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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. Sea Palace

    $$ | Oosterdok | Chinese

    You can't miss this over-the-top floating Chinese restaurant, moored on the Oosterdok near Centraal Station—the ornate atmosphere of red paper...Read More

  • 5. Thúskomme

    $$ | Amsterdam-Oost | Dutch

    With the northern Dutch province of Friesland's wealth of local ingredients from fertile pastures and seafood-rich seas, this hidden bar-restaurant...Read More

  • 6. Bakkerswinkel

    $ | Red Light District | European

    This unpretentious bakery and tearoom evokes an English country kitchen—one that lovingly prepares and serves breakfasts, high tea, hearty sandwiches...Read More

  • 7. Blitskikker

    $ | Amsterdam-Oost | International

    Craving coffee with tiny travelers in tow? Head to this colorful café on trendy Javastraat, where there's a play area for the little ones, plus...Read More

  • 8. Brasserie NeL

    $$ | Eastern Canal Ring | International

    In part of a 17th-century wooden church, NeL has a large and lovely terrace—perfect for Amsterdam's eagerly anticipated sunny days, especially...Read More

  • 9. Burgerlijk

    $ | Western Canal Ring | Burger

    Both the menu and the seating are rather limited, but burger aficionados line up in droves for the large, juicy beef patties at this tiny eatery...Read More

  • 10. Burgermeester

    $ | Jordaan | Fast Food

    The "burger masters" first opened their doors near the Albert Cuyp market in 2007 serving fresh, homemade burgers made from sustainable ingredients...Read More

  • 11. Café de Reiger

    $$ | Jordaan | Dutch

    This excellent neighborhood brown café has a long history of being packed with boisterous drinkers and diners. Its past is reflected in its...Read More

  • 12. Cafe Restaurant Amsterdam

    $$ | Oud-West | International

    This airy spot west of the Jordaan is an industrial monument: for a century, it housed a plant that pumped water from coastal dunes. Now, under...Read More

  • 13. Café Schiller

    $ | Rembrandtplein | French

    Next to the same-named hotel, this landmark has an authentic Art Deco interior, wood paneling, and a cozy atmosphere that makes it especially...Read More

  • 14. Café Van Puffelen

    $$ | Western Canal Ring | European

    The menu at this popular, well-established spot highlights typical café items, from pasta to fish to grilled steak, with a local and organic...Read More

  • 15. Cobra Café

    $ | Museum District | Café

    If you need a rejuvenating break from art viewing, head to this café across from the Rijksmuseum for coffee and cake, or for lunch on one of...Read More

  • 16. De Roode Leeuw

    $$ | Centrum | Dutch

    Since its 2019 renovation, this Dutch brasserie has become a beacon on an otherwise uninspiring road; it's one of the few non–fast food restaurants...Read More

  • 17. De Taart van m'n Tante

    $ | De Pijp | Café

    The indoor and outdoor seating areas of "My Aunt's Cake" look more than a little bit like the set of a children's television program, with funky...Read More

  • 18. Frietboutique

    $ | Oud-Zuid | Fast Food

    Frietboutique is famous in Zuid and beyond as the purveyor of ''all your guilty pleasures.'' From fresh hand-cut friet (Dutch fries) and crispy...Read More

  • 19. Full Moon Garden

    $$ | Eastern Canal Ring | Chinese

    The Kwok family's award-winning Cantonese restaurant is known for its steamy open dim sum kitchen, but the crispy scallion pancakes, hor fun...Read More

  • 20. Haesje Claes

    $$ | Centrum | Dutch

    In a 1520 monument groaning with pewter tankards, stained glass, rich gold leather paneling, original Delftware and other curiosa, this restaurant...Read More

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