10 top rated restaurants in De Jordaan
One of the most popular neighbourhoods in Amsterdam, the Jordaan (pronounce it "Yordaan") is known for its art, culture and history. Because it’s where many “real” Amsterdammers live, it’s also where you’ll find a high concentration of tourists — the historic architecture and lush greenery make it a picturesque place to spend the day. Though the area is popular for tourists, the restaurants aren’t anything like the tourist traps you’ll find in many major cities. Restaurants in the Jordaan are often quaint and feature charming inner courtyards for which the neighbourhood is known.
1. Chez Georges
There is absolutely no rush when dining at this small, elegant restaurant in the centre of the Jordaan. Guests are encouraged to stay as long as they want — in fact, the restaurant itself claims that each table seats only one group per evening, so everyone has time to savour their meal. The classic French and Belgian kitchen serves a menu that celebrates the life of chef Georges Roorda, the original owner and for whom the restaurant is named, with creamy butter-based sauces and hearty meat dishes. While a la carte dining is available, choose one of the set menus to experience what chef Georges Roorda intended: a slow, romantic evening of culinary excellence.
Even when you’re old and grown, it’s always nice to go back to your mother’s house for some comfort food. That is exactly what you get when you visit Moeders, a restaurant serving up traditional Dutch cuisine in an atmosphere that’s more like a living room than an eatery. You can create your own three-course menu depending on what Dutch specialty you’d like to try: perhaps a filling stamppot with sausage and vegetables or a beef stew with cabbage. Whatever you order, be sure to bring a picture of your mother to hang on the wall — and keep your elbows off the table!
3. Restaurant Noordwest
Right in the heart of the lively Noordermarkt is Restaurant Noordwest, a French and Mediterranean spot perfect for people-watching — especially on Saturdays and Mondays, when the restaurant opens early for the people wandering through the farmer’s market and fabric market (lapjesmarkt for the locals). Sandwiches, soups, croquettes and salads are on the menu for lunch; in the evening, take a seat on the terrace to dine on fine French specialties such as duck confit or rustic dishes such as the Italian panzanella. The menu changes seasonally, so your favourite dish may be out by the next time you visit — but with such attention to the flavours in the kitchen, you’ll never be without a tasty dish.
4. Restaurant Daalder
Every visit to Daalder is a surprise. There’s no à la carte menu available, so guests choose only the number of courses of a menu that is up to the whims of the chef. It’s meant to ease the minds of the patrons and allow them to relax — and to give them a taste of something they may have never selected themselves. Lunch can be served in up to four courses, while dinner can be an extravagant affair of seven. And though the food’s presentation is more like artwork and the flavours are elaborate, there’s no pretention at Daalder: a suit jacket is not required.
5. L'Invité le Restaurant
Classic French cuisine is highlighted at this unassuming restaurant set in a 17th century canal house. The chefs don’t concentrate on creating the fanciest meals for its patrons; instead, it focuses on fresh, mainly organic produce and meat procured from local Dutch butchers. The kitchen also highlights the “forgotten vegetables” — Jerusalem artichokes, quince and forest beet, for example — on the tasting menu. Opt for the lunch menu or the even lighter terrace menu, which features snacks, cheese and cakes, during the daytime and enjoy the sun and the views. The terrace opens at 16:00 (only in nice weather), where the full tasting menu can also be enjoyed.
Rustic, down-to-earth with quality food — that’s what Restaurant Bleu strives to achieve. This “brother” restaurant of steakhouse Black and Blue, also located in Jordaan, blends the classic cuisine of France with modern flavours. Try the classic steak tartare or mussels served with whiskey sauce. The particularly peckish can add a half a lobster to any of the main dishes. Bleu is also open for lunch, serving sandwiches, soups and salads that can be enjoyed at one of the tables outside (be quick — there aren’t many!) or inside the cosy earth-toned restaurant. If you have to wait for a table, get comfortable at one of the plush pillow-covered benches at the entrance.
7. Shah Jahan
Eerste Anjeliersdwarsstraat 18
Hidden in the Jordaan is a little piece of India at Shah Jahan. Using authentic herbs, exotic spices and fresh ingredients, Shah Jahan recreates Indian specialties for all to enjoy. The menu, which includes popular curries like chicken tikka masala and lamb vindaloo, can range in spiciness from mild to red hot (you get to choose). Don’t get too adventurous — Indian spices can be surprisingly hotter than you’d expect! For a full Indian feast, order one of the menus. You’ll receive a mix of starters, sides and dishes highlighting the different spices of India — and you’ll also get to try khmeer, a rice pudding, for dessert!
8. Café Molenpad
Enjoy a beer and the views on the Prinsengracht at Café Molenpad, a small café serving lunch and dinner. Every day you taste something new: the dish of the day is dreamt up by the chef, and there’s always a daily meat, fish and vegetarian special. There are of course the standards on the menu, including bitterballen (served all day) and an assortment of sandwiches that are served until 16:00. After that, share some tapas with your friends. Snack on plates of shrimp croquettes, chicken wings, spare ribs or hummus — or get them all with the huge MP Platter.
9. Black and Blue
When you’re craving a big juicy steak, head to Black and Blue. This restaurant specialises in steaks — using its special charcoal grill to sear them to perfection — and salads, which can be topped with steak or chicken. Homemade sauces and fresh fries complement all the main dishes, which aren’t just limited to beef. Cornish hen, pork, lobster and the vegetarian option of roasted eggplant allow everyone to find their favourite. Add a half a lobster to any of the main courses (much like Black and Blue’s “brother” restaurant Bleu). Don’t skip dessert here — try the grilled pineapple with pistachio and vanilla ice cream.
10. Venus & Adonis
Come for a family experience at Venus & Adonis, a restaurant from the owners of steakhouse De Nachtwacht. The serving style sets this grill restaurant apart from the others — dishes are presented to the table on a large wooden board, which is meant to be shared by everyone at the table. Those dining alone don’t necessarily have to be alone, either, with a shared “greet and meet table” that allows strangers to dine together. With a menu of steaks, spareribs, racks of lamb, lobster and salmon, Venus & Adonis is definitely for meat lovers. At lunch, burgers abound — get one topped with a prawn for a surf and turf special.