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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Marius

    $$$ | Western Islands | 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

  • 11. MOS Amsterdam

    $$$ | French

    On the southern banks of the IJ River, in an area with few places to eat, this Asian-inflected French restaurant ups the bar by using international...Read More

  • 12. Restaurant Sinne

    $$$$ | De Pijp | Mediterranean

    This candlelit French-Mediterranean restaurant with exposed brick walls and whimsical cartoon paintings is a true local favorite. Choose a set...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 14. 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

  • 15. 1e Klas

    $$$ | Centrum | Café

    This Grand Café is a storied place to wait for your train. Architect Pierre Cuypers' original 1889 Fin-de-Siècle interior, no longer restricted...Read More

  • 16. Brasserie de Keyzer

    $$$ | Museum District | European

    In the shadow of the golden lyre that tops the Concertgebouw (Concert Building), this culinary institution has been serving musicians and...Read More

  • 17. Brasserie van Baerle

    $$$ | Museum District | French

    If it's Sunday and you want to brunch on the holiest of trinities—blini, smoked salmon, and Champagne—look no further than this elegant brasserie...Read More

  • 18. 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

  • 19. Kantjil & de Tijger

    $$ | Centrum | Indonesian

    Although you can order à la carte at this spacious and airy Indonesian restaurant, most diners opt for one of the four rijsttafels, each with...Read More

  • 20. Pendergast Smokehouse

    $$ | Oud-West | American

    Kansas City-style barbecue isn't something you'd expect to see in Europe, but this charming shoebox-size locals' favorite close to Westerpark...Read More

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