Where should I eat in Amsterdam?

I’ll have a full six days in Amsterdam starting on Sunday, and I don’t know the restaurants in that town very well. If you do, please advise me on where to eat.  Note: I eschew raw herring but I love Indonesian food, and I want to have a rijsttafel when I’m there.

I’d also be glad to get the names of good places to get beer (I had an awesome Belgian monastery trippel last time, and I will be going to Belgium for five days thereafter, but I’ll drink as much lambic or kriekbier as I can get).

Any tips much appreciated. Oh, and I love frites.

58 Comments

  1. Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    TOASTABLE!!!

  2. Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurant_Review-g188590-d6713990-Reviews-Zomerrestaurant_Vuurtoreneiland-Amsterdam_North_Holland_Province.html

    Relatively expensive … winey rather than beery. The tug boat ride to get there is worth it.
    It may be tough to book at short notice.

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Sub…. that’s me subscribing – not the sandwich- or a place. In case I go to Amsterdam one day.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Or a mode of transportation you will take there.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        What have I done

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        Or tune by the Who:

        • ThyroidPlanet
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          You got me

        • Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

          Or a way to ask what is going on: Sub?

  4. Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    The other place my wife and I liked was
    https://www.haesjeclaes.nl/home/?lang=en

    This is downtown Amsterdam … typical Dutch food … the building itself was interesting

    • dvandivere
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Wow, that place has been open forever. I didn’t know anyone actually went there!

  5. Dariusz Jamrozowicz
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Frietjes? While in Belgium, apart from regular ones don’t miss the best: https://www.fritesatelier.com/en/

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, never been there. However it is not far from Germany so go over to the Frankfort or Giessen area and get Licher beer.

  7. Jules Jacobs
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed Puri Mas the most so far.

  8. Derek Freyberg
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    When we were in Amsterdam a couple of years back, we had the rijsttafel at Restaurant Long Pura, Rozengracht 46-48 (restaurant-longpura.com), and enjoyed it. Reviews, at least on Gooogle maps, still seem to be good. Stop at the Westermarkt stop on the 13 or 17 line,just in front of Westerkerk, and the stop for the Anne Frank Huis.

  9. Paul Monné
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Not rijstafel, but a well reviewed, (and occasionally reviled), Amsterdam restaurant:

    https://www.vijffvlieghen.nl/en/menu/a-la-carte

    • dvandivere
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Another place I don’t think locals go to…

  10. Mike Anderson
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    https://www.newyorkpizza.nl/

    • dvandivere
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      You’d laugh, but it was a lifesaver when they opened here. You could not just get a slice anywhere until New York Pizza opened.

  11. John
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    http://www.pastaebasta.nl/en/pasta-e-basta

    Super pasta and (100% respectable) live musical entertainment. A very unique place.

  12. Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    I thought herring was a jewish soul food.

    • BobTerrace
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      That’s pickled Herring. Raw herring is something very different.

  13. Jay
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Don’t know about Amsterdam, but if you get to Groningen, a little place called FLFL has quite possibly the best falafel in the world. That is not hyperbole.

  14. 355101pkl
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    its been a long time since I was in Amsterdam. I am talking about the early 1970’s when I was a single man and had some friends. Now I am married and they have all long gone. All I am left with is some distant memories of wild weekends in Amsterdam. There was a bar near the Rembrantsplein called the Phonobar They had live jazz and it was a hippy hangout,There were telephones on every table and the diners could phone the tables and speak to one another during the gaps in the music. If you were lucky you could get a phone call from beautiful girls from accross the room and they would talk and you would wave at each other and then invite them over to your table. I cant quite recall the food but the memories of the phone calls will allways be with me. The last time I was in Amsterdam was around 1981 sadly there was no trace of the Phonobar. All I can advise you is head towards the Red light area by the canals and from then on folllow the spicy aromas. There are lots of Indonesian restaurants there.

  15. 355101pkl
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Oh i forgot about the frittes. Now there is only one place in Belgium . You go to the Grand Place and there is a friteur stall that does the best in Brussels . They offer around 10 different sauces although my fav is the plain mayonaise and you can wash it down with a cold beer at anyone of the beautiful bars there. But if you dont want to pay top wack the beer at Macdonalds is as good as any.

  16. Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    As it happens my wife and I are also travelling to Amsterdam this week (then on to Belgium [snap], London, Iceland, New York, Montreal, Quebec City and Chicago [snap]). We tend to pick random restaurants, but I do know where to go to get excellent frites because much to the disgust of my cardiologist I like nothing better. We always stay at a hotel in De Pijp (sp?) a cool neighbourhood (I think) near to the centrum but not too near. In the heart of that neighbourhood on Albert Cuypstraat there is a street market every day, and I’ve never had disappointing frites from a vendor there. I googled Albert Cuyp once and he was a Dutch Master, a 17th century landscape specialist.

