Where Amsterdammers Eat: Local Favorites
Collected by Melissa Adams, AFAR Local Expert
Locals take a casual attitude toward food in the Netherlands. Service is mellow if there at all, but Dutchies don't mind. Unlike Americans, they linger over food at informal joints with high-quality food or grab street snacks like herring, fries smothered in sauce, or brodjes (sandwiches). Many Amsterdammers will claim they've never bought a kroquet at a FEBO, but you'll find them in the wee hours at these coin-operated eateries.
Warmoesstraat 51, 1012 HW Amsterdam, Netherlands
If a juicy burger named after a local drag queen doesn't whet your appetite, one of Getto's stiff cocktails should have you dining like a diva at this local favorite. Since 1996, it's been an "attitude-free" zone for gays, lesbians and anyone else...
Reguliersdwarsstraat 38, 1017 BM Amsterdam, Netherlands
Since 1982, Rose's Cantina has been drawing locals for Latin American flavors on a street known for its plethora of dining options. On a busy night, don't expect intimacy or romance, as the Reguliersdwarsstraat establishment is big, boisterous and...
Prinsengracht 381, 1016 HL Amsterdam, Netherlands
If artful cuisine served in sleek yet homey ambiance appeals, it would be sinful to miss Envy, a chic pearl on Prinsengracht, honored for the sixth consecutive year by Michelin. You're not likely to commit gluttony at this Italian deli-inspired...
Leidsestraat 94, 1017 PE Amsterdam, Netherlands
Any list of cheap eats in Amsterdam would be remiss if it didn't include FEBO, the Dutch culinary tradition of eating from a wall of fast food vending machines. With 20+ outlets in Amsterdam, it's easy to find a FEBO de Lekkerste (literally, FEBO...
Warmoesstraat 21, 1012 HT Amsterdam, Netherlands
This is not your everyday burger joint. From the outside, Burger Bar looks like a typical fast food dive, with a neon sign above a door leading into a narrow, brightly lit interior. Outside tables are likely to be packed with Amsterdammers and...
Oosterdokskade 5, 1011 AD Amsterdam, Netherlands
Just three months after opening last August, the 70-seat Samhoud Places restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars for international dishes such as sole in hazelnut sauce, chickpea and crab crepes, and eggplant moussaka. Hit the casual lounge for a...
Oosterdokskade 143, 1011 DL Amsterdam, Netherlands
This is not a secret to locals, but off-the-beaten path (but still not too out of the way) is a place with a surprisingly tasty dinner for under ten euros. It's the library cafeteria. But seriously: That bowl of Thai noodle soup with...
Warmoesstraat 129, 1012 JA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cocktail bar-restaurants typically excel at one or the other, rarely both tipple and nibble. Four month old Tales & Spirits, located in the beating heart of Amsterdam, manages to succeed on both fronts. The cocktails are both creative in name...
Rozengracht 2, 1016 NB Amsterdam, Netherlands
The atmosphere is heavy, the decibel level very low, and the wooden decor both comforting, and inviting. People in this café are either locals reading the newspapers while sipping a cappuccino, or, like me, tourists who just visited the Anne Frank...
Leidsekruisstraat 28, 1017 RJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam isn't exactly known for its stellar food, so finding delicious Dutch food on a busy tourist street at an affordable price on my latest trip was a big surprise. A few friends and I wanted to try Dutch food on our last night in Amsterdam,...
Brouwersgracht 60, 1013 GX Amsterdam, Netherlands
De Belhamel restaurant is located near the Central train station in a very quiet residential neighborhood. It would be hard to find a prettier location for a leisurely lunch or romantic dinner - the restaurant sits at the junction of the...
Overtoom 160-162, 1054 HP Amsterdam, Netherlands
We had been to Gollem for a drink and a snack (note: the meat platter is hearty) the evening before, but when we found ourselves on Overtoom after visiting Vondelpark, with Gollem just opening for lunch, we went for it again. After all, it was our...
Haarlemmerdijk 4, 1013 JC Amsterdam, Netherlands
Living so close to the North Sea, Dutchies love their fish. They eat it raw, baked, steamed, poached, grilled and fried. While often found on dinner menus, seafood is especially popular as a fast food snack, sold at fish shops throughout the city....
Eastern Docklands, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The fact that there is a special-occasion restaurant like the Wilde Zwijnen (which means Wild Boar) is a sign of wealth in the neighborhood. I like the interiors: stylish but natural. The boar dishes are good, but they also do nice ravioli filled...
Singel, 1013 GA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Eating raw herring is a right of passage for many who visit Amsterdam. Order yours from the friendly Dutch matrons in blue and white-striped aprons at Stubbe's Haaring, a herring stand with a view on the bridge over Singel Canal, just off...
Westerstraat 30, 1015 DB Amsterdam, Netherlands
While walking the streets of Amsterdam I stumbled on this great local cafe that has "Boca's" (aka small tapas like sandwiches). There were lots of options from sweet to savory to choose + a great beer and wine selection. It is a perfect place for...
Prinsengracht 191, 1015 DS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Whether you call them 'pancakes', 'crepes', or 'pizzas', the delicious creations at the Pancake Bakery are sure to satisfy any hungry traveler. Directly down the street from the Anne Frank House, this restaurant is a small and consistently...
Binnen Oranjestraat 14, 1013 JA Amsterdam, Netherlands
It was a late Saturday afternoon in Amsterdam. The sun was almost piercing and locals were joyous, thronging cafés and shedding layers. After all, they had suffered weeks of spring's damp and gray homecoming. Knowing the extents to which I will go...
