There’s something so satisfying about recommending a favorite restaurant to someone and hearing about their positive experience afterward. We often get asked by friends and family visiting Amsterdam for our favorite restaurants in the city, and have always pointed them to our Amsterdam Travel Guide. This time, we decided this topic deserved it’s own post. So, we’ve compiled our favorite restaurants in Amsterdam, broken down by fine dining options (great for date nights), group-friendly spots (perfect for meeting friends or family), casual eats (that don’t require long sit-down meals), and our favorite places for brunch and sweets.
Read on for the restaurants that made the cut. If you try any of these places, we’d love to hear about your experience! Tag us on Instagram (@finduslost) if you share stories or posts so we can tune in.
PRESET COLLECTION USED IN THIS BLOG POST: COMPLETE COLLECTION
Date Night Spots
These are some of our favorite restaurants for a fine dining experience in Amsterdam, chosen for their location, atmosphere, and consistently delicious dishes. Expect to spend 30 euros or more per person including food and drinks.
If you search traditional restaurants in Amsterdam, De Luwte will often show up at the top of the list. Located on Leliegracht with canal views, it’s a great spot for a cocktails on the water or a date night. The owners recently revamped the menu to feature crowd-pleasing dishes, everything from sushi to steak and pastas. Reservations recommended.
Incredible food and wine at De Luwte Amsterdam.
One of our most frequented restaurants in Amsterdam is Salmuera. They have the most delicious ceviche and cocktails. The interior is dimly lit and romantic, with an old school bar and wax candles. Their menu consists of Peruvian, Brazilian and Mexican inspired dishes. Their octopus is one of my all time favorite dishes. In the summer, their outdoor patio is packed. A great place to bring friends or family as well. Reservations recommended.
A somewhat newer concept, Bar Fisk describes their food as “Tel-Aviv food market” cuisine. Their menu consists mostly of seafood dishes, each unique and presented beautifully amongst curated wine and homemade bread. They can also accommodate vegan and vegetarian diets. Reservations recommended.
Vegetarians and meat-eaters rejoice, as this family-run restaurant crafts mouth-watering small plates that we can’t get enough of. The theme at Café Beurre is butter: picture indulgent, thoughtfully crafted dishes with local fresh ingredients and a monthly rotating menu. The wine list alone is worth venturing out of the city center for. You won’t find tourists here!
We discovered this chic spot after a visit to the botanical gardens nearby. De Plantage‘s food could be described as Mediterranean-European, with small dishes and tasty mains. The star of the restaurant is their giant tree located inside, which the restaurant was built around. Also great for lunch. Reservations recommended.
Buffet Van Odette
Also located facing the canal, this quaint restaurant serves European fare with a small but satisfying menu. Our order at Buffet Van Odette always includes their beet salad (beets three ways with feta cheese), and their mussels soaked in a spicy and flavorful tomato-based sauce. Outdoor seating is available when the weather permits. Save room for their homemade desserts! Reservations recommended.
Outdoor seating in front of Buffet Van Odette on the Prinsengracht canal.
Restaurant De Kas is located inside a greenhouse and is completely self-reliant on their own home-grown, organic vegetables. All food is ‘picked in the morning, served in the afternoon’. Book in advance.
Located on a Dutch island only accessible by ferry, Zommerrestaurant Vuurtoreneiland is a truly unique fine dining experience. You’ll catch a boat in the afternoon to be transported to small island featuring a modern, Scandinavian-inspired structure to have dinner with beautiful views of the water. (In winter, you’ll dine in a candlelit bunker!). Note reservations need to be made weeks or months in advance.
Great for Groups
When deciding on a spot to bring friends or family, these restaurants are always at the forefront of our mind. They also work for a casual date night, but each one can accommodate larger groups. These restaurants are more affordable than fine dining options. Expect to spend 20 euros per person for food and drinks.
This is our favorite spot for pizza in Amsterdam. La Perla is known for their thin crust pizzas with fresh ingredients and toppings. It’s located in one of our favorite areas and very much feels like a neighborhood spot – great to bring friends or family.
Don’t be fooled by the cheesy name. This neighborhood spot is beloved by locals for its tasty pasta, thin crust pizza, and Italian staples. Their burrata dish is to die for. Eddy Spaghetti is off the main part of Amsterdam, so don’t expect a tourist crowd.
If you’re craving a filling meal, Eetcafe Semhar typically always has room. We’ve recommended this tasty Ethiopian restaurant to a number of friends over the years. With homemade injera and traditional Ethiopian dishes, it’s a great family-style restaurant if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty. If you’re unsure what to order, the servers are happy to help.
Foodhallen opened in 2014, inspired by international food markets. It’s often packed, with seating in the middle surrounded by small food stalls and bars serving everything from burgers to pizza to bowls and vegan food. It’s a lively spot to bring friends, but be prepared to hunt for seating during evenings and weekends. Their bike parking is located underground.
The interior of Amsterdam’s Foodhallen.
When Jacob and I originally moved to Amsterdam, we were set on finding a go-to sushi spot for fresh nigiri. This no frills sushi restaurant does the trick. Akitsu often has a special menu with fresh fish flown in from Japan, which we almost always order. For those bringing friends who aren’t sushi lovers, they also serve yakitori and ramen.
If you’re craving Indian food, Balti House is a winner in our book. Highlights include their butter chicken and garlic naan. Great for a casual yet satisfying dinner in De Pijp.
Ko Chang Thai Restaurant
We stumbled upon this tasty Thai restaurant on our most recent trip to Amsterdam. The interior of Ko Chang is small and cozy, with a diverse menu including fresh curry dishes and satisfying pad Thai. You’ll often find locals here on a Friday night.