    Most of my attempts to post here get lost as I fight WordPress’ insistence that I post as ‘triplehappy’ (I created a WordPress blog using that as the blog identity) even as it simultaneously invites me to log on as my actual self. Today I am not going to fight.

    • dvandivere
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Yep, the Pijp was originally very much a worker’s neighborhood, but it’s REALLY gentrified recently; there’s a Starbucks where the Uzbek place used to be. Especially with the new North / South metro line finally open, there’s going to be a lot more traffic there. I live just on the other side of where the old city walls were from the Pijp, so we spend a lot of time there.

  17. Pieter de Haan
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    It is not the time for herring. If you want good herring go there in June.
    Beer: poesiatenkater.nl/locatie/
    Good Italian: http://www.atavolarestaurant.nl
    Rijst tafel: http://www.tempodoeloerestaurant.nl
    Good food and beer: http://www.barrestaurant1900.nl
    and http://www.elsascafe.nl

  18. Rich Pardoe
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    It was a few years back, but I enjoyed the rijstafel at Sama Sebo, PC Hoofstraat 27, 1071 BL Amsterdam.

    http://www.samasebo.nl

    Claims to be the oldest Indonesian speciality restaurant in the Netherlands utilizing only cooks with Javanese roots for authenticity.

    For beer – Brouwerij ‘t IJ, Funenkade 7, 1018 AL Amsterdam had a good selection of beers made on premises, craft style.

    https://www.brouwerijhetij.nl/

    • sven
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      +1 for Brouwerij het IJ!

      P.S. Samasebo is around the corner of the Rijksmuseum, if you’d like to O.D. on Rembrands before dinner.

  19. Laura
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    I was in Amsterdam for only 5 days, but I spent most of that time sitting by canals eating. My favorite restaurant was Moeders, in the Jordaan, where they serve huge portions of Dutch home-cooking. For more modern food I liked Cafe de Reiger, also in the Jordaan. I had a tasty Indonesian lunch at Kantjil & De Tijger near our hotel on the Singel canal. Not far from there is a walk-up window called Vleminckx that serves excellent frites. If you like Dutch pancakes (I ate them every day), try Pancakehouse Upstairs (it’s so tiny you’ll want to have a reservation) for a strange but lovely experience or the Happy Pig for a quicker and more conventional meal. Oh! Wouldn’t want to forget Lanskroon where I had several wonderful stroopwafels. I’ll stop now but what a great city for food!

  20. Martin
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    Ali Ocakbasi’s highly recommend.

  21. Paulus Beemster
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    I would recommend a smoked-eel sandwich (Broodje paling, available in many fish-shops stalls. Much different from raw salted herring, which, by the way, I very much like as well.

    • Posted March 18, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      What toppings go on that?

      • Paulus Beemster
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

        No toppings, just a little pepper.

  22. Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    I have been to Amsterdam every year for the past 25 years for a trade show…

    For Rijsttafel go to Tempo Doeloe on Utrechtstraat. http://www.tempodoeloerestaurant.nl/
    You MUST book this restaurant in advance as it is small and very popular.

    Loetje Oost Ruyschstraat is very popular with the locals.
    https://oost.loetje.nl/?lang=en
    Booking is advised (as with most restaurants in Amsterdam)

    Signature dish is “Biefstuk Ossenhaas ‘De Roode Waard’ – Steak with a jus based sauce, onions, chicken livers and speck. Comes with salad and dutch style fries.

    An out of the way small local brown cafe with good food and large range of beers is Elsa’s Cafe in Middenweg. http://www.elsascafe.nl

  23. Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Many meals come with frites.

    You can also buy them from frite shops as a snack. They are served in a paper cone with a special Dutch mayonnaise called “Frite Saus” and eaten with a little wooden or plastic fork.

    You can get other sauces as well, but frite saus is traditional…

  24. Jeremy
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Mamouche for Moroccan, Rijks modern Dutch (fancy, I know, I know a museum but really good).

  25. Jeremy
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Belgium hunt down rabbit and dark beer stew.

  26. marioz
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    You may want to visit “De Poezenboot” (the Catboat):

    https://depoezenboot.nl/en

    a tipical Amsterdam boat where they host and take care of a good number of cats.

    Among the “cultural stuff”:

    – Rijksmuseum (too obvious, but exceedingly beautiful)
    – Rembrandthuis (only a Dutch can pronounce that name… it’s Rembrandt’s house, mostly “recreated” with original pieces, with a wonderful collection of etchings in the upper floor)
    – Cromhouthuis, the perfectly preserved XVII-XVIII century house of a rich family (Cromhout).

    By the way, the fresh herring tastes very different from the tipical dried/salted one, somewhat like a delicate salmon.

    • dvandivere
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      +1 for the Poezenboot, but check their opening and visiting hours. We go for a visit every time my daughter’s here.

