Best Surinamese restaurants in Amsterdam
Surinamese cuisine is a delicious and complex blend of Indian, Javanese, Chinese, Dutch, Jewish, Portuguese and Native Amerindian influences. There is a diversity of flavours to try, so the eating culture encourages sharing dishes between a big group of friends - whether that’s heading to one of the many Surinamese restaurants in town or ordering take out to have at home. First-timers are advised to go easy on the sambal (a spicy chili sauce) and get stuck into this round-up of the best Surinamese spots in Amsterdam.
Between the office buildings in Zuidoost, this undiscovered gem serves up delicious Surinamese flavours from recipes passed down through the family. Papa Aswa is named after the grandfather of owner Tiffany Hiralal. Together with her father and cook Jim, she made a food journey through Suriname, where they learned how to make authentic masala and then followed their dreams by opening up their own eatery. Expect not just well-known dishes such as fried rice, noodles or roti, but the flavours that go with it, such as laos, masala or lemongrass. You can either eat à la carte or opt for the shared dining menu, where you can taste a bit of everything.
The Old Soul
Never eaten real Surinamese peanut or ocher soup, and certainly not a vegan version? At The Old Soul you can order vegan Surinamese classics such as pom, delicious sandwiches, bowls and tropical smoothies. Its also the right place for a Surinamese vegan high tea with sweets from Majesteit Taart on the Javastraat. The varied menu changes daily.
Eat your fill of the tastiest Javanese dishes at Warung Mini at one of their two locations in De Pijp. The menu offers a great range of options for meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike including classic dishes like pitjel (a cold salad with peanut sauce) and telo (fried cassava with peanut sauce) which both come especially recommended.
Whilst the decor inside this restaurant is spectacularly simple, the flavours are anything but. Lalla Rookh has quickly become a well-loved spot in Amsterdam Oost for roti (a flatbread stuffed full of egg, curried potatoes, spicy vegetables and optional meat). Other highlights on the menu include pom (a baked root vegetable and chicken dish) or the broodjes (sandwiches) packed with lamb, chicken or tempeh for the perfect lunchtime snack
Anyone who walks into Aarti 2 in Amsterdam-West needs to be wearing loose-fitting trousers, as just reading the menu will make your tummy rumble. We’d recommend starting with the stuffed baras (savoury flour fritters), ordering a portion of fried rice with shrimps and green beans followed by their great vegetarian roti mix with tempeh, tofu and vegetables.
This cosy eatery and shop makes a stand-out saoto soup (a spicy chicken broth served with vegetables) that is ideal for warming the soul on a rainy day. But of course, there is much more Surinamese-Javanese food on the menu to try, from broodjes (sandwiches), soups, snacks and roti to tjauw min (noodles), fried rice and various vegetarian dishes.
The friendly service and finger-licking Creole dishes have earned New Draver in Oost a bevy of loyal customers over the years. Whilst the menu changes daily, the mind-blowing flavours never miss the mark. Expect simple but spectacularly comforting dishes like heri-heri, made with cod, ground fruits (such as cassava and bananas), pom and served with rice and vegetables.
Spice up your commute with the tantalizing aroma of pom and roti rolls from De Hapjeshoek, located at Waterlooplein Metro Station. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better cod or salt meat sandwich anywhere else in Amsterdam and the bakabana (a battered plantain sweet treat) with peanut satay sauce is also something to write home about.
Those looking for a piece of authentic Suriname in Amsterdam-West should not miss Eethuis Rose. This toko (shop) – located in the food court of a covered shopping centre – is not only praised for the delicious meals that fly out of the kitchen, but also for the good service. Walk-in for a Surinamese feast, or have it delivered for free if you live within a radius of 10 km.
Warung Spang Makandra
This cosy and wallet-friendly Javanese-Surinamese spot has three locations across the city. At dinner time, the restaurants can often get busy - a testament to their popularity and very reasonable prices. We’d recommend the Indo Rames (a vegetarian yellow rice dish with green beans and tempeh) or the tjauwmin noodles.
This restaurant chain, well known in Paramaribo (the capital city of Suriname), is a favourite amongst Amsterdam’s Surinamese Dutch population. Their location on the Eerste van Swindenstraat is one of the most well-regarded spots for, you guessed it, heavenly roti. Some people even claim it's the best roti in Amsterdam. You will have to be patient to brave the queue, but the authentic Indian dishes you get in return make up for it.