When we visited the city last week for a business trip, we weren’t particularly planning to do a lot of eating out in Amsterdam. We envisioned a week of free/low-budget activities and lots of cooking – which is why on our first morning in Amsterdam, we filled our apartment’s kitchen with packages of meat, pasta, sauces, and various raw food items from the nearest Albert Heijn.
But – I guess not surprisingly for locals and veteran tourists in Amsterdam – the call of the local food scene was strong. A stroll along practically anywhere in the city will lead you to countless restaurants in Amsterdam, all more enticing than the last.
Many of our food finds were actually incidental finds. During the first few days, we would set off to explore after a heavy home-cooked meal – only to find ourselves settling down for a meal or some snacks within the first hour of wandering. By the mid-week, we have given up on home-cooked dinners and instead started looking forward to where our evening strolls would lead us.
Here’s a quick list of places to eat in Amsterdam – it’s all over the map and of all different cuisines, so wherever you happen to be staying or whatever you’re in the mood for, you might find something you’d love to try, too.
Japan’s Restaurant Hachi, Diemen
We arrived in Amsterdam on an evening flight and made our way to our AirBNB in Diemen. By the time we have settled into our apartment, Albert Heijn has closed and most restaurants were an hour away from closing up.
A leisurely 10-minute walk around the neighborhood brought us to this Japanese restaurant.
We took a quick peek and saw that dinners came at EUR 27. We almost retreated, as when you’re just getting used to the Euro, a EUR 27 price tag for a quick dinner for one person certainly seems steep. But it turns out that it was an eat-all-you-can deal, which certainly wasn’t too bad if you were in the mood for overflowing Japanese food.
As for us, we opted to order a few small plates – tuna sashimi, unagi temaki, and California temaki – and miso soup. This only set us back about 10 euros per person. While definitely not a budget option, the quality of food and the romantic ambiance made it worth it.
If you happen to be based in Diemen during your trip to Amsterdam, do check Hachi out. From what we saw, there are not much other options but just a few tram stops into Amsterdam and you’ll certainly have more choices.
Bagels and Beans
We encountered this Amsterdam staple in Utrecht, actually, where we went for a day trip to visit Lotte, a good friend and fellow travel blogger. We found this branch just across the Utrecht Conservatorium, so our delightful koffietijd was made all the more romantic by strains of piano music coming from the windows of the school.
We had some drinks – cappuccino for my boyfriend, a fruit shake for me – and shared the Weed Burger. Because #wheninamsterdam, right? But “weed” in this case doesn’t refer to marijuana – just lots of healthy greens making up this delicious, healthy vegan burger.
We saw Bagels and Beans all over Amsterdam and I think it’s a great place to stop for some coffee and cake – and rest your calves.
Kaap de Goede Hoop, Overtoom
My boyfriend and I unanimously vote for this restaurant as our favorite one in Amsterdam.
It’s quite hole-in-the-wall-ish, easy to miss among Overtoom’s many popular restaurants. We were actually aiming for other restaurants we’ve read about, but would walk past them either because we didn’t like the vibe, the menu wasn’t too exciting for us, or just some random quirky decision to keep looking for better food.
When I saw the Kaap’s menu blackboard on the street, I immediately knew that Franta would love to eat there. Big bold letters advertised the restaurant’s specialty: schnitzel – which happened to be one of Franta’s favorite dishes.
So we sat ourselves on one of the outside tables and shared a schnitzel, a flammkuchen, and beers as we watched Amsterdam begin to settle down for the evening.
I particularly liked the Overtoom area. There were plenty of restaurants to choose from but definitely not as crazy as looking for food in the busy center. It’s a short walk from Vondelpark and the Museumplein, making it ideal for dinner after visiting the museums and strolling at the park.
By the third night, Franta and I began looking forward to dinners out. So I started looking for recommendations online and the Worst Wijncafe comes highly recommended by the Amsterdam Foodie herself. So off we went for a delightful wine and sausage night.
I have fond memories of Europe and sausage. On my first trip to Europe two years ago, I was traveling with my sister and was scrimping a bit on food. We wanted to stay in nice places and do nice things and travel around comfortably so food kind of became our least priority in terms of spending.
I remember eating a lot of bread and sausage dinners back then. All around Austria, Czech Republic, and the Netherlands, we would buy 5-euro sausages from stalls and find a spot on the sidewalk to sit on, completely in awe at our surroundings and excited that we were eating Vienna sausage in Vienna – and not out of the can as “Vienna sausages” tend to go back in our home country.