  27. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I think it would be helpful for this post if at least some of the names of the suggested places had a pronunciation guide. I find Dutch highly unintuitive (e.g. van Gogh).

    Disclaimer: I’ve never visited Holland. Or The Netherlands. And I don’t know much German, let alone Dutch, but I find the pronunciation interesting.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      I emphasize the word “guide” as not asking for a whole lot – just to smooth out the worst sounds, maybe.

    • marioz
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      According to a (possibly fake) quote from Mark Twain: “Dutch is not so much a language as a disease of the throat”. But I have to say: when Dutch is spoken by women, it’s surprisingly soft and sweet.
      I particularly like the “IJ” diphtong: when we asked our landlord to pronounce it, half of the times he said “I”, otherwise he said “AY” (as in “may”). IJ is also the name of a river/lake/sea (all these concepts are a bit blurred in Holland).
      So I can’t help you with dutch pronunciation, but I greatly enjoyed my visit there a couple of years ago – something I strongly advice, if you have the chance.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        yes! I like IJ as well! what is it about that?

        I think it is the counter-intuition between the written characters, their associated sounds, and the characters pronounced.

        even if I can key into an unusual feature, like with “van Gogh”, that alone is interesting, even if I can’t sound genuine

        • Paulus Beemster
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

          No, het IJ is specifically the name of the water where the port of Amsterdam is, it divides the northern and southern part of Amsterdam. You can cross the IJ taking 6 free ferry lines, three of them leaving from Central Station.

          • Paulus Beemster
            Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

            I forgot to mention this but the crossing itself is already a wonderful experience.

            • Paulus Beemster
              Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

              For free! Open skies!

            • marioz
              Posted March 19, 2019 at 1:06 am | Permalink

              We didn’t cross the IJ, but the view from behind the station was beautiful. A lot of space – definitely very different from what we usually see here in Italy.

      • dvandivere
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Yeah, the ij dipthong is really tough for English speakers. It took me years and years to distinguish between ij and ei.

        The IJssel is a river, but het IJ is the harbor. And the IJsselmeer is what the Zuiderzee turned into when we diked it off.

    • dvandivere
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Hey, it’s completely intuitive – Dutch pronunciation is a lot more consistent than English!

      The only problem is that you need to get the flu at least once before you can properly learn to pronounce the ‘g’ sound.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        My joke was that the Dutch can’t speak at all if they have a cold because of the sore throat.

      • Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Being a native English speaker and a fairly competent German speaker, I found I could understand most of spoken Dutch (and Flemish) but reading was harder.

        But, as you say, once one gets used to the spelling, not bad at all.

  28. sven
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    If you’d like a affordable lunch with a stunnin gview of Amsterdam’s center, go to Blue >> http://www.blue-amsterdam.nl/en/

  29. Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Definitely do a Rijsttafel!

  30. Anastasia Cheetham
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Garlic Queen

    https://www.garlicqueen.nl

  31. dvandivere
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Oh, geez, I just wrote paragraphs of recommendations and they seem to have been eaten!

    First, if you have time, take a boat ride. If weather and schedule permit, that’s an invitation – contact me on derek@vandivere.net. If it doesn’t work out, the touristy canal boats are also really good. You can also rent your own boat – if you do that, I highly recommend Pizzaria San Marco, the only pizzeria with a boat-through window.

    For Indonesian, there’s a cheaper option that we get takeout from about once a week: Sari Citra, on the Ferdinand Bolsstraat in the Pijp. Tempo Doeloe on the Utrechtestraat is really good too, but you’ll need a reservation.

    Up the street in the Marie Heinekenplein is the Vegan Junk Food Bar, which is interesting. Betty’s, on the Rijnstraat, is REALLY good vegetarian food. The owner does an incredible job of mixing tastes and cuisines and pairing them with wines. It’s our standard anniversary / birthday location, and my wife still owes me a workshop there.

    On the corner of the Stadhouderskade and the van Woustraat you’ve got Saravana Bhavaan, the world’s biggest vegetarian South Indian chain. Nothing fancy but just about the best South Indian in town.

    There’s a really nice Ethiopian place we often go to called Wali Ibex on the Daniel Stapeltstraat in the Pijp.

    For beer: the Arend’s Nest on Herengracht specializes in Dutch beer, Brouwerij ‘t IJ has a tasting room (not open late) in an old public bathhouse next door to a working windmill, and Cafe Gollem has three locations throughout town where they sell a very wide variety of beers.

    • Posted March 18, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Really? Is that a real invitation? Maybe we can do that, as it sounds cool.

      And thanks to you (and all) for the recommendations. I’ve been to Sarasvana Bhavan many times in Delhi but never outside of India, and I love South Indian food.

    • Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      We generally do boat tours in every major city we visit. They are a great and relaxing way to get a different view on a city.

      I’m sure these are superb in Amsterdam. I’ve been to Amsterdam; but was too poor at the time for either restaurants or boats tours! 🙂


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