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Thali of dishes and lassi drink at The Madras Diaries Indian resturant
Image from Dishtales

Best Indian, Nepalese and Tibetan restaurants in Amsterdam

Covering the breadth of flavours across the South Asian subcontinent, Amsterdam offers everything from moreish momo dumplings and paper-thin dosa pancakes to bowls brimming with biryani rice. If the craving hits and you have no reservation, simply head to the Eastern Canal District, where most of the region’s restaurants are located. You’ll find authentic hole-in-the-wall eateries and stylish next-gen spots in the city. And, if you’re looking to spice up an indoor evening, many of these places also deliver. Here, then, are our pick of the city’s best Indian, Nepalese and Tibetan restaurants.

Karin Engelbrecht
After writing about all things lifestyle in Amsterdam for 15+ years, this born-and-raised South African knows where it’s at.
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Miri Mary

For Amsterdam’s best India-inspired brunch and contemporary twists on Indian food that are firmly rooted in the traditions of the past, head to De Pijp. The décor’s fresh, modern and delightfully cliché-free, and there’s a leafy terrace, too. A veg-led menu delivers handsomely made-up plates with on-point spicing. Think dirty chai brunch bowls, butter chicken eggs benedict and chilli-spiked margaritas. At a recent dinner, the rich charcoal-smoked black lentil dal was a highlight. As our server enthused, “We could build our entire reputation off of just this one dish”. We couldn’t agree more.

Miri Mary | Van der Helstplein 15, De Pijp


Named for the gateway to Mount Everest, this centrally located Nepalese charmer serves some of the city’s best and most beautiful momo, served with a selection of spicy sauces. Choose from chicken, veg and beefy water buffalo, available fried or steamed. Still hungry? Tuck into comforting dal bhat (lentils and rice with curry, vegetables and chutney) or choila (smoked and marinated water buffalo, pork or veg), which comes with furandana (crunchy, buttery beaten rice), salad and spiced tomato sauce. The drinks menu includes three types of fruity lassi (a yoghurt-based drink), chiya (Nepalese masala tea), wines, locally brewed Nepalese-style pale ale and a good selection of gin tonics and other cocktails.

Tip: Fully booked? Try nearby Nepalese specialist Bhatti Pasal (Kerkstraat 332 and Voetboogstraat 23) or Sherpa (Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 58), which offers decent Nepalese, Indian and Tibetan cuisine.

Namche | Lange Leidsedwarsstraat 91, Centrum

29 Spices

All of the 29 states inspire the “twisted Indian” menu at this cheerful Jordaan-based street food specialist, where the trilingual servers are fast and friendly. The décor is contemporary rustic, with wooden tables and a small traditional floor seating section. The focus is on helping diners discover that “Indian food is more than just a curry”. Chefs Rahul Chandrambeth and Dipak Adhav succeed admirably with an affordable 3-course menu of delicious dahi puri (crispy fried semolina baskets stuffed with potato and pomegranate yoghurt), kolhapuri chicken (marinated and spiced chicken with two types of chilli) or slow-cooked lamb rogan josh (a yoghurt-based curry with alkanet flower and Kashmiri spices) and rasmalai (soft cheese dumplings cooked in sugar syrup and soaked in creamy cardamom-saffron milk) for dessert. There are also wine, (craft) beer and cocktail options, including a tasty rum-spiked mango lassi.

29 Spices | Elandsgracht 36, Jordaan

The Madras Diaries

For authentic South Indian delights, including a dizzying variety of vegetarian dishes and kid-friendly dosa, head to this buzzing eatery near Leidseplein, which is beloved by Indian expats, locals and tourists alike. The crispy gunpowder spice-dusted lentil balls, tender Mangalorean mutton chukka curry and pallipalayam kozhi biriyani (Kongu-style seeraga samba rice with chicken, mint, coriander and green chilli) are not to be missed, and you won’t find their signature manathakkali vathal (a medicinal curry with black nightshade berries in a sweet-sour tamarind and chilli sauce) anywhere else in Amsterdam. Pair with an Indian Kingfisher beer or a spiced cocktail (the guava-chilli margarita is particularly good) and enjoy.

