Amsterdam boasts many excellent seafood restaurants, which range from down-to-earth lunchrooms that serve typical Dutch street bites to high-end establishments with refined haute cuisine. Continue reading to discover some of the best places for fresh and delicious seafood in the city.
The Good Companion
Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
Despite the dish’s overwhelming popularity in the UK and the abundance of similar fast-food items available in the Netherlands, it is surprisingly difficult to find fish and chips in Amsterdam. The Good Companion aims to remedy this unfortunate situation and offers several types of battered fish, which are served with thick-cut chips, mushy peas and homemade sauces. The restaurant has many other delicious deep-fried seafood dishes on its menu as well as lighter meals such as soup, salad and tempura veggies.
This high-end seafood restaurant is housed inside a 17th century warehouse located on the southern side of Amsterdam’s historic canal belt. The restaurant serves a style of cookery it calls ‘Fishtronomy’, which employs techniques drawn from haute cuisine to create meticulously prepared and well-balanced dishes that centre around locally sourced fish. The restaurant changes its eight-course dinner menu every night and stocks an excellent selection of imported wine.
This high-concept restaurant features an indoor fish stand that looks as though it was lifted straight from an old-school fishmonger. Guests are encouraged to browse through the restaurant’s current selection and order meals directly from the restaurant’s fish stand. Afterwards, Pesca’s chefs prepare the aforementioned fish in an open kitchen, allowing guests to witness their chosen items being filleted, chopped and cooked to perfection. Pesca, Theatre of Fish only buys fish from sustainable sources and lowers its prices later at night in order to avoid creating unnecessary waste.
This waterside seafood restaurant stands on the northern banks of the river IJ and features an enormous terrace that looks onto Amsterdam’s central Docklands. Café-Restaurant Stork serves many gourmet seafood dishes that are mainly inspired by European and North-American cuisine. There are five varieties of oysters available on the restaurant’s menu and many other smaller plates that work well as snacks or starters. Other larger dishes include oven-baked seawolf served alongside buttermilk mashed potatoes and snow crab legs with homemade lemon mayonnaise. The restaurant works with a local sustainability foundation called Fish&Season and only purchases fish from ecologically conscious sources.
Aside from selling fresh seafood by the kilo, this traditional neighbourhood fishmonger also serves tasty lunchtime meals, such as smoked salmon, sandwiches or deep-fried fishy bites called lekkerbekje. Urker Viswinkel regularly changes its menu in accordance with the season and offers special weekly dishes tailored to its current selection. As the store lies in the centre of de Jordaan, it is within walking distance from many important landmarks, including Westerkerk, the Anne Frank House and Dam Square.
The man behind The Seafood Bar, Fons de Visscher, worked as a respected fishmonger for almost three decades before opening his first restaurant in 2012. Today, The Seafood Bar has three locations spread around Amsterdam, which each serve fresh sustainable seafood, high-quality wine and expertly-made cocktails. The restaurant’s menu basically ticks every box when it comes to European-style seafood and features many classic dishes, such as whole lobsters, seafood and oysters on the half shell. The restaurant also runs a traiteur called The Seafood Shop, which sells traditional Dutch seafood snacks, like deep-fried kibbeling or soused herring, as take-out meals.
This aptly titled restaurant has an entire menu dedicated to gin cocktails, which range from classic elderflower infused G&Ts to more adventurous concoctions that are laced with fresh herbs and spices. These refreshing drinks match perfectly with the restaurant’s dinner menu, which features many mussel-centric dishes served with fries, alongside other international seafood specialities like Italian-style grilled octopus or British fish and chips. Thanks to its location inside Westerpark, the restaurant is surrounded by charming sceneries and has a spacious, sunny terrace that becomes particularly popular during the warmer months.
As Visrestaurant de Oesterbar (or Fish Restaurant the Oyster Bar in English) has served delicious gourmet seafood dishes inside its French-style brasserie on Leidseplein since 1938 – and it ranks among the oldest establishments of its kind in Amsterdam. Its sophisticated menu reflects its long-standing reputation and features many classic items from European cuisine, including deluxe seafood platters, Dutch mussels with fries and seafood risotto seasoned with saffron. The restaurant also serves oysters from France and the Netherlands by the half dozen.