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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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