Amsterdam is a food city. Biking through the streets and along the canals, you’ll encounter a myriad of different restaurants, from hole-in-the-wall taquerias to serious fine dining.
There is not one cuisine that defines Amsterdam. In recent years, many chefs have embraced cooking with local, seasonal, and in some cases, homegrown produce. Restaurant De Kas, for example, operates from inside its very own greenhouse. A side effect of this local revolution is the revival of what the Dutch like to call vergeten groenten, or ‘forgotten vegetables’: fennel, endive, cabbages, Brussel’s sprouts – hearty Dutch vegetables adorn menus everywhere, prepared in a multitude of eclectic ways, so don’t be surprised if you see a Dutch asparagus turn up in a miso dish. Many of the restaurants featured below share a no-nonsense approach: good and honest ingredients, creative techniques, and an excellent drinks list to boot. Amsterdam loves its local breweries but has a growing appetite for natural wines too, while great cocktails can be found at Bacalar or Parakeet.
Where to eat in Amsterdam
Many of Amsterdam’s best restaurants are conveniently located near the renowned galleries and museums of the Museumplein. It is well worth taking the free ferry to trendy Amsterdam Noord, where you’ll find Japanese and Mexican cuisine, alongside a monthly vintage market. Elsewhere, waterfront warehouses in Amsterdam West offer memorable restaurant views, while Oost lays claim to some of the city’s best bars, as well as a thriving food scene.
Best for: Modern, upscale dining in a centrally located, casual setting
Location: Entrepotdok 7-8, 1018 AD Amsterdam Centrum, Netherlands
Price: Four courses for 47 EUR, five courses for 57 EUR, mains from 28 EUR
The first thing you notice when entering Entrepot is space. Located in a former billiards hall in Amsterdam’s shipyard and packing district, Entrepot has left heavy industrialism behind and ascended into the light. It focus is on seasonal vegetables, fish, and game, locally sourced in the Netherlands and presented in four and five course menus, although it is also possible to order à la carte. Complemented by a wide selection of natural wines and a luminous atmosphere, Entrepot is hailed as one of the best restaurants in Amsterdam for its modern and welcoming approach to fine dining.
Best for: All-day brunch, homemade cakes
Location: Nieuwe Herengracht 18a, 1018 DP Amsterdam Centrum, Netherlands
Price: Brunch dishes from 14 EUR
Hidden in the leafy courtyard behind the Hermitage Museum is Dignita Hoftuin, an all-day brunch spot. A menu highlight is the Benny Boys – eggs benedict with various sides, served on crispy potato cakes – but all their dishes are well worth a try. In the summer months, Dignita opens abundant outdoor seating, and in winter, the glass-walled structure allows for unobstructed views across the courtyard. Reservations are recommended, as walk-ins often involve a long queue, but the wait is always worth it.
Best for: Intimate brunch / lunch in the Negen Straatjes district
Location: Taksteeg 7, 1012 PB Amsterdam Centrum, Netherlands
Price: Lunch dishes from 10 EUR
Tucked away in a small alley in Central Amsterdam is Gartine, another ideal brunch and lunch spot. Gartine is run by Willem-Jan and Kirsten, who opened the restaurant using only produce from their own vegetable garden in the Flevopolder just outside of Amsterdam. It’s a small place, perfect for an intimate brunch or when you need a break from exploring Amsterdam’s Negen Straatjes (The Nine Streets) district, famous for its vintage shops and boutiques. Gartine serves up a delicious high tea from 2pm onwards – be sure to make a reservation in time as spots tend to fill up quickly.
Best for: Japanese restaurant; natural wine and sake
Location: Papaverweg 11, 1032 KD Amsterdam Noord, Netherlands
Price: Mains from 11 EUR, set menu for 42.50 EUR
Cornerstore has fast gained a reputation as one of the best restaurants in Amsterdam for its Japanese-inspired menu, combined with a soothing cross-section of mid-century modern and Japanese minimalist design. A record collection and turntable take centre stage at the dedicated vinyl bar, and small wooden tables spread throughout the space below the steel struts of the pitched roof. Cornerstore is particularly celebrated for its natural wines and sake, as well as sharing dishes using local produce with a Japanese twist.
