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Amsterdam Guide

Amsterdam Food and Drink, the best places to eat and drink

Places to eat and drink in Amsterdam

There are 1000’s of places to eat and drink in Amsterdam but getting something good to eat is another thing. A lot of tourist places do not care what they serve up as they know they will not will not see you again so don’t bother too much.

The service in Amsterdam is dire, even getting a menu in most places takes forever and after the wait the food served it not up to much.

I have been served up all sorts of shit in my six years living here in Amsterdam. A few I remember with horror still to this day. A placecalledKatz (Now under new management and new name)on Jodenbreestraat just off Nieuwmarkt was the place I adopted for my daily breakfast of scrambled eggs on my arrival in Amsterdam. I am a creature of habit and once I find somewhere, I go every day. Well, one day I arrived to find the waiter is now the chef/cook.

I order my scrambled eggs as usual but to my horror, I see the x-waiter now cook take up two hard boiled eggs from the counter and proceed tochop them up and cook them for me. When they arrived, they were unreal looking slimy pieces of white and yellow rubber floating on the plate in a sea of grease.I placed my napkin over it, paid and left. The next day the very same thing happened to me. I complained and I was informed, “We have no eggs”. (The is a large supermarket just a few doors down from them). I never returned and it closed down soon after.


Dutchbreakfast comprises bread with slices of Dutch old and young cheeses and cold meats, apple Stroop (syrup made with apple juice), hagelslag (multicoloured chocolate bits ) or a combination of any of these. Dutch like their coffee strong and their tea weak and drunk without milk or sugar.

Amsterdam has now a lot of places catering to the massive tourist trade so their are many places now doing all day English breakfasts but most are fairly shit but we have found several OK places to try.

Blomenmarkt(flower market) has several locations to try for breakfast, one as you enter the market from the “De Munt” end and one-half way down called “Brasil” This place gives you a 50/50 chance of a good breakfast or lunch as their are two cooks, one bad and one good, further down near the end of the market is an Italian cafe which also does good food. Sorry, forget the name.


There are 100 if not 1000’s of lunch cafes, as they do not really eat breakfast they make up for it at lunch. Again it’s rolls, sandwiches or Soup (especially in winter) erwtensoep (Pea Soup), a thick soup made of peas with chunks of smoked sausage or the famous Amsterdam Uitsmijter, several fried eggs with toast and maybe a bit of meat as well.


Dinner being the mail meal of the day is usually eaten early evening. Dutch food tends to be on the heavy side. A traditional Dutch dish is the stamppot (mashing pot), made up of boiled potatoes with cabbage mashed up with fried bacon and served with smoked sausage. Potatoes form part of the Dutch staple diet and can be served in many different ways a real favourite is frites (french fries/chips), served with mayonnaise (not tomato sauce) are a national institution.

Other Dutch favourites include raw herring (usually eaten whole with chopped onions), You can find stands selling herring all over the city. Bitterballen (deep fried meatballs) and Stroopwafels ( waffles sandwiched together with a cinnamon-spiced syrup are sold in most bakeries but are best eaten hot from a street stall which pops up from time to time.

Amsterdam has a lot of Indonesian restaurants, thanks to their Dutch colonial links of the past, and is considered part of the national cuisine. Try the Rijsttafel, a colourful array of 20 spicy treats, including sates, which is served with rice of your choice.

Drinkingin Amsterdam is an old tradition and the locals have, over the centuries invented an extensive vocabulary for ordering a beer or the local favouriteGenever (Dutch gin).

Borrel is the most common word for a glass of Genever and just as the English order (on the rocks, neat, straight) the Dutch have their own ways of ordering,recht op en neer (straight up and down) orKamelenrug(camel’s back) are saying used to order a glass of Genever.

Beer, The Dutch serve their beer with a head half the size of the glass, all head no beer, and always served in a small glass unless you request a large one. Unlike most other countries where the standard is a pint of beer.


With over one thousand restaurants finding something to eat in Amsterdam is not difficult. Diners can choose from nearly every cuisine from around the world, everything from French to Russian, Turkish to Italian and everything in between and new places are opening all the time.

When the Dutch eat out, they tend to abandon the local cuisine and eat something a bit different, so not surprisingly you may find it hard to sample Dutch cuisine but there are a few places.

Haesje Claes, at Spuistraat 273-275 or the very famousD’Vijff Vlieghen(The five flies) across the road at Spuistraat 294-302 (tel: (020) 624 8369) are two of the more famous ones and both offer good Dutch meals.


Also, a national favourite is pancakes and there are several places which are famous for them.The Pancake Bakery(The most famous in Amsterdam) serve up a huge range of pancakes with every topping up canimagine(I got a burnt pancake on my last visit so not a 100%) located at Prinsengracht 191 (tel: (020) 625 1333). Another place isCarouselwith many of the trappings of an unfinished merry-go-round is located near the Heineken Brewery.

Top Nosh

Amsterdam also has a few ***** places.The Excelsior, located in the Hotel de l’Europe at Nieuwe Doelenstraat 2-8 (tel: (020) 531 1777), which has gained a Michelin star for its cuisine. Another favourite restaurant is theCaf√© Americain, in theHotel Americainat Leidsekade 97 (tel: (020) 624 5322), which serves an excellent Sunday brunch in their great Art Nouveau surroundings.

Vegetariansare not so well catered for as most Dutch are meat eaters, three veggie restaurants we know of that you could try are theDe BolhoedRestaurant at Prinsengracht 60 (Jordaan) (tel: (020) 626 1803),De Waaghalsat Nes 102 (tel: (020) 679 9609). And theGreen Planet,Vegetarian food for everybody!

A couple of restaurants that are a little different are 1e Klas (First Class), in the former first-class waiting room of Central Station (Now a 1st class restaurant) with is lLocated at platform 2b (tel: (020) 625 0131).

De Waag, Nieuwmarkt (tel: (020) 557 9844), which is located in an unusual medieval weighing House but now a fantastic restaurant (Not cheap). Totally lit by 100’s of candles daily.

The centre of Amsterdam boasts the most restaurants, but there are also small local neighbourhood restaurants a little further out of the city which serves high-quality food.

Dutch eat early, so restaurants close earlier than in most other countries, kitchens close between 9.30pm and 10 pm.

Credit cards are becoming more and more acceptedbut there are still some who do not.

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