Best Amsterdam Restaurants

This is dutchgrub’s list of Best Amsterdam Restaurant.

I found my favorites through years of exploring the Amsterdam restaurant scene. Trying out new restaurants, analyzing the experience, returning to the good ones, and exchanging thoughts and ideas with other Amsterdam foodies. Then publishing this list for the first time in 2009 and updating it when a new star comes onto the scene or one of the former heroes fades or closes.

The list has been growing slowly over time and today features Amsterdam’s top six restaurants: Balthazar’s Keuken, Blauw aan de Wal, Madelief, Marius, Wilde Zwijnen and De Witte Uyl – in alphabetical order. They share a modern French or International menu, the use of purely organic ingredients and an incredible drive and passion for food. Yet each restaurant has its own distinct personality – a bohemian buzz at Balthazar’s Keuken in the heart of the Jordaan, Blauw aan de Wal’s fabulous food experience in a quiet alley of the red light district, Madeliefs total dedication to slow food, Marius’ individualism and provincial style in up and coming Westerpark, the rugged chic and perfect dishes at Wilde Zwijnen in Oost, and De Witte Uyl’s way of thinking globally and acting locally in cosmopolitan Pijp.

Balthazar’s Keuken

Balthazar’s Keuken is a small and crowded restaurant located in a former blacksmith’s workshop in the heart of the Jordaan. The staff tries hard to make all guests feel at home and the setting is certainly intimate, if slightly crammed. The food is a set three course menu. The first course usually is a mixed appetizers platter, presented on a sort of elevated stand as the large plate hardly fits the table. The crowd is mixed, from tourists to locals and from young to old. There is a bohemian feel to the restaurant that is designed around an open kitchen with an ominous “no access” sign.

www.balthazarskeuken.nl
Elandsgracht 108
1016 VA Amsterdam
Tel: +31-20-4202114
Open Wednesday – Saturday
Public Transport: Trams 1, 2, or 5 to Prinsengracht.
Cuisine: International
Neighborhood: Jordaan
Vibe: Bohemian
Price: €50 per person

Blauw aan de Wal

Blauw aan de Wal is fabulous food smack in the middle of the Amsterdam red light district. Given the surroundings, you will be surprised just how pretty and quaint it is. The formula at Blauw aan de Wal is a three-course choice menu for € 55,=. There’s usually a choice of three starters, two mains and two desserts. The cuisine is an interesting mix of Mediterranean and Asian with a touch of Dutch. Aside from the location and food what stands out is the service: Highly attentive, extremely knowledgeable, with a good dose of humor and the attitude of a passionate foodie.

www.blauwaandewal.com
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 99
1012 DD Amsterdam
Tel: +31-20-3302257
Open Tuesday – Saturday 18:00 to 23:30
Public Transport: Trams 4, 9, 16, 24 and 25 to Dam. Or walk from Central Station.
Cuisine: International
Neighbourhood: Red Light District
Vibe: Fabulous
Price: €70 per person

Madelief

Madelief, the self-described slowest restaurant in the Netherlands is run by Dutch-Belgian couple Madelief and Jean Michel. It’s located off the beaten path on the corner of a small residential street west of Vondelpark. The decor is simple and quirky, the menu and wine list short but quality. You will be welcomed with aperitif and amuse and taken on a slow paced journey of flavors. The dishes are traditional French, prepared freshly from only the best ingredients, bringing out amazingly strong and enjoyable flavors.

Madelief (no website)
Zocherstraat 10
1054 LX Amsterdam
Tel.: +31-20-6122000
Open Tuesday – Saturday
Public Transport: Tram 1 to Overtoomsesluis
Cuisine: French
Neighbourhood: West
Vibe: Slow
Price: €70 per person

Marius

Marius is a small restaurant with a provincial style decor and located somewhat off the beaten path. A Chez Panisse trained chef runs Marius with a small staff, serving a semi-set four course chef’s menu that changes daily but leaves some options. The kitchen is organic, modern French. The mood is fun and upbeat, dominated by the chef’s laid back attitude and the guests high spirits from being rewarded by the food for having made it all the way over to Marius.