Anyway, back to the Worst Wijncafe. It was a bit of a struggle actually to convince my boyfriend to go there for dinner, as sausages were obviously not as exciting for him as it was for me. But with some persistence and plain stubbornness, I got him on board and soon we were walking to the serene and pleasant neighborhood of Spaarndammerbuurt, which was a lovely adventure in itself.
We could immediately see the Worst from a distance – it was by far the busiest restaurant along the Barentszstraat. Good thing the staff of the restaurant were excellent at their job – within minutes we were seated at the bar, enjoying our wine. Later in the evening, they kindly moved us to an outside table when some of the earlier diners left.
By now one of our recurring problems was ordering too much. Actually, we would order one item each but the servings in the restaurants we’ve been to were definitely huge! In the Worst, we got the cold cuts platter and the lamb sausage plate. The first order would definitely have been enough for both of us, but we ended up wiping out both plates anyway; it was that good and we had such a fun evening. It was one of the more romantic restaurants we visited – and the wine definitely helped in setting the mood.
Despite our fullness, we just couldn’t resist getting a pot of butterscotch and cream. We shared it of course – and it was the sweetest end to our night.
While Kaap de Goede Hoop was our personal favorite for personal reasons and some quirky preferences (that is: schnitzel), I think the Worst Wijncafe was objectively the best restaurant in Amsterdam among those we visited. The servings are big, the staff is amazing, and the vibe is certainly romantic. I can definitely see myself visiting again and recommending it to all my friends.
Franta and I met with one of my childhood friends in Het Warenhuis along Haarlemmerstraat. It’s a relatively new restaurant – it opened only within the month – and immediately it’s becoming quite popular. It’s a good thing we had a reservation because when we got there at 6:30 PM on a Saturday, there were already many groups waiting outside for a table to free up.
The place is definitely lovely in an artsy and hipster kind of a way. It was relatively more affordable than the other restaurants we went to, with meals ranging from 15-20 euros. But an order is really good just for one and those with bigger appetites might find the serving a bit small.
We had steak and a salmon salad and afterwards finished with a chocolate cake. The food was good and the ambiance was perfect – which was probably why we stayed there for more than 3 hours just chatting and laughing with my friend.
With the restaurant being new and extremely popular, the staff kind of had a hard time keeping up with our orders. At one point, they forgot about our desserts and we had to wait for almost half an hour for it. Definitely not a big issue though, since we were just basically hanging out and having a lovely time. And the staff more than made up for it with their friendliness.
Overall, Het Warenhuis is a nice chill place to hang out with friends for a light dinner and drinks.
We found ourselves in Wissenkerke near the Amsterdam Sloterdijk station under unfortunate circumstances. We missed our flight back to Vienna (we couldn’t tear ourselves from Giethoorn in the morning and got caught in traffic on our drive back to Amsterdam; we reached the baggage drop counter just as our boarding gates closed!) and had to frantically check out other options. EasyJet was fully booked for the two following days and KLM prices were steep at 500 Euros per person. We eventually found a bus from Amsterdam to Vienna (FlixBus at 50 euros each – great budget option!), which was scheduled to leave in the evening.
So with heavy hearts, we trudged to Amsterdam Sloterdijk – our bus stop – and looked for food to sustain us for the long bus ride ahead of us. Wissenkerke was the most enticing option within a 500-meter radius.
As soon as we stepped into the restaurant, we started feeling a little better. The interiors were warm and inviting, there weren’t a lot of diners as we came at around 4:30 PM, and the staff was friendly – even bordering on flirty in a fun kind of way.
We had steak and salmon – at this point, we’ve had this exact combination several times already. This comes as a sweeping statement but the salmon was actually the best I’ve had in this trip. By the end of the meal, we were feeling a lot better and not at all bitter about missing our flight. We figured that Amsterdam was probably having a hard time letting go of us.
After our meal, we hung out at the restaurant for a bit as we waited for our bus. It ended up getting delayed for 90 minutes – I swear, Amsterdam is clingy! Nevertheless, our meal at the Wissenkerke was the perfect end to our lovely Amsterdam trip. If you’re in the area, definitely have the salmon!
Places to Eat in Amsterdam
Here’s a quick overview of the restaurants we tried in Amsterdam. If you happen to be in the same area, be sure to check it out!