One of the best parts of living in Amsterdam is the great restaurant and food scene here. Foodies of all sorts will find something in Amsterdam to their liking. Here are our favorites as of February 2017, now split into four lists: one for the central area of Amsterdam, one for the east side (Amsterdam Oost) where we now live, one for the Oud-Zuid where we lived from 2008 to 2013 and one last list of our favorite stores. I’ve moved the Amsterdam Michelin-starred restaurants to a separate post (available here) as this post was getting too big to manage.
Restaurants and Bars in Amsterdam Centrum
- Seasons remains our favorite restaurant in Amsterdam. We happened upon it while we were living in the Convent Hotel for the months of August and September 2008. Over time, we’ve got to know the owners, Peter and Blaine, and continue to return on a regular basis. Seasons often serves up an amazing American Thanksgiving dinner. If you visit us here in Amsterdam, it’s almost assured that we’ll take you here.
- Oriental City is our dim sum place in Amsterdam. Compared to the dim sum palaces in Houston and Calgary, it’s a relatively tiny place where you have to order off a menu since the building is way too crowded for carts. The dim sum is excellent with a wide selection of all our favorites, including five or six versions of rice pancake. We’ve also started going more regularly to the Sea Palace for dim sum; it’s a little more spacious, a little less busy than Oriental City and the dim sum steadily improving.
- While Mexican is not a cuisine most people would associate with Amsterdam, Los Pilones serves up good Mexican food in three different locations (the newest on the Nieuwmarkt) and excellent margaritas. Robin and I once did an memorable Amsterdam pub crawl, starting at Bubbles and Wine, going to Los Pilones next and ending up at the Irish pub, Aran, at Max Euwe Plein before staggering home.
- A recent welcome addition to the centrum is Ramen-ya, a Japanese noodle bar, just across from Oriental City. I stopped in here late on a Sunday afternoon and had a great bowl of ramen.
- Another good Japanese restaurant we’ve found recently is Japanese Pancake World. This small but authentic restaurant in the Jordaan specializes in okonomiyaki. Very tasty.
- We recently visited Lt. Cornelis, which is located near Het Spui. Robin and I were very impressed with the Dutch-inspired food served here.
- Bubbles and Wines is a nice wine bar on the Nes. They do various flights of wine from around the world and their appetizers are very good as well.
- The Amstelstraat version of Gollem is a great place for good beer.
Restaurants and Bars in Amsterdam Oost
- Close to our new house, Elkaar has impressed us both times we’ve been there. Very nicely prepared food with a terrific wine list. Recommended.
- Pompstation is a converted water pumping station north of the Muiderpoort NS station. The building is very cool, and they often have live music. The reason to come here is to have a good steak, probably the best I’ve have so far in Amsterdam.
- A recent find, courtesy of our friends who own Seasons, is Rijsel. As they say on their website, “Rijsel is the result of a passion for the French kitchen and an attempt to catch the lightheartedness of Flanders.” The food there is very straightforward French brasserie style, but extremely well done. Tough to get into, but worth planning ahead for.
- We finally made it to Restaurant De Kas in 2015. Featuring the harvest of their own greenhouse, supplemented with the best additional ingredients from local suppliers, De Kas puts vegetables first on the menu. In many ways, dining at De Kas reminded me of eating at Noma in Copenhagen: both places let the local flavours drive the menu.
Restaurants in the Oud Zuid and de Pijp
- Serre, the sister restaurant to the Michelin starred Ciel Bleu in the Hotel Okura is very, very good. It won Time Out’s Restaurant of the Year award in 2011.
- There are a couple of good French-inspired restaurants that we used to frequent in the Oud Zuid around Roelof Hartplein:
Magnolia(now closed) and the Brassiere van Baerle.
- Sardegna is a nice Italian place with food positioned between your typical plain Italian places and an upscale restaurant like Roberto’s in the Hilton. The last couple of meals we’ve had here were very good.
- Blauw is an Indonesian restaurant on Amstelveenseweg. Unlike many other Indonesian restaurants in Amsterdam, Blauw is very sleek and clean from a design point of view and the rijstafel is better than average. This is our go-to place for visitors looking for Indonesian.
- Duikelman is our go-to store for cooking supplies in Amsterdam.
- Frank’s Smokehouse is the place for smoked fish and poultry. Their smoked turkey is amazing.
- De Bierkoning is an amazing beer store near Dam Square.
- Wynand Fockink is a spirits and liqueur distillery in the central of Amsterdam and has been around since 1679. Their fruit brandies and liquors are excellent.