If you are heading to Amsterdam whether it’s your first or 5th time you know the city has a lot to offer when it comes to nightlife, but finding the best food can sometimes be a mission if you don’t know where to go. So here’s a little insiders tip on some of the best places to get a good breakfast, dinner or a late-night snack. Varying from local favourites, to dumplings, ribs, desserts and pancakes.
Let’s get started on the Dutch delicacies, while you have the well-marketed stroopwafels you probably saw at the airport, you can also find amazing bread, cheese, deli meats, Frikandel and Croquettes. If you are looking for a small bite, you could also go for the famous Dutch Frites (Fries), grab some ‘Hollandse Nieuwe’ (Herring Fish) or you could also try out their tasty Bitterballen. These deep-fried delights are one of my favourites, they come with all kinds of fillings such as beef, veal and some experimental ones such as Mac & Cheese. You can try them from the vending machine style shops at FEBO if you are in a hurry or you can spot them on the menu at many restaurants.
Ok so now you are ready for a full meal? well if you want to do it Dutch you can look no further than ‘Hutspot’ (which can be roughly translated as “shaken pot”). It’s a traditional dish the locals love during the cold winter months. Made up of mashed potato and various vegetables it can be enjoyed on its own or it is more often served with beef or sausage.
So aside from the dishes, what are some of the restaurants you should try to seek out?
Van Stapele Koekmakerij
If you have a sweet tooth you should find your way to Van Stapele Koekmakerij, this unique food spot only serves one type of cookie. It’s chocolate with a little centre of delicious white chocolate. You should visit early as they often have a line, and sometimes sell out. You want them fresh off the heating pad that makes them crumble in your mouth.
Herengracht 319, 1016 AV Amsterdam
One of the best places you can try Bitterballen and also enjoy a good drink is Van Wees. Located in downtown it also has burgers, sandwiches, cheese and soups. It’s a former-distillery-turned-pub offering liquor tastings, French wines & classic fare in a cozy space.
Grimburgwal 2, 1012 GA Amsterdam
Well firstly for a world-famous breakfast of Pancakes you can head to the iconic little shop called Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis which is located in a little alley in the centre, up a tiny stairway.
It featured in an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s ‘The Layover’ and was also in a Beastie Boys song. The little shop offers up a variety of sweet and savoury pancakes but only accommodates four tables and you get around 30 minutes to eat. You should try to book if you are in a group, or get there early and expect a wait. I’ve been a few times and luckily never waited more than 20 minutes.
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 177-179, 1012 EV Amsterdam
Hunting some quality asian food, Oriental CIty has been my go-to spot for over 5 years. The multi-level establishment sits on the corner and the views look out to Damstraat, the Royal Palace and of course the canals if you can get a window seat. They serve some of the city’s most authentic dim sum and Cantonese dishes.
Bellamyplein 51, 1053 AT Amsterdam
If you want to try a bit of everything, you can head to Foodhallen, a classy spot just on the outskirts of the city which as you might be able to guess by the name is a food hall. It’s always packed, but there is a lot of seats so with a bit of hunting you can find a seat. You can get anything from Sushi, Bitterballen, Dumplings, Hot Dogs, Pasta you name it.
Cafe de Klos
Kerkstraat 41, 1017 GB Amsterdam
Next up is for the meat lovers, Cafe de Klos is a haven for carnivores. Known for its huge portions of tasty ribs. It’s situated near one of the main shopping districts and opens for lunch at 2pm. You are likely to have a little wait, but there is a bar across the road you can have a drink at.
So now, it’s late-night you have left the club and you find out that while the city has an amazing nightlife, its restaurants often close relatively early. For some of you who are used to 24/7 McDonalds, this can be a little bit of a shock and can make your hangover a little bit more painful.
Grillroom Shoarma “Hilal”
Rozengracht 154, 1016 NJ Amsterdam
So if you are panging for some greasy late-night food you are going to want to grab some Shoarma from this place. You can also head there during the day and it’s only a short walk to the Anne Frank House. While you can find this all over the town, many are a little bit of a risk. So instead head to the Grillroom Shoarma “Hilal”. It’s open till 5:45am and is regularly packed with locals. They have a variety of tasty options that will satisfy your cravings.