Restaurant Guide

Amsterdam Restaurant Guide

The Dutch kitchen is widely known to be bland and boring – until you eat in Amsterdam that is! Since the 17th century, the city’s culinary culture has featured an abundance of foreign flavours you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else in Europe. The exotic Indonesian and Thai influences are Amsterdam’s specialties, but you can also find more standard fare, with restaurants catering to the Mediterranean, Chinese, Arabic, Italian and Spanish tastes. Don’t forget some of the city’s luxury dining spots either, which offer anything from organic, locally grown grub to dishes that tantalize your taste buds – and your libido. Personal recommendations from Amsterdam City Tours.



Recommended Restaurants

KITSCH

Kitsch is still happening. Pink, plush and pillows have made way for glamour, glitz and glow. The colours seem sexier and darker than before and the volume seems louder. Soapies and beautiful people still feel right at home here. The food? Kinky is the word. What about an aphrodisiac platter of caviar and blinis? Or wontons with lamb and soy sauce? Or the ever-popular lobster surprise? Ask to sit in one of the intimate corners if you like your privacy. Otherwise get up-close and personal with your neighbours everywhere else in the restaurant.
Utrechtsestraat 42
Amsterdam
(020) 625 92 51
http://www.restaurant-kitsch.nl

Nam Kee

A steady ritual for some, an exciting adventure for others; welcome to the ambivalent world of Chinese cuisine. In this respect, neon-lit, fast-moving and authentic Nam Kee is no different. If you get too adventurous you will find yourself eating some pretty scary stuff. If you stick to what sounds best, you are in for good times. Oysters with black bean sauce, fried prawns with spicy red peppers, fried chicken covered with sesame, beef with Chinese cabbage and some variation import noodles.
Geldersekade 117
Amsterdam
+31(0)20 639 28 48
www.namkee.net

Bazar

On the bustling street that is the Albert Cuyp Street Market you can find one of the best little culinary surprises the city has to offer. Housed in a converted church and lit up by hundreds (if not thousands) of little colourful Christmas lights, this cosy spot is a great place to enjoy some fantastic Mediterranean, North African and Middle-Eastern food. The daily special costs only EUR 8.50. Book a table in advance or have a drink at the funky little bar while you wait for a table.
Albert Cuypstraat 182
Amsterdam
31-(0)20-6750544
www.bazaramsterdam.nl

Le Garage

Le Garage remains the home of Amsterdam’s self-acknowledged famous. Its 80’s hip interior (red plush, black shades and mirror glamourama) perfectly suits this clientele. Cuisine, ambiance and service are well orchestrated to match each others characteristics: slightly eccentric and very pleasant. The food is good; using an imaginative combination of pure ingredients. The steak tartare is less imaginative but boy, it’s a good one. The oriental-style oysters are also worth a slurp. We also suggest Le Garage for a nice (business) lunch. Reserve a seat and leave the rest up to the chef. He is worthy of your trust!
Ruysdaelstraat 54-56
Amsterdam
+31(0)20 679 71 76
www.restaurantlegarage.nl

Segugio

The interior of Segugio is simple: light wooden floors, white tablecloth, bright lights and, no candles. The focus is very much the food. One glimpse of the menu reveals an interesting list of Italian delicacies – at high prices! We had pappardelle with wild boar and a risotto with white truffle. Both were exceptionally delicious. There are many Italian restaurants in town and SpecialBite lists the most special ones. We would certainly like to include this one, for those upmarket Italian dining moments.
Utrechtsestraat 96
Amsterdam
+31(0)20 330 15 03
http://www.segugio.nl

Prego

What’s special about Prego? Nothing really, and that’s probably why it’s so special. We very much like Prego but sometimes ask ourselves why. With its clean white walls, wooden tables, round shape in the ceiling and floor, and the mezzanine, Prego looks nice, but not spectacular. With its Mediterranean cooking, Prego serves a nice dinner, but nothing spectacularly different from what is served in similar restaurants. Prego also treats you nicely, but does this qualify as spectacular? Thinking about it, we gather that being nice (but not spectacular) makes Prego special and explains why it is always fully booked; even on monotonous Mondays.
Herenstraat 25
Amsterdam
+31(0) 638 01 48

Nomads

Nomads is back from Siberia as it seems they are improving. What’s more, the place simply looks smashing and is especially great for evenings with a group (if you are not groupy, stay away). Walk in and be devoured by Arabian mystery: golden curtains, Arabian characters on dark marble walls, a mosaic dance floor (likely to attract some hot dancing!) and sensual music. The waiters are your personal exotic knights and a true pleasure to look at. The food is served when everyone is nestled on the cushions in their own dark corner. Everyone eats the same, usually Moroccan/Middle Eastern fare. Don’t expect too much of the food, it’s the overall scene which is the main draw here; have your hands washed in rose water and enjoy the belly dancer.
Rozengracht 133-I
Amsterdam
+31(0) 344 64 01
http://www.restaurantsnomads.nl

De Silveren Spiegel Restaurant

Kattengat 4,-6
1012 SZ Amsterdam
+31 (0) 20 6246589
http://www.desilverenspiegel.com

