The best restaurants in Amsterdam

Discover the best places to eat in the city

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As a hotbed of international activity, Amsterdam is brimming with gastronomic options. Whether you’re in need of French finesse, stellar seafood or a slew of tasty tapas, these ten top eateries offer excellent dining experiences for those looking to get off the well-travelled path.

The best restaurants in Amsterdam

  • Blauw aan de Wal

    Meditteranean, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 99. Three-course menu €55. (www.blauwaandewal.com)

    Slip down a small side alley right off the Oudezijds Achterburgwal and into the Bethany cloister for a true find: one of Amsterdam’s best restaurants. This tucked-away former spice warehouse has been converted into an intimate dining room over three floors, with understated design and simple white linen table settings.
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  • Flo Amsterdam

    Seafood/ French, Amstelstraat 9. Main courses €19-€45. (www.floamsterdam.nl)

    Situated just off the brash, neon-lit Rembrandtplein, Flo, serving by-the-book Parisian-inspired cuisine, is a tourist-district find. Renowned for its overly generous stacks of fruits de mer, piping hot caramelised onion soup with a light, crunchy lid of French bread and North Sea oysters in a rich gratin, fresh is the word du jour here.
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  • Gartine

    Tea Room, Taksteeg 7. Main courses €5.95-€19.95. (320 4132/gartine.nl)

    Located on a non-descript alleyway off Kalverstraat, Amsterdam’s main shopping thoroughfare, Gartine is a shrine to slow food. Simple but simply marvellous breakfasts, lunches and full-blown high teas (complete with the most wonderful cakes) are served up on antique crockery by a couple who grow a large portion of their own produce in their herb garden, orchard and greenhouse.
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  • Le Restaurant

    French, 2e Jan Steenstraat 3. Set menu €69.50. No credit cards. (www.lerestaurant.nl)

    A serene environment, faultless food and professional service await you at Jan de Wit’s classy one-Michelin-starred restaurant tucked away on a pretty side-street to the Sarphatipark. The plump, pan-fried fillet of crisp-skinned brill, served with duxelles of mushroom, confit of white paprika, slivers of baked squid and savoury seaweed in a flavourful foie gras sauce simply took our breath away.
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  • REM Eiland

    Mediterranean, Haparandadam 45-2. Three-course menu €28.50. (www.remeiland.com)

    You can’t help marvelling at this industrial beast that hovers over the IJ river, perched on stilt-like legs. This former offshore TV station fittingly features a maritime-minimalist look and sweeping water views of the Minerva docks and Amsterdam-Noord from its wind-blown terraces. Highlights from the Med-led menu include an ultra-tender saddle of rosemary-inflected lamb and quality rillettes de canard and salami.

  • Restaurant Anna

    International, Warmoesstraat 111. Main courses €22-€26. (www.restaurantanna.nl)

    Situated in the medieval church square behind the Oude Kerk, ANNA is at the heart of the tacky, tourist-riddled De Wallen. Luckily, chef Andrès Delpeut knows how to sex up a plate. The sautéed scallops a la plancha with mushroom-stuffed squid and the grilled loin of lamb with veal sweetbreads are both expertly cooked and very tasty. This is one doorway in the Red Light District you can safely cross without getting screwed.

  • Restaurant Christophe

    French, Leliegracht 46. Set menus between €36-€66. (www.restaurantchristophe.nl)

    Pity the hungry cyclist who mistakes this discreet canal-side restaurant for some kind of high-end plate shop (the spot-lit, special edition crockery in the window can give that impression) and pedals on by. To miss out on a meal at Christophe’ is to pass on one of the city’s definitive French dining experiences, complete with the freshest fish and frou-frou desserts.

  • Restaurant Daalder

    Lindengracht 90. Main courses €17.50-€28.50. (www.daaldercafe.nl)

    Don’t be fooled when you first walk into what seems like a brown café a stone’s throw from Noordermarkt. Continue to the back of the space, round a corner, to find an intimate fine-dining restaurant behind the dividing wall. With linen table-cloth settings, lovely art deco scallop lamps and moulded cherry wood walls make the narrow space warm and elegant.

  • Taverna Barcelona

    Spanish, Saenredamstraat 37. Tapas €5.80-€15.80. (www.tavernabarcelona.nl)

    In a little, leafy side street off Ferdinand Bolstraat in De Pijp, it’s possible to experience a tiny taste of true Catalonia, as every morsel served up on the clay plates here has been sourced from its homeland, according to owner Jorde Cernuda. Hearty portions of thick white sausage are standard fare, while syrupy wines from the Barcelona region fill the sparkling carafes.

  • Visaandeschelde

    Scheldeplein 4. Three-course menu €40. (www.visaandeschelde.nl).

    It might be located a little ways off the beaten track, unless you’re attending an event at the RAI convention centre, but this is the local seafood connoisseur’s eatery of choice. Bouillabaisse sits alongside sashimi on a menu that travels the waters of the world. Everything is pristinely fresh and the restaurant is spotless.