You Can Get Reservations for Free Dinner in Taco Bell's Insane Test Kitchen
Though Little Collins gives it a good run for its money in the brunch-spot-from-Down-Under-in-de-Pijp game, this New Zealand egg-slinger has snagged slightly more buzz with its new second location on Kadijksplein. Breakfast and brunch classics with a healthy, wholesome twist are served until deep into the afternoon -- but don’t let that wholesome thing worry you: there’s plenty of matching booze to prevent you from being too much of a model citizen.
De Klos will always hold a special place in Amsterdam’s meat-loving heart -- but the more varied menu with worth-writing-home-to-your-mom-about burgers and fall-off-the-bone ribs, not to mention the creepy-chic knickknack decor and late kitchen hours, mean the city’s hungry hordes are flocking more and more to this destination for their meat fix. Especially since the second location opened in de Pijp as well.
De Foodhallen is no longer the only (upscale) foodcourt in Amsterdam, but it’s still the best -- for all the reasons we’ve stated before. As long as it keeps serving the biggest variety of food in the city and some seriously kick-ass cocktails, it’s not going to get any less popular (or any less crowded) any time soon.
For those of you who don’t live in Noord already (so, most of you), why should this new food spot get your ass on a ferry (the Oostveer no less)? Well, as the name suggests, a dramatically arched structure of patchwork metal sets the tropical-industrial stage. The star performers, though, are the Mediterranean mixes coming out of the kitchen, shifting with the seasons. Fans of Bar Moustache, your man Tim Immers did it again.
Red Light District
The mother of the Amsterdam flammkuchen scene has more to offer. Between decadent breakfast classics, those Alsatian “pizzas,” and French-influenced three-course dinners, The Lobby keeps bellies satisfyingly full all day long in cleaned-up-industrial style. Expect the hype to grow as a second locations opens up in 2016 in the third Hotel V near Amstelstation.
Rotisserie chicken has gotten big in Amsterdam, and this 2012 opener, practically a senior among its chicken-basting brethren, probably wears the cockadoodle crown. Maybe it’s because the Belgian-French spot’s staff seems so happy to work there, but it’s probably the regularly changing three-course menus that go way beyond chicken.
If you haven’t nibbled on some very respectable sandwiches over a business lunch here at some point or another, chances are you don’t work in (central) Amsterdam. Dinner is the sundown version of the same: recognizable brasserie classics done well. The remarkable thing is that this is an equally valid spot to hang out over cocktails and finger foods along the vast bar into the wee hours. And for some reason, despite its ridiculously busy location, it never seems to be crowded. It must be all that space and the almost invisible entrance in the glass wall.
Amsterdam’s brunch business is going strong, but perhaps no place is more packed at noon on a Sunday than, we’re going to call it, the spot with the best Bloody Mary’s in town (you usually still have to reserve days in advance). Luckily they’re open every day 8am to 5pm.
This might be the most successful -- or at least most beloved -- of the 3WO team’s increasing number of hotspots around Oosterpark. Sure, it’s got great beer (and lots of choices of it), but the crowds are coming for the vibe, and the massive heated, and covered when needed, terrace. Oh yeah, they’re here for the juicy burgers and delicious chicken, too.
This location may not be as famous as its Western sibling yet -- it’s still brand new -- but there’s no denying the pull of the massive, tree-lined terrace. Not to mention the plenty of space to sit inside. As for the the lauded menu of upscale street food? It’s thankfully stayed the same.
We knew the successor to Trouw was going to be a hit… but we had no idea people would be buzzing about the food so much. And unlike the club part, there’s no one to decide if you look good enough to keep your reservation when you arrive.
Everybody’s still got a soft spot for Noorderlicht, but Pllek is now officially the place to be. And surprisingly, not only when the sun is out. It’s certainly the heart of almost every festival at NDSM these days, but they’ve got their own program of movies, yoga, etc., that keep people coming back year round. This is due, in no small part, to the food options being even better than the drinks!
