How to Ask for the Check in Dutch Restaurants

Don't Fret When It's Time to Ask for the Check

Amsterdam. Netherlands.
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As a native Dutch speaker, whenever I go out to a restaurant (perhaps to one of the city's best pancake restaurants) with my non-Dutch friends, someone will inevitably turn to me at the end of the meal with a timid request: "Can you... ask for the bill?" And, before you pay that bill, find out how to order food in Dutch and how much to tip at Dutch restaurants!

While most waiters in Amsterdam will understand full well "can I have the check/bill, please?", some diners still find it more polite and appropriate to ask in Dutch.

 

To ask "May I have the check, please?" say Mag ik de rekening alstublieft? (pronounced mahkh ik də raykəning ahlstoobleeft).

For a simpler way to request the check, simply say de rekening alstublieft. In this case, the words mag ik ("may I [have]") is implied - just like one would say, "Check, please," in Dutch it's common practice to abbreviate the phrase to "de rekening alstublieft".

In a situation where you will have to approach the counter to pay, you can alternatively say: Ik wil graag betalen (ik vil khraakh betahlən) which means "I would like to pay."

Mastering the pronunciation can be tough, so it's best to write down the phonetic spelling of each word and phrase on notecards and practice before you leave, and also bring them along for a refresher/cheat sheet.