdam...Read More

  • 11. Yamazato

    $$$$ | De Pijp | Japanese

    Traditional Japanese food is sublimely presented at this elegant restaurant where a Zenlike sushi bar, kimonoed waitstaff, and views over a...Read More

  • 12. Blauw aan de Wal

    $$$$ | Red Light District | Mediterranean

    In the heart of the Red Light District is a small alley that leads to this charming oasis, complete with the innocent chirping of birds. Original...Read More

  • 13. La Vallade

    $$$$ | Amsterdam-Oost | Mediterranean

    A cozy candlelit atmosphere and revered country cooking inspire many to take Tram No. 9 to this somewhat out-of-the-way restaurant on the Ringdijk...Read More

  • 14. Restaurant BREDA

    $$$$ | Western Canal Ring | Dutch

    Named after a market town in the south of the Netherlands where its chefs were born, Breda modernizes Dutch cuisine with frequently changing...Read More

  • 15. Restaurant Sinne

    $$$$ | De Pijp | French

    This cozy French-Mediterranean restaurant with exposed brick walls and whimsical cartoon paintings is a true local favorite. You basically create...Read More

  • 16. Restaurant Vermeer

    $$$$ | Red Light District | Contemporary

    Culinary surprises are the name of the game at this stately restaurant; instead of a menu, diners are presented with a list of seasonal ingredients...Read More

  • 17. Sama Sebo

    $$$$ | Museum District | Indonesian

    This busy but relaxed neighborhood restaurant serves as a gentle introduction to Indonesian cuisine. Since 1969, Sama Sebo has gained nearly...Read More

  • 18. Taiko

    $$$$ | Museum District | Asian

    This isn't your average sushi joint; in fact, sushi is just one of the choices on the sophisticated Asian fusion menu—which straddles Japanese...Read More

  • 19. Tunes

    $$$$ | Museum District | European

    Thanks to the exposed brick, industrial lighting, glass-box kitchen, and young, vibrant crowds, you'll swear you're in a mod New York restaurant...Read More

  • 20. Beddington's

    $$$$ | Eclectic

    Although both the flavor and presentation of dishes here are decidedly French, many of chef Jean Beddington's creations hint at other influences...Read More

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