Traditional Dutch Food and recommended restaurants in Amsterdam

Eating in Amsterdam is really easy, eating well is not. Here are some tips and advice on what to eat and where according to budget and neighbourhood.
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Dutch cuisine, certainly not one of the most renowned in the world, has over the years given way to a predominantly international and often low-cost gastronomy, from the ubiquitous Italian restaurants to Asian restaurants, from African cuisine to hot dogs and hamburgers.

Although it is a very elegant city in which accommodation and services are much more expensive than the European average, Amsterdam is very popular with young people attracted by transgression and entertainment, who of course do not have a big budget at their disposal. For this reason, especially along the Damrak and the streets around Dam Square, it is a constant succession of low-cost options, the quality of which is of course not always excellent.

However, in spite of the invasion of clubs and low-cost eating options, Amsterdam hides several respectable restaurants, where quality comes first, even celebrated by the Michelin guide.

What to eat in Amsterdam

The stroopwaffel, typical dessert

Traditional Dutch cuisine is simple but tasty. Meat, potatoes and vegetables are the basis of typical Amsterdam cuisine, not forgetting of course raw herring served with chopped onions and gherkins and Gouda and Edam cheeses.

Among the typical foods to taste in Amsterdam, you cannot miss the erwtensoep, a pea and sausage soup, stamppot, mashed potatoes served with meat sauce or meatballs, suddervlees, pot roast, lekkerbekje, fried fish fillet, and of course the Dutch favourite, friet, the Chips.

If you like sweets, try appeltaart, apple pie, stroopwafel, a biscuit made of two wafers filled with caramel, poffertjes, fluffy pancakes served with butter and icing sugar, and pannenkoeken, larger, thinner pancakes very similar to French crepes that can be either sweet or savoury.

Quality street food

The famous Dutch fries

Street food is very popular in Amsterdam: being a very expensive city, eating at a stall is a good choice (especially for lunch) to not spend a lot and to taste the city’s typical dishes, which actually are not many, but are tasty and nutritious. The three most interesting are undoubtedly:

Where to eat authentic street food

At the Albert Cuypmarkt, one of the best stroopwafel stalls is called Goudse Stroopwafel1.

If you are looking for a place to try herring, an all-Dutch speciality, try Vlaardingse Haringhandel2, where a herring sandwich accompanied by cold beer costs less than EUR 5, or Frens Haringhandel3, a family-run fish stall that many say serves the best herring in town.

Manneken Pis4 is a place famous for its Flemish fries.

Recommended restaurants in Amsterdam

Eating properly in Amsterdam can be really expensive. A menu in a mid-range international restaurant, consisting of main course, dessert, drinks and coffee, can cost up to 40 euros per person. However, here is a list of some very good value restaurants that could prove to be a winning choice for those who want to spend a nice evening out without spending a fortune.

Greetje

5Peperstraat 23, 1011 TJ Amsterdam, Paesi Bassi

For those looking for top Dutch cuisine, one of the best choices is the restaurant Greetje: it is located near the Nieuwmarkt and offers traditional recipes such as Limburg trout and Groningen mustard, reinterpreted in a modern way.

The ingredients are seasonal and regional, with a focus on animal welfare and the earth. The view of the canals gives that extra touch to the ambience, for a truly unforgettable evening.

Rancho

6Reguliersbreestraat 37, 1017 CM Amsterdam, Paesi Bassi

As its name suggests, the Rancho Argentinian Grill is a restaurant chain specialising in Argentinian meat served cowboy-style. Its speciality is to mix old-fashioned service with modern dishes. As one might expect, the main courses are meat-based, prepared using the best quality beef.

Pasta e Basta

7Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 8, 1017 DE Amsterdam, Paesi Bassi

Pasta e basta is a typical Italian restaurant with an excellent wine list, serving excellently prepared pasta. It is located in the centre, not far from the Rijksmuseum, surrounded by beautiful canals: an adventure for all the senses.

Assaggi Italian Restaurant

8Tweede Egelantiersdwarsstraat 6, 1015 SC Amsterdam, Paesi Bassi

Amsterdam is a city that caters for all palates, which is why several vegetarian restaurants have sprung up especially in recent years. One of the most popular and well-known in the city is Assaggi.

Another classic Italian restaurant where you can order appetisers such as mozzarella caprese, pappardelle and ravioli. It is located in the middle of the Jordaan district.

Starred restaurants

A course at Spectrum

Amsterdam has 12 restaurants with at least one Michelin star. They are scattered more or less all over the city and, reflecting the fact that typical Dutch cuisine in the city has all but disappeared, offer mainly international cuisine. Interestingly, four of them are restaurants in as many luxury hotels.

Leading the list with two Michelin stars is Spectrum9 (formerly known as Librije’s Zusje), which is the restaurant of the Waldorf Astoria.

The culinary experiences of Sazanka10 and Yamazato11, which offer Japanese cuisine, are also interesting, while Sinne12, which offers French and Mediterranean cuisine, Bridges13, which is the restaurant of the Sofitel Legent The Grand Amsterdam, and Vinkeles14, which is French-Dutch with a touch of molecular gastronomy, are always up to date.

Map

In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article

Insights

Foodhallen Amsterdam

Foodhallen Amsterdam

Enjoy Dutch and international street food at Foodhallen Amsterdam, located in a former warehouse in the heart of the Amsterdam-West district.
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How to save on transport and entrance fees

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Amsterdam: City Card with Free Entrance & Public Transport
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