You want the best eats in Amsterdam? This city has plenty to choose from! But I’m just going to cover my favorites with you and of course I’ll tell you why I love these places so much.
There are over 180 nationalities represented in Amsterdam, so if you are looking for a specific cuisine, you might just find it! I’m a simple girl when it comes to food, and while my palette is expanding, I still have my go-to spots with my familiar cuisines that don’t break the bank. So you won’t find any Michelin starred here, just good food.
All those mentioned below are restaurants in or near the center of Amsterdam, but if you want to get out of the center and explore a bunch of cuisines in one place, definitely check out World of Food!
On to breakfast!
We have to start with the first, and most important meal of the day…breakfast! Or if you like to get a late start, then it’s brunch. I love brunch. It feels like you have more options. Do I feel like breakfast or lunch right now? Maybe I’ll just get a bit of both!
My favorite breakfast is here. It was my first love and I’m still in love with it. Whoever thought of putting delicious perfectly scrambled eggs in a flaky croissant is my hero. That’s my go-to here (it’s called Scramblicious), and even comes with a salad. There are plenty of other options and sometimes if I want a quick bite and to meet with a friend, I go for the Voilà!. It comes with coffee or tea, a juice, croissant, toast, jam, and butter. Lucky for me, they have expanded from their original spot in de Pijp to being right in the center of the center.
This is a new love that I feel will grow stronger each time I visit. Their entire menu is served all day (Full English for dinner? No problem! Burger for breakfast? Ok!) and has just the right variety. Their aim is to make as much as possible from scratch in their own kitchen. Many restaurants have standard dishes from food manufacturers, but not this spot. Their soda bread is a must-try. Doesn’t matter what you order, get some of this bread on the side. Eggs seem to be their breakfast specialty but try the burger. I love burgers and I was incredibly surprised at the quality and deliciousness of the burger. If tomato chutney makes sense on any of the dishes you order, ask for it. You’ll thank me later.
Are you in de Pijp? Then you have to run, not walk, to CT Coffee & Coconuts if you want to linger over breakfast or brunch. There is plenty of space here, especially considering this is Amsterdam, and it’s a huge surprise when you walk in. Go find yourself the perfect spot from a variety of seating areas and start with a juice…or coffee if that’s your thing. There’s a great (pretty) healthy variety to choose from here, you can even get an açai bowl!
I adore lunch. It’s an underrated meal in my opinion. You can eat delicious food of many varieties and it’s much cheaper than dinner (at restaurants) in many cases. Travel tip: If there’s a fancy/expensive restaurant you really want to try, go eat there for lunch if they are open!
This is exactly the kind of restaurant I want to go to for lunch. Actually, I’d go for dinner too. The food is just really really good. It’s the kind of good that if you’re not used to excellent food all the time, you look at each other in wonder because it’s just that good. Simplicity is key at Lotti’s, so it might be minimalistic, but the food is done well. Really hungry? Go for the Ribeye. Not as hungry? Mac & Cheese it up! If you happen to go later in the afternoon or evening, grab a cocktail. They are known for them.
Dim sum! Oh, such deliciousness. Now, this is a point of controversy in Amsterdam. Generally speaking, you are a Sea Palace person, or an Oriental City person. Obviously, I lean more towards Sea Palace…and I love the prices between noon-4:00 pm. Be sure to ask for the Dim sum menu! My favorites are the Pork BBQ steamed buns and the shrimp fried dumplings. I could eat both every day and be very happy. But there is a lot of variety with something for all. Don’t forget to ask for the Chinese tea!
You want variety? You can’t handle this much variety! I’m somewhat serious and joking a bit as well. Foodhallen is like a full-time food festival! There are around 20 different food stalls available for your perusing and eating. Since it’s all semi-permanent, it’s obvious they made an effort to have the most variety possible. From hamon, to seafood, gourmet hotdogs to Vietnamese dishes, green drinks to french tarts, it’s so hard to make a decision here. Its popularity was huge from the beginning which is why I recommend this spot for lunch as dinner is way too crowded. The vibe here is unmatched anywhere else as it’s in an old tram depot..they even kept the tracks in the floor!
