Dinner shows and festive dining
When the temperature drops, the idea of moving from venue to venue on an evening out somewhat loses appeal. Fortunately, Amsterdam offers a brilliant range of options for dinner entertainment which means you won’t be rushing to put your coat back on after dessert. From cabaret clubs and jazz bars to dinner cruises and drag shows, here’s our round-up of the best venues to cosy up in the night this festive season - with many offering fantastic packages from Christmas and New Year’s Eve!
Dauphine’s live stage hosts some of the finest soul, pop, funk, R&B and jazz musicians, offering a surprising evening out with the intimate atmosphere of a New York nightclub. The most popular event is Friday Night Live, where you can tuck into a four-course dinner as you watch the band. There are also regular shows on the first Sunday of every month.
Duin & Kruidberg Country Estate
The glorious grounds, pristine dining rooms and towering Christmas tree in the main hall make the Duin & Kruidberg country estate a stunning location to spend Christmas or New Year’s Eve with family, colleagues and friends. The evening’s flavours tear out of the estate’s in-house Michelin-star restaurant, De Vrienden van Jacob. There’s also plenty on offer for the little ones, including Santa – in person!
Fort Pampus Winter Lights Dining Experience
Take a 40-minute clipper ride from IJburg harbour to Fort Pampus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to enjoy their Winter Lights dining experience. A tour of the 19th-century fortress built on Lake IJmeer is followed by dinner in the pavilion, where candles and an ever-burning fire provide a wintry atmosphere and warmth. Dishes are prepared using seasonal and sustainable ingredients. After dinner and a belly-warming glass of Schippersbitter, you can cosy up by the fireplace or explore the island at your leisure before cruising back home.
Vuurtoreneiland Winter Restaurant
Located on an island in Markermeer Lake, Vuurtoreneiland (Lighthouse Island) can only be reached by boat. Luckily, the intimate ship feels more like a warm floating bar than a ferry. From October to May, the winter restaurant opens in a fort that once served as barracks to protect the capital against Prussian raids. On a rugged island that's home to Amsterdam's only lighthouse, the setting brings an austere winter atmosphere while within the fort, blankets and a crackling fire keep diners toasty. Dinner is prepared on a wood-fired stove and consists of five courses highlighting winter vegetables, meat and fish.
Head along the 400-year-old Hoogkamersgang passageway through a charming courtyard towards a historic building that was once a former spice warehouse. Welcome to Restaurant Bellezza in the heart of the Red Light District - a new culinary experience that pairs fine dining with matching audio-visual effects. As you tuck into starters and fine dining plates, 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. For the afterparty, settle down in the speakeasy bar hidden above the restaurant for exciting cocktails and champagnes.
Pasta e Basta
Slurp spaghetti vongole as the talented waiting staff of this welcoming trattoria serenade you with arias, pop ballads and Italo disco. Pasta e Basta offers an Italian menu, beautiful wines and performances by professionally-trained waiters who will sing to you as you eat - the perfect soundtrack to a romantic dinner for two or an unforgettable group meal.
If you’re looking for a place to stay over the holidays, or just want to enjoy dinner at a beautiful hotel restaurant, the city has plenty of options for you. Conservatorium Hotel, InterContinental Amstel, The Dylan and Okura are among the many hotels in the city that offer special holiday packages paired with an overnight stay. Check out our luxury hotels page for further inspiration.
Paleis van de Weemoed
Nothing rolls in the glamourous festive season better than sequins, feather boas and some carefully-positioned tassels over a five-course a la carte meal. Paleis van de Weemoed in the heart of Amsterdam’s notorious Red Light District is one of the best-known cabaret and variety bars in the city. Throughout the festive season, the venue hosts regular dinner shows with song, dance, jazz, and of course, some tantalising burlesque with a big festive wink.
Red velvet decor, oysters and flowing champagne; this cabaret bar and nightclub channels the lavish bohemian glamour of those notorious Nuits Parisienne. Bar Rouge is an intimate spot for groups to enjoy fantastic Asian-inspired dishes, cocktails, live entertainment and music from some of the hottest DJs in town. Check the website for their exclusive Christmas and New Year’s Eve events.
Chin Chin Club
Inspired by Hong Kong’s vibrant nightlife, indulge in an evening of superb Asian-influenced food, provocative performances and the sound of chinking glasses at Chin Chin Club. A dinner show here includes a superb five-course menu, magical live entertainment as you eat and the option to stay on when the venue transforms into an intimate nightclub for the evening. The venue was named after the cheerful sound of clinking glasses, and we believe it’s one of the most festive hotspots in the city. Chin Chin, darling!.
Amsterdam’s most talented drag performers own the stage of this iconic theatre restaurant which promises the most reliably fabulous night out in Amsterdam. From the outside, ‘t Sluisje seems like nothing more than your average brown cafe in the Jordaan. But inside, you’ll be transported to a world of spectacular cross-dressing, side-splitting comedy, music and warm hospitality over a delicious three-course meal.
Rederij Dinner Cruise
Cruise into Christmas on your own private saloon boat. In December, Amsterdam's picturesque waterways are adorned with twinkly lights and glowing art installations as part of Amsterdam Light Festival, and, if the weather permits, you might even get to see the gabled houses lightly dusted in snow. Regardless of the weather outside, inside the heated cabin will be warm and cosy. After a satisfying sail, the boat will dock and the waitstaff will serve you a delectable three-course dinner on board.