Rozengracht 106, Jordaan
The first thing you’ll see upon entering this sprawling, bi-level Latin American restaurant is something roasting on an open-air spit—a sight hardcore carnivores, in particular, are sure to get a kick out of. While the menu is in fact very meat-heavy, there’s plenty for veggies and pescetarians, too: you can easily make a meal of the sides alone (the cheese-smothered corn is unreal) though the ceviche list deserves ample attention. Needless to say, the rich wine selection will be appreciated by all.
Kamerlingh Onneslaan 3, Grachtengordel
Everything about this farm-to-table restaurant is an experience: the slightly out-of-the-way location in a park in East Amsterdam, the almost entirely locally-sourced ingredients (all produce is grown on their own farm just outside the city) and most importantly, the fact that the dining room is actually a gigantic, glass-ceiling greenhouse. The multi-course lunch and dinner menus change according to the what’s in season and are set by the chef, allowing guests to sit back and not worry about ordering the right thing. What’s more, the staff will happily accommodate any and all dietary restrictions.
The Pancake Bakery
Prinsengracht 191, Grachtengordel
Sure it’s a fairly touristy thing to do, but leaving Amsterdam without having the famous pancakes at least once is nothing short of culinary sin. This no-frills, canal-side pancake house is consistently packed, but the customizable poffertjes (teeny, quarter-sized flapjacks) and oversized Dutch pancakes (the savory variations on the classic, particularly the pizza-inspired one, are a game changer) are well worth braving the lines. Plus, the all-day hours mean you can come after the breakfast/lunch rush hour.
Nieuwe Leliestraat 34, Jordaan
When strolling the streets of Jordaan, this is where you want to go for a glass of local beer and a hyper-traditional Dutch pub meal in an authentic, low-key setting. The corner building dates all the way back to 1896, and still has some of the ornate, Art Deco flourishes to show for it. Though it’s the spare ribs that are its claim to fame, De Reiger is also known for serving up excellent organic veggie and fish dishes. Note: they don’t take reservations, so expect a wait at dinnertime.
Elandsgracht 108, Jordaan
People have been returning from Amsterdam with tales of life-changing meals at this teeny Jordaan spot since it opened back in 1995—and the three-course menus, which are set and tweaked weekly according to what’s in season by chefs Karin Gaasterland and Alain Parry really do live up to the hype: expect farm-fresh crudité, from-scratch risotto, and really incredible desserts. The open-kitchen, hand-written menus, and snug seating arrangement (in the summer months the staff sets up charming street-side tables) makes for a fun, welcoming atmosphere. Definitely call ahead for reservations.
Lindengracht 75, Jordaan
While you may not associate Amsterdam with traditional Italian food, the fresh pasta, imported antipasti, and fish-centric mains at this spacious, surprisingly romantic restaurant rival anything you can get in the States—or Italy for that matter. A great way to ensure you try the best of the best is to spring for the chef’s six-course tasting menu. The wine list is lengthy and devoted entirely to Italian wines.
Barentszstraat 173 1013 NM, Prinseneiland
While a huge chunk of Amsterdam’s food scene is achingly cool, Marius—with its un-ironic checkered tablecloths, provincial little tchotchkes, and incredibly cozy vibe—is decidedly not hip, in the best possible way. The focus is entirely on Chef Kees Elfring’s French-slash-Mediterranean fare, which is prepared using organic ingredients and served in four wine-accompanied courses. In the summer months, call ahead to request a table on the outdoor terrace.
1e Sweelinckstraat 19-F, De Pijp
A newer addition to De Pijp, this no-frills, indoor-outdoor spot has Australian roots and fresh, American-inspired menus. While the share-friendly dinner offering is great and the bar is exceptionally well-stocked, the true standout here is the brunch, with beloved dishes like smashed avocado toast, an elevated take on the bacon-egg-and-cheese, and cinnamon brioche French toast. Also worth noting is the Bloody Mary, which can be had four different ways, including one that’s spiked with Sriracha and garnished with kimchi.
Spuistraat 172, De 9 Straatjes
Its location in the historic W hotel building just around the corner from Dam Square technically makes it a hotel restaurant, but The Duchess is truly in a class of its own. The soaring ceilings, lavish marble surfaces, and decadent “Nouveau-Niçoise” menu easily make it one of the most worthy special-occasion restaurants in town. Even if you’re not hunkering down for a full meal, it’s worth stopping by the stretch bar for a cocktail. To quell an aching sweet tooth, consider making an afternoon reservation at the Duchess Tea Room—the dessert spread looks like something out of Marie Antoinette.
Reestraat 7, De 9 Straatjes
What this bustling little café lacks in sitting room, it more than makes up for in delicious, locally sourced food and really good coffee. The homemade sandwiches, salads, and soups are especially great for a quickie lunch while exploring 9 Streets. And if you’re an early riser, the farm fresh juices and yogurt-and-granola bowls are a nice taste of home.
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