Of the two hottest new fish spots in Amsterdam (at the moment), Pesca slightly edges out John Dory thanks to its unique marketplace/”theater of fish” concept and enforced socialization. The purity of the seaborn creations is also a major factor. Even if some people are baffled by the pricing.
Veggie/vegan food is also having a major moment. Of the two highest-profile new openings, Meatless District is hands-down the best (Sorry, Bar James, you’re still great but it looks like the West wins the War of the Restaurants...for now.)
Dine on the (affordably) decadent dishes of the Brabantse kitchen, from a real bunch of Brabanters. The meals (and long wine list that goes with them) go for only €29.50-40.50 for 3 to 5 courses for lunch, or the somewhat pricier €49.50 to 79.50 for dinners of varying courses and compositions (meaning: treat yourself midday for the best value, but either way expect a surprise). The sunny waterside terrace doesn’t hurt either.
The city’s most beloved T-shirt menu meat den never goes out of style, with a no reservations policy that generally translates into a wait of up to an hour -- which is probably why they never felt the need to build a website.
From word of mouth and good reviews, this back-alley sister-run restaurant has been steadily picking up steam for its exotic mix that doesn’t appear on a menu. Your waiter will recite it for you. Listen closely, because there tend to be quite a few options. We previously named their strawberry-chevre version one of our favorite steaks, but we love their herb-infused Indonesian meatloaf sandwich (just go at it with an appetite). And they’re famous for their buttery, gooey pear pie.
This meat spot with the cocktail-bar-ready basement had several tenants passing through before Mystique came to stay -- and continue to stay it seems it shall. We’ve gotten a lot of flack for not including them on our lists of best BBQ and best steaks. People love this joint and find the (not unreasonable) price tag worth it.
Upscale street food is having a moment. But this is the only (fairly new) place other than Happyhappyjoyjoy doing it really well, which is why they lined themselves up a second location on the Kinkerstraat. Eat pancakes, chicken saté, and burgers made from wholesome, mostly organic ingredients all day and night.
Amsterdam has no shortage of lunch and brunch spots, but this one is winning the war for the alcohol-free midday bites. As the name suggests, the menu has one star -- eggs -- playing many different roles. The pleasantly rustic interior is also a plus. No reservations, but without cocktails to linger over the table, turnover tends to be pretty quick.
After going rouge in our last edition of the Eat Seeker, we have to admit that Amsterdam’s King of Pizza is still La Perla. Order the calabrese di spilinga (with spicy ‘nduja salami and spicy olive oil), expect to wait (whether for a table or to take away), and expect it to be worth it. Boaters take note: they’ll let you take the bottles of wine to go, too.
1. Bakers & RoastersEerste Jacob van Campenstraat 54, Amsterdam
2. Cannibale RoyaleHandboogstraat 17, Amsterdam
3. De FoodhallenHannie Dankbaarpassage 16, Amsterdam
4. Hangar AmsterdamAambeeldstraat 36, Amsterdam
5. The LobbyNes 49, Amsterdam
6. RijselMarcusstraat 52b, Amsterdam
7. Van RijnRembrandtplein 17, Amsterdam
8. TEDSBosboom Toussaintstraat 60, Amsterdam
9. De BiertuinLinaeusstraat 29, Amsterdam
10. HappyhappyjoyjoyBilderdijkstraat 158, Amsterdam
11. Restaurant DSDoctor Jan van Breemenstraat 1, Amsterdam
12. PllekTt. Neveritaweg 62, Amsterdam
13. PescaRozengracht 133, Amsterdam
14. Meatless DistrictBilderdijkstraat 65, Amsterdam
15. Restaurant BredaSingel 210, Amsterdam
16. Café De KlosKerkstraat 41-43, Amsterdam
17. Café van KerkwijkNes 41, Amsterdam
18. MystiqueUtrechtsestraat 30, Amsterdam
19. SNCKBRVan Woustraat 34-36, Amsterdam
20. Ommelegg1451 Ferdinand Bolstraat, Amsterdam
21. La PerlaTweede Tuindwarsstraat 14 & 53, Amsterdam
Blending New Zealand comfort food with Brazilian street eats, Bakers & Roasters is your go-to brunch spot in De Pijp. Whether you’re looking for savory egg plates like huevos rancheros or satiating your sweet tooth with a luscious stack of blueberry pancakes (pro tip: opt to finish it off with bacon for just $3), the fresh flavors here don’t disappoint. The beverage game is just as strong, ranging from gourmet coffee drinks, brunch cocktails (did somebody say spiked milkshakes?), and a curated list of New Zealand wines.
