Go beyond the crowds at these alternative Amsterdam food spots
Amsterdam's culinary scene has been gaining popularity for its diverse and delicious offerings. From local Dutch cuisine to international flavours, there's something for everyone. However, as some of the city's eateries have become increasingly popular, long queues and waiting times are becoming more common at certain spots. We've got you covered with a list of alternative options in Amsterdam that offer delicious food without the crowds.
Extravagant Waffles at Van Wonderen Stroopwafels
Located on one of Amsterdam's busiest shopping streets, you can spot the Van Wonderen queue from miles off. They serve stroopwafels (thin wafers with syrup in between) glazed with chocolate, M&M's, pistachios, or strawberries. To spare you some time, here are three alternative spots to satisfy your sugary needs.
Rudi’s Original Stroopwafels started in Gouda 45 years ago, after which they moved to a permanent spot on the bustling Albert Cuyp Market. Their stroopwafels are baked according to a generations-old recipe, which keeps the ingredients simple but absolutely delicious. You must try them yourself (and stroll along the bustling Albert Cuyp Market while you're at it)!
Nicolaas Waffles is a golden oldie on the Flower Market in the city centre, selling authentic stroopwafels. Don't expect them to serve them with any toppings. According to this baker, it only takes away from the rich taste and authenticity of the wafer. Pair your stroopwafel with a coffee alongside this sweet treat, and you're set!
If we can't steer you away from the stroopwafels with gluttonous toppings, you can find Melly's Stroopwafels in a picturesque shop near Dam Square. Their stroopwafels are homemade, and you can pick from a rich selection of toppings. Go for chocolate and salted caramel, oreo or even pepernoten (another Dutch delicacy primarily available in winter).
Did you know that most Dutchies relate stroopwafels to markets? Almost every market has a stand that sells them, and as a kid, it's always a little too tempting to ask your parents for one of these hot wafers. These babies are ingrained in our childhood memories.
(Loaded) fries and homemade dips at Fabel Friet
Two students started with a "Frietkar" going around different festivals and events in the city. Business went well (to say the least), which resulted in a permanent location - Fabel Friet - on the Runstraat. Now they've grown to be a TikTok sensation with massive queues in front of their shop. But freshly baked, Dutch potato-based fries with homemade sauces can be found all around the city, so here are some alternatives for you to check out.
Some people take the ferry across the IJ to Noord just for this eatery. The fries at Pont Neuf Amsterdam are made from locally and sustainably grown potatoes. Aside from their crispy fries, they also sell other snacks like half a chicken with a fantastic sauce and crunchy spring onion topping. They also prize themselves for their vegan options.
De Patatzaak doesn't just sell delicious fries and snacks; this snack bar also has a unique residence - underneath an authentic Dutch windmill. All their products are freshly made, and the simplicity of their products makes for the best crispy fries. Head to the terrace for a fantastic view of the windmill.
If you want something more extravagant and gluttonous, go to FREDDY FRYDAY. They serve nine loaded fries with, for example, pulled pork, chicken or cheesy pepperoni. Or go for an Italian variety with parmesan and truffle mayonnaise. For the vegans among us, they offer a pulled jackfruit with BBQ sauce or the Spicy Hoisinner. Oh, and like any Dutch snack bar, they also have a diverse arrangement of deep-fried snacks.
Unique Asian-style sandwiches at Chun
Chun offers a selection of Asian-style sandwiches stuffed with delectable fillings like egg salad, garlic shrimp, and tofu. Their Ribeye Bulgogi sandwich is causing quite a stir in Amsterdam and drawing long queues. You’ve probably seen it pop by on your TikTok feed at some point! To skip the crowds, here are some alternative options that are worth exploring:
In Bread, a neon-lit Japanese sandwich bar inspired by cyberpunk aesthetics, has recently opened its doors by Vondelpark, serving mouth-watering sandwiches – or sandos. Open from 16:00, you can relish their delightful sandos and sides while sipping a cocktail or natural wine.
If you prefer a more straightforward approach, Ranchi on the Albert Cuypstraat is the perfect destination. Two brothers made the most of the difficult times of the pandemic by taking on the humble sandwich as their new project. The results were tasty sandos filled with chicken katsu, XO beef or tuna.
If you're looking for unique sandwich options, Paindemie is the place. Their menu puts bread in the spotlight with an exciting twist, like their black pudding sando. Besides the inventive menu, Paindemie's distinct decor is also noteworthy. The first floor has a Japanese metro-inspired room where you can get food from a wall, much like Febo, including their delicious sandos. On the second floor, you can find a cosy art deco speakeasy bar serving organic wines, cocktails, and sake.
Mouth watering cookies at Van Stapele
Picture this: a dark chocolate cookie oozing with soft, velvety white chocolate. Sounds tempting, doesn't it? Van Stapele is known for its exceptional cookies (they only make one type, but they do it well). That said, there are other places in Amsterdam where you can indulge in delicious treats and not stand in a queue for hours.
