You can find restaurants and eateries all over town, but here are some of my favorites. It’s always a good idea to make reservations in advance.
City center / North: EYE restaurant
This modern design building and film institute has a very good and popular restaurant. It has a design interior but with a warm atmosphere. Different levels make for great views inside as well as outside across IJ river. Sometimes a passing cruise ship may fill the entire view. Address: IJpromenade 1. In order to get there take the free ferry from the north of Central Station to Buiksloterweg (not to other destinations). This ferry goes day and night.
City center: LongPura
A good place to try out Indonesian ‘rijsttafel’ = rice table, a leftover from colonial times. For me personally the atmosphere is a bit stiff and posh but the food is fantastic and reminds me of my dad’s home cooking (he was born on Java). This restaurant is close to Anne Frank House and Westerkerk church. Rozengracht 46.
City center: Mata Hari
In the middle of all the neon lights and ugly signs of the red light district, you can suddenly bump into this hidden gem of a restaurant. A beautiful building with some impressive big design lamps, vintage / art deco interior, old wooden tables, friendly waiters and great food. A bit pricey but well worth it. Oudezijds Achterburgwal 22.
City center: Cafe De Koe
(Dutch / French / Italian)
A convenient, centrally located cafe-style restaurant close to Leidseplein. No-nonsense, big portions, affordable, cozy. Marnixstraat 381.
City center: D’Vijff Vlieghen
They call themselves a ‘culinary museum’. If you want to get a feel for what canal houses looked like in the 17th century, this is a good place to experience it. It’s not cheap but well worth it. It’s situated close to Amsterdam Museum, the Flower Market, 9 Streets, and Spui. Spuistraat 294.
City center: ‘t Gasthuys
(Dutch / French cuisine)
Brown cafe with cheap meals: big portions and tasty. Outdoor seating too. Staff is sometimes a bit clumsy but friendly. Very central, not far from Dam square or Munt. Grimburgwal 7.
City center: Casa di David
This restaurants gets mixed reviews but I had very good asparagus and fish, and tiramisù here. What’s more, it’s in a beautiful, very old building. Some of the tables overlook a little side canal, very romantic. It’s situated close to Amsterdam Museum, the Flower Market, 9 Streets, and Spui. Singel 426.
City center: Ali Ocakbasi
This Turkish restaurant serves full meals as well as mezze: sort of tapas, small dishes you can share. Upstairs they have a few tables overlooking beautiful Herengracht canal so ask for that. It’s close to Rembrandtplein.
This small restaurant run by real Italians has amazing mediterranean food in an ever changing menu. The looks and tastes like ‘haute cuisine’ but is very affordable. They have various meat dishes (for example they may serve rabbit), fish (octopus) and vegetarian options. Their starters are also amazing. The owners are very friendly. Location-wise this fits well after a visit to Brouwerij ‘t IJ beer brewer / windmill and Dappermarkt. Mauritskade 110.
Take-away, the best Surinamese ‘roti’ in town for only 7 euros. The place itself looks like a snackbar so bring it to a park or somewhere else. You can combine this restaurant with your visit to Tropenmuseum, Oosterpark or Dappermarkt. Eerste Van Swindenstraat 4.
This restaurant serves ‘traditional Dutch food’. The Dutch nowadays eat Italian, Thai, French, Ethiopian and all kinds of food but not many eat traditional ‘veggies+potatoes+a piece of meat’ dishes, or the stews from the old days. This restaurant Moeders (Mothers) is a tribute to all mothers and the walls are covered with pictures of moms. Rozengracht 251.
Amazing Lebanese food, great service. The interior looks very tacky but cosy. Low prices. You can combine this restaurant with Foodhallen. Kinkerstraat 18.
West: Rayleigh & Ramsey
(wine bar and restaurant)
Want to try different wines and have great food? This is the place to go. They have about 100 wines, white, rosé and red. You can buy a sip, or half a glass, or a full glass. This makes it easy to try various wines first without getting too drunk or breaking the bank. 😉
The food is also fantastic. You can order food to share with your friends, or order a main course each. It is delicious, and will be presented beautifully.
Acoustics were still quite bad (bathroom effect) when I went just after it had opened, but they were going to work on improving that.
What an original concept and I wish this would exist for trying beers! 🙂
Multiple city districts: SLA
For those who love big salads full of vegetables like I do! Choose suggested salads from their menu or compose your own, choosing ingredients and dressing yourself. You can eat on the spot (lunch or dinner time) or take away.
- For those on a budget:
- The street called Zeedijk in the center (edge of the red light district) has many cheap Asian eateries.
- Sari Citra offers fantastic Indonesian food only in a snackbar type of setting. You can choose small portions from a display and they will heat it for you. Your drink will be served in the can.
- Warung Sranang Makmur is a Surinamese / Indonesian place, also a bit of a tacky vibe with a TV and take-away counter, but tables too. And really good food for little money.
- Vapiano in the main library offers cheap Italian food.
- Maoz is a good vegetarian place for falafel (deepfried chickpea balls in pita bread, with salad buffet).
- Other restaurants that serve traditional Dutch food. Our cuisine is not known for being fine, but visitors seem to want to try it.
- General info about restaurants in Amsterdam, scroll down and browse through the suggestions for vegetarian restaurants, child friendly restaurants, unique dining experiences and more.
- YourLittleBlackBook is a great site for finding the latest new hotspots and hidden gems. You can search by city district.
- You can try using The Fork to search and filter for restaurants but I don’t find it as user-friendly as the Dutch version http://www.iens.nl.
Dutch food and snacks
Do you want more info about typically Dutch food and snacks, and about the Indonesian and Surinamese cuisines that were imported because of our colonial days? Have a look at EatYourWorld.
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