The 20 best restaurants in Amsterdam

The very best restaurants in Amsterdam perfectly capture the city’s knack for blending innovation and tradition

Edited by Derek Robertson, Christina Newberry & Karin EngelbrechtTuesday 26 September 2023FacebookTwitterPinterestEmailWhatsAppAdvertising

Whether you’re headed to Amsterdam to tour its galleries, pop out on a canal cruise, visit centuries-old cafés or sample one of its notorious coffee shops, there is one thing you absolutely should not miss – and that’s the food. From stroopwafels served fresh on the Albert Cuyp market to exciting Michelin-star dining, Amsterdam’s food scene has got better and better.

And now might be the best time to pay the city a visit, as there are eateries for every taste (and budget). Classic, family-run Dutch food. Trendy wine bars serving up small plates. The freshest vegetable-driven menus. Whatever tickles your fancy, there’s a restaurant in Amsterdam for you, guaranteed. Read on for our top picks across a range of categories right now.

Best places to eat in Amsterdam

Restaurant Flore

Photograph: Flore

1. Restaurant Flore

Flore was previously Bord’eau, but took on the change in 2021. With two Michelin stars, an award-winning wine list and a spectacular canalside location, this is special-occasion dining at its finest. Executive chef Bas van Kranen’s fixed veg-led menus focus on showcasing top-notch local ingredients through simple but innovative flavour combinations and elegant plating. The service is impeccable, the setting classy but unfussy. Reservations are a must.

Price: Blowout

BAK Restaurant

Photograph: BAK Restaurant

2. BAK Restaurant

What started as a pop-up restaurant has become a go-to destination in Amsterdam’s former lumber port. After climbing the wooden stairs to the third floor of an old warehouse, you’ll step into a minimalist whitewashed room with huge windows overlooking the River IJ. BAK was originally a vegetarian restaurant, and while the set menus now incorporate local meat and fish, veg is still the star of the show.

Price: High-end

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3. Kaagman & Kortekaas

Local foodies have been loyally placing themselves in the practised hands of chef Giel Kaagman and sommelier and host Bram Kortekaas since 2015. Their eponymous eatery, which has played a pioneering role in the local bistronomy movement, is situated in a meandering medieval alley in the heart of the Palace District, where multiple levels arranged around a recessed kitchen allow a few lucky diners to feel like they’re in on the action. Kaagman & Kortekaas is known for its high-end, nose-to-tail dining in a casual space, where regularly changing chef’s menus keep things fresh. Usually, there’s housemade charcuterie, plenty of foraged ingredients, venison and a few offal surprises – picky eaters beware!

Price: Mid-range

De Kas

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4. De Kas

If the finest, freshest produce, beautifully cooked, is what you’re after, then a trip to De Kas is a must. Tucked inside a set of greenhouses that date to 1926, they serve a fixed daily menu – you simply choose how many courses you want – prepared with vegetables and herbs grown in their own nursery. Their farm-to-table credentials are impeccable, and the dishes showcase each ingredient at its best.

Price: Blowout

Troef

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5. Troef

Sure, there are a lot of fancier French restaurants in the city – De Juwelier, Vinkeles and Ciel Bleu to name a few – but what’s not to love about a buzzy new Eastside eatery, where you get to eat food from former Michelin chefs without the eye-watering prices? Here at Troef, you’ll find bites from €5 and a la carte mains between €18 and €28 (though there’s lobster for €58 and a €900 Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2012 too). Oenophiles will go wild for the wine room, which is home to over 2,000 bottles, from impressive vintages to wines in the €30 to €40 range. In an understated dining room, down a canal on the Amstel River, chef Raymond Plat Plat (formerly of 212 and De Juwelier) dials up the decadence with dishes like pork cheek croquettes with oyster cream, plump pies with oxtail and sweetbreads swimming in a mushroom foam, with morels and lashings of truffle. Chef’s kiss.