The Chicken Bar
The real star of this family-friendly restaurant is their slow-cooked rotisserie chicken, dripping with flavor. It’s no wonder they call themselves The Chicken Bar. It’s a recent addition to our list of favorites, thanks to a friend who brought us here this past trip. We also loved their cocktails and homemade fries.
Read Post: The Complete Amsterdam Travel Guide
Quick & Casual Bites
Our favorite quick eats when you’re on-the-go and don’t plan on sticking around. Most offer takeaway options (great if you’re getting around by bike!) since they have minimal seating. Food items at these spots range from 5-15 euro.
This delicatessen is located in an old canal house and always smells of freshly-baked bread. Cora‘s menu consists of 26 sandwiches, and we almost always order number 24. It’s the perfect place to grab a quick lunch and sit and eat on the canals.
The Lebanese Sajeria
A new addition to Amsterdam’s canal district, The Lebanese Sajeria is a cozy hole-in-the-wall spot that serves traditional Lebanese wraps and bowls. They have seating upstairs or you can take away.
Lombardo’s is hands down our go-to burger spot in Amsterdam. Though we tend not to order lamb burgers at other restaurants, it’s always a must when we come here. Add their fresh goat cheese for a real treat.
Soup en Zo
This corner spot often has a line out the door during lunch hours. Their soups are made daily, each one packed with flavor and only fresh ingredients, and they often sell out by the afternoon. Soup en Zo‘s menu changes daily but the one item that stays consistent is their kaasstengels (Jacob’s favorite): freshly baked cheese puff pastries to accompany your homemade soup.
It doesn’t get more traditional than this old Dutch diner in the heart of Amsterdam centrum. On Van Dobben‘s menu: croquettes, Bitterballen, ham sandwiches, and meatball soup. I was originally taken here by my Dutch uncle for some traditional Dutch junk food, so don’t expect any fancy menu items here (or gluten-free friendly ones, for that matter).
Brunch can be hard to come by in Amsterdam. It wasn’t popular for the Dutch until recent years. However, it’s gained popularity in recent years and you’ll find the restaurants below are often packed on Sundays. With delicious coffee and canal views, it’s worth making the trek out early to snag a table before 11am.
This straightforward New York-inspired cafe serves our favorite Eggs Norwegian (eggs benedict, but with smoked salmon). It’s a cozy spot to meet up with friends for a late breakfast or lunch. Cafe George is also located right on the Leidsegracht canal with views over the water — try to snag one of their few outdoor tables.
Cafe George is one of our go-to brunch spots.
G’s de Pijp
Southern cooking that transports you to a roadside diner far away from Amsterdam. If you’re after fried chicken and bloody marys, this is the spot to be. G’s de Pijp is a casual restaurant, but they also serve up select dishes on their Brunch Boat (unfortunately, not the fried chicken). You can buy tickets for their brunch boat here.
Traditional brunch classics with a twist. Dignita has three locations in Amsterdam, with a focus on all-day brunch and comfort dishes (they can also accommodate most dietary restrictions). Their restaurants support their social enterprise Not For Sale, helping victims of human trafficking through training and opportunities. Hence their slogan: Eat well, do good.
Run by the same owners as De Luwte, this instagram-worthy cafe is a destination in itself. Pluk‘s menu varies but always includes breakfast bowls and pastries. They also sell home goods and curated items that make great gifts for friends or family. Their original location is on Reestraat, but they have a second just a stone’s throw away on Berenstraat in Amsterdam’s quaint 9 streets.
The inside of Pluk Amsterdam on Reestraat.
For dim sum in Amsterdam, Oriental City is often packed on weekends — for good reason. The views over the canal are hard to beat, and it’s hard not to love the cheeky atmosphere that comes from a double-decker Chinese restaurant that has been in operation for over 35 years.
Desserts & Sweets
If you’re a sweet tooth, you’ll love the places listed below. Each is individually unique, but they all have one thing in common: mouthwatering desserts.
I was originally introduced to the tasty small cakes this bakery is known for after trying them at Foodhallen. The Yuzu one is my favorite. Their brick and mortar location is charming, with seating upstairs and the smell of fresh pastries throughout. Petit Gateau is located in the Northern part of Amsterdam, great for a stroll before and after.
This restaurant may seem like a tourist trap, but it makes the top of my list for their tasty poffertjes: fluffy mini pancakes soaked in butter and powdered sugar. I’ve been coming to Carousel for years and always order a traditional ham and cheese pannenkoeken (Dutch pancake) and dessert.
Petit by Sam
If you’re vegan or gluten-free, Petit by Sam is a must. Sam makes a range of delectable sweets, with something for everyone. Her ‘Death by Chocolate’ cake, a true winner, can be made both vegan and GF as needed (order in advance).
This old school Dutch bar dates back to 1642. Het Papeneiland is most well-known for their apple pie, which includes a healthy serving of fresh whipped cream. The cafe seems untouched; with black and white photographs and paintings of the historic building it’s housed in. Their upstairs is extra cozy, and is a great rainy day spot.
Het Papeneiland on the corner of Brouwersgracht and Prinsengracht seems to be stuck in time.
This may seem like a funny addition, but we couldn’t help adding this Dutch street food chain for their soft-serve ice cream and junk food. It’s less than 2 euro for a cone of ‘softijs’ at Febo, perfectly tasty whipped cream ice cream that’ll satisfy any late-night sweet cravings. They have locations all around the city so keep your eyes open and you’re sure to pass one while walking around.
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