Food & Drink

Amsterdam's Best Steakhouses

Published On 05/11/2016 Published On 05/11/2016
restaurant black and blue
Courtesy of Restaurant Black and Blue
Courtesy of Restaurant Black and Blue

Black and Blue

Canal Belt
The URL of this restaurant is literally “steakrestaurantamsterdam.nl” (clever, clever), so you know what to expect. Luckily, it puts its meat where its mouth is (or where YOUR mouth is), fulfilling the bovine boasting with organic Black Angus tournedos and rib-eye out of a charcoal oven, plus burgers and a couple non-cow things like Cornish game hen and lobster. There’s even a succulent steak salad if you’re watching your figure. But for those who could care less about their figure, try the “death by chocolate” dessert, or the lemon cheesecake, all served in a soothingly mod setting.

Restaurant Luna

Jordaan
Apparently the first Argentinian restaurant to open in the Jordaan (in 1990), this brown cafe-style meatery is definitely no tourist trap. Here, you’ll find meat from all around South America and Europe. Our recommendation: get the mix of four, each of which show up sporting tiny flags, naturally. Come by on Friday or Saturday to catch some live music, or Saturday afternoon for one of the Argentinian meat pies.

Red

Canal Belt
If surf & turf is what you’re looking for, then head to Red. It also offers caviar, fries, and a pasta dish for the vegetarians too. But this spot knows, and plays to, its strengths: 1) steak & lobster, and 2) swanky, dramatic decor. There’s also a respectable wine menu... which we suppose could clock in at No. 3.

De Nachtwacht

De Nachtwacht

Rembrandtplein
This tidy cafe with a spacious, tree-dotted terrace has spent 40 years haunting this corner of the Rembrandtplein (it’s named after the artist’s most famous painting) with a meaty menu in an almost-chic interior. There are at least eight ways to order a slab of beef straight off the charcoal grill to your plate. There aren’t too many options beyond that, though frog legs are one (a pair?) of them. True to its name (“The Night Watch”), it’s open until 12:30am (and 1:30am on Fri & Sat).

van Kerkwijk

Nes
For something a little different, you have this “hidden” spot with no tangible menu -- the wait staff will recite it for you. There are some tightly packed tables for small groups relieved by some charming, if tiny, terrace space, and the lack of price listings can be unnerving... though prices remain quite reasonable. The draw is the inventive, changing menu, ranging from giant sandwiches, to Indonesian chicken, to mackerel mousse. But its signature dish is the steak. Here, it’s all about preparation: this steak is served on a bed of goat cheese and topped with strawberry sauce: dinner and dessert in one. (Also, they don’t take reservations.)

Loetje

Loetje

Museumplein (& other locations)
Every discussion of steaks in Amsterdam begins (but thankfully doesn’t end) with Loetje. The original, just on the edge of both Museumplein and de Pijp, is still going strong, but with five locations in the Amsterdam area alone, there's a spot for you probably closer to home (boat owners: may we suggest Loetje aan ‘t IJ, with its massive waterside terrace, for the summer months?). At any rate, the meat is imported from Uruguay, and most people go for the slightly spicy Bali steak, fried in butter and topped with a chili pepper-based sambal sauce.

Piet de Leeuw

Canal Belt
This third-generation family business was first famous for its steaks, then infamous for serving people horse steaks without telling them... and now is famous for its horse steaks. In case you haven’t been to the local butcher and don’t know, eating horse is not a big deal here. It was never outlawed, since the Dutchies didn’t need tons of horsepower for any sort of Western Expansion. It serves beef steaks, too, but Seabiscuit is cheaper and tastier.

Toro Dorado

Toro Dorado

Centraal Station
Argentinian steakhouses are something Amsterdam has no shortage of, but this is one of the absolute best. That title’s due to the dedication the staff shows customers, as well as the tasty, picturesque meat treats coming out of the kitchen. OK, so it’s not totally Argentinian: you can taste the flesh of animals from seven different countries, from Canadian bison to two types of Japanese wagyu beef. You can also mix & match (with seafood as well). Going back to the Argentinian theme, you have your pick of sauces, as well.

