Unique dining experiences in Amsterdam
When it comes to eating out in Amsterdam, there's always something new and unique to try. But if you're looking for something extra special from your dining experience, take a look below at our selection of weird and wonderful restaurants in Amsterdam.
Head through the 400-year-old Hoogkamersgang passageway in the heart of the Red Light District until you find a charming courtyard with a historic building that was once a former spice warehouse. Welcome to Restaurant Bellezza - a new culinary experience that pairs fine dining with matching audio-visual effects. As you tuck into the starters, you'll be accompanied by images of Italian frescoes, whilst upstairs, in a candy floss coloured chamber with angelic wall art, a generous dessert course awaits.
Nela is situated in the new Vertical Village Valley, recently dubbed the best new skyscraper in the world. Acclaimed chef duo Hari Shetty and Ori Geller (known for their work at London's Nobu and Yaffo in Tel Aviv set out to create a space where they could celebrate the union between live-fire cooking and high-quality ingredients. The shared-dining menu includes ample veggie options such as crispy flatbread with giajillo chilli butter, amber charcoal-roasted artichoke, and charred baby leeks with mustard dressing and Belper Knolle cheese. Considering its awe-inspiring setting and fire-flavoured cuisine, there's no doubt that Nela has the potential to become a shining star in Zuidas.
At this towering sea rig in the harbour of Amsterdam, you can dine 22 metres above the water in a former pirate radio station. Named, not after the American rock band, but the REM law which effectively shut down the station in 1964, the platform is now one of Amsterdam’s most unique restaurants. Cosy in the winter and glorious in the summer when guests can dine on the roof terrace, the restaurant is open for lunch and three-course evening meals.
Restaurant de Kas
Essentially a giant greenhouse where you eat the produce grown there, de Kas is one of Amsterdam’s finest restaurants and offers diners an unforgettable culinary experience based on fresh, seasonal produce. And we mean really fresh – menus are created daily depending on what’s been picked from the garden that same day. The glass building dates back to the 1920s when it was used as the city’s municipal greenhouse, and retains its old-fashioned charm despite its conversion into a super-stylish restaurant.
Vuurtoreneiland's Summer Restaurant
For a limited time during the summer (mid-May to September), adventurous diners can take a boat to a nearby deserted island and enjoy a four-course meal in a specially constructed greenhouse. The pop-up restaurant experience on Vuurtoreneiland is a popular culinary draw, so be sure to book in advance.
If we eat with our eyes, Mama Kelly’s sweetshop-hued interior is a feast fit for a king. The pink-on-pink-on-pink with gold accents provides the flamboyant setting for a restaurant with a surprisingly simple menu, primarily based around chicken or lobster prepared with a selection of flavour combinations. There’s a good choice of vegetarian dishes too, and of course, some tempting dessert options.
They say that eliminating one sense heightens the others, so by turning off the lights Ctaste hopes to increase diners’ appreciation of taste and smell. Visually impaired staff will lead you to your table in the pitch black where, once seated, you can work your way through several courses of surprise dishes, all in total darkness. No need to worry about food stuck in your teeth then – until you step outside of course.
It is not often that you get to see Amsterdam from above. At Moon, a restaurant located on the 19th floor of A’DAM Lookout, you get to enjoy the views of Amsterdam from all sides. The restaurant revolves (literally!) for a 360-degree view of the harbour, city centre and the horizon. Lunch patrons can dine à la carte and dinner guests can select one of the set menus of the evening. Using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients — mixed with a few exotic ones, like the Japanese dashi and miso — Moon takes you on a culinary and literal adventure.
Canal dinner cruises
For a dining experience not available anywhere else in the world, try a culinary canal cruise on Amsterdam’s famous UNESCO protected canal belt. What could be more Amsterdam-ey than wining and dining while weaving between historic canal houses and drifting under fairy-lit bridges?