The Dutch aren’t exactly known for their cuisine. I’ve heard many tourists complain, and have read many articles expressing displeasure in the Amsterdam food scene. Most of these travelers came for a few weeks, stumbled into random cafés, tried a few extreme examples of local foods and left in utter disappointment. When compared to countries like Italy or France, where every café serves phenomenal food ensuring, without a doubt, that you can pick a restaurant at random and avoid disappointment… sure, the Netherlands doesn’t really compare. But there really is quality food in Amsterdam! The difference is, you have to know where to go and what to eat. It’s imperative to do your research, and understand that fabulous restaurants do exist in Amsterdam – dishes that will blow your mind with a uniqueness that only the Dutch can create. Here’s our foodie guide to the best of Amsterdam, starting with some of the most unique restaurants we’ve experienced anywhere in the world!
UNIQUELY DELICIOUS DINING
This is our favorite Amsterdam restaurant, and there is just no comparison. We had the pleasure of eating here on multiple occasions, and each meal surpassed our expectations. A meal at De Kas is the opportunity to dine in a beautifully restored greenhouse, surrounded by a colorful garden of flowers and local produce.
The menu changes daily, and is based on fresh ingredients grown on-site. The Michelin starred chef, Gert-Jan Hageman, fulfilled his dream in creating this unique dining experience, where the farmland is the focus for every dish
The most exclusive and artistic show on earth, paired with delicious dishes, served on a luxurious bed in the oldest theater in Amsterdam. The uniqueness scale just broke – Supper Club Amsterdam is off the charts! A description of our experience wouldn’t come close to doing this memorable night justice, and I’d hate to spoil any surprises.
Book a table with high expectations. You will be amazed. Your pallet and your mind will be equally stimulated.
The location of this restaurant alone makes it exceptional. The structure was built in the 1960s as a TV broadcast house with a rooftop helipad, all sitting 100’ above the water on giant stilts. It is now home to an extraordinary dining space with 360-degree panoramic views of the city and harbor.
Consider making a reservation for sunset dining to maximize your experience. The menu is small but each dish is thoughtful and incredibly tasty.
The best spot for international bites! Foodhallen literally translates to ‘food hall’ – an apt name for this unique dining experience. 20 street food vendors fill the hallway of a casual, indoor market for a laid-back feast of your favorite, world-wide treats.
Enjoy Korean chicken, Greek meze, Vietnamese summer rolls, Italian gelato, and even good ol’ American BBQ. Everything revolves around a large bar in the middle – a vibrant spot for a drink, meal or snack.
Famous spot for canal-side dining and all-day pannenkoeken (pancakes). There are an overwhelming number of options, or you can build your own dream pancake from their ingredient list! We tend to start with a savory pannenkoeken, and end with the famous Poffertjes! These mini pancakes, served with a mess of powdered sugar and butter, are straight up dangerous.
Our go-to all-day breakfast spot, with delicious sandwiches and other lunch options as well. The bread is baked fresh daily, and is the best in Amsterdam. The croissants are borderline French-fabulous (a very high honor that we are quite picky with), and delicious smeared with their homemade jam. They also serve a high-tea, with samplings of sweet treats and freshly squeezed juices.
Famous for the apple pie, which is quite obvious as it’s what everyone is eating. This lively café serves European snacks, as well as lunch and dinner, but come for the pie. You can smell the sweetness as you bike by!
It took us a while to find descent pizza in Amsterdam. We are incredibly picky, and compare every slice to that perfect Napoli example. Sometimes I wish I’d never had pizza in Napoli – in many ways it’s ruined me for life. La Perla serves damn good pizza done right. The traditional ovens can take the heat necessary to create that chewey consistency that’s hard to achieve, the toppings are fresh and the outcome is delicious.
There are likely hundreds of Kebab spots in Amsterdam, and we’ve tried so many that we’ve lost count. Most of them are meh… and others are pretty horrible. After trying this local, Kebab spot it became a shame to eat them anywhere else. The reasons for its superiority are very simple – quality bread, quality meat, quality fixings and amazing garlic sauce. Put it all together, and there’s a harmony that takes me back to our time living in Turkey. One kebab is literally two meals… they’re fantastic!
Being a self-proclaimed burger connoisseur, I eat more burgers than the average gal. This is a (slightly embarrassing) weekly craving for me. Unfortunately, I’m typically disappointed by all burger examples outside of the U.S. (America – you do this SO right!). We tried a few burger joints in Amsterdam, including the famous and self-proclaimed “best burger in Amsterdam” at Lombardi’s. It was good, but in my opinion, not the best. If you want the real best burger in Amsterdam, head to TROOST! The patty is perfectly blended and tender, and all of the fixings are added to perfection, including the soft, brioche bun. We preferred the Westerpark location, but you can also check out TROOST in De Pijp.
What did we miss? Have you had an exceptional food experience in Amsterdam? Scroll down and post a comment. Tell us where we should feast on our next visit!
AMSTERDAM FOODIE MAP
Click the ‘view larger map’ box in the right corner to expand, and get directions to our recommended restaurants.