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Discover Amsterdam
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Live, Work and Study
Jansz restaurant signature dishes
Image from Ashkan Mortezapour Photography

Restaurants and bars in Amsterdam City Centre

The centuries-old buildings and narrow side streets of Amsterdam City Centre (Centrum) conceal some of the best eating and drinking hotspots in the city. Hip new cocktail bars sit beside 17th-century tasting rooms, high-end restaurants and cosy cafes. Whether you’re looking for fine dining, high tea, evening drinks, a low-key meal or a casual brunch spot, central Amsterdam is truly the place to get a taste of everything the city has to offer.


Pulitzer hotel, Jansz restaurant signature dishes
Image from Ashkan Mortezapour Photography

Named for a 17th-century copper craftsman, who once owned the building, there’s artisanal attention to detail in the décor of 9 streets-based eatery, Jansz, with its moss green banquettes, marble tables and coppery accents. The new menu has been described as an 'ode to Amsterdam' - think delicate North Sea crab toast, zesty seabass crudo with fennel and orange or a bok choi salad with buttermilk, oyster leaf and cucumber- with beautiful dishes that complement the restaurant's chic surroundings.


Henrique Sa Pessoa, award-winning two Michelin star Portuguese chef recently named the 38th best chef in the world, has opened his first restaurant outside of Lisbon: Arca is here in Amsterdam. Opening its doors at art'otel, Sa Pessoa cooks up authentic Portuguese cuisine - think fresh fish and delicious cuts of meat - with an Asian influence. There’s La Bomba de Lisboa, fresh octopus salad, suckling pork sliders, and generous Arroz de Marisco piled with succulent seafood.


For small plates like ceviches, empanadas, exquisite steaks doused in chimichurri and bite-sized cubanitos, look no further than the tantalizing Latin-American inspired menu of Salmuera. Pair these with one of their signature cocktails, Mexican beers, or a flight of smoky mezcals complete with a full introduction by their in-house Mezcalero (somebody who distills mezcal).

Restaurant Bellezza

Head through a 400-year-old passageway to find a charming courtyard where the city’s intellectuals once crowded over biertjes discussing life, love and the arts. Today, Restaurant Bellezza artfully continues the tradition by pairing 5 courses of fine dining with matching audiovisual effects. The first four courses of the moveable feast are served downstairs, where images of Italian frescoes and the operatic poetry of Puccini accompany sea bass tartare doused in avocado cream and lime leaf vinaigrette. Upstairs, in a candy floss coloured chamber with angelic wall art, a generous dessert course awaits.

Tip: the cosy bar is a perfect place to enjoy a digestif while admiring the original wooden beams and floor of this former spice warehouse at the heart of the Red Light District.

De Drie Fleschjes

Drie Fleschjes exterior
Image from Drie Fleschjes

Anyone with a strictly anthropological interest in Dutch drinking culture needs to head down to De Drie Fleschjes (the three little bottles), the oldest tasting room in the city. Located at the base of the Nieuwe Kerk, this well-worn proeflokaal (tasting room) was established in 1650, serving up jenever (a clear spirit flavoured with juniper), liqueurs and local beers to generations of patrons. The bartenders will be happy to give you advice on what to sample from the authentic casks displayed behind the old-timey bar. In-house bar snacks are as traditional as the tipples, including ossenworst (ox-sausage), meatballs in gravy and Beemster cheese with mustard. Lekker!

Top tip: with the I amsterdam City Card, you’ll get a free shot of jenever to wet your whistle after a day of exploring.

Super Lyan

SuperLyan cocktailbar interior
Image from SuperLyan

This oppressively stylish drinking joint feels like it belongs in a sci-fi movie rather than a 17th-century house in historic central Amsterdam. Kick-ass cocktails, beer, wine and bites that will make your tongue dance are served until late. The chefs and bartenders regularly team up to create food and drink pairing evenings that always relish the playful and unexpected. The venue is part of Kimpton de Witt, a boutique hotel that exudes equal energy and freshness.


Celia restaurant cocktails and signature dishes
Image from Celia

We can’t say enough good things about the new cocktail brunch at Celia, which includes two dishes per person plus sharable carafes of Mimosa, Bellini or Bloody Mary. There’s something for everyone, from comforting classics (think fluffy lemon ricotta pancake stacks, housemade bagels with smoked fish, and warm cinnamon buns with tonka bean glaze) to veg-led options like smoked mushroom tacos, kimchi-fried quinoa, and romanesco with green garlic and Meyer lemon.

Restaurant-Café In de Waag

In De Waag café-restaurant exterior and terrace
Image from In De Waag

Located in one of the city’s precious monuments, the origins of De Waag date back to a mindblowing 1450. The building was originally a city gate, a weighhouse and then, fascinatingly a doctor’s clubhouse for public autopsies. Start the day right with breakfast and spectacular views from the terrace over the historic old town. Or, make a reservation for dinner when the medieval walls are illuminated by hundreds of candles and breath an especially romantic atmosphere. The menu showcases the very best of European and Dutch cuisine with some crowd-pleasing Asian dishes thrown in for good measure.

