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Amsterdam restaurants

For a relatively small city, Amsterdam has a surprisingly global assortment of restaurants. (We credit the city's merchant roots, colonial aspirations, and an open and cosmopolitan population.) As you've probably heard, Amsterdam has the best Indonesian food anywhere outside of southeast Asia. Rijsttafel restaurants (usually located near the central canal ring, to scoop up tourists), such as Tempo Doeloe, line the length of your table with small plates of Indonesian specialties. But the international grazing doesn't stop there: Michelin-starred Yamazato, in the Okura Hotel, turns out supernal sushi; a recent taste for tapas informs the very trendy Envy; and Gallic-flavored, classical kitchens, like the venerable La Rive, draw their own posh following.

But ironically, what has turned Amsterdam into a newly touted dining destination is its patriotic rediscovery of Dutch cuisine. The trend takes two forms. The first, a rapidly spreading Slow Food movement, is fueled by a taste for local sourcing. De Kas and Restaurant As characterize this glossy restaurant model: organic interiors, fresh seasonal ingredients, a creative chef with a purist approach installed in the kitchen, and frequently, a south Amsterdam location (the less central geography affords enough room to grow the requisite herb garden). Less pristine but sometimes more fun are the born-again Dutch kitchens working to retrieve a lost recipe book of regional dishes. Grettje traverses all the lowlands provinces, plating everything from Frisian onion soup to Limburgian stews, and celebrity chef Ron Blauuw's Brasserie Keyzer does right by North Sea smoked eel and Dutch brasserie food (96 Van Baerlestraat; 31-20-675-1866;

In the end, it's often Amsterdam's constellation of cafés, and the thriving society they support, that visitors find most inviting—and affordable. Usually sitting canal-side, and clustered largely in the Jordaan, the Nine Streets neighborhood, and the Western Canal Ring, the city's timeless brown cafés (named for their tobacco-stained patina), like 't Smalle, offer an all-day menu of croquettes and Dutch gin. If that's too twee, New Age cafés, typified by Walem, dish up mammoth broodjes (Dutch-style sandwiches) and attract stylish crowds.

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ANNA, Amsterdam

Part of the gentrification of the red light district, ANNA is surrounded by porn theaters and more condom and head shops than you could throw a bong at. Walk...more

Editors' Pick
Bordewijk, Amsterdam

Even though it opened in 1985, savvy locals consistently rate this unassuming, canal-side Jordaan restaurant one of Amsterdam's pioneering modern kitchens. The...more

Editors' Pick
Brasserie Harkema, Amsterdam

One of the few reliable restaurants near Dam Square, the perennially popular Brasserie Harkema draws a buzzing mix of young locals, professionals, tourists, and...more

Editors' Pick
Cafés, Amsterdam

Amsterdam has a wild reputation, thanks in part to its coffee shops, but it is very much a café society, filled with places to quaff a bier topped with...more

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De Kas, Amsterdam

In early 2001, Amsterdam's municipal (plant) nurseries from the early 20th century in Frankendael Park became this hip, happy glasshouse restaurant, and despite...more

Editors' Pick
Fyra, Amsterdam

This centrally located subterranean restaurant, just south of the Prinsengracht, simulates an old-school Dutch kitchen, with low-hanging pink lampshades and...more

Editors' Pick
La Rive, Amsterdam

The fittingly proper, Michelin-starred dining room of the Amstel Hotel, La Rive, is Amsterdam's most formal restaurant. Troops of waiters man the genteel,...more

Editors' Pick
Lastage, Amsterdam

Oddly, in a city that has always prized the quirky and rebellious, a lot of Amsterdam's most vaunted recent kitchens favor a formal Franco–Dutch approach...more

Editors' Pick
Pancakes! Amsterdam, Amsterdam

The exclamation point isn't a sign of phony PR enthusiasm—the Dutch get very excited about their pancakes. They're the Madeleine of the lowlands, and this...more

Editors' Pick
Restaurant As, Amsterdam

As is the kind of conceptual, experimental kitchen that the Dutch love. On this tranquil, wooded lot on the southern edge of the city, chef Sander Overeinder...more

Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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