RAAN PHAD THAI

On the Kloveniersburgwal is one of the few Thai fast food places in Amsterdam. We personally treasure Raan Phad Thai because it is small, smelly but oh so special. Charming chaos! Enjoy watching many hungry locals squeeze behind a few tiny tables as others wait to take out. The “kitchen brigade”, four lovely chitchatting women, give this fast food place its unique ‘touch’. Watch them cook, fret and giggle in the kitchen. The food is tasty (great chicken with cashew nuts) even when take-away.
KLOVENIERSBURGWAL 18
Amsterdam
(020) 420 06 65
http://www.raanphadthai.nl

A LA FERME CUISINE

Walk into the lonely part of the Govert Flinckstraat and find yourself face-to-face with Restaurant a la Ferme. Don’t let the name fool you, this is not a country-style restaurant but a slightly formal place with a creative interior (check the walls and ceiling). The Mediterranean menu is great, the ingredients fresh and bio where possible. We had the artichoke flan with caviar and loved it. The service is friendly and if you are in the mood for buying, ask for their range of Plexiglas products (e.g. cheese platters and funky toilet seats). If you want some examples, go to the bathroom and sit yourself down on some roses. A great place! Closed Sunday and Monday. PIN and cash only.
Govert Flinckstraat 251
Amsterdam
+31(0)20 679 82 40
http://www.alaferme.nl

ENVY

The boys of Concrete have yet again sprinkled their magic, this time over Ms. Supperclub’s newest project. The result: Envy, a restaurant in a long pitch black area with a spacious open kitchen including a wall of 26 fridges as the eye-catcher. Long black benches and tables along the left wall, nicely lit by little spot lights in the ceiling. On the other side, you will see high stools at high tables. The whole of trendy Amsterdam and their neighbours’ cousin have squeezed themselves through the door at the Prinsengracht, waiting to be admired. But hey, we come here for the food concept: little dishes, all of them a delicacy. A giant scallop wrapped in Serrano ham with truffle foam, green asparagus with goat’s cheese fondue, basil risotto with tomato compote or the Envy salad, a variation on the classic Caesar with preserved duck. Don’t forget to taste the amazing cheeses or meats. Striking: nice ánd professional service.
Prinsengracht 381
Amsterdam
+31(0)20 344 64 07
http://www.envy.nl

Sea Palace

A floating Chinese palace on the Oosterdokskade, Sea Palace is a copy of the Jumbo restaurant housed in Hong Kong harbour, with serene lighting and a tranquil dining ambiance. Be sure to grab a seat by a window, and prepare to enjoy flavours from the four corners of China. Sea Palace is known for delivering recipes from the Northern Beijing, Sichuan, and Cantonese tables as well as hosting a famous Dim Sum spread. Pair these tantalising flavours with Sea Palace’s infamous Mai Thais, and you are guaranteed a fantastic meal with a gorgeous view.
Restaurant Sea Palace
Sea Palace
Oosterdokskade 8
1011 AE Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 62 64 777
http://www.seapalace.nl

Restaurant d’Vijff Vlieghhen (Five Flies)

D’Vijff Vlieghhen is one of Amsterdam’s most talked about restaurants. Housed in a 17th century townhouse, there are nine interconnected dining rooms, each decked out in rich Golden Age design. Founded in 1939 by Nicolaas Kroese, the Five Flies specialises in offering traditional Dutch fare with a contemporary edge, with dishes using wholly organic and locally produced vegetables. Having attracted the likes of famous personalities from Mick Jager, Walt Disney, John Wayne, Elvis Presley and Bruce Springsteen, the Five Flies is certainly doing something right.
Restaurant d’Vijff Vlieghen
Spuistraat 294-302
1012 VX Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 53 04 060
http://www.d-vijffvlieghen.com

Flo

Flo is the Amsterdam branch of the much talked about Parisian brassiere, offering the very best of the French kitchen. As soon as you enter this typical haute cafe, you are greeted by a grand display of fruits de mer. If the best of oysters and shellfish aren’t your forte, opt for the steak tartar, foie gras or any of the other traditional French dishes. Housed in the bustling Rembrantplein, Flo is sure to give diners a bit of the ‘esprit Francais’ in Amsterdam.
Flo Amsterdam
Amstelstraat 9
1017 DA Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 89 07 757
http://www.floamsterdam.com

Ciel Bleu

Honoured with two Michelin stars and bragging 16 Gault Millau points, Ciel Bleu isn’t your typical dining experience. Based on French flavours, the chefs offer nothing less than a gastronomical tour de force based on local products. Situated on the 23rd floor of Hotel Okura, the restaurant pairs a breathtaking view of Amsterdam along with their creative menu where dishes don’t stick around longer than three months. Be sure to browse their stellar wine list, and the decadent dessert cart.
Ciel Bleu
Ferdinand Bolstraat 333
1072 LH Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 67 87 450
http://www.cielbleu.nl