Best for: Quality tacos and mezcal
Location: Chrysantenstraat 4, 1031 HT Amsterdam Noord, Netherlands
Price: tacos from 10 EUR
For a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine, cross the water to Amsterdam Noord. Bacalar might look like an old garage – true to the no-nonsense aesthetic that Noord is known for – but once you take a bite of their Taco de Pulpo, you’ll soon realise you don’t miss the excessive floral wallpaper and skull motifs of other Mexican restaurants. Founded by the former chef of Coba (another Mexican staple in Amsterdam Noord), Bacalar serves tacos for every diet. Pair them with a classic cóctel or sample their extensive mezcal collection.
Best for: Sharing plates and a cinema trip, waterfront views
Location: Aambeeldstraat 24, 1021 KB Amsterdam Noord, Netherlands
Price: Mains from 12 EUR
On the Northern shore of the Ij sits FC Hyena, an open plan, down-to-earth restaurant and boutique cinema – perfect for meeting up with a group of friends on a Saturday night for an early shared dinner, before nestling down on a comfy sofa for the latest art-house film. In summer, FC Hyena opens its doors and spreads its tables outside along the waterfront. Sample a natural cider while watching the boats go by, and enjoy the sun set over the Amsterdam skyline.
Best for: Top-notch nachos and cocktails
Location: Douwes Dekkerstraat 22H, 1053 SX Amsterdam West, Netherlands
Price: Mains from 14 EUR
On a quaint corner in Amsterdam West, Parakeet’s lime green awnings beckon. Its central bar is the perfect place to perch for a daiquir, and there’s an extensive nacho menu. The various toppings are named after Amsterdam’s parks – the Wester (‘chorizo’-spiced cauliflower, crumbled feta and pomegranate) is a vegetarian tour de force. Top it off with a signature cocktail – the Pink Parrot or Toucan Sling are particularly good – and take home the little origami bird as a souvenir from the tropics.
Best for: Special occasions, dinner with a view
Location: Van Diemenstraat 408, 1013 CR Amsterdam West, Netherlands
Price: Mains from 22 EUR
BAK is the place for fine dining. Found on the third floor of an old warehouse in Houthaven, Amsterdam’s former lumber port, the atmosphere might best be described as luxuriously robust, with sturdy wooden tables that come with little drawers for your cutlery. Dinner can be up to six courses long. A particular favourite is a smoky corn dish with trompette de la mort and oregano, but really, every plate that emerges from chef Benny Blisto’s kitchen is a delight. Be sure to get the wine pairing for some surprising and quirky natural wines.
Best for: Plant to plate, dining under the changing Amsterdam skies
Location: St. Olofskapel, Zeedijk 2a, 1012 AX Amsterdam Oost, Netherlands
Price: Five courses for 63 EUR, six courses for 71 EUR
De Kas’s slogan is: harvested in the morning, on your plate in the afternoon. Its menu reflects the changing seasons and all their produce is grown in their own gardens in Amsterdam and the Beemster. The restaurant is located inside a greenhouse – hence the name – which results in some excellent natural light and beautiful views. While waiting for the next course, guests are invited to take a stroll through the greenhouse and garden. De Kas is run by Wim de Beer and Jos Timmer, who previously earned a Michelin star together as chefs at Rijks in Amsterdam. Book a table well in advance!
Best for: The ultimate comfort food and a homely vibe
Location: Linnaeusstraat 88, 1092 CP Amsterdam Oost, Netherlands
Price: Mains from 18 EUR / 20 USD
Cosy is the word at this Amsterdam favourite. The Cottage is a small restaurant with a homely British vibe and a menu that soothes the soul. It is very tempting to walk in here first thing and eat your way through the day: a full breakfast in the morning, followed by a home-made scone at 11, a Welsh rarebit sandwich for lunch that will see you through until it’s time for the cheese platter, and a hearty cottage pie for dinner. On Sundays they serve up a weekly rotating Sunday roast, which includes a great veggie option too. Sit outside when the weather is warm for delightful views of the neighbourhood.