Where to eat. A guide

by Tanja
where to eat in amsterdam cover

A question I receive a lot: Where to best eat in Amsterdam? Not an easy question to answer, considering personal preference in taste and style. One thing is sure. First of all: eating out in Amsterdam is expensive. The quality of food in Holland is good, also in the cheaper places, but the food in Amsterdam is often overpriced. Places to eat in Amsterdam in the city center are in general more expensive than outside the canal ring. So here we go: a guide on where to eat in Amsterdam

1. Where to eat Dutch food

Dutch people don’t eat traditional Dutch food in a restaurant. Traditionally, a Dutch restaurant serves French-inspired cuisine. Dutch food is only meant to fill your tummy. Like in many Northern-European countries, the traditional food here is heavy, greasy and rather boring.

Still, if you want to try Dutch food, try a local café or ‘eetcafé’ to try the homemade soup, apple pie or stamppot (mashed potato with veggies).

Where to eat Dutch food
How Dutch can you get? Steak with mushrooms at Bistro Bij Ons (in the Jordaan District).

Dutch food also means meat. Biefstuk (steak) with gravy, entrecote and ossehaas. Traditional steak restaurants in Amsterdam: Loetje and Piet de Leeuw (horse meat!). In the city center, there are many good steak restaurants, serving Argentinian steak.

READ MORE: How to do Amsterdam cheap

Dutch restaurants that serve Dutch food, grandma-style and that have ‘stamppot’ and ‘bal gehakt’ (meatball) on the menu: Haesje Claes (beautiful historic decor), Moeders (bring your mother), Bistro Bij Ons and Restaurant Lt. Cornelis. De Blauwe Hollander (very touristy), Bistro Bij Ons (Jordaan), Restaurant Lt. Cornelis and Greetje.

Typical Dutch food to try is also cheese fondue and sate and kroketten (either with bread or fries) both are served in many typical eetcafé (simple restaurant), all over town. And of course, the pancake restaurants, which are really only here for the tourists.

The decor of Haesje Claes, a restaurant in Amsterdam with a history that goes back to 1520.

That doesn’t mean you can’t do more with the basic Dutch ingredients of meat, veggies, and potatoes. There certainly are places to eat in Amsterdam that take traditional Dutch food to the French cuisine level, like Lastage.

2. Amsterdam restaurants with amazing decor

As I said, the food is usually pretty okay, so if you have to choose, why not choose a place to eat in Amsterdam with a nice historic decor? I’m thinking of D’Vijff Vlieghen and De Silveren Spiegel. Or eat in a greenhouse: De Kas, Eat on a platform island REM Eiland, eating while lying down: Supperclub, eat in the dark: Ctaste.

Beautiful dish at De Silveren Spiegel, Amsterdam.

3. Trendy Amsterdam restaurants by neighbourhood

Trendy restaurants in Amsterdam are hardly ever in the city center. So here are some quality restaurants that have proved to be trendy and tasty at the same time:

Amsterdam City Center

Choux, At Central Station!
Guts, near Rembrandtplein, seasonal and sumptuous.
Scheepskameel on ‘Marineterrein’.

Trendy restaurant Amstedam Scheepskameel
Scheepskameel, at Marineterrein.

Amsterdam South

Restaurant As, romantic with a relaxing terrace
Cafe Remouillage, serving small dishes to share

De Pijp

Restaurant Sinne

Amsterdam Noord

Garage Noord, an alternative night club that also serves food and people are ecstatic about this place. Check out the post about Amsterdam Noord to see more places in Amsterdam Noord.

Amsterdam West

DS is the restaurant of Amsterdam’s best nightclub De School.
Sham is a Syrian restaurant people are raving about.
Bak restaurant, fine and hip dining

Amsterdam Zuidoost

Elixer, a creative cuisine.


Vuurtoreneiland. It’s on an island. Yes. You get there by boat.

Also find Vegetarian restaurants in Amsterdam, and the charming Living room restaurants.

4. Use blogs and online guides to find places to eat in Amsterdam

Reviews can give you a good indication of the food and the place. Use a local online restaurant guide to find something that suits you and is in the area you would like to eat. To find places to eat in Amsterdam, use TheFork (by TripAdvisor) and Yelp.

Of course, many of the best restaurants don’t need to be on an online guide. Often they refuse to be in the guide because bookings are made via the website and the website takes an (unfair) portion of the money. When booking, always try to book directly at the restaurant by email or phone. Everyone speaks English.

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