With its beige leather sofas and open fires, his time-honoured steak and barbecue restaurant near Amsterdam’s Leidseplein has more than a whiff of 70s underworld glamour about it. If you really want to Bond it up, arrive by boat (a speedboat, even?) – staff are happy to bring your escargots and spare ribs straight to you.
Castell, Lijnbaansgracht 252 - 254
Constructed from reclaimed wood and salvaged materials, this shack-style waterfront café near Central Station exudes bohemian charm. Despite its proximity to the station, Hannekes Boom is still very much a hidden gem, passed each day by hundreds of commuters and travellers who have no idea of the joys that lie across the water. Having said that, on warm summer days it does get busy, so if you can’t find a seat, just moor at the jetty and enjoy your beer on your boat while watching the sunset.
Hannekes Boom, Dijksgracht 4
With its huge waterside terrace that enjoys full sunshine despite being partially tucked under a multi-storey carpark, this colourful Surinamese café and bar attracts an arty crowd of locals and in-the-know visitors. Settle on the quay and enjoy a beer from Paramaribo and a roti.
Waterkant, Marnixstraat 246
Okura, Ferdinand Bolstraat 333
Edel’s magnificent terrace is located at a point where two canals meet, so what better end point of a trip on Amsterdam’s waterways? Dock your boat and clamber up to grab a seat right by the water’s edge, and enjoy fresh hummus from the nearby Ten Kate Market, charcuterie from regional pork and a fashionable cocktail or g&t.
Edel, Postjesweg 1
Hotel de Goudfazant
This hip yet rustic restaurant on the water’s edge in Noord has a jetty for its waterborne clientele. Plonk down at one of the long tables and enjoy the unfussy, delicious food.
Hotel de Goudfazant, Aanbeeldstraat 10 H
The Harbour Club
Miami, Amalfi coast, Côte d’Azur… Amsterdam? Absolutely, if you and your crew sail to the Harbour Club and chill out on the gorgeous terrace while scoffing Zeeland oysters and tuna sashimi.
The Harbour Club, Cruquiusweg 67
The terrace of the Amstel Hotel remains the most famous of all of Amsterdam’s waterside establishments, and not without reason. The splendour and rich history of the five-star hotel, which opened in 1867, is unmistakable, and docking here is practically a rite of passage for any Amsterdam boater.
Amstel Hotel, Professor Tulpplein 1
Now there’s something special: this restaurant is located in a towering sea rig off the coast of Amsterdam, which used to house a pirate radio and TV station. You can reach it by car and via a pedestrian bridge, but really, you should be arriving by boat. And as it’s boating weather, make sure to get a seat on the roof terrace.
REM Eiland, Haparandadam 45
The concert hall Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ is one of Amsterdam’s most spectacular waterside buildings, and of course, it comes with a restaurant. Find a parking space for your boat underneath the footbridge and enjoy a lovely drink, some delicious food, the glorious view over the IJ river and, if the mood strikes you, a contemporary or classical concert as dessert.
Zouthaven, Piet Heinkade 1
Taking the ferry across the IJ is mighty nice, but crossing the river in your own vessel is even better. Once you’ve arrived at the post-industrial glory that is the NDSM Wharf, moor your boat at the IJ-Kantine’s very own pontoon and enjoy a drink and/or a meal on the fabulous terrace of this spacious and striking brasserie and bar. A bonus for seasonal early birds: said terrace already opens in March, so you can enjoy those first rays of sun of the year.
IJ-Kantine, MT Ondinaweg 15-17
Hesp is a beer connoisseur’s heaven, with 28 varieties – including an own brew – on tap. It’s not their only priority, though, as the selection of wines by the glass is also pretty respectable. Oh, and they have a jetty, too! Just make sure you don’t get done for drunk-boating on your way home.
Café Hesp, Weesperzijde 130-131
Loetje aan ’t IJ
Loetje has gone from carnivorous insiders’ tip to formidable steakhouse empire, having expanded to eight branches all over Amsterdam. And the one on the IJ has a jetty. No, no need to get up: they serve your steak right to your boat.
Loetje aan ’t IJ, Werfkade 14
Since its beginnings in 1989, this café and restaurant has grown from cosy neighbourhood pub to a grand establishment spread over two buildings. Located right on Prinsengracht, it’s an Amsterdam institution, and of course, its central canalside location makes it a perfect stopover for a day spent touring the canal ring.
Van Puffelen, Prinsengracht 375-377
Time to take a break from all the boating? Café-Restaurant Riva is the place to boost your energy with lunch, snacks or dinner. This restaurant is know for its international kitchen, with a wide variety of wines and a beautiful terrace on the River Amstel.
Café-Restaurant Riva, Amstelboulevard 1