Website Marius
Barentszstraat 173
1013 NM Amsterdam
Tel: +31 -20-4227880
Open Tuesday – Saturday
Public Transport: Tram 3 to Zoutkeetsgracht or bus 48 to Barentszplein
Cuisine: French
Neighbourhood: Westerpark
Vibe: Quiet
Price: €70 per person

Wilde Zwijnen

Wilde Zwijnen – or wild boars – is the new star rising in Amsterdam Oost, a still rough on the edges but up and coming neighborhood attracting a young adventurous crowd. It’s a bit of a hike, but well worth it. The bare brick walls and rugged chic of Wilde Zwijnen are a perfect reflection of the neighborhood. As is the buzz and business of its large, for Amsterdam standards, and always packed dining room. The food is ambitious, an international menu with a Dutch twist offering both classics and more inventive dishes, and changing for each of the seasons. Spend some time to soak in the atmosphere and watch the semi open kitchen crank out perfectly executed dishes.

www.wildezwijnen.com
Javaplein 23 hs
1095 CJ amsterdam
Tel: +31-20-4633043
Open Tuesday – Sunday
Public Transport: Trams 14 to Javaplein.
Cuisine: International
Neighborhood: Oost
Vibe: Rugged
Price: €70 per person



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Previous Entries

De Witte Uyl closed doors in 2013 when the owners opened up luxury gite “Au Perier” in the South of France.

www.witteuyl.com
Frans Halsstraat 26
1072 BR Amsterdam
Tel: +31-20-6700458
Open Tuesday – Saturday
Public Transport: Tram 16 or 24 to Stadhouderskade
Cuisine: International
Neighbourhood: De Pijp
Vibe: Eclectic
Price: €70 per person

De Kas was moved to the Trendiest Amsterdam Restaurants list.

www.restaurantdekas.nl
Kamerlingh Onneslaan 3
1097 DE Amsterdam
Tel: +31 (0)20 462 45 62
Open Monday to Saturday 6:30pm to 10pm. Closed on Sundays. Open for lunch Monday to Friday 12pm to 2pm.
Public transport: Tram 9 to Hogeweg
Cuisine: Organic
Neighbourhood: East
Vibe: Rural chic
Price: €60 to €100 per person

58 thoughts on “Best Amsterdam Restaurants”

  1. Fully agree with you about Blauw aan de Wal and Marius. Less sure about Balthazar’s Keuken. And cannot believe I’ve not yet been to de Witte Uyl or Madelief!!! Much to do… Happy to be the first to comment on your great post, however 🙂

  2. Hi Vicky,

    Thanks for being the first to comment and agreeing two thirds of the way 🙂 Also appreciate the Facebook share.

    Having read all about your favorite restaurants and recipes you definitely must try Madelief – right up your alley!

    –dutchgrub

  3. I personally wasn’t so impressed by Blaauw aan de Wal. I ate there over a year ago. I thought the food was good, but not for 55 euros for 3 courses. I’ve ate just as good food for 30 to 35 euros for 3 courses. The wines were nice. And anyway I didn’t have to pay since it was my work leaving do. Ultimately the meal was fine, but if I was paying myself then I would have expected more.

  4. Thanks so much for the post! I am definitely going to try one of these places very soon.

  5. Hey Jeremy,

    Guess the nice thing about these lists is that everyone has their own. We’ve been to all of the above restaurants multiple times and never been disappointed.

    In terms of prices I would describe them as high but definitely worth the money. They are significantly below what you pay at a Michelin star shop and also significantly below your favorite place in the neighborhood. We’ve always felt we got great value for our money!

    –dutchgrub

  6. Thanks for keeping this updated, I always find myself in tune with you taste.
    Do you think it would be possible to include two or three ‘best restaurants below 30 euros’ or so?
    I agree that these are all good value for money, but there are times when one just wants to have a nice meal without spending too much.

  7. Not impressed with Blauw aan de wal. Had a reservation for 4 people at 8pm. Ordered the 3 course meal. The main meal arrived at 11.15PM. We got served bread twice in between, as we waited so long. Other guests got mad as well and went out before the meal was finished.

    Food was very tasty once we got it, but waiting for 3 hours is unacceptable and insulting. Not seeing me back there.

  8. Hi expat,

    Very sorry to hear you had such a bad experience at Blauw aan de Wal.

    All I can say is that we have been to all of the restaurants on the list multiple times and never experienced anything like that. And while all of the restaurants have excellent service, I would say that Blauw would be at the top even among this crowd.

    Did they say anything about it?

    –dutchgrub

  9. I’ve been enjoying looking around your website as we plan a trip to Amsterdam in a few weeks. Trying to choose one ‘date night’ restaurant (when grandma stays home with the 2 year old!) and so hard to decide! What do you say about Le Restaurant, or Lof? Unfortunately Lastage is fully booked :(.

