Where to Eat in Amsterdam

Apr 28, 2019

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Common misconceptions of Amsterdam: It’s a stoner’s city where you eat French fries and peruse the Red Light District. From a food lover’s perspective, this couldn’t be more far-fetched (okay, maybe not the frites part, as thick-cut fries, slathered in mayonnaise, are a must). The city is quite arguably a melting pot of international flavor and there’s something for everyone when it comes to food joints.

Here’s how to keep your palate entertained during your visit, frites and all.

For a true introduction to Amsterdam culinary delights, make sure your stay falls over a Saturday. The Lindengracht Market, a food-filled market in the Jordaan district dating back to 1895, is where it’s at. Kaas (cheese) shops are abundant throughout the market, filled with samples of the best Dutch cheeses around.

For a couple euros, snag a cone inside the market filled with Gouda and make your way to Wilde Wadoesters to queue up for the largest, most briny, most succulent oyster that exists. Wash it all down with a glass of Champagne by way of a bottle sitting on crushed oyster ice. Finish with a handful of Dutch strawberries, a freshly made stroopwafel (a thin, sugary waffle sliced in half with caramel in the middle), and a cone of frites doused in mayo, before exiting the market.

You can’t go to Amsterdam and not have apple cake. We’re talking one of the deep-dish kind, with whipped cream piled high. The best exists at Winkel 43 and it’s strongly suggested to order an entire slice for yourself alongside a fresh mint tea. For stellar people watching, post up outdoors at Café Thijssen with a toasty (a sandwich crafted with Dutch cheese), soup du jour and a local beer. Word to the wise: Stock up on mouth-numbing, salty Dutch licorice at Oud-Hollandsch Snoepwinkeltje. Apparently, the Netherlands have the highest consumption of licorice in the world, and no doubt, it’s much more delicious in these parts.

De Pijp, a neighborhood pocket south of City Centre, is the go-to hangout for international cuisine. Coffee Company is a safe bet for a proper coffee and perfectly executed kouign amann and will give fuel to tackle the wait at Bakers and Roasters. The New Zealand-style cafe’s menu is centered around eggs, blending Brazilian and Kiwi culture (a nod to the owners) into their dishes.

Kouign amann from Coffee Company
Kouign amann from Coffee Company

If you’re an American in Amsterdam craving a juicy burger, look no further than The Butcher. Burgers are cooked to order, right in front of you, and are constantly touted as the best burgers in the city. For a casual dinner spot, Pho 91 offers some of the best Vietnamese food in the city. Or, go all out at Restaurant Sinne, a one-star Michelin restaurant with a focus on Mediterranean and French flavors, but without the stuffiness of a white tablecloth establishment.

If you’re looking for something unique, check out La Oliva for mouthwatering Spanish tapas or head to Brouwerij Poesiat & Kater for American-style craft beers, bitterballen (fried gravy balls that are savory and satisfying in all the right ways) and Genever. For vegans, or those looking for something different, Mr. & Mrs. Watson offers an intriguing all-vegan menu and is known for its array of vegan cheeses (the brie is one to write home about).

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Mossel & Gin is a place for mussel aficionados, as the entire menu is basically mussels in a plethora of spicy sauce baths (think bacon, shrimp broth and onions) and has a hip list of gin and tonics to pair with. Hola Poke is another cool eatery to check out, serving up authentic Hawaiian-style poke in the heart of Amsterdam.

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Photo by Fadi Hage / Getty Images

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