Price: Mid-range

Rijsel French-Flemish

Photograph: Janus van den Eijnden

6. Rijsel French-Flemish

When the craving for exceptional rotisserie chicken hits, head to this French-Flemish restaurant next to the Amstel River. Set in a former domestic sciences school, it’s a no-frills space with an open kitchen. The menu changes daily but always features classic French bistro classics with a Flemish twist – Rijsel, after all, is the Flemish name for the French town of Lille. This is a locals’ favourite that’s always packed, so book well in advance.

Price: Mid-range

Hotel de Goudfazant

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7. Hotel de Goudfazant

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The ‘Golden Pheasant Hotel’ is not a hotel at all, but an enormous restaurant housed in a former garage in Noord (with some quaint old cars still left inside). Located on the River IJ, this is a particularly good choice in summer, when the garage doors open wide and it feels like the entire dining room is outdoors. It’s not fancy – you’ll sit on red plastic chairs – but servers are attentive. Modern bistro-style French food is prepped in an open kitchen and served at reasonable prices.

Price: Mid-range

Wilde Zwijnen

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8. Wilde Zwijnen

The industrial, shabby-chic interior and ever-changing daily menu of modern Dutch cuisine have made the ‘Wild Boar’ a trendy (and increasingly popular) haunt in Oost. The idea at Wilde Zwijnen is simple – choose three or four courses, order some wine, and let the kitchen work its magic with fresh, seasonal produce. And if something a little lighter is required, head next door to their Eetbar, where they offer smaller, individual plates at delightful prices.

Price: Mid-range

Klein Breda

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9. Klein Breda

Just around the corner from Rembrandtplein, you’ll find this two-storey hotspot that focuses on seasonal dishes and barbecued meat and fish. Dinner is served as a three, four or five-course set menu. Formerly called Guts & Glory, this long narrow room used to change its theme with a new ‘chapter’ every season. Now, Klein Breda has settled into a menu guided by the ingredients rather than a quarterly concept – though the inventiveness remains.

Price: High-end

Cradam

Photograph: Teska Overbeeke

10. Cradam

There are few better places to get stuck into seafood and brasserie classics than at Cradam, a cavernous, 19th-century monument. This former water pumping station now pumps out sumptuous seafood platters and brasserie fare like oeufs mayonnaise, coq au vin and steak frites to adoring fans of all ages (there’s a kids menu, too). If it’s sunny, order some ice-cold white wine and grab a spot on the terrace.

Price: Mid-range

Box Sociaal

Advertising Photograph: Box Sociaal

11. Box Sociaal

Just across the road from Artis Zoo, this Australian-style restaurant serves brunch every day until 4 pm, making it the ideal place to nurse a hangover after a big night out. Come evening, a menu that flirts with Asian and Australian influences will have your tastebuds tingling. Throw in some excellent coffee and better booze, and you’ve got yourself something special. Plus there’s now a second Box Sociaal location to check out in Jordaan.

Price: Mid-range

The Cottage

Photograph: The Cottage / Instagram

12. The Cottage

If you find yourself craving a Sunday roast, head to The Cottage for a plate piled high with meat, veg and Yorkshire pudding. Though the owners are Dutch, they’ve mastered British classics like sausage rolls and shepherd’s pie – while including plenty of vegetarian options, too. The scones are good, but the homemade orange and cardamom jam takes them to the next level. Don’t miss the triple ginger cake for dessert.

Price: Mid-range

Blauw Indo

Advertising Photograph: Restaurant Blauw

13. Blauw Indo

For a modern take on Indonesian food, head to this high-ceilinged room in the Oud-Zuid neighbourhood, just southwest of Vondelpark. It may be called ‘Blue’, but this peppy spot is done out in black, white and red, with a mural-sized family portrait dominating one wall. At Blauw you’ll find traditional rijsttafels (including a vegan option), or opt for the ‘experience menu’ to sample a selection of Indonesian street food.