The Duchess

If it’s treat day, you’ll need macarons and The Duchess is hands down the place to find them. This lavish tea room at the W Amsterdam hotel serves up one of the best high teas in the city, known for its inventive selection of dainty snacks. Chomp your way through a dazzling platter of delights which might range from king crab brioche sarnies, peach and caramel tartlets, fragrant fruit pastries and freshly-baked sponge cakes. Sip on some of the finest tea blends to wash this down. Alternatively, the Champagne menu is absolutely to die for, darling.


Vesper cocktailbar bartender preparing a cocktail
Image from Ming Chao

Shaken, not stirred. This tiny bar, named after the only Bond Girl that James ever truly loved, is firmly acknowledged as one of the city’s best cocktail institutions. Vesper’s menu is an extensive list of expertly mixed concoctions for curious drinkers where surprising flavours and having a good time are the top priority. The warm hospitality is genuine and the staff are sincere, creating a laid-back and welcoming atmosphere for all guests - cocktail buff or not.

In de Wildeman

Amsterdam’s craft and specialty beer scene has been popping off in recent decades, with a dozen of breweries (micro and macro) doing very exciting things with hops. Housed in a former distillery dating back to 1690, In de Wildeman is one of the best craft beer bars around, with a weekly changing selection of 18 draft beers and more than 250 varieties of bottled brews and ciders. The focus is primarily on Dutch and Belgian Trappist beers, but you can also enjoy English ales, American styles and German pilsners for a true world tour.

Restaurant Vermeer

Vermeer restaurant interior
Image from Vermeer

Restaurant Vermeer’s kitchens are the laboratory of British-born chef, Christopher Naylor, whose boundary-pushing dishes and robust flavours have earned him consecutive Michelin stars since 2011. Indulge in fascinating flavour combinations as humble vegetables and locally sourced produce - artichokes, langoustine, gooseberries, monkfish, venison and kohlrabi - are transformed into unpretentious and delicious works of culinary art.

Café de Waard

Looking to attract locals back to Leidseplein, Café de Waard has undergone a terrific transformation from tourist trap to trendy Parisian-style eatery. A 140 m2 patio brings international allure to the famous square with comfortable booths that offer plenty of privacy amid the bustle and a menu of brasserie classics such as steak tartare, oysters and Caesar salad with chicken goujons.

New King

Now a household name for most locals, New King is one of the best Chinese restaurants in Amsterdam, located in the heart of Chinatown on the colourful Zeedijk. This hotspot is known for its dim sum and sharing dishes prepared the traditional way in sizzling woks. Food is brought out fairly quickly to the table, making it an ideal pitstop to devour lunch or dinner. Stars on the menu include all the family favourites: wonton soup, prawn dumplings, spring rolls, pork belly, stuffed aubergines and of course, the chef’s speciality, Peking Duck.


Tucked away on a cobbled side street, this is a cosy living-room cafe with a big heart and even bigger flavours. At Gartine, all produce is sourced directly from the kitchen garden and local region, with all dishes falling under the ethos of the “Slow Food” movement. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or high-tea, the menu features sandwiches, soups, quiches, salads and eggs benedict procured from only the happiest of hens.

Shaffy Restobar

Shaffy Restobar signature dishes
Image from Shaffy Restobar

In a high-ceilinged dining room overlooking Keizersgracht, a minimalist modern décor references the style rooms of the 17th-century at the famous Felix Meritis Centre for Arts, Culture & Science, which is still a symbol of enlightenment, intellectual freedom and tolerance today. Named for a rebellious Dutch chansonnier who often performed upstairs, Shaffy Restobar offers classic cocktails and bar bites. Think oysters served with a citrusy granita, spicy nduja sausage doused fregola with creamy mussels or potato topped with chicken livers and smoked eel.

Tales & Spirits

Every drink poured at this cosy cocktail bar and restaurant comes with its own tall tale and backstory behind it. The friendly bartenders will help you navigate through the biblically-proportioned menu and push you out of your comfort zone to find flavour combinations that truly wow you. The bar menu encompasses some of the world’s best fried snacks and is available until late to ensure you stay firmly on your stool.

Slagerij de Beurs

Slagerij de Beurs is named after owner Timo de Beurs who descends from a Amsterdam butcher's family. His new restaurant has a strong focus on the craft of 'dough', producing the most beautiful pies, pâté en croûte and traditional patisserie. Whilst there is a great range of beautifully-sourced meat dishes on the menu, don't let the family lineage fool you: fish and vegetables are just as well represented. Don't miss the chanterelle pie with a wonderfully buttery crust and earthy mushroom flavour or the legendary Breton pastry with creamy vanilla icecream and caramelized apple for dessert.


Zoldering restaurant interior
Image from Zoldering

Looking for high-quality food and a gigantic wine list that will make any grape-lover go crazy? Zoldering is the place for you. Their no-nonsense menu is divided into snacks, smaller cold dishes, more substantial warm plates and mouthwatering desserts. Inside, the low-ceilinged dining room will satisfy your nostalgia for an old-school Amsterdam cafe.