Meat and beer reign supreme at Cannibale Royale. Located in Spui Square, this brasserie serves a market-driven menu of European cuisine with barbecue influences. While the salad offerings and sides don’t disappoint, the heavy-hitters here are a carnivore’s fantasy, particularly the infamous L’Absurde -- a 1,000gr serving of steak requiring 24 hours’ notice on your end so that the kitchen can prepare it. Also, from the sharp knives on each table to the dim lighting -- not to mention the grandfather clocks and macabre puppets hung about the walls -- you might want to leave the kids at home.
A massive in-door marketplace located in a historic tram depot in Oud-West, De Foodhallen delivers on what its name promises. The labyrinthian selection of eateries showcases all the vendors and types of cuisine to satisfy every kind of gourmand, from Vietnamese street food, to Spanish tapas, to hand-rolled sushi, to Italian subs.
This North Amsterdam hotspot serves French and tropical inspired eats in a modern, industrial setting. The buzzy bar and cafe also scores with top notch craft cocktails and is a place to see and be seen, courtesy of its chic clientele. Definitely hit up the outdoor patio area/drinking terrace come summertime.
Located in to the Hotel V Nesplein, this super chic restaurant and bar that's literally in the hotel's lobby serves high-end bistro eats in a comfortable and refined space. The buzzy spot gets busy come dinner time and happy hour when its flooded with chic diners feasting on roasted duck breast and sipping martinis.
Rotisserie rules at this lively French kitchen that serves up poulet roti and other rustic dishes. The airy and convivial space serves savory and inspired meals out of an open kitchen and offers an extensive organic wine list to boot. The prix fixe dinner at 33 Euro is a relative steal.
This trendy, brightly lit AmDam kitchen and bar serves elegant small plates and craft cocktails among a stylish crowd. The leather seats and luxurious interior give a swanky feel to this bar, which is the perfect place to head for after-dinner drinks. The cocktails are some of the best in Amsterdam, and the massive bar with liquor bottles lined to the ceiling present an impressive background. If it's summer time, head to the patio to people watch as you sip on your drink in to the wee hours of the morning.
Three Words: All. Day. Brunch. That's what Teds brings to Helmersbuurt, and we're talking 12 hours of brunch plus the occasional high tea. The menu includes brunch signatures like eggs benedict, along with burgers and meatball sandwiches and the all-important brunch cocktails. The airy and inviting atmosphere comes from the plentiful natural light that pours in to the restaurant most of the day.
This beer garden dishes out a wide variety of Dutch bar snacks in addition to their 26 bottled brews and 13 on tap. And even if it's a bit chilly out, the outdoor terrace is heated for your pleasure. With plenty of bicycle parking and ample seating, De Biertuin is inviting to everyone. In addition to drinks, this bar serves up filling entrees like burgers and chicken.
IA Creative's Asian street food-inspired spot prides itself on fresh food preparation, with open woks, streaming pans, and sizzling barbecues cooking your food in real time. Expect savory-sweet-salty-spicy combinations, like shrimps in panang curry, roasted pork char siew, and chili-smothered bok choi, all served in a woodsy terrace strung with charming Chinese lanterns.
Located inside De School, a former technical school in Amsterdam West, Restaurant DS is a quaint industrial space serving vegetable-heavy dishes. Eating here is a little bit of an adventure; The menu changes every week, and instead of ordering one meal or individual courses, you'll choose eat three, five or seven predetermined courses (so picky eaters might want to stray from this one). Examples of past menu items include potatoes with jalepeno and feta, cod pancetta and white chocolate blood orange dille.