Sea Salt & Chocolate has two locations in the city for a good reason. Apart from their decadent cakes (with cocktail pairings), this dessert bar also offers some of the most scrumptious cookies in town. Pick from red velvet, chocolate chip, M&M, or dark chocolate with white chocolate chip cookies (our personal favourite) flavour - or purchase the ‘addict box’ with a mix of eight flavours.
If you're looking for a cute little bakery specialising in mouth-watering cookies made with premium Belgian chocolate, Het Koekemannetje (The Cookie Guy) is the place to go. Located in the 9 streets, this bakery offers a variety of delicious cookies. Some of their top flavours include caramel sea salt, dark chocolate chip, and red velvet.
For those seeking a more adventurous cookie, Belicio Cheats on the Heiligeweg has got you covered. Their cookies are among the biggest and wildest in the city, filled with crunchy and gooey fillings. How about trying a cookie stuffed with pecan nuts, KitKat crunch, Daim crunch, and caramel sauce?
Fried Chicken at Lady Bird Fried Chicken
Few can resist perfectly cooked fried chicken – crispy and crunchy on the outside, yet juicy on the inside. However, the long queues at popular places like Lady Bird Fried Chicken can be a bit of a bummer. Luckily, Amsterdam has some excellent alternatives for those who crave fried chicken without the wait.
For those who love Korean cuisine, SOJU Bar in De Pijp is a hidden gem. Known for its bursts of flavour, their fried chicken is seasoned to perfection and never disappoints. With a focus on comfort food, excellent drinks, and a snug atmosphere, SOJU Bar offers a cosy dining experience with delicious fried chicken as a highlight.
There’s even a delicious option for vegetarians and vegans among us. Taste Like Chicken recently opened its doors in Amsterdam and is the Netherlands’ first plant-based chicken joint. Expect dishes with all your favourite chicken flavours from fresh plant-based ingredients and mouth-watering sauces.
Kip ‘N Drip (KID) started as a takeaway spot, and after years of success, they finally have their own restaurant. Besides crispy fried chicken, they have other unique dishes such as stuffed chicken wings or manado grilled chicken skewers.
Freshly baked goods at Fort Negen
Fort Negen, located in the bustling Baarsjes neighbourhood, is a bakery that draws visitors from across the city with its freshly baked rye loaves and buttery cruffins. However, you may encounter a queue, particularly on Sunday mornings. If you prefer to avoid potentially long waits, consider exploring these alternative options:
Eagerly competing in the bread and pastries market, yet a little more hidden is Ulmus Bakery. Pop by and pick up a sourdough loaf made in their big, open kitchen. Are you craving something sweet? Then why not try one of their crispy yet fluffy cruffins.
Loof is a charming bakery next to the renowned Binnenvisser restaurant, offering a relaxed ambience where you can savour a steaming cup of coffee alongside a freshly baked pastry or sandwich. At Loof, classic recipes are given a creative twist. How good does a rhubarb Danish sound?
Japanese Noodlesoop at Ramen Kingdom
Located on the Prins Hendrikkade near Central Station is Ramen Kingdom, the self-proclaimed number-one Japanese Restaurant in Amsterdam. But even if their claim would not be fact, they have queues outside the restaurant to show for it. A one-hour wait is standard before ordering a veggie, chicken or pork-based Ramen. That's why we found four other options that will tingle your taste buds.
Umaimon doesn't work with reservations, so walk in on any given day of the week and enjoy a spontaneous bowl of authentic Japanese Ramen. This restaurant serves twenty different types of noodle soup, fourteen with a chicken broth base and six vegan broths. The noodles and spices they use are specially imported from Japan to ensure the richest flavours for their dishes.
This basement restaurant, Ramen Ya, specialises in Hakata-style ramen with a thick, creamy, rich broth. The chefs, who have learned their skills in Japan, prepare the ramen fresh according to the authentic Hakata recipe. Like the noodles, the sauces are homemade too, and for whiskey lovers, they also offer a variety of Japanese whiskeys.
Sapporo Ramen SORA has two locations: Amsterdam West and De Pijp. The chefs have knowledge and experience from Sapporo, Japan, where they also import their noodles from. They also have a diverse side dish menu, from the traditional edamame to karaage and takoyaki (fried octopus dumplings)! Pair your food with a refreshing Japanese beer or something stronger, and you're set for the night.
Fou Fow Ramen started in 2011 as an in-house restaurant at the Asian superstore Toko Dun Yong. Now, they have two Ramen and one Udon restaurant, serving lunch (from noon until 3 pm) and dinner (5 until 9 pm). Fou Fow is pronounced “Fu Fu”, which in French means crazy Fow. In Japanese it is a blowing sound, like you do to cool down your noodle soup.