What started out as a small fishing village in the 12th century is now the capital and the most populous city in the Netherlands, with a population of more than 875,000.
One thing you cannot pass up while there are local food favorites. After you shop and see the sights, drop off your bags at one of the luggage storage locations in Amsterdam. Then go try some of these top delights:
- Kroket is the most common snack food in Amsterdam. These are made of meat, cheese, and gravy rolled in breadcrumbs and fried.
- Dutch herring is not for everyone but if you like raw fish, you will love these. The locals like to top them with onions and pickles.
- Bitterballen is basically a deep-fried meatball. But you can get it vegetarian as well.
- Stroopwafel is a favorite for those with a sweet tooth. The syrup-filled waffle is actually even better than it sounds.
- Poffertjes are mini pancakes that are crispy and light, topped with butter and powdered sugar.
Now that you know what to eat, how about where to eat? We did our homework to find the best places to get local cuisine in Amsterdam.
- Mister Meatball
Mister Meatball is a fun place to get some fantastic Dutch food in a delightful cafe on Nieuwebrugsteeg. Try grandmother’s meatball or a plate full of small meatballs. They even have meatball rolls, mashed potatoes, and the meatball of the month.
For a high-class meal in a warm and informal atmosphere, try just eating whatever they serve you at Utrechtsedwarstafel. Choose from three to five courses with wine chosen specifically for the meal. They have two levels to choose from and you will not be disappointed.
- Frens Haringhandel
The locals boast the best herring in Amsterdam at Frens Haringhandel on Koningsplein, so if you like seafood, this is your place. Whether you want a herring sandwich, smoked eel, shrimp, or tuna, they have it fresh and waiting for you. They even have oysters.
Pasta and pizza anyone? Just because you are in Amsterdam doesn’t mean you can’t have some Italian food. They certainly have a good variety.
- De Pizzabakkers
The best pizza in town can be found at De Pizzabakkers. Actually, there are nine locations around Amsterdam to choose from and they all have delicious pizza and pasta. Don’t miss the tiramisu or panna cotta for dessert.
- Cia Bella
For pasta lovers, Cia Bella on Prinsengracht will treat you right and serve you a variety of choices. They have eggplant parmigiana, cannelloni ricotta, tortellini, rigatoni, lasagna, and yes, spaghetti. They also have fantastic salads, sandwiches, soups, and desserts. Try the cannoli or chocolate cake.
- Holy Ravioli
Enjoy the fun and friendly staff at Holy Ravioli on Jan Pieter Heijenstraat where they have seven different types of ravioli. They also have three kinds of lasagna, several types of pasta, and fresh salads. For dessert, you can choose from cheesecake, tiramisu, and carrot cake, to name a few.
If you’re hungry for tacos or some other Mexican eats, Amsterdam has that covered too. Take a look at some of my favorites.
- Tacos & Tequila
Try some jackfruit tacos, quesadillas, and burritos or Mexican bowls full of marinated chicken or beer tequila battered fish. Top any of your favorites with steak, beans, chicken, or shrimp. And wash it all down with a fantastic tequila at Tacos & Tequila in the Magna Plaza.
- Mercado Uno
Head to Mercado Uno on Barentszstraat for dazzling Mexican cuisine in an upscale fashion in a cozy and carefree setting. They boast tasty empanadas in seven flavors, including the empanada of the month. They also have sandwiches and burgers as well as cakes and brownies for dessert.
- Taco Cartel
You can get tacos and burritos with nachos or rice and beans on the side at Taco Cartel on Van Woustraat. Can’t decide? Order a snack platter or taco tasting special. Don’t miss their deep-fried fish bites. And they even have Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for dessert.
Amsterdam is known for its fresh fish that many locals eat raw. You don’t have to eat it raw, though, if you don’t want to. Go try one of these local favorites while you are in town.
Fresh fish, lobster, and shrimp, as well as a delicious wine list, await you at Pesca on Rozengracht. The fun part is watching the staff cook while entertaining the audience in the “theater of fish.” Don’t miss this place.
- The Seafood Bar
With three locations in Amsterdam, The Seafood Bar is a hit with the locals as well as the tourists. Try squid rings, Dutch shrimp croquettes, scallops, crab cakes, and sashimi. They even have caviar, lobster soup, and several desserts like cheesecake and pie.
For a fancier establishment with Dutch-style seafood, try Scheepskameel on Kattenburgerstraat right along the canal. The food is delightful and their presentation of it is five-star fabulous. Whether you like seafood or not, this place has something for everyone, even if you are a vegetarian.
Yes, you can get a burger in Amsterdam too. In fact, they have burgers like you have never tasted. Check out some of these places.
- The Burger Room
The Burger Room on Paulus Potterstraat features over a dozen burgers with amazing combinations of toppings. The Jitterburger has beef tartare with capers, the Twister has half a lobster thermidor, and the Ding Dong has tuna steak. Come try them all.
- The Happy Bull
For homemade burgers and thick milkshakes, the Happy Bull on Hoofddorpweg has 13 burger varieties including the nacho burger and goat cheeseburger. You can also have chicken, pulled pork, hotdogs, tacos, and a bunch of different sides, including fries and onion rings.
- Cuddle Pub
If you want a beer with your burger you should head over to Cuddle Pub on Nieuwestraat. They have steakburgers, ribs, chicken schnitzel, and so much more. They even have bitterballen and cheese sticks. And beer, of course.