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10 Great Amsterdam Restaurants -- Dining In Amsterdam

Updated on May 14, 2012

Eating Out In Amsterdam

When it comes to its food offerings, Amsterdam -- and Dutch cuisine in general -- gets a bad rap. I think that this is very unfair, though, because I just returned from a trip to Amsterdam and found many of the restaurants to be delightful.

Dutch food itself is hearty, filling and comforting; there's nothing like having a warm bowl of pea soup with ham on a cold day. Meanwhile, Amsterdam is very international and has every type of cuisine you can think of. If you're not into meat and potatoes, you can dine out on Indonesian, Argentinian, French, Italian, Thai ... pretty much anything your heart desires!

Since we were only in Amsterdam for a few days, we unfortunately didn't get to try every Amsterdam restaurant that we wanted to go to. Still, we did pretty well exploring the city's culinary offerings and filling our tummys!

Here's a list of 10 places we tried which I think are worth checking out. I've tried to include different types of cuisines, but I LOVE Indonesian food, so several Indonesian restaurants are listed.

But whether you like Indonesian good or any other type of cuisine, get to Amsterdam as soon as you can! I can guarantee that you'll have a great time and some great meals.

Dining In Amsterdam

Amsterdam Cuisine

Amsterdam Restaurants And Food

Dining In Amsterdam

Here are my picks for 10 great Amsterdam restaurants. Most are not too expensive, though there are a couple of "splurge" places listed. The information for each restaurant is included in my sidebar, which provides a link to each eatery. Enjoy!

1. GREENWOODS: It probably seems a little odd to start this list with an English tea shop, but GreenWoods is a great place to have breakfast. They have tables outside so you can sit and people watch (always fun to do in Amsterdam!) and they have some great egg dishes. I don't really like to eat sweets for breakfast, so I appreciated being able to get something hot and savory. They also serve all different types of teas. I love tea, but too often just have a cup of Lipton's. It's nice to enjoy the real deal once in a while! This cafe isn't a place where you'd go for a huge sit-down meal or something fancy, but it's a nice place to sit and relax, and enjoy some tasty food.

2. PANCAKES! AMSTERDAM: If you go to Amsterdam, one of the things you absolutely have to try are the pancakes. They're not at all like the thick, buttery pancakes that we serve in stacks in the United States. Instead, they're large, flat and rather thin, almost like a crepe, and they can be savory or sweet. When it comes to eating these treats, you pretty much can't go wrong with a restaurant that so enthusiastically states its product. At Pancakes! you can get pretty much any type of pancake that you can imagine, with a long list of toppings to choose from from fruits to cheeses. So use your imagination and design the pancake of your dreams.

3. GREETJE: Greetje is one of the nicest places to visit if you're anxious to try traditional Dutch cuisine. Though the food is "traditional," the dishes have a modern twist, such as pig with lemon honey sauce or braised lamb with beetroot. I recommend getting a side of their homemade apple sauce, which is yummy, yummy, yummy! Everything was freshly prepared and hearty.

4. DE KAS: This is definitely a splurge restaurant, as it is NOT cheap. Most of the ingredients are grown locally so you know you're getting fresh, top quality food. The menu changes daily and is a set menu with several appetizers and a main course. If you're vegetarian or are like me and hate fish, you can request a vegetarian tasting menu to avoid any unwelcome surprises.

5. GARLIC QUEEN: I loooooove garlic so when we passed by this all-garlic restaurant, we knew we had to eat there. Garlic Queen does not disappoint! The restaurant is quiet and cozy, and our server couldn't have been nicer. We sampled several garlic-infused dishes, including a whole baked head of garlic served with dark bread (YUM!), creamy garlic soup, a mushroom stuffed with garlic, garlic chicken and beef stew with garlic. We ate until we were bursting at the seams, but enjoyed every minute. My husband also tried the garlic beer (not his fave) and the garlic organge liquor (odd, but good, he says). When you get your bill, the restaurant kindly provides you with breath mints.

6. TORO DORADO: Right now, Argentinian restaurants seem to be the "thing" in Amsterdam. We were surprised to see so many of them in the city; some blocks had four steakhouses in a row. That said, we figured that if they love Argentinian food in Amsterdam, it's probably done very well. We decided to check out Toro Dorado and enjoyed it. They serve thick, tasty steaks and even offer Wagyu beef. So if you're in the mood for some meat, this is a place worth trying.

7. INDRAPURA: Indrapura is one of the many Indonesian restaurants that serves a rijsttafel (rice table) feast. Basically, you're served about a dozen little dishes, going from mild to spicy. It's a great way to sample Dutch-influenced Indonesian cuisine. If you don't want that much food, Indrapura has tasty a la carte options, but why not treat yourself to their rijsttafel? They offer several different rice tables,including a vegetarian one. All of the others have different types of curries and meat skewers. I loved the lamb sate, as well as the gado gado, which is a salad with peanut sauce.

8. OUD HOLLAND: We went to this traditional Dutch restaurant on our first night in Amsterdam. It was chilly out and we were pretty jetlagged, so we were drawn to the cozy, little restaurant, which is in a renovated home from the 1600s. The menu offerings were simple, but filling and good. My husband had pea soup with sausage and brown bread; I had pork schnitzel. Each came with potatoes, vegetables and salad. We were starving so we ate it all! I can't say it was the best restaurant I've ever been to, but it was warm and homey and we left feeling happy.

9. BLAUW: Blauw is another restaurant that serves a rijsttafel feast, but it's a little more high end and therefore more expensive. Make sure to make a reservation! Be prepared to feast on various curries, meats, fish and Indonesian appetizers. Definitely come with an appetite!

10. PURIMAS: Okay, so by now you're probably sick of reading my rice table reviews, but here's the last. Purimas is yet another wonderful Indonesian restaurant in Amsterdam. There are four menus to choose from, which was great for me since some contained more fish dishes (which I won't eat) and others contained more meat dishes. My husband and I chose two different meat-based menus and ended up with a table of about 30 little dishes. Many surprised me: for instance, I usually don't care for green beans, but I liked the way they prepared theirs which were cooked in a spicy sauce. I also liked the hardboiled egg in curry. They also served us several different satays and fried rices. The restaurant itself is rather minimalist, but they concentrate on the food, which is how it should be.


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    • cherrycrime26 profile image

      January Moon 5 years ago from NY, Now Living in Atlanta Ga

      This is a great Hub, Amsterdam has been on my places to go list for years, I think its time to pack my bags now, voted up.

    • europewalker profile image

      europewalker 5 years ago

      This hub makes me want to go back to Amsterdam! I love visiting that city. Pancakes and The Pancake Bakery are my favorites.