Finding somewhere to stop for a drink, enjoy a good meal, or simply watch the world go by is rarely difficult in Amsterdam, thanks to the impressive number of excellent cafés and restaurants in the city. Here are some of the best spots for food, drinks, and relaxing vibes in the city.
Café-Restaurant de Plantage has deep ties with Amsterdam’s Artis Zoo and is located inside a 19th-century glass conservatory that was originally owned by the institute. The restaurant’s elegant dining area contains several trees, including one particularly large specimen that’s planted in its centre. Café-Restaurant de Plantages’ menu mainly features classic dishes from European cuisine that are cooked with ingredients commonly associated with Dutch gastronomy. The restaurant also has an absolutely stunning terrace, which overlooks Artis Zoo’s flamingo enclosure.
Due to its excellent service, stunning location and outstanding menu, Bord’Eau has been awarded a Michelin star every year since 2012. The restaurant easily ranks among the most esteemed culinary establishments in Amsterdam and serves many sophisticated dishes that are prepared with the upmost skill and attention. Bord’Eau’s menu pays tribute to traditional European cuisine and features many refined dishes such as sweetbread with white onions, or monkfish with Jerusalem artichoke. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the luxurious Hotel de l’Europe – an establishment that has been synonymous with high-end hospitality in Amsterdam for generations.
Moeders Restaurant is known for its traditional Dutch dishes | Courtesy of Moeders Restaurant
The walls of this charming restaurant on Rozengracht are plastered with dozens of portraits of mums from all over the world. Most pictures on this ‘Wall of Fame’ were donated by patrons, and Moeders still welcomes additions to its collection. The restaurant is among the best places in Amsterdam to sample traditional Dutch home cooking and serves many hearty, rustic dishes including stamppot with all the trimmings. Moeders also has a sunny terrace that runs alongside Singelgracht canal.
This floating restaurant has served an enticing selection of Chinese delicacies for over 30 years and has become a landmark in its own right. The restaurant is moored to the northern banks of Oosterdok harbour near Centraal Station and resembles a sturdy pagoda, complete with sloped, green eaves. There are many Cantonese and Sichuan staples available inside the restaurant and Sea Palace also has an entire menu dedicated to freshly baked dim sum.
Canvas is perched on the 7th floor of Amsterdam-Oost’s super-trendy Volkshotel and features one of the largest rooftop terraces in the city. Canvas’ lunch and dinner menus include many simple and well-balanced dishes that contain fresh vegetables, fish or high-quality cuts of meat. Although there is ample space inside, during the warmer months of the year it is possible to eat alfresco on Canvas’ terrace and enjoy almost unmatched views of Amsterdam. During weekends, Canvas also hosts club nights, which take place after 22.00 inside its bar area.
Restaurant de Kas grows its own herbs and vegetables inside an on-site greenhouse that was once belonged to Amsterdam’s local government. The restaurant uses its crops and other seasonal ingredients to create elegant meals that are inspired by Mediterranean cuisine. The menu at Restaurant de Kas changes everyday and always centres around its current harvest, thus ensuring that its dishes are always fresh, healthy and delicious. Though the restaurant only offers a set menu, its chefs will alter dishes in order to accommodate dietary requirements on request.
Winkel43 makes some of the finest Dutch-style apple pie in the entire city and serves this delicious treat with large dollops of thick whipped cream. Aside from its signature dish, Winkel43’s menu features many tasty meals and light snacks that pair wonderfully with cold beer or hot drinks. The café has plenty of indoor seating as well as a spacious terrace area that looks out onto Prinsengracht canal. It’s also located right next to Amsterdam’s longest running farmers’ market, Noordermarkt, which operates at a nearby plaza every Saturday.
This charming teahouse, bar and café lies in the centre of Amsterdam’s most popular urban park, Vondelpark. The multi-tiered, saucer-shaped building that houses ’t Blauwe Theehuis dates back to the early 20th century and ranks among the most complete examples of Nieuwe Zakelijkheid architecture. Due to its almost unrivalled location, well-stocked bar and two-storey terrace, ’t Blauwe Theehuis attracts scores of visitors during sunny spells and thankfully can accommodate around 700 guests.
This revolving restaurant rotates around the 19th floor of A’DAM Tower in Amsterdam-Noord and offers guests the chance to behold the city’s stunning skyline while dining. Moon’s chefs have put together an enticing menu of sophisticated yet simple dishes that employ modern methods and flavours to compliment classic, international recipes. The restaurant regularly hosts special culinary events where guest chefs are invited to create limited edition dishes that are then available on Moon’s menu for around two months.
Although technically not accessed through the Amsterdam-Noord area, this restaurant is far enough up the river for most of the locals to consider it part of the northern district. The bar at this former radio and TV station will provide one of the most memorable experiences visitors can have in Amsterdam, and that is quite an achievement. The bar is situated 22 metres above the water, so there are excellent views. After one of their three-course dinners, visitors can enjoy some delicious cocktails while taking in the panoramic views.