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.
Rokin 103, Centrum
It’s refreshingly unexpected that such a hip and immaculately turned out restaurant would call the largely tourist-packed Centrum home—though you’ll be grateful it’s there come dinner after a day of doing touristy things. The French/Asian menu is heavy on street food—spring rolls, fish cakes, dim sum—and the piping hot, delightfully flavorful pho broth is heavenly in the colder months. There’s a bar on the ground level, but you can get your booze on at dinner, too: ask for the house-made iced tea spiked. Trust.
Taksteeg 7, Centrum
Tucked away in a narrow alley, Gartine may not look like much from the outside, but it’s actually something of an institution, serving traditional organic-egg-centric dishes for breakfast and high tea favorites at lunchtime. The produce all comes from the restaurant’s own garden and the desserts are all made by hand on site. It’s best to call ahead to reserve one of the ten tables.
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