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. 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. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. RIJKS®

    $$$ | Museum District | Dutch

    Amsterdam's famed Rijksmuseum displays a dazzling collection of Dutch masterpieces, and the adjacent restaurant, with a warm but understated...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Brasserie FLO Amsterdam

    $$$ | Rembrandtplein | French

    Everything shines here: the copper, the mirrors, the white tablecloths and, of course, the food. Part of a popular chain, Flo is centrally located...Read More

  • 11. 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

  • 12. Breitner

    $$$ | Rembrandtplein | Mediterranean

    With a formal interior of rich red carpeting and muted pastel colors, and a view across the Amstel River that takes in both the Muziektheater...Read More

  • 13. Bridges

    $$$ | Red Light District | Seafood

    When you enter this classy restaurant inside the Hotel Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, you'll pass a Karel Appel wall mural, before getting...Read More

  • 14. Café Americain

    $$$ | Leidseplein | French

    Although thousands of buildings in Amsterdam are designated historic monuments, few have interiors as stunning as the facade. This cafe is an...Read More

  • 15. D' Vijff Vlieghen

    $$$ | Centrum | Dutch

    The "Five Flies" is a rambling dining institution that takes up five adjoining Golden Age houses filled with densely evocative decor—complete...Read More

  • 16. De Belhamel

    $$$ | Western Canal Ring | European

    On the edge of the Canal District, this classic Amsterdam restaurant is blessed with gorgeous Art Nouveau detailing and wallpaper, as well as...Read More

  • 17. De Silveren Spiegel

    $$$ | Centrum | Dutch

    Despite appearances, this precariously crooked building near the solid Round Lutheran Church is here to stay: it's managed to remain standing...Read More

  • 18. Dynasty

    $$$ | Eastern Canal Ring | Asian

    The interior at this Asian dining spot is fanciful, with original historical details blurring into a frenzy of rice-paper umbrellas suspended...Read More

  • 19. Incanto

    $$$ | Rembrandtplein | Italian

    Hidden amid a cluster of fast-food joints near Rembrandt Square, this cozy gem of a restaurant serves high-end contemporary Italian food prepared...Read More

  • 20. Johannes

    $$$ | Eastern Canal Ring | French

    Tasting menus are an enduring trend in Amsterdam, and this intimate 15-table eatery in a historic canal house with a minimalist decor—wood-beam...Read More

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