As I mentioned in my last post, I think that Amsterdam’s food scene is way underrated. It’s difficult to define the city’s cuisine in just a few words because they’ve gathered influence from many different countries, so I guess I’d just call it global.
From cheap eats to fine dining, we loved every meal we had in our four days there. If I really had to narrow it down, here is my top list of where to eat and drink in Amsterdam:
We found De Biertuin on a whim the day we arrived. Travis wanted a good beer and I was craving something relatively healthy…and luckily for us, De Biertuin had both. I can’t think of another beer garden that puts the same level of care into their vegetarian dishes as they do their burgers and beer selection. We went twice, and both times the restaurant was packed. It’s the perfect spot for a casual meal, and there is something on the menu for everyone (including wine for the non-beer drinkers like me!).
What to order:
The spit-roasted half chicken. It comes with a variety of delicious house-made sauces.
The Veggie Burger with Mango Chutney, which was without a doubt the best veggie burger I’ve ever had.
I wrote a full review here, so I won’t go into too much detail in this post. If you’re looking for a unique culinary experience in Amsterdam and appreciate farm-to-table dining, go to De Kas.
What to order: The menu is fixed, but the chef is able to accommodate food allergies and dietary preferences. Make sure to opt for the wine pairing, you won’t be disappointed.
An Indonesian rijsttafel is a must in Amsterdam. The Dutch word literally translates to “rice table” and a traditional rijsttafel consists of many (in this case 16) small dishes accompanied with rice. Most restaurants will offer both a meat and vegetarian rijsttefel, and in some cases there is a fish option as well. Restaurant Blauw was our second rijsttafel experience, and while it provides a more high-end dining experience, the quality absolutely matches the price. One tip: go hungry! Each dish is remarkable in its own way and you won’t want to pass up on a single bite.
What to Order:
Soto Ayam: a soup with turmeric and lemongrass
Chicken Spring Rolls: NOT your average fried spring roll. These were so fresh and flavorful.
Selera Blauw Rijsttafel: includes 16 different small dishes with chicken, beef, and vegetables.
Foodhallen is an indoor food market located in De Hallen, which originally was where the first electric trams in Amsterdam were serviced. Today the building has been given new life, and now it’s a center of music, film, culture and food.
There are a wide variety of food exhibitors in Foodhallen. I’d recommend dedicating a couple of hours to your visit and splitting a few dishes among friends. That way you’re able to try more of what the food hall has to offer.
What to order:
Hanoi Chicken Banh Mi from Việt View
Mezze Plate from Maza
The Dutch Ginger from The G&T bar.
Look at all these cool gin and tonic combinations!
Ask for bartender, Sjo. He can tell you all about Amsterdam and the history of Foodhallen while mixing you a mean G&T.
Pho 91 was recommended to us by a local and it really hit the spot on a rainy night. The restaurant is small, so get there early to avoid a wait. The staff is very friendly and the kitchen is fast, which is nice if you’re looking for a quick meal in between sightseeing.
What to order: The Grilled Aubergine Salad and Pho 91 with beef, chicken, and meatballs.
The Breakfast Club has a couple locations, and we visited the one in Amsterdam east. The portions are large, which is great if you have a busy day ahead. We chose one sweet and one savory dish to share and loved both.
What to order: Buckwheat Pumpkin Pancakes with Pecans, Blueberries, and Blackberry-Sage Jam. Unlike American pancakes, these were not overly sweet, and with the delicious jam there was no need for maple syrup.
After loading up on carbs and protein, you’ll begin craving something green. We came across The Cold-Pressed Juicery at the perfect time. Travis was trying to get over a cold, and he swore that the Reset Juice from the Cold-Pressed Juicery is what cured him.
What to Order: The Reset or The Pret a Protein. Both are easy drinking and perfectly balanced.
Up next: what to eat in Vienna! Stay tuned…and in the meantime, make sure to follow my latest travels on Instagram.
Disclosure: In some cases, I received a complimentary or discounted meal in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. These restaurants are all places I would immediately visit again in Amsterdam, and I hope you have the chance to visit them, too.