Indrapura

At Indrapura, the spices of the islands are presented in a colonial-style atmosphere, with a warm and welcoming staff. Besides offering an array of authentic a la carte dishes, the house specialty is rijsttafel, a common meal similar to that shared by the first Dutch settlers in Indonesia, with a fish or meat base and an abundance of rice. With heaping portions and a sliding scale of spiciness, the traditional fare at Indrapura is sure to please the palate. Vegetarians too will be excited, as they offer an extensive meat-free menu.
Indrapura
Rembrantplein 42
1017 CV Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 62 37 329
http://www.indrapura.nl

In de Waag

Built in 1488, In de Waag is housed in a monumental structure that once served as the check point for ships docking in Amsterdam. Open for lunch, dinner or high tea and snacks, this cafe is the ideal location to get a bit of history with your Dutch inspired meal. Grab a seat on the terrace and take in the busy Nieuwmarkt square when the sun is shining. For cooler months, step inside where the ambiance is medieval in design but warm and intimate thanks to hanging chandeliers lit with 300 candles.
Restaurant-Cafe In De Waag
Nieumarkt 4
1012 CR Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 42 28 41
http://www.indewaag.nl

Hard Rock Cafe Amsterdam

Hard Rock Cafe Amsterdam offers more than just great food and service! Our Cafe is a museum of popular culture, with authentic memorabilia from rock ‘n’ roll legends, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley and Rolling Stones along with more contemporary items. In our famous waterside cocktail bar & restaurant all is done to give our guests an experience that Rocks.
For more than 40 years, Hard Rock has offered guests classic American fare in a rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere. Hard Rock Cafe Amsterdam is the ideal location to showcase the brand’s world-famous cuisine, including Hard Rock’s Legendary Burgers, signature Smokehouse items and more.

Hard Rock Cafe Amsterdam
Max Euweplein 57-61
1017 MA
Amsterdam
+31-20-523-7625
www.hardrock.com/amsterdam

Vakzuid

Located in the quiet southern part of the city near the 1928 Olympic stadium, Vakzuid is known as a modern, trendy hotspot. With Asian inspired fare, house chefs Andy Tan and Ard van Duijvenvoorde work the wok, tossing up fresh ingredients with an eccentric flair. In summer months, the large outdoor terrace is the place to be, as diners are seated up close and personal with the track field. After dinner, expect Vakzuid to get busy as the see-and-be-seen crowd in Amsterdam take to the dance floor to enjoy live DJ beats.
Vakzuid
Olympisch Stadion 35
1076 DE Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 57 08 400
http://www.vakzuid.nl

Supperclub

If you’re looking for a unique, unexpected dining experience, book a bed at Supperclub. That’s right, this avant garde restaurant serves a fixed five-course surprise menu to diners seated comfortably in beds scattered across a second floor awning. Below, take in the mix of art, music and performance with nightly acts that are designed to break the mould of the usual dining experience. With house chef, Roy Hennessey aiming to “humiliate cooking dogmas,” the food is a sultry and surprising Mediterranean flavour. Expect DJ’s and drinks to last until late in the evening.
Supperclub
Jonge Roelensteeg 21
1012 PL Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 34 46 400
http://www.supperclub.com

Fifteen

Based on famous chef Jamie Oliver’s inspired spot in London, Fifteen in Amsterdam aims to bring diners a taste of what’s next in the culinary scene. By staffing the kitchen with fifteen of his own young apprentices, Oliver and Co. serve an amazing array of fresh modern Italian dishes. The former warehouse location is huge and spacious, with lively graffiti art adding a hip tone to the minimalist environment. Nightly, a special tasting menu is offered with Oliver’s own dishes boasting only the freshest, local ingredients.
Fifteen Amsterdam
Jollemanhof 9
1019 Amsterdam
+31 900 343 8336
http://www.fifteen.nl

Yamazato

For a traditional Japanese experience, Yamazato is the ideal dining haven. With its home at the ground floor of Hotel Okura, the restaurant is decorated in authentic sukiya style, inspired by Zen teahouses from the 16th century. The seasonal menu offers an extensive list of Japanese haute cuisine, as well as a fully stocked sushi bar. With servers dressed in traditional kimonos and a view over an adjoining Japanese garden, this spot goes above and beyond to make your meal a full sensual experience. Also unique to Yamazato is the breakfast menu, complete with rice, miso soup and fish and veggies.
Yamazato
Ferdinand Bolstraat 333
1072 LH Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 67 88 351
http://www.yamazato.nl

Pasta E Basta

If your authentic Italian dining dream includes an over-decorated cantina where seating is cramped, but never crowded, and at any minute the server could break into song – then Pasta E Basta is for you. As the name suggests, pasta dishes are the specialty here, with warm and cold plates catering to nearly every taste. An ever-changing buffet is on hand as well, along with a simple but tasty a la carte menu. The impressive wine list of Italian favourites is always on hand, as are your chances for a celebrity citing with Luciano Pavarotti and David Hasslehoff among Pastaebasta’s esteemed diners.
Pasta E Basta
Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 8
1017 DE Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 42 22 222
http://www.pastaebasta.nl