Home to Amsterdam's largest evening disco ball, Pllek offers the full dining package to tourists and locals alike, with sustainable fish and organic meat entree offerings, great views of the city, and a lovely outdoor space in which to enjoy it all. You should also spend some time lounging on the manmade beach, but be mindful of the clock -- the last ferry goes back at 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Pesca, aka the Theatre of Fish, defies the norms of seafood restaurants — for example, instead of decorating with the steely blue and metallic color pallet you associate with restaurants of this caliber, it opts for cheery and unexpected yellows and browns for a mood-boosting and unpretentious environment. It also changes the dining experience by first letting you pick your choice of fish in a local fish market-like environment, and then preparing it to order. At the bar, you're given leeway to fill a bucket of beer or wine, to pair your seafood feast as you'd like.
This vegetarian/vegan restaurant lives up to its name with a whole menu of meatless takes on traditional Amsterdam comfort food. You'll find easily-translatable small plates like croquettes and falafel, but the real coups are the "chicken" Caesar salad and the veggie burger, two protein-heavy dishes that may even taste better than their meaty counterparts. Meatless' bright, industrial, grey-washed space was ironically modeled after Manhattan's meatpacking district, but the service here is all Dutch politeness. Popular among the hip and health-conscious, it can be busy here at peak times so a reservation is recommended.
Named after a small city in the south Netherlands, Breda dark, reclaimed space just west of central Amsterdam. Here, fare inspired by all corners of the globe — like cod, fried chicken, ragout and ribeye, to name a few — are served with artful presentation and a keen eye for detail. You'll choose between three, four and five courses, which rotate from week to week so you'll never eat the same thing twice. Pro tip: order wine by the bottle so you have the entire 60-bottle selection to choose from (only 15 are offered by the glass).
Café De Klos is the epitome of a no-frills restaurant: it has no website, they don't take reservations, and the menu is just a list of meats on a chalkboard. However, it is precisely this list of meats on the chalkboard that makes this place once of the best in Amsterdam. This under the radar, medieval-feeling spot is known for ribs, but it also has more than seven seared, smoked, and slathered varieties of beef, lamb, and pork steak.
Café van Kerkwijk is a hidden spot with no tangible menu -- the wait staff will recite it for you. There are some tightly packed tables for small groups and a charming terrace space. The draw is the inventive, changing menu ranging from giant sandwiches to Indonesian chicken to mackerel mousse. But its signature dish is the steak, served on a bed of goat cheese and topped with strawberry sauce -- dinner and dessert in one. Just be ready to wait for a table because this popular joint doesn't take reservations.
This cocktail bar and restaurant in the heart of the city offers mystery and intimacy in its darkened atmosphere full of velvet and leather couches and fireplaces -- whether you come with a big group or a single date, it's sure to impress. Dishes inspired by many parts of the globe like spare ribs, vegetarian pho, and duck confit make up a menu of mouthwatering mains, which pair well with a massive selections of both fruity and spicy cocktails.
SNCKBR is serving up chic street food an equally chic space. There, you can eat pancakes, chicken saté, and burgers made from wholesome, mostly organic ingredients all day and night. It's a rare, healthy spot to indulge in their take on comfort food guilt-free.
This cute little cafe just south of central Amsterdam serves, you guessed it, eggs dishes for days. A solid half of the menu is dedicated solely to omelettes and offers inventive takes that you'd never even think to try at home. Take the Farm Boy for example, and its bacon, chipolata sausage, salami, broccoli, onion, mushroom, spinach, bell pepper, sundried tomato, farmer cheese, thyme, and rosemary. Unfortunately, this isn't a breakfast for dinner kind of deal -- they close in the early evening. But the quick serving staff has its revolving door of customers constantly spinning os you'll get a table easily.
This Jordaan (aka Amsterdam's unofficial Little Italy) pizza spot is one of the best in the city, hence the reason it's so tough to snag a table. But even if you have to order your pizza for pickup, it's still worth a bike ride for these thin and crispy pies coated in zesty tomato sauce, milky mozzarella, and toppings your taste buds won't forget. This place takes its quality and authenticity pretty damn seriously -- all their ingredients are imported weekly from Italy, and they hand-built their own wood firing oven.