Daalders
Photograph: Lyan van Furth

The 21 best restaurants in Amsterdam

The very best restaurants in Amsterdam perfectly capture the city's knack for blending innovation and tradition

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Whether you’re headed to Amsterdam to tour its world-class museums and galleries, pop out on a canal cruise, visit centuries-old cafés or sample one of its notorious coffeeshops, there is one thing you absolutely should not miss – and that’s the food scene, which is getting better and better every year. 

In fact, now might be the best time to pay the city a visit, as there are eateries for every taste (and budget). Classic, family-run Dutch food. The freshest vegetable-driven menus. Exciting Michelin-star dining. Whatever tickles your fancy, there’s a restaurant in Amsterdam for you, guaranteed. Read on for our list of the very best restaurants in Amsterdam right now, picked by our experts. 

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Best places to eat in Amsterdam

Flore was previously Bord'eau, but took on the change in 2021. With two Michelin stars, an award-winning wine list and a spectacular canalside location, this is special-occasion dining at its finest. Executive chef Bas van Kranen’s fixed veg-led menus focus on showcasing top-notch local ingredients through simple but innovative flavour combinations and elegant plating. The service is impeccable, the setting classy but unfussy. Reservations are a must.

Price: Blowout

What started as a pop-up restaurant has become a go-to destination in Amsterdam’s former lumber port. After climbing the wooden stairs to the third floor of an old warehouse, you’ll step into a minimalist whitewashed room with huge windows overlooking the River IJ. BAK was originally a vegetarian restaurant, and while the set menus now incorporate local meat and fish, veg is still the star of the show.

Price: High-end

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Local foodies have been loyally placing themselves in the practised hands of chef Giel Kaagman and sommelier and host Bram Kortekaas since 2015. Their eponymous eatery, which has played a pioneering role in the local bistronomy movement, is situated in a meandering medieval alley in the heart of the Palace District, where multiple levels arranged around a recessed kitchen allow a few lucky diners to feel like they’re in on the action. Kaagman & Kortekaas is known for its high-end, nose-to-tail dining in a casual space, where regularly changing chef’s menus keep things fresh. Usually, there’s housemade charcuterie, plenty of foraged ingredients, venison and a few offal surprises  picky eaters beware. 

Price: Mid-range

4. Daalder

A monumental former Goldsmith’s College serves as suitable lodging for the gold-standard cooking by chef Dennis Huwaë and his team. At Daalder, the internationally-inspired food is always original, flawlessly presented and, at times, unafraid of some serious spice. The restaurant reflects its surroundings in upcoming De Baarsjes. All that refinement never feels stuffy and a friendly vibe harks back to the restaurant’s beginnings as a convivial Jordaan café (now home to its charming sister restaurant, neo-brasserie Gossler & Florin). Choose from a six-course tasting menu or seasonal a la carte offerings, but don’t miss the signature elevated stroopwafel. Maitre Sommelier Saskia Smeenk – one of the city’s best sake and wine specialists – adds to the sparkle of this Michelin-starred marvel. 

Price: High-end

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5. De Kas

If the finest, freshest produce, beautifully cooked, is what you’re after, then a trip to De Kas is a must. Tucked inside a set of greenhouses that date to 1926, they serve a fixed daily menu – you simply choose how many courses you want – prepared with vegetables and herbs grown in their own nursery. Their farm-to-table credentials are impeccable, and the dishes showcase each ingredient at its best.

Price: Blowout

6. Troef

Sure, there are a lot of fancier French restaurants in the city – De Juwelier, Vinkeles and Ciel Bleu to name a few – but what’s not to love about a buzzy Eastside eatery, where you get to eat food from former Michelin chefs without the eye-watering prices? Here at Troef, you’ll find bites from €5 and a la carte mains between €18 and €28 (though there’s lobster for €58 and a €900 Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2012 too). Oenophiles will go wild for the wine room, which is home to over 2,000 bottles, from impressive vintages to wines in the €30 to €40 range. In an understated dining room, down a canal on the Amstel River, chef Raymond Plat Plat (formerly of 212 and De Juwelier) dials up the decadence with dishes like pork cheek croquettes with oyster cream, plump pies with oxtail and sweetbreads swimming in a mushroom foam, with morels and lashings of truffle. Chef’s kiss. 

Price: Mid-range

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7. Rijsel

When the craving for exceptional rotisserie chicken hits, head to this French-Flemish restaurant next to the Amstel River. Set in a former domestic sciences school, it’s a no-frills space with an open kitchen. The menu changes daily but always features classic French bistro classics with a Flemish twist – Rijsel, after all, is the Flemish name for the French town of Lille. This is a locals’ favourite that’s always packed, so book well in advance.

Price: Mid-range

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The ‘Golden Pheasant Hotel’ is not a hotel at all, but an enormous restaurant housed in a former garage in Noord (with some quaint old cars still left inside). Located on the River IJ, this is a particularly good choice in summer, when the garage doors open wide and it feels like the entire dining room is outdoors. It’s not fancy – you’ll sit on red plastic chairs – but servers are attentive. Modern bistro-style French food is prepped in an open kitchen and served at reasonable prices.

Price: Mid-range

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9. Wilde Zwijnen

The industrial, shabby-chic interior and ever-changing daily menu of modern Dutch cuisine have made the ‘Wild Boar’ a popular haunt in Oost. The idea at Wilde Zwijnen is simple – choose three or four courses, order some wine, and let the kitchen work its magic with fresh, seasonal produce. And if something a little lighter is required, head next door to Bar Bachrach, where they offer smaller, individual Middle Eastern and Mediterranean plates at delightful prices.

