Best Dutch food restaurants in Amsterdam
Beyond the windmills and tulips the Netherlands has another cultural wonder to experience: its cuisine. So what is Dutch food exactly? Generally speaking, it’s simple and hearty with meat stews, soups, fish, seafood and frietjes (fries) featuring heavily on menus. Perhaps the best way to taste traditional Dutch food is to get someone’s grandmother to invite you over for dinner. But assuming you don’t manage to track down a granny, here are some suggestions for where to find a satisfying Dutch meal.
Warm up with typically-Dutch soups and stews at this atmospheric restaurant in De Pijp. Café-Restaurant 't Heemelrijck in De Pijp reinvigorates 3rd generation family recipes (dating back to 1949), including meat stews, snert (green split pea and pork soup) and stamppot (potatoes, veg and sausage). Wash all this down with quality jenevers from local distillery Wynand Fockink and the selection of tap beers, and you've got yourself an authentic meal out.
Mom's home cooking is always best, but Amsterdam tourists don’t always have the opportunity to share a meal at home with the locals. The next best thing is Moeders, a restaurant in the city centre that serves only the most traditional Dutch dishes. All the favourites are on the menu at this cosy restaurant, which has all the touches of home. Fill your belly with stamppot (mashed potatoes mixed with vegetables, served with meat and gravy) or suddervlees (a slowly braised beef stew). For dessert, treat yourself to poffertjes or a slice of homemade pie. If you’re feeling a bit homesick, bring a photo of your own dear Ma to hang on the restaurant’s wall — mothers are celebrated at Moeders!
Where better to sample Dutch cuisine than right next to the hub of history and culture in Amsterdam? Rijks, the restaurant of the Rijksmuseum, offers a locally-sourced menu that complements a lengthy stroll through the rooms of the museum. Its kitchen upholds the principles of Slow Food, an organisation that promotes regional cuisine, and the Ark of Taste, which encourages the use of local ingredients. Platters highlighting regional fish or meat — gurnard or pigeon, for example — are available, as are artisanal cheeses. Afterwards, head to one of Rijks’ four espresso bars for a coffee with a dash of the Dutch liqueur advocaat.
Please note: Rijks is currently closed because of renovations, re-opening October 2023.
For over thirty years, Café Loetje has served as a landmark in Amsterdam. Regulars and out-of-towners alike flock there for its homemade fries and juicy steaks, which many have proclaimed to be the best in the Netherlands. Amsterdam now has several branches of Loetje (and even more beyond), so there is plenty of choice for every carnivore.
In Amsterdam Oost, on the recently renovated Javaplein, you will find restaurant Wilde Zwijnen. The focus here is on presenting authentic Dutch dishes, using fresh, high-quality seasonal products as much as possible.
De Silveren Spiegel
De Silveren Spiegel (The Silver Mirror) offers traditional Dutch food in the stunning surroundings of a historic building. The building and restaurant’s history stretches back to the 17th century, and De Silveren Spiegel’s elegant rooms, which have been left in their original state where possible, are certainly befitting its fairytale-like name. But the restaurant does not rest on its historical laurels: the food is up to the high standards set by the interior. And in the summer, there is a sunny terrace to boot.
If a restaurant has been around for over 60 years and has such a name, you can rest assured that it is well worth the visit. Hap-Hmm specialises in authentic Dutch cuisine, serving traditional dishes made fresh daily. The menu is constantly changing, so you'll have to pop in to find out what's cooking today.
Everyone agrees that you have to go to Winkel 43 for the best apple pie in Amsterdam, with hundreds of slices served up every day from the charming little cafe in De Jordaan. Keep in mind that it is always busy here (you'll understand why), but with any luck you will find a place inside or on the spacious terrace overlooking the bustling Noordermarkt.