Pim Evers/Cannibale Royale

Cannibale Royale

Spui, de Pijp
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: if you’re looking for meat -- whether burgers, ribs, or steaks -- do not pass Go, do not collect $200, just get your ass to Cannibale Royale. But plan/call ahead if you want to join the ranks of the Cannibale elite -- it needs 24-hour notice to prepare the 1kg hunk of beef known as L’Absurde that will get your name up amongst the chalkboard heroes (if you can finish it... ).

Café De Klos

Leidseplein
This medieval-feeling meat spot is known for ribs. But from its perspective, its thing is all meats, and it's got over seven perfectly cooked varieties of beef, lamb, and pork steak on the menu to prove it.

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Elysia Brenner is a freelance food & wine writer with a voracious and adventurous appetite... who has definitely eaten horse (yum), but somehow never frog legs.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Restaurant Black and Blue Leliegracht 46, Amsterdam, 1015 DH

Restaurant Black and Blue is a casual steakhouse located about a block away from the Anne Frank Museum on the Canal Belt. The menu boasts organic Black Angus tournedos and rib-eye out of a charcoal oven, burgers, Cornish game hen, and lobster. There’s even a succulent steak salad if you’re going for something lighter.

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2. La Luna Restaurant Lindengracht 152, Amsterdam, 1015KK

La Luna Argentinian restaurant is a brown cafe-style steakhouse where you’ll find meat from all around South America and Europe. Our recommendation: get the mix of four, each of which show up sporting tiny flags, naturally. The intimate venue also hosts live music- best enjoyed while eating one of the Argentinian meat pies.

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3. RED Keizersgracht 594, Amsterdam, 1017 EN

Restaurant Red provides a warm Parisienne atmosphere in the heart of Amsterdam. The menu specializes in surf and turf, but also offers caviar, fries, and a pasta dishes. But this swanky spot knows and plays to its strengths: steak & lobster. There’s also a respectable wine menu, which pairs perfectly with any menu item.

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4. De Nachtwacht Thorbeckeplein 2, Amsterdam, 1017 CS

This tidy cafe with a spacious, tree-dotted terrace has spent over 40 years haunting this corner of the Rembrandtplein (it’s named after the artist’s most famous painting) with a meaty menu in a chic interior. There are at least eight ways to order a slab of beef straight off the charcoal grill to your plate here, but aside from that there aren’t too many options. True to its name (“The Night Watch”), it’s open until 12:30am (and 1:30am on Fri & Sat).

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5. Café van Kerkwijk Nes 41, Amsterdam, 1012 KC

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.

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6. Café Loetje Johannes Vermeerstraat 52, Amsterdam, 1071 DT (South)

Every discussion of steaks in Amsterdam begins with Loetje. The original, just on the edge of both Museumplein and de Pijp, has a great outdoor seating space and an indoor dining area with funky red light fixtures. The meat is imported from Uruguay, and most popular dish is the slightly spicy Bali steak, fried in butter and topped with a chili pepper-based sambal sauce.

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7. Piet de Leeuw Noorderstraat 11, Amsterdam, 1017 TR

Piet de Leeuw is a steakhouse decorated with wooden furniture, gin jars on the paneling, red light fixtures, and wrought iron lamps. This third-generation family business was first famous for its steaks, and now infamous for serving horse steaks. However, you can also find all your favorite classic cuts of meat on the menu, along with seafood options.

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8. Toro Dorado Spuistraat 3d, Amsterdam, 1012 SP

Argentinian steakhouses are something Amsterdam has no shortage of, but this is one of the absolute best. That title’s due to the dedication the staff shows customers, as well as the tasty, picturesque meat treats coming out of the kitchen. However, it’s not totally Argentinian: they serve meat from seven different countries, from Canadian bison to two types of Japanese wagyu beef.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Cannibale Royale Handboogstraat 17, Amsterdam, 1012 XM (Medieval Center)

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.

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10. Café De Klos Kerkstraat 41-43, Amsterdam, 1017 GB (Medieval Center)

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.

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