Several locals swear that this no-frills Japanese restaurant in the Jordaan neighborhood serves the best sushi and sashimi in all Holland; even the chef of the Okura hotel’s acclaimed Japanese restaurant has reportedly been spotted here. Service, as in many restaurants in the city, is aloof and super slow.

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Bak Restaurant

Located on the third floor of a former warehouse overlooking the water, Bak offers a seasonally-influenced menu that changes daily. (Rather than ordering à la carte, guests choose from set menus of three or six courses at lunch and six courses at dinner.) The restaurant, housed in a minimalist, industrial-chic space in the Houthaven neighborhood, also boasts 500 wine labels from throughout France and Italy.

Food at Balthazar's Keuken, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Balthazar's Keuken

For incredible food and a cozy atmosphere, Balthazar’s Keuken cannot be beat. The charming restaurant, housed in a former blacksmith workshop, features an open kitchen and rotating 3-course menu that changes according to the chef’s whimsy (with a choice of fish or meat entrée). The dining room can be occasionally crowded, but it further enhances the “dining at home” experience. There is alfresco seating in the summer months.

Food at Blauw, Amsterdam, Netherlands


Lauded by the New York Times as the “Best Indonesian Restaurant in the Netherlands,” Blauw takes its menu seriously but couples it with a low-key atmosphere. The hip spot features contemporary décor with life-size black-and-white images covering the walls. The food is the real draw though: the revered “rice table” includes a variety of the best dishes ideal for sharing.

blue pepper amsterdam

Blue Pepper

An Amsterdam establishment, Blue Pepper draws patrons with what many consider to be the best Indonesian cuisine in the city. Read Indagare's review.
amsterdam bocca coffee

Bocca Coffee

Amsterdam's pioneering coffee company, Bocca, now has an airy coffee shop in the city center. Read Indagare's review.
Bar at Bordewijk, Amsterdam, Netherlands


Innovative French cuisine is the star at this restaurant, considered by some to be the best in the city. The canal-side location in the charming Jordaan neighborhood is lovely as well. During the warm months, request a table on the terrace. The beautifully prepared dishes on the menu (think steak tartare and côte de bœuf) change frequently, and the heavily French wine list is impressive (as are the prices).

breda amsterdam


Amsterdam's Breda occupies an elegant canal side space in the posh Jordaan neighborhood and serves refined, new Nordic cuisine.
Dinning Area at Buffet van Odette, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Buffet van Odette

This is a nice place for breakfast or lunch if you’re heading from the city center towards the Museum District. The menu, written on a blackboard, is seasonal. Breakfast is simple: croissants from the local Pâtisserie Pompadour and frothy cappuccino. For lunch, this is a good place to try Dutch dishes like smoked mackerel and mushrooms on toast with melted truffle cheese. With only a few tables, Van Odette gets crowded, so try to come early.

Café de Jaren

This bright, multilevel café-restaurant with beautiful canal views is a perennial favorite and buzzes all day. In the morning (De Jaren opens at 10 A.M.), you’ll find locals who come every day and linger over one of the many papers that are set out on a large central table, as in a library. At lunchtime, there’s always a race to secure one of the tables by the floor-to-ceiling windows. Later in the afternoon, you can recharge with a piece of one of the homemade cakes and a cup of strong coffee. To dine in a special setting during the summer months, make a reservation on the first-floor terrace, which overlooks the canals. The menu may not be the most inspired—although some of the appetizers are wonderful and there’s a selection of vegetarian dishes, not always a given in this meat-happy city—but the venue cannot be beat, and the crowd—hip, fun and welcoming—simply puts you in a good mood.

amsterdam cafe de klepel

Café de Klepel

Amsterdam's Café de Klepel is one of the most charming places to dine in Jordaan, especially for those looking for bistro fare and a lovely wine list.
amsterdam cafe droog

Cafe Droog

The second-floor café at Amsterdam's high-design mecca Droog is one of the most stylish spots to grab a bite and coffee in the city. Read Indagare's review.
amsterdam cafe tsmalle

Café t’ Smalle

Amsterdam is famous for its “brown” cafés, traditional café-pubs. The Café t’ Smalle, in the Jordaan neighborhood, is one of the oldest and most authentic, with a polished dark-wood interior and stained-glass windows. During the warm months, tables spill onto the sidewalk beside the canal. There’s a small menu of sandwiches, salads and soups, but mostly you come for a beer or cocktail and to experience the old-world ambiance.

choux amsterdam


Chef Merijn van Berlo opened Amsterdam's Choux after the overwhelming success of his two pop-up restaurants, Foyer and Reperé. Read Indagare's review.
ct coffee and coconuts amsterdam de pijp

CT Coffee & Coconuts

CT Coffee & Coconuts is a bustling, three-story café/hangout space in Amsterdam's creative De Pijp neighborhood. Read Indagare's review.
Dinning Area at De Kas, Amsterdam, Netherlands - Photo by Jet van Fastenhout

De Kas

If you have one only night in Amsterdam and want to celebrate with a delicious tasting menu in a special setting, take a taxi to De Kas, in south-eastern Amsterdam. The restaurant is in a soaring glass conservatory, making it a particularly romantic spot for lunch or dinner during the warm summer months. For dinner, the menu is prix fixe only, consisting of five surprise courses that change often and include vegetarian choices.