Price: Mid-range

Restaurant de Plantage

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14. Restaurant de Plantage

Right next to the city zoo, this ultramodern bistro boasts quite the setting. There’s a spacious bar area serving ace cocktails and nibbles, while the restaurant proper sits in a cavernous 19th-century conservatory. Contemporary European dishes – some available in small and large sizes – sit side by side with sandwiches and lighter lunch plates. If the weather permits, bag a table on Restaurant de Plantage’s terrace, which overlooks part of the zoo and is lit with fairy lights.

Price: Mid-range

Pesca

Advertising Photograph: Saskia de Wal, courtesy Pesca

15. Pesca

Ever been to a self-proclaimed ‘theatre of fish’? We’re guessing not. But what exactly does that mean? On arrival at Pesca, staff offer a glass of champagne to enjoy while you peruse the day’s catch – cod, mussels, octopus, scallops – stylishly laid out on ice. Once you’ve made your selection, drinks and sides are added, you grab a table and wait for a plate of near-perfectly cooked fish. There’s a buzzy, fast-paced atmosphere to complement the food, making it the ideal starting point for a night on the town.

Price: Mid-range

Cannibale Royale

Cannibale Royal

16. Cannibale Royale

Meat lovers rejoice, for this brasserie tucked away at the bottom of De Pijp is a mecca for all things chargrilled. Impeccable burgers – try the house speciality, with added pulled pork – jerk-style roast chicken and the best ribs in town are just some of the delights on offer. Steak lover and hungry? Their 1kg Absurde, which must be ordered 24 hours in advance, has you covered. Their craft beer menu is excellent, too, with a constantly rotating range of local brews on draught. There’s also locations in Centrum and Noord.

Price: Mid-range

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17. Pizza Beppe

Surprisingly for a city with so many Italian restaurants, quality pizza used to be something of a rarity. We said ‘rarity’, not ‘impossibility’; enter Beppe and neophytes like nNea. Delicate dough with a perfectly charred crust, sauces made with San Marzano tomatoes, and gooey puddles of Buffalo mozzarella have given way to four further branches and membership of the prestigious Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana – one of only five other pizzerias in the country to be accepted. Pizza doesn’t get much better than this.

Price: Budget

Meatless DistrictMeatless District

18. Meatless District

Traditional Dutch cuisine, with its penchant for rookworst-topped pea soup and bacon-studded stamppot, isn’t particularly kind to vegetarians, and vegans even less so. However, several addresses have popped up to fill this important void, and this chic, airy bar-restaurant in Old West is the best of the bunch. With a seasonal menu that’s 100 percent vegan – and organic where possible – Meatless District is open every day for lunch, light bites and dinner.

Price: Mid-range

China Sichuan Restaurant

Advertising Photograph: China Sichuan

19. China Sichuan Restaurant

Ignore its location in the middle of tourist hell – the hordes of Chinese expats gobbling up spicy boiling sea bass, Kung Pao chicken, mapo tofu and Sichuan steamed beef are proof of this restaurant’s authenticity. It’s small but open until midnight, and diners tend not to linger. In Sichuan cooking, chilli is king, but they’ve also got plenty of specialities for those not so keen on spice, including a mean Peking duck. Portions are huge at China Sichuan and come with mountains of rice, making this a great place for groups.

Price: Mid-range

20. Hap-Hmm

Looking for no-fuss, no-frills classic Dutch food? This is the place. Around since 1935, Hap-Hmm is a friendly old-school neighbourhood joint with a daily changing menu, and without a hefty price tag. Simply good quality, home cooked comfort food. Despite its popularity, the prices have stayed reasonable, so you can get beef stew, schnitzel and waffles and have plenty of funds for drinks after. Show up, queue if you need to and settle in for a great meal. For poshed-up Dutch cuisine, head to Michelin-starred RIJKS instead. We promise you won’t forget it.

Price: Budget

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