Known for its culture, canals and cafes, Amsterdam is one of the most famous cities in the world. The Dutch capital is the epitome of old meets new – enriched with history, the city blends classic with contemporary, offering a modern, edgy vibe.
The city boasts 44 museums, 165 canals, 151,000 cafes and bars, and more than 881,000 bicycles, but what it is probably lesser known for is its gastronomy.
With 1,325 restaurants to choose from, you’d be forgiven for getting completely lost and confused about where to go to enjoy some typically Dutch cuisine. To help those visiting the cultural capital of the Netherlands, ferry operator DFDS has put together a food guide that will ensure you enjoy a well-rounded mixture of traditional, modern, quirky and classic foods, enjoyed by locals alike.
For an authentic taste of Amsterdam, highlights include: Haesje Claes, serving ‘grandma’s’ favourite hotchpotch, chicken liver and waffles; the unassuming locals’ favourite Piet de Leeuw offering steak – the Dutch way, and Bistro Bij Ons which has all the buzzwords you’re looking for, including ‘vlaflip’ and ‘poffertjes’. For something a little different, try dining directly on the banks of an Amsterdam canal at Café de Prins You can enjoy these traditional Dutch eateries and more all within EUR20-30 a meal per person. Those wanting something a little more upscale but without breaking bank can head to Restaurant Greetje – a tribute to the history of Holland – combining both the extravagance of the aristocracy, and the simplicity of the peasantry, with prices starting from EUR40 per person.
If hotchpotch, livers and steaks aren’t your thing, fear not! With the booming growth of veganism in recent years, Amsterdam has made sure it caters perfectly to the vegan lifestyle.
For breakfast, brunch and deli food, try Dopher, where even the classically Dutch bitterballen has been ‘veganised’. Head to Vegabond Store & Café, close to Anne Frank’s house for lunch, which doubles up as both a vegan store and café; before later enjoying a vegan beer and an Ethiopian flatbread at Mooshka – all options are less than EUR15 per person. For something more upmarket, Deshima focuses on nutritious food to benefit the body where grains, beans and fresh, seasonal vegetables can be washed down with mu tea or yannoh – they even deliver!
When it comes to luxury dining, Amsterdam is thoroughly equipped. With over 20 Michelin-starred restaurants to choose from, indulge your taste buds in any of the acclaimed options on the list.
These restaurants are not shy of a great view either! Overlooking the river, MOS Amsterdam, situated on the tip of DOK Island, serves local seafood with fresh seasonal vegetables; if you’re a fan of heights, try the 23rd floor of Amsterdam’s Hotel Okura, for jaw-dropping views of the city, where caviar, oysters and foie gras can be enjoyed next to a beautiful open fire in Cieu Bleu. If you’re looking for something more intimate, pass under the romantic gateway, through the courtyard to Vinkeles, where meats less common to everyday menus can be enjoyed in a former bakery from the 18thcentury. Meals start from EUR38 per person and go up to EUR160 for taster menus.
A trip to Holland wouldn’t be complete without trying one of their pancakes! There are countless pancake houses across the nation’s capital, here are a select few:
The Pancake Bakery has an extensive menu demonstrating their dedication to celebrating the diversity of the pancake. Meanwhile, Japanese Pancake World offers an oriental style on the Dutch favourite; while Crepes & Waffles gives you the full over-indulgent experience with cheesecake waffles and Spice Mexican pancakes! For vegans, there’s Moon Pancakes; and for the traveller looking for the ultimate local experience, Café ‘t Singeltje is the epitome of the typical old Dutch pancake house. Lacking a website, this café exists only to those who visit and offers way more than just pancakes.
Amsterdam is eclectic, to say the least, so if you fancy something unusual, here’s a round-up of the weirdest, yet most wonderful dining experiences you can have.
Immerse yourself in the greenhouse of Restaurant De Kas and enjoy food made entirely from the produce grown there; or head to Panorama Rail Restaurant and take a 2 hour 45 minute train journey through Haarlem and Rotterdam while you’re served four courses created by the published chef, Julius Jaspers. Dine in total drakness and focus entirely on the sensation of taste at Ctaste; or simply eat in a local’s living room, where the host will cook for you in the comfort of their home!
DFDS provides daily overnight departures to Holland. The Newcastle-Amsterdam cruise ferries are equipped with four restaurants including the Explorers’ Steakhouse, an all-you-can-eat world-food buffet in the 7 Seas, the Blue Riband à la carte restaurant and ‘Little Italy’, a pasta and pizza restaurant. There are also a number of cafes and bars, as well as live music from a house band and acoustic troubadour. Other on board facilities include a shop, a casino, a cinema and a Kidz club to keep children entertained.
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