Venetians and Amsterdammers share quite a few things in common, what with the canals and intrinsic love of fried snacks. The Italian head chef at TOZI jumped on this connection, designing an exceptional menu of cicchetti (small plates), pasta and seafood dishes that are perfect for sharing between friends. Start with the fried zucchini and squid, burrata, mini pizzas and a selection of cured meats, moving on to the baked octopus, lamb chops or a whole grilled seabass to share. Gather a group of diners big enough and you’ll be able to try it all!
‘t Blauwe Theehuis
Parked slap bang in the middle of Vondelpark, Het Blauwe Theehuis is a striking modernist pavilion that resembles something like a giant teacup crossed with a spaceship. Surrounded by a large terrace, the café is popular with locals keen to catch the sun as they sip on a latte. Outdoor heaters make it a great spot in winter, and it's the perfect spot to watch the passing crowd in the summer. The Theehuis is run by Brouwerij ’t IJ, so there’s a fantastic selection of local beers to sample.
Just a short walk from the floral gardens of Beatrixpark and the RAI Amsterdam conference centre, Strandzuid is an unexpected spot to find an urban beach. The restaurant menu offers plenty of fish, meat and vegetarian options and, for a summertime flavour boost, many dishes are prepared on the traditional charcoal grill. When the cold season comes around, warm your hands at the campfire under the glow of hundreds of lanterns as the bar transforms into a cosy wintry wonderland.
Out to serve the high-end spectrum of the market, this plant-forward restaurant near Museumplein is one of the best vegetarian hotspots in Amsterdam. Humble vegetables are given centre stage at Yerba, which serves a seasonal tasting menu available as vegan, vegetarian or omnivore. Meanwhile, their weekend brunch is complete with fluffy zucchini beignets, pumpkin pancakes and vegan Bloody Marys.
At the southernmost tip of Vondelpark, you’ll find the idyllic Vondeltuin - a beautifully renovated beer garden that provides an ideal spot for lounging in the comfy chairs while enjoying coffee or a cold one. The lunch and dinner menu includes various sandwiches, pasta, tapas and burgers and there’s a great park for the kids to play in whilst parents natter away on the terrace.
RIJKS at the Rijksmuseum is quite a bit more than your standard museum tearoom. This Michelin-star establishment offers a locally sourced menu firmly rooted in the ‘Slow Food’ movement. From the pan-fried turbot nestled on a bed of truffle gnocchi to the langoustine tartare with scallop and Dutch caviar, the menu lovingly highlights some of the finest European ingredients. But as a testament to the creativity and versatility of the chefs, humble ingredients are also elevated into works of art. Take, for example, the beetroot millefeuille or the pigeon with apple, parsnip and liver. You’ll also find a special list dedicated to wines grown right here on Dutch soil.
NENI has been successfully serving Eastern Mediterranean favourites in a monumental former garage Zuid-side since 2019. Tuck into a delicious mezze feast with dishes like king mushroom shawarma, shrimp brick cigar or fresh fava bean salad. No trip to NENI is complete without sampling the signature popcorn falafel, flatbread and creamy hummus (some of the city’s best). Tip: to wash it all down, order the Rhubarb & Custard, a refreshing gin and tonic with tangy rhubarb and spiced cardamom notes.
This wholesome little cafe is the flagship venue of Dignita. This socially responsible enterprise aims to do good whilst eating well (all profits go towards the Not For Sale organisation). You’ll be spoilt for choice if you just fancy a cuppa and slice of cake, but their brunch/lunch menu also comes highly recommended with plenty of options for vegans and veggies. Mushrooms on toast are elevated to new herb-packed levels, the pancake stacks are decked out in gorgeous seasonal fruits and the eggs benedict is arguably one of the best in town. There’s also a handy kids menu and a special corner kitted out with toys and colouring utensils for the little ones.
Located in an internal courtyard of the Conservatorium Hotel with spectacular floor-to-ceiling windows, Conservatorium Brasserie is an inspirational setting for brunch and dinner. The exquisite a la carte menu encompasses everything from club sandwiches and Caesar salads to refined sushi with delicately balanced flavours courtesy of Taiko Bar & Restaurant (one of the city’s best cocktail hotspots). And if you want to treat someone special, the breakfast menu includes champagne by the glass.
This small (and rather hip) independent brewery has been reinventing beer-making traditions since 2011. Butcher's Tear's industrial-style brew bar in Zuid, not far from the Olympic Stadium, is the perfect place to sample their innovative beer styles, either on the terrace or to purchase from the kiosk. Check the website for regular in-house gigs and events or for more information on their guided tour and tastings which offer a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into the brewing process.