  10. Hi Nicky,

    We are not too big on Michelin star restaurants, often finding them overly formal. Having said that, both Lastage and Le Restaurant are good choices, and smaller and less stiff than the others.

    We haven’t been to Lof yet, so cannot comment.

    –dutchgrub

  11. We ended up getting a Sunday night reservation for Lastage, and it was absolutely lovely! I’d highly recommend it. Good food, cosy ambience, not at all pretentious. However, a 5 course wine pairing does make for a couple of tipsy tourists on bikes, ha!

  12. Hi dutchgrub!

    Fantastic website! Hope you can help me with a few suggestions!!

    Im coming to Amsterdam on 24 August for 3 nights for my girlfriends 30th birthday (its a surprise!), which is on Sunday 26 August. I dont know Amsterdam too well so hoping you can give me some tips!!

    We are staying at the Conservatorium hotel in Museumplein (my girlfriend is really into design). I have heard that the Tunes restaurant in the hotel isnt that great?

    So for our first night I was thinking of booking an Italian called Incanto. I was looking for something quite romantic, and busy until late, as our flight lands at 8pm on the Friday. What do you think, is this a good option? Perhaps De Witte or Balthazar instead if they are open late, as they are quite close to the hotel, or Blauw, as we will probably wander into the redlight to check it out!!

    Then on Saturday we will get bikes and explore. Do you have any suggestions for a really nice late lunch? Would any of your suggestions above be suitable for lunhc? I think after that we may go to the Voltt techno festival for some fun 🙂

    This finishes at 11. If we are hungry after, are there any late night places to eat you can recommend?

    Her birthday is on Sunday. I was thinking of having lunch at the Dylan brasserie, what do you think? I have then booked a gondola (!) to take us along the canals. I was looking for a bar and restaurant we can go to on the gondola. The girl who I have arranged it with suggested either Pont 13 or REM Eiland for dinner. What do you think?

    Then lunch at De Kas on the Monday before we go – the venue looks amazing.

    We like all sorts of food, but my gf cant really eat a lot of onion or garlic, it makes her ill! Restaurants are normally ok to prepare dishes without this though. We dont really like places that are too formal, prefer more relaxed and interesting.

    I hope you can help and THANKYOU in advance!!

    Nick

  13. Hi Nick,

    Seems like you’re pulling out all the stops for a romantic birthday weekend in Amsterdam. Way to go!

    As you can imagine we would go with our recommendations over Incanto or Tunes. I think Balthazar’s Keuken might be the best fit for busy and intimate.

    As for the nice lunch: Since you have bikes, how about heading out of the city and have lunch somewhere by the water? You could look at http://www.aandepoel.nl in Amstelveen or http://lute.nu/ in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel.

    Good question about the late dinner. Most restaurants close their kitchen early, so don’t really know what to recommend. Maybe somebody else can?

    Gondola and Dylan for lunch sounds great. We have not been impressed by Pont 13, but some people like it. REM Eiland has been on our want to go list for a while, but we haven’t made it yet. The setting is spectacular and we’ve heard lots of good things.

    Hope this helps!

    –dutchgrub

  14. Hey!
    Just wanted to express my opinion about your page.
    I love it. I am coming to Amsterdam in a few weeks and your suggestions helped me a lot.

    Tnx, keep up the good work.

  15. Dear Dutchgrub,

    I’ll be coming to Amsterdam to run the marathon with friends in October, one of whom’s 30th birthday is on the marathon Sunday. He’s a big foodie and we’d planned to go out for a really special dinner then; your restaurant recommendations are all great and sound very tempting, but all of them seem to be closed on Sundays! Could you recommend anywhere? Where would you go if you were dining out on Sunday and wanted somewhere special? Thanks so much,

    Dave

  16. I am coming for the first time in October and can’t wait to try some of your recommendations. I was thinking of doing one of the culinary bike tours while there and was wondering if you had a favorite?

    Thanks,
    Candace

  17. Hi,

    Thanks for these recommendations.

    We have a 20 month old daughter traveling with us. Have you seen kids in Balthazar, Blauw aan de Wal, or De Witte Uyl? Hat would you recommend?

    Peter

  18. Hi Dutchgrub

    Great site for people like me, who visit Amsterdam a lot and struggle to find a good restaurants. Let me explain: I’m English, and my partner is Dutch, so I’m over there regularly and was always a bit underwhelmed by the restaurants there.

    But thanks to your site, we discovered the Witte Uyl.

    I go about once every 1-2 months now. Had a delicious polenta dish on Saturday, with spinach and fried chickpeