The 15 Best Restaurants in Amsterdam

Amsterdam's foodie scene is out of this world

Cafe Restaurant de Plantage

 Cafe Restaurant de Plantage

When you think of Amsterdam you undoubtedly picture charming canals, lined with bicycles and bright tulips, or perhaps your mind wanders to the hedonistic Red Light District and small "coffee shops" (a sneaky code name for the purveyors of cannabis). But once you scratch the surface and steer clear of the tourist traps, you'll discover that Amsterdam’s foodie scene is out of this world — and it's a good thing too, because a jaunt around this city (by bike, natch) can leave you more than a little peckish. 

01 of 15

Best for a Boozy Brunch: Little Collins

Little Collins, Amsterdam

 Little Collins

Address
Eerste Sweelinckstraat 19F, 1073 CL Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone
+31 20 673 2293

Little Collins is a slice of sunny Melbourne in Amsterdam. Brunch can’t be booked but you can put your name down and head off for a quick walk around the trendy boutique-lined de Pijp neighbourhood until your table becomes available. The brunch menu changes every few months but don't expect your standard eggs any style. Here, the chefs play with flavors, mingling bacon with chilies and ginger or scrambling tofu alongside shiitake mushrooms. Get a side of halloumi to share, the slices are huge and predictably tasty. Everything is incredibly moreish and there are three types of Bloody Marys to wash it all down with. 

02 of 15

Best Instagram Opportunity: Mama Kelly

Mama Kelly, Amsterdam

 Mama Kelly

Address
Olympisch Stadion 35, 1076 DE Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone
+31 20 225 2684

People head to Mama Kelly for the remarkably Instagrammable, millennial pink interiors, but once you’ve posted your photo to the ‘gram, you’ll be pleased to know the food is worth shouting about too (unless you’re vegetarian, then the options are slim to none). The focus is rotisserie chicken or lobster but there are salads, steak and sandwiches on the menu, too. Fries are a must, whether you opt for a land- or sea-based main. Choose the "frites," as they’re called, with the truffle mayonnaise, because why not? (P.S. The broccoli with chilli and roasted almonds is out of this world good.)

03 of 15

Best for the Views: Moon

Moon, Amsterdam

Moon 

Address
Overhoeksplein 3, 1031 KS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone
+31 20 237 6311

Just a five-minute trip across the water from Centraal Station (you can take the free shuttle boat) sits A'Dam, a multi-story building that boasts a hotel, music school, nightclub and observation deck (complete with a giant swing), among its numerous floors. It’s also home to Moon, a restaurant that revolves once an hour, enabling diners a 360-degree view across the city. You might suspect the food won’t live up to the panoramic view but the fine dining restaurant offers a multi-course menu including dishes like sumptuous beef shoulder and a wonderful moon-inspired dessert that’s as pretty as a picture. 

04 of 15

Best for Pancakes: Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis

Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis

 Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis

Address
Grimburgwal 2, 1012 GA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone
+31 20 626 5603

The Dutch are known for their love of pancakes, so it’s worth adding Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis, the smallest and quaintest pancake house in Europe, to your itinerary. Situated up a steep set of stairs in a 16th-century building is this five-table restaurant (luckily, they take reservations) with an open kitchen and a ceiling adorned with teapots. It’s wonderfully quirky and the pancakes are delicious. Keep it simple with sugar and lemon or try one of the bestsellers, the Sufian with bananas, cinnamon and cream.

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05 of 15

Best for Traditional Dutch Food: The Pantry

The Pantry

 The Pantry

Address
Leidsekruisstraat 21II, 1017 RE Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone
+31 20 620 0922

Sat on a fairly touristy street near the Leidseplein is The Pantry. A small homey restaurant, it’s the perfect place to head on a rainy day. The menu is unapologetically Dutch, so if you’re after a traditional meal, this is the place to come. To start, the salted herring with pickles and onions is incredibly fresh and light, then for a main try the combination of hutspot (mashed potatoes mixed with stewed beef, carrots and onions), boerenkoolstamppot (mashed potatoes mixed with kale) and zuurkoolstamppot (mashed potatoes mixed with sauerkraut) served with either sausage or meatballs. It’s comfort food at its best — and, if you still have room for more, you can’t go wrong with another Dutch classic: apple pie.

06 of 15

Best for a Pit-Stop Lunch: Water & Brood

Water & Brood

 Water & Brood

Address
Nieuwe Kerkstraat 84, 1018 EC Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone
+31 6 41078060

Just east of the Amstel river is Water & Brood, a light and airy spot to grab a bite before heading to Artis, Amsterdam’s zoo. It serves up American-style breakfast and brunch with Surinamese flavors all day long. The O.G. Fraîche Fried Chicken & Waffles has to be tried — the chicken is doused in crunchy batter before being fried (miraculously it’s not at all greasy) and served up with fluffy waffles, the best scrambled eggs in town, and a good glug of maple syrup. There is a solid cocktail menu and the homemade lemonades are glorious — try the Ginger Spice infused with ginger and cinnamon to give it a kick.

07 of 15

Best for an Unusual Experience: Vuurtoreneiland

Vuurtoreneiland

 Vuurtoreneiland

Address
Vuurtoreneiland, Netherlands

If you can bag a table at Vuurtoreneiland, consider yourself lucky. It gets booked up months in advance, but it’s definitely worth checking the website often for availability as tables do come up due to cancellaton. So what’s all the fuss about? Vuurtoreneiland is situated on an island with a lighthouse that is only accessible by boat, turning the whole experience into a five-hour mini-vacation at either lunch or dinner time. Open all year, the summer restaurant is in a greenhouse, while the winter restaurant is a cozy affair with roaring fires and blankets. The fixed five-course menu changes monthly and is seasonal, natural, and supports local producers from farmers to brewers.

