As the Bird Flies: Top 10 Restaurants in Amsterdam
Our regular guest blogger, Frankie Thompson of As the Bird Flies has offered up her insider knowledge to help foodies navigate Amsterdam, singling out the best eateries the city has to offer.
Ten Great Restaurants in Amsterdam
Not internationally renowned for its haute cuisine, Amsterdam is full of foodie-friendly hidden gems with restaurants, bars, cafes, fast food joints and street markets dishing up delicacies from all over the world thanks to the city’s multi-cultural make up.
After living in Amsterdam for six months, below are ten of my favourite restaurants which will suit a range of budgets.
Let’s start at the top-end, shall we? Momo is located in the up market Park Hotel on the corner of Vondelpark and a short walk from Museumplein. Serving up a wide range of Asian fusion dishes accompanied with spectacular cocktails, Momo is the place to go to impress and be impressed!
Staying at the luxury end, Toscanini is a long-running family owned Italian restaurant on the outskirts of the popular Jordaan area. With a glass skylight letting floods of light in on even the dreariest day in Amsterdam and white table cloths to reflect it, you can expect classic Italian cuisine, service and wine in our favourite Amsterdam restaurant.
One of the most popular Dutch dishes isn’t actually of Dutch origin. It’s the Indonesia “Rijstaffel” – a tapas-style collection of multiple curries and side dishes adopted and adapted somewhat from the food that the Dutch conquerors of Indonesia enjoyed. With numerous Indonesian restaurants dotted across the city you’ll struggle to find a bad Rijstaffel but Blauw is one restaurant that has made the meal a little more stylish and locals in the Old South love it. Be sure to make a reservation as this place is always full.
Firma PekelHaaring takes the name of one of the Netherlands’ most famous specialities – the pickle herring. Ironically this is the last thing you’re likely to eat when you sit down to eat at this trendy open plan restaurant on upcoming Van Woustraat in De Pijp. Its Mediterranean influenced evening menu and lunchtime open sandwiches offer great value for money and great atmosphere.
You are more likely to find pickle herring on the menu at Moeders, a “mothers” themed restaurant serving traditional Dutch food, including the famously stodgy Stammpot, all under the watchful eyes of hundreds of mothers. Almost literally, as the restaurant’s walls, sideboards and even bathrooms are covered in pictures of mothers, brought in by customers just like you, so feel free to take a photo of your Mum too!
Op de Tuin
Tucked away around a corner that most tourists will never find, Op de Tuin – “The Garden” – is a simple but cosy restaurant serving home cooked meals made mostly with organic ingredients. Incredible value for money can be found here if you’re looking for a very special dining experience in a place most tourists won’t ever find out about… (until now, maybe!).
The only chain restaurant in this list, De Pizzabakkers offer delicious tasting pizza in a three different locations across Amsterdam. Their speciality isn’t just pizza… it’s “prosecco and pizza” which happen to be two of my favourite things to consume. The best news of all is that they’re a fairly budget friendly restaurant too!
Perched on the Jacob van Lennepkade canal in the Old West, Fijn Hout is more of a local’s bar than anything else with loyal regulars returning for the good atmosphere, smart interior and a weekly pub quiz. This is our “go-to” spot on a sunny day when you can sit beside the canal having chosen a broodje (sandwich) from their fantastic lunch menu and nursing a cold beer.
My partner is Australian so when we stumbled upon Aussie brunch joint Little Collins just down the road from our house, near Albert Cyup Maarkt, we knew it would become a regular spot. And it has. Named after a famous street in Melbourne you can expect good coffee and the best corn fritters in the Northern Hemisphere… possibly.
We’re heading back to Southeast Asia with Take Thai, my recommendation for tasty Thai food. Found on Utrechtsestraat another great street to wander along during the day for shopping and at night for restaurants. Pop in here for a sophisticated serving of Thai favourites served with those warm Thai smiles and a lot of minimal Dutch design. And they have a collection of Thai recipes on their website!
All that’s left to say now is… Eet smakelijk!
Stena Line operates a twice-daily ferry crossing from Harwich to Hoek van Holland, with a particularly good selection of food on board…