Nothing quite compares to a perfect bowl of ramen on a chilly or rainy day. FouFow is the perfect spot for that. Just outside the Nine Little Streets (Negen Straatjes in Dutch) it is an easy walk from the center of Amsterdam. It’s a small spot, so you may have to wait a bit, but it is worth it! You have the ability to personalize your ramen to make it perfect for you.
The last meal of the day can get expensive, and I hate to spend too much money, so these spots are very reasonably with good food. What more can you ask for?! The only downside is that they aren’t so pretty. So please forgive the lack of photos!
This is a secret cheap-dinner spot! Well, not-so-secret anymore. It’s near a university, and maybe that’s why, but either way, you can get a tasty dinner for around 9-10 euros. There are 2-3 options, but all are good. Of course, your drink will take you over 10 euros, but still, not a bad deal for dinner in the center of Amsterdam!
There are a few Loetje’s around the city. One near Museumplein, one in front of Centraal Station, one in the north, and one in the east. They are known for their perfectly cooked steak. Just get it, eat it, enjoy it! And if you like spicy, order the Bali version…it will give you a kick! Prices are very reasonable too. You may have noticed by now that we love good food, but aren’t typically the $100 a plate kind of couple. We love to find the best food at a price most people can afford.
If you’re will to go a little farther outside of the center for a good meal, head to Graceland BBQ. As any good Southern girl, I love my cornbread, and this place does it really really well. Yes, their brisket is delicious and definitely some of the best in the city. For two, I’d recommend one of the combi deals to try a variety. I hear their desserts are drool-worthy, but honestly, we’ve been way too full after dinner to even try one!
Yes, a whole section on burgers…because it just feels right. We LOVE burgers. And when we crave a burger, these are our go-to spots. Full disclosure, we haven’t gotten to every burger joint in the city, and I’ll update this if I deem any other burgers worthy!
Weird name, strange decor, always busy. Make a reservation! If you manage to get in, grab a drink and a burger. Forget any appetizers, don’t get the garlic knots (though they are amazing), and maybe split an order of fries between two people. Focus on the burger. This is the first burger in Amsterdam that made me genuinely happy. I took a bite, looked at Sean with the look of satisfaction. With so many burgers that cost quite a bit, this one was finally worth every Euro cent. You’re welcome.
Sean’s favorite burger comes from The Butcher. Nope, it’s not the neighborhood butcher, but a tiny walk-in/take-out restaurant in de Pijp, or you can find them in de Foodhallen (the one I mention above) with a limited menu. They basically only do burgers (with a couple sides), and they know what they are doing. Go and enjoy my friends!
We go to a certain wine shop quite a bit for various events and when we get hungry, we walk to Burgerlijk, take the burger back and are envied by everyone there. This is also a tiny shop, but it’s the best in the area in my opinion. Some may argue Lombardo’s, but I just don’t get it. Anyway, this shop is located in the Nine Little Streets and the staff is always nice even when super busy. If it’s nice out, grab it to go (there’s not likely to be available seats inside) and head to a bench by the canal and chow down.
If you must go the fast food route, here are some options, though I love food and I highly recommend you find a seat after getting your food to enjoy it!
The oh-so-famous food-in-the-wall place. The food is pretty fresh and it’s cheap. Can’t really go wrong there! And if you’re in the center, the menu is usually also in English, though there is usually a picture so you can kind of understand what you are grabbing.
I’m a fan of Wok to Walk because it’s the first fast food we ate in Amsterdam and it’s good. You pick your noodles, meat/veggies, your sauce, and any toppings. It’s a bit pricey for what it is, but it’s a filling meal. We tend to grab it and eat by a canal when possible…though sometimes I just grab the fork and chow down on my way to my next stop!
In some of the train stations around Amsterdam (Centraal, Sloterdijk, Amstel) you’ll find a Julia’s. This is a perfectly portioned, perfectly packaged Italian dish for you to take wherever you want to go. Pick the pasta, sauce, toppings, and size, and it gets made right in front of you. If we are coming home in the evening from a trip outside the city, we’ll usually grab it on the way through the station and eat it at home.