Price: Mid-range

10. Klein Breda

Just around the corner from Rembrandtplein, you’ll find this two-storey spot that focuses on international dishes and barbecued meat, fish and vegetables, with a decent Europe-focused wine list. Lunch and dinner are served as a three, four or five-course set menu. Formerly called Guts & Glory, this long narrow room used to change its theme with a new ‘chapter’ every season. Now, Klein Breda has settled into a menu guided by seasonal ingredients rather than a quarterly concept – though the inventiveness remains.

Price: Mid-range

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11. Café Restaurant Amsterdam

There are few better places to get stuck into seafood and brasserie classics than at Cradam (Café Restaurant Amsterdam), a cavernous, 19th-century monument. This former water pumping station now pumps out sumptuous seafood platters and brasserie fare like oeufs mayonnaise, coq au vin and steak frites to adoring fans of all ages (there’s a kids menu, too). If it’s sunny, order some chilled white wine and grab a spot on the terrace.

Price: Mid-range

12. Box Sociaal

Just across the road from the city zoo, this Australian-style restaurant serves brunch every day until 4 pm, making it the ideal place to nurse a hangover after a big night out. Come evening, a menu that flirts with Asian and Australian influences will have your taste buds tingling. Throw in some excellent coffee and better booze, and you've got yourself something special. Plus there's now a second Box Sociaal location to check out in the Jordaan area. 

Price: Affordable

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13. The Cottage

If you find yourself craving a Sunday roast, head to The Cottage for a plate piled high with meat, veg and Yorkshire pudding. Though the owners are Dutch, they’ve mastered British classics like sausage rolls and shepherd’s pie – while including plenty of vegetarian options, too. The scones are good, but the homemade orange and cardamom jam takes them to the next level. Don’t miss the triple ginger cake for dessert.

Price: Affordable

14. Restaurant Blauw

For a modern take on Indonesian food, head to this high-ceilinged room in the Oud-Zuid neighbourhood, just southwest of Vondelpark. It may be called ‘Blue’, but this peppy spot is done out in black, white and red, with a mural-sized family portrait dominating one wall. At Blauw you'll find traditional rijsttafels (including a vegan option), or opt for the ‘Biru menu’ to sample a selection of Indonesian street food.

Price: Mid-range

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15. Restaurant de Plantage

Right next to the city zoo, this ultramodern brasserie boasts quite the setting. There’s a spacious bar area serving ace cocktails, wines and nibbles, while the restaurant proper sits in a cavernous 19th-century conservatory. Contemporary European dishes – some available in small and large sizes – sit side by side with sandwiches and lighter lunch plates. If the weather permits, bag a table on Restaurant de Plantage’s terrace, which overlooks part of the zoo and is lit with fairy lights.

Price: Mid-range

16. Pesca

Ever been to a self-proclaimed ‘theatre of fish’? We’re guessing not. But what exactly does that mean? On arrival at Pesca, staff offer a glass of champagne to enjoy while you peruse the day’s catch – cod, mussels, octopus, scallops – stylishly laid out on ice. Once you’ve made your selection, drinks and sides are added, you grab a table and wait for a plate of near-perfectly cooked fish. There’s a buzzy, fast-paced atmosphere to complement the food, making it the ideal starting point for a night on the town.

Price: Mid-range

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17. Cannibale Royale

Meat lovers rejoice, for this brasserie tucked away at the bottom of De Pijp is a mecca for all things chargrilled. Impeccable burgers – try the house speciality, with added pulled pork – jerk-style roast chicken and the best ribs in town are just some of the delights on offer. Steak lover and hungry? Their 1kg Absurde, which must be ordered 24 hours in advance, has you covered. Their craft beer menu is excellent, too, with a constantly rotating range of local brews on draught. There's also locations in Centrum, Zuid and Noord.  

Price: Affordable

18. Pizza Beppe

Surprisingly for a city with so many Italian restaurants, quality pizza used to be something of a rarity. We said 'rarity', not 'impossibility'; enter Beppe and neophytes like nNea. Delicate dough with a perfectly charred crust, sauces made with San Marzano tomatoes, and gooey puddles of Buffalo mozzarella have given way to four further branches and membership of the prestigious Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana – one of only six other pizzerias in the country to be accepted. Pizza doesn’t get much better than this.

Price: Budget

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19. Meatless District

Traditional Dutch cuisine, with its penchant for rookworst-topped pea soup and bacon-studded stamppot, isn’t particularly kind to vegetarians, and vegans even less so. However, several addresses have popped up to fill this important void, and this chic, airy bar-restaurant in Old West is the best of the bunch. With a seasonal menu that’s 100 percent vegan – and organic where possible – Meatless District is open every day for lunch, light bites and dinner and lunch on the weekends.

Price: Mid-range

20. China Sichuan Restaurant

Ignore its location in the middle of tourist hell – the hordes of Chinese expats gobbling up spicy boiling sea bass, Kung Pao chicken, mapo tofu and Sichuan steamed beef are proof of this restaurant’s authenticity. It’s small but open until midnight, and diners tend not to linger. In Sichuan cooking, chilli is king, but they’ve also got plenty of specialities for those not so keen on spice, including a mean Peking duck. Portions are huge at China Sichuan and come with mountains of rice, making this a great place for groups.

Price: Mid-range

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21. Hap-Hmm

Looking for no-fuss, no-frills classic Dutch food? This is the place. Around since 1935, Hap-Hmm is a friendly old-school neighbourhood joint with a daily changing menu, and without a hefty price tag. Simply good quality, home cooked comfort food. Despite its popularity, the prices have stayed reasonable, so you can get beef stew, schnitzel and homemade pud and have plenty of funds for drinks after. Show up, queue if you need to and settle in for a great meal. For poshed-up Dutch cuisine, head to Michelin-starred RIJKS instead. We promise you won’t regret it. 

Price: Budget

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