08 of 15

Best for Lunch on a Sunny Day: Bar Brasserie Occo

Brasserie Occo

Brasserie Occo 

Address
Keizersgracht 384, 1016 GB Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone
+31 20 530 2010

You'll find Bar Brasserie Occo situated inside the trendy boutique hotel, The Dylan. Head here for the High Wine, the restaurant's take on high tea, but in lieu of tea and cakes, you're served four Dutch-inspired food and wine pairings selected by Executive Chef Dennis Kuipers and Sommelier Natasja Noorlander. Or keep things casual and, on a sunny day, head here for a rosé-fueled lunch outside on the picturesque courtyard.

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09 of 15

Best for Italian: Eddy Spaghetti

Eddy Spaghetti

 Eddy Spaghetti

Address
Krugerplein 23, 1092 KA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone
+31 20 370 9388

If you're hankering for an Italian feast, then head to Eddy Spaghetti. Kickstart the evening with a fresh bruschetta or share the antipasti if you're feeling especially peckish. Besides the very authentic pasta and pizzas, there is a solid list of gins and a cracking selection of Italian classics like Campari, Aperol, and Negronis to wash it all down with. The restaurant is small and popular so book a table to avoid disappointment.

10 of 15

Best for a Special Occasion: Breda

Breda

 Breda

Address
Singel 210, 1016 AB Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone
+31 20 622 5233

Arguably one of the chicest restaurants in Amsterdam, Breda is situated on the Singel, just a couple of canals away from the Anne Frank house. You could head here for lunch but there is something magical about this restaurant and part of town once the sun has set. There are three tasting menu options described as a selection of dishes, a wide selection of dishes or the whole mik mak. The wide selection takes around 90 minutes to get through and showcases a wonderful selection of seasonal foods, sophisticated flavours and beautifully rustic presentation. There is no detailed menu to peruse, so tell your waiter if you have any dietary requirements or dislikes and the chef will tailor the dishes to suit. 

11 of 15

Best for Meat-Eaters: Balthazar's Keuken

Balthazar

 Balthazar

Address
Elandsgracht 108, 1016 VA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone
+31 20 420 2114

A stone's throw from the boutique-lined De 9 Straatjes (the 9 streets), this 24-year-old restaurant prides itself on a small set menu that changes weekly. The menu is inspired by foods that are both local and in season. If you prefer to spend your time catching up with friends instead of nose diving into a menu, you'll love Balthazar's Keuken, as the only things you have to choose are your drinks and your main from a choice of two options. There are five starters to share, a meat or fish option for an entree (sorry, vegetarians) and one dessert. Essentially, this place is for foodies that aren't fussy; but if that's you, you won't be disappointed.

12 of 15

Best for Vegetarians: Cafe Restaurant De Plantage

Cafe Restaurant de Plantage

 Cafe Restaurant de Plantage

Address
Plantage Kerklaan 36, 1018 CZ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone
+31 20 760 6800

Flanked by sycamore trees with a view of the Amsterdam zoo’s aviary, this elegant restaurant has a surprisingly relaxed and easy going atmosphere. Head here for all-day brunch, where the menu includes dishes like shakshouka, baked eggs with tomatoes and labneh yoghurt. The lunch and dinner menus are a wonderful blend of modern and traditional, taking inspiration from Southern Europe, North Africa and the Levant region. At dinner, the roasted cauliflower with coconut polenta and pickled bok choy would please even meat eaters. Not convinced? The Iberian pork belly served with anise gnocchi and roasted celeriac is gloriously rich and not to be missed. 

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13 of 15

Best for Families: Food Hallen

Food Hallen Bitterballen

 Food Hallen Bitterballen

Address
Bellamyplein 51, 1053 AT Amsterdam, Netherlands

If you’re traveling with a group, it can be tricky to please everyone. At the Food Hallen, an undercover food hall, there are 21 different stalls, serving everything from tacos and tapas to steak and dim sum. Since there is so much choice it can take a while to make a decision, let us suggest that you head straight to De Ballenbar to start. It serves traditional Dutch bitterballen made by Chef Peter Gast, who also helms the Michelin-starred 't Schulten Hues. The small croquette-like snacks contain different fillings: the truffle is divine, as is the spinach and cheese.

14 of 15

Best for Kicking Off a Friday Night: Pata Negra

Pata Negra

Amy Lawrenson

You might not think to head for tapas in Amsterdam but this rustic tile-adorned restaurant has a wonderful festive vibe. The two locations are always bustling with tourists and residents alike and it serves up excellent tapas. There is a large bar that you sit at to eat, and if you can get the stools by the wall in the far left corner you can soak up all atmosphere without so much of the hustle and bustle. Kick off dinner with a glass of Cava and then switch to wine or sangria with your tapas. The dates wrapped in bacon are a crowd pleaser, padron peppers are always a good idea, and the Ibérico ham is pricey but wonderfully buttery and flavorful. 

15 of 15

Best for a Low-Key Dinner: Tashi Deleg

Tashi Daleg

Amy Lawrenson

Address
Utrechtsestraat 65, 1017 VJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone
+31 20 620 6624

You might walk past this unassuming restaurant if you didn’t know it was there. The staff are incredibly friendly and the food is packed with vibrant flavors. If you’re not sure what to opt for, either the Tibetan or Indonesian tasting menus are a great bet. The Tibetan option comes with dumplings to start and then a selection of meat and vegetable dishes ranging from mild to spicy. You’re also given rice and bread to soak up all the glorious sauces. Every dish is a winner. 

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The 15 Best Restaurants in Amsterdam