Our favourite Amsterdam restaurants and café’s

 

The best places to eat in Amsterdam

Everyone loves a shortlist, and navigating all the foodie recommendations on our Amsterdam blog (click here for the homepage) might feel a little overwhelming, so we have compiled the highlights below by way of a shortcut. But please, don’t let it stop you exploring the fuller list.  We have only included places on AmsterdamWonderland that we really rate so check out the main menu and navigate the blog further to discover many other unique and wonderful places to eat.

Clicking on restaurant names below will take you to the full review. This list is updated regularly as new gems knock old favourites off the list so it should always be current and relevant. Remember, our blog is focussed on the places “Amsterdammers in the know” choose to dine out. We make a point of avoiding restaurants like Momo, Supperclub, Cau or the dreaded Pasta e Basta which cater almost exclusively to high, mid or mass market (mostly British) tourists. Whilst you will definitely find clued-up visitors and expats dining at our shortlisted venues, you’ll also be rubbing shoulders with Amsterdam’s finest.

Enjoy!

Updated February 2017

Best for special occasions (or what the hell – you don’t need an excuse!)

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  1. De Kas – A one-off.  Romantic, packed with the wow-factor, a bucket-list kinda place (pictured)
  2. The Duchess – Scoring highly for the extraordinary room, and the “scene”.  A truly stunning space in the old Kas bank, now the W Hotel.
  3. Red – This one is personal.  Located on one of the most romantic canal corners, lovely food and super-gezellig.

∗ A special mention here for Toscanini and Vis Aan De Schelde, both of which feature very highly in our smart-dining recommends.

Best for a buzzy, hip or cosy vibe along with great food

Hotel De Goudfazant

  1. Hotel de Goudfazant – Totally worth the journey to Amsterdam North for the buzz, the food and the vast garage interior (pictured)
  2. Loetje – Lying in joint-first place, we adore the food as well as the incredibly Dutch atmosphere and diverse locations.  It is almost unheard of for us to come to Amsterdam without at least one visit (and we come often!)
  3. BAUT Paradijs – Head to 2017’s newly opened BAUT popup which has moved back to its roots in the east of the city.  If it’s anything like as special as the last BAUT, it’s a must.

*Special mention this time goes to Stork – a gorgeous spot on the River Ij serving fantastic seafood in a cool setting with a spectacular view

 

For more evening inspiration check the Next Time List post which lists some of the restaurants we haven’t yet been to but which we’re booking ahead for our next visit.

 

Best for breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea and coffee

The hotspots below are all favourites and most offer food from early to late.  We’ve opted for our favourite meals at each, but don’t rule out having breakfast at a lunch listing or a snack at a breakfast gem – we rate the places as much as specific meals.

Best for breakfast

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  1. Scandinavian Embassy – Could there be a Michelin star in the offing for this tiny yet utterly perfect coffee bar in the Pijp (pictured) that also serves a limited menu of exceptional food.
  2. Corner Bakery Amsterdam – Cute as a button cafe near the museums for a perfectly Instagrammable brekkie
  3. De Bakkerswinkel This has always been a special place for us, cosy, authentic and local.

* Special mention for CT Coffee and Coconuts, a 1920’s art deco theatre that’s been converted into one of the city’s major hotspots. You’ll find the place buzzing from early to late serving up tropical treats to The Pijp’s finest.

Best for brunch

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  1. G’s – A chance to cruise the canals without enduring the full tourist “shabang” whilst enjoying great brunch and bloody marys (pictured).  If you’re only doing one brunch, make it this one
  2. Bar Moustache – Head to one of our go-to places and enjoy all-day favourites in this lovely cafe on the buzzy Utrechtsestraat.
  3. Bakers and Roasters – In truth, this Kiwi/Brazilian bruncherette is mostly full of tourists but you only need to see the queue on weekends to realise they’ve got the magic sauce.

*Special mention for De Wasserette – an ever-popular terrace in the heart of the Pijp perfect for hanging with the beautiful people on a sunny morning.

Best for lunch

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  1. Gartine – One of our most special places (pictured) book ahead for this tiny slice of perfection serving seasonal produce at breakfast, lunch and tea all picked in their kitchen garden
  2. Foodhallen – There’s something for everyone at this fabulous food hall based in a converted tramshed complex that has been responsible for a complete reinvention of the dining scene in the West.
  3. De Ysbreeker – Probably Amsterdam’s finest Grand Cafe, this beauty, slap-bang on the Amstel river has one of the city’s very best sunny terraces and a gorgeous and historic interior.

∗ Two special mentions here.  One for Buffet van Odette where you can pull up a chair by the beautiful Prinsengracht canal and enjoy quality food in a charming setting – the truffle cheese omelette is legendary.  Or for brasserie favourites check out the George cluster of restaurants (each one of the three locations has a slightly different menu and ambience).  The “French Brasserie in New York…in Amsterdam” concept is much loved and has become a reliable go-to for crowd-pleasing favourites.

Best for tea

  1. College Hotel – There is simply no better spot in Winter to warm up over a cup of something steamy (pictured)
  2. The Duchess – High end, high tea that is instantly Instagrammable
  3. Pompadour – On a chilly day in the Nine Streets, drift into this “Mittel-European” chocolaterie, patisserie and tearoom.

*Not a full high tea, but if you’re after some delicious (and very pink!) tartlets and cakelets head over to Sticky Fingers for something special

Best for coffee (yes coffee NOT coffee shops!)

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  1. Scandinavian Embassy – One of the only locations to feature twice on the list, but if you’re a coffee drinker, not heading to this special place would be almost criminal
  2. Blauwe Theehuis – You won’t find gourmet beans at this historic Amsterdam cafe, but cycle out to the modernist “flying saucer” in the middle of the Vondelpark and you’ll be rewarded with a vast and wonderfully unpretentious terrace for a koffie verkeerd and a spot of people watching.
  3. Bocca’s Coffee – After supplying coffee to most of Amsterdam’s best eateries for years, the Bocca brothers have now opened a state of the art “tasting and training showroom” in a hidden garage-space on the Kerkstraat.

∗ Special mention for Lot Sixty One which is shaking up the Dutch “west-side” coffee scene.

Best for food on the go

winkel-43

Impossible to rank in any order so in joint first place…

  • Herring – The original streetfood and the best bar none.
  • Winkel 43 – Quite simply the greatest apple pie in the world and a total Amsterdam institution (pictured)
  • Vleminckx – Chips, patatjes, frites…whatever you call them, a visit to Amsterdam would be incomplete without a taste
  • Pisa Ijs – The only place to head for ice cream on a hot Summer day

Best by season

Check out our full “Amsterdam by season” post here packed with restaurants and cafes for lazy Summer days or long Winter nights.

Best for kids

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Click here for our “Eating out with kids” guide to find a bigger selection, but if we had to pick a top three it would look something like this…

  • Cafe Amsterdam – Wonderful room (pictured) and a fantastic kids menu.  Just the kind of kid-friendly but grown-up place we love
  • The IJ-kantine – Another laid back adult vibe in a place that caters brilliantly for little people on the North side of the river Ij
  • Mazzo – One of our regular and hip central Amsterdam favourites that also has an area for children

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