Staalstraat 7-A, 1011 JJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
What do you get when you combine a design gallery/store with a café, beauty salon, fashion boutique and rental apartment? Add it all up and it equates to Droog, a multifunctional space that melds a 160-square meter exhibition space with an...
Polonceaukade 23, 1014 DA Amsterdam, Netherlands
With its chill vibe, funky decor, warehouse-like interior and spacious terrace, Pacific Parc is a rock 'n' roll bistro with an edge. Situated in a former treatment plant at Westergasfabriek, the café-nightclub on Amsterdam's west side...
Elandsgracht 108, 1016 VA Amsterdam, Netherlands
On a rainy summer night (thunder! lightening!), we had very low expectations of getting a table at Balthazar's Keuken—mostly because something I read said that it was hard to get in. But there was a table, right in the back by the open...
Spuistraat 275, 1012 VR Amsterdam, Netherlands
Besides cheese and pancakes, the Dutch don’t really have a culinary claim to fame. Unless you count the potato. The boiled potato is to The Netherlands what rice is to China. Always boiled, never baked or scalloped, and if you are expecting...
Brouwersgracht 125, 1015 GE Amsterdam, Netherlands
It may not look like much and there's certainly no need to dress up. But despite its humble appearance on the posh Brouwersgracht, Swieti Sranang serves up some of the best—and most affordable—Indonesian and Surinamese food in town. Owned by Henk...
Marnixstraat 246, 1016 TL Amsterdam, Netherlands
Strolling down Marnixstraat you wouldn't suspect it's there, unless you notice a small sign near a stairwell adjacent to the Q-Park. From Nassaukade, there's no access, but you can see the buzzing venue across Singlegracht canal: Waterkant, a...
Spui 15, 1012 WX Amsterdam, Netherlands
You might expect to find a man with a last name like “Visscher” (fisherman in Dutch) to be behind a restaurant specializing in fresh seafood. But Fons de Visscher took it a step further. Three years after his successful launch of The Seafood Bar...
Amstelstraat 32, 1017 DA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Before Salsa Shop opened in 2014, searching for a good taco in Amsterdam could be a doomed, Quixote-like quest. Despite ruling the spice trade in the 17th century, Dutchies apparently never developed a taste for fare with a bite, as traditional...
Rozengracht 106, 1016 NH Amsterdam, Netherlands
An instant Amsterdam hotspot when it opened on Rozengracht in spring 2015, Salmuera blends flavors from many Latin countries, fusing Mexican and South American favorites as its predecessor did with Asian fare. Set in the historic building that was...
Rozengracht 25, 1016 LR Amsterdam, Netherlands
Long after America bit into the cupcake craze, Europe is finally sinking some teeth into it. Since 2012, Amsterdammers with a sweet tooth have been getting their sugar fix at Van Ness Cupcake, in the heart of the city on Spuistraat. The tiny...
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 39-A, 1012 DA Amsterdam, Netherlands
In a city that prides itself on its reputation as Europe’s Sodom and Gomorrah, Koningsdag (King's Day) is the one day of the year when everyone gets f*cked-up. It's when Dutchies honor their monarch by parading down canals in festooned...
Nieuwe Spiegelstraat, 1017 Amsterdam, Netherlands
My favorite street in Amsterdam is the Nieuwe Spiegelstraat. It’s the heart of the Amsterdam art district. It’s virtually door-to-door art and antique dealers. The street ends at the entrance to the magnificent Rijksmuseum.
Jan van Galenstraat 8, 1051 KM Amsterdam, Netherlands
Lured by the promise of authentic Texas barbecue cuisine coupled with classic sides of the American South, Amsterdammers have been flocking to Graceland BBQ since it opened in 2013. Set in De Marktkantine in the city's newly gentrified Oud-West...
Rozengracht 114, 1016 LV Amsterdam, Netherlands
We stumbled into this Italian eatery by chance — we were freezing and the warm lights inside looked inviting. As we proceeded through our meal I started to notice the architectural elements. This stunning spot on the Rozengracht was designed by...
NDSM-Plein 102, 1033 WB Amsterdam, Netherlands
On a hopping night, Noorderlicht (Northern Lights) blazes with colorful lights visible clear across the IJ River—hence its name. For those drinking and jamming to live music on a waterfront terrace warmed by a roaring bonfire, the setting is...
Warmoesstraat, 1012 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ah, Warmoesstraat, Amsterdam's heart of darkness, the street that never sleeps. Well, maybe...between 5:00–8:00am, after the junkies leave and before tourists arrive.Set adjacent tode Wallen, the city's most famous Red Light District, this lively...
2961 Kinderdijk, Netherlands
When waterways in the Netherlands freeze into glittering paths, overjoyed residents take to the ice. Visitors can buy or rent a pair of noren (traditional long-blade skates) to glide across town or take part in one of the country’s dozens of...
Herenstraat 16, 1012 HG Amsterdam, Netherlands
Few things are gratis in Amsterdam, where you'll probably pay for your own meal even on a romantic date. But Seasons restaurant gives new meaning to "going Dutch" with a two-for-one Early Bird Special. Set on a pretty side-street off the...
Goudsbloemstraat 91, 1015 JK Amsterdam, Netherlands
Weekend mornings are typically sleepy in Amsterdam. The town barely wakes up by noon, and many stores and restaurants are closed Sunday morning. Which leaves few options beyond local bakeries and venues serving touristy “English Breakfasts” to...
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