The chef champions local ingredients, either plucked from the adjoining hothouse, where diners can see the produce for their dinners growing, or trucked from nearby farms. There’s nothing rustic or simple, however, about the presentation and the flavors. During a recent visit, the appetizer consisted of small portions of three dishes: a light scallop-and-grapefruit salad drizzled with lobster vinaigrette, chicory wrapped in tender Ibèrico ham and two types of Arat potatoes served with a gooey soft-boiled egg and chopped walnuts. The main course, a perfectly prepared slice of duck with crispy skin, came on a spiced pumpkin pie, and dessert was a trio of bay-leaf-infused pound cake, a poached pear and bittersweet chocolate-mocha ice cream.

Although it has been in operation since 2001, De Kas remains a spot to see and be seen, but the staff is congenial and down-to-earth. Reservations are necessary. For special occasions, you can book the chef’s table, in the kitchen, or the private pavilion, in the garden. Tip: if you come for dinner, stop at the InterContinental Amstel for a drink before journeying on to De Kas, about a thirty-minute drive from the canal belt.

Editors' Picks
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De Plantage

Located right next to the zoo, De Plantage has a great outdoor seating area and light bistro fare. Read Indagare's review.
De Silveren Spiegel Restaurant Dish

de Silveren Spiegel

The Dutch-inspired menu features fresh and complex dishes beautifully created with meticulous precision.

Dinning Area at Gartine, Amsterdam, Netherlands


A total insider pick, this charming small place near the Amsterdam Museum and the Rokin area opened in 2007 and has become a favorite with Amsterdammers. Owners Kirsten and Willem-Jan Hendriks prepare organic fare fresh from their own garden or, in the case of cheeses, bread, eggs and meat, from local farmers, about whom you can read on the menu. In other words, it’s the dream destination for a slow foodie. On a recent visit, I could have ordered every single dish on the small, frequently changing menu but finally settled on a steaming homemade turnip soup served with a large slab of sourdough bread and rich, yellow butter so delicious I wish I could have taken some home. The ambiance is peaceful and romantic, with fresh-cut flowers and flickering candles on the tables. Gartine is open only for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, and reservations are a must.

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George WPA

Amsterdam's airy French bistro, George WPA, serves beloved classics in a casual but chic dining room. Read Indagare's review.
amsterdam hangar


Hangar is one of Amsterdam North's coolest waterfront restaurants. Read Indagare's review.
Exterior View - Hannekes Boom, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Hannekes Boom

When the weather turns warm, Amsterdam’s hip young things head to Hannekes Boom, an historic beer garden that is tucked away on a pier near Central Station. Rows of wooden picnic tables sit under a trellis of Christmas lights and colorful umbrellas, though on a particularly hot day, expect to see a heavy dose of bikinis and Wayfarers lounging on the floating dock, dangling their toes in the water. The food menu is limited but good and organic (think salads and paninis), but the real draw is the hefty pints of excellent beer and the overall ambiance. On some evenings, there is live music as well as art exhibitions and pop-up markets for vintage wares. Arrive via bike, taxi or boat.

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Hemelse Modder

Hemelse Modder—meaning “heavenly mud,” a reference to its signature chocolate mousse dessert—serves Dutch fare with international influences (particularly French) in a bright dining room located on the broad Waalseilandsgracht canal. The popular eatery offers three-, four- or five-course menu options featuring vegetarian as well as meat and fish dishes, with an emphasis on seasonal vegetables.

Bar at Izakaya, Amsterdam, Netherlands


This restaurant in the Sir Albert hotel is as reliable for a lively night out as it is for it’s excellent Asian fusion cuisine. The hip spot churns out inventive Japanese tapas and craft cocktails; favorites include the wagyu and foie gras gyoza and the Bloody Geisha—a quirky take on the classic Bloody Mary that implements soy sauce and honey.

Bar at Jansz, Amsterdam, Netherlands


The main restaurant at Hotel Pulitzer, Jansz, serves international cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Read Indagare's review.
Exterior View - La Perla,  Amsterdam, Netherlands

La Perla

This gem of a restaurant serves what many locals think is the best pizza in Amsterdam. The tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella are imported from Italy, ensuring their Neapolitan pies (the spicy salami is a favorite) are as authentic as can be. There is little seating in the small shop, so expect a bit of a crowd or take a pizza to go and enjoy it as you walk through the neighborhood.

amsterdam lion noir

Lion Noir

Amsterdam's Lion Noir restaurant is beloved for its relaxed, supper-club atmosphere, refined cuisine and alfresco terrace. Read Indagare's review.


Indagare employees walking up stiars

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