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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. Shiraz Jardin des Vins

    $ | Eastern Canal Ring | International

    The cozy canalside location of this award-winning wine bar near Leidseplein makes it all too easy to linger over a glass (or three). There's...Read More

  • 4. 48/50

    $$$$ | Amsterdam-Oost | International

    By day, this sleek Swedish-owned establishment serves cinnamon or cardamom buns and seriously good specialty coffee from La Cabra in Copenhagen...Read More

  • 5. Bar Kantoor

    $$ | Oud-West | International

    This sustainable eatery is associated with the Conscious Hotel next door. Sit outside on the expansive terrace overlooking Westerpark and watch...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Brouwerij Troost

    $ | Oud-West | International

    This Amsterdam-based brewery churns out everything from craft beers to spirits and sodas at multiple locations throughout the city, and each...Read More

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Ciel Bleu

    $$$$ | De Pijp | International

    This elegant two–Michelin star dining room nods to modernity with gleaming metallic design touches, but the French-international food at the...Read More

  • 11. Kingfisher Café

    $$ | De Pijp | International

    For a taste of the neighborhood's regentrified café culture, check out this favorite corner bar that fills up most nights with parched Pijpers...Read More

  • 12. Restaurant Elkaar

    $$$$ | Plantage | International

    This small restaurant in a white-and-red corner building near the Tropenmuseum is easy to spot, and inside, the dark-wood paneling, pressed...Read More

  • 13. Restaurant-Café In de Waag

    $$ | Nieuwmarkt | International

    The lofty wood-beam interior of the 15th-century Waag (weigh house), converted into a café and restaurant, is lighted by hundreds of candles...Read More

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  • 14. Soup en Zo

    $ | Nieuwmarkt | International

    Soup Etc" bucks Amsterdam's slow-service trend by being particularly speedy as well as health-conscious. At least eight soups are available...Read More

  • 15. G's

    $$ | Jordaan | International

    Colorfully decorated, this intimate, boozy brunch spot is set up with a cozy living room feel in the heart of the Jordaan. G’s is a “really...Read More

  • 16. Maximiliaan

    $$$ | Centrum | International

    An ideal stop for lunch or dinner after strolling Dam Square, this classic Amsterdam restaurant next to the Magna Plaza Shopping Center underwent...Read More

  • 17. Nevel

    $$ | International

    Wonderfully situated directly on the water in Westerdok, Nevel means "mist" in Dutch and the walls of the restuarant are covered with oversize...Read More

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