The Madras Diaries | Lange Leidsedwarsstraat 37-41, Centrum


Spicy fish dish at Anjappar Indian restaurant on Van Baerlestraat
Image from Anjappar

Located in the Museum District is the multi-level Amsterdam outpost of the respected Anjappar chain, specialising in Chettinad cuisine, a Northern Indian region known for its subtle, aromatic food and internationalized tastes courtesy of the spice trade. Originally founded in Chennai in 1964, it’s no wonder this family-friendly spot is always packed with Indian expats looking for an authentic taste of home. Highlights of a recent meal included wholesome mutton rib soup (apparently, the South Indian cure-all for the common cold), crab masala curry with coconut, mutton dum biriyani (long-grain rice slow-cooked in a heavy-bottomed pot to intensify the flavours) and housemade cardamom-infused kulfi (a dense, frozen dairy dessert).

Anjappar | Van Baerlestraat 134, Oud-Zuid

Kailash Parbat

Chaat platter starter at Kailash Parbat Indian restaurant on the Weteringschans
Image from Kailash Parbat

This fun, centrally located Southern Indian street food spot spills onto a small canal-side patio, filling up fast on sunny days. Strictly vegetarian, the focus is on chaat (Indian snack platters). We opted for the house chaat, bursting with colour, texture and flavour in dishes like dahi wada (melt-in-the-mouth lentil balls with pomegranate yoghurt), bhel puri (chilli-laced puffed rice) and crispy corn baskets. Do order the signature chole bhaturas (tangy spiced chickpea curry with puffed flatbread) and even if you can’t face another cauliflower dish, don’t leave without trying the soya-garlic umami bomb that is the gobi Manchurian. Drinks (non-alcoholic only) include chilli-guava juice, fresh lime soda, sweet/savoury lassi and masala coke.

Kailash Parbat | Weteringschans 175, Eastern Canal District


Dishes at Lakhay - Nepalese & Tibetan Restaurant on the Albert Cuypstraat in De Pijp
Image from Pema Prima

The first thing you’ll notice when entering this humble Nepalese-Tibetan eatery is the wall art of the protective Newari deity it was named after. Symbolizing the owners’ dedication to preserving the region’s rich culinary heritage, there are a beguiling number of budget-friendly choices here. The menu runs the gamut from pork, chicken or veg momo, hearty bhale (grilled chicken with spiced, crispy tandoori potato and furandana and classic Nepalese thali (a tray of small dishes including red lentil dal soup, mutton curry, rice, various vegetables, Nepalese pickles and crispy papadum crackers) to flavourful Tibetan chicken, pork or vegetable noodle bowls like pan-fried chow mein and thenthuk soup. Dry hopped Nepalese Barahsinghe craft pilsner makes it all go down a treat.

Lakhay | Albert Cuypstraat 56H, De Pijp


Secreted away in Rivierenbuurt is a sleek Indian restaurant with a warm and welcoming atmosphere, royal blue velvet seating, matte golden walls and a cocktail bar. Signatures include butter chicken, tandoori pomfret, goat rogan josh, rose-scented homemade kulfi and cardamom-spiced cocktail sours. The menu also features South Asian dishes like Bengali fish curry, Lahori ghosht (mutton curry with a rich, nutty sauce) and Aloo kulcha (stuffed leavened flatbread) and Anglo-Indian favourites such as Balti chicken, mutton vindaloo and chicken tikka masala.

Restaurant Rasoi | Maasstraat 8 H, Zuid

Karin Engelbrecht
After writing about all things lifestyle in Amsterdam for 15+ years, this born-and-raised South African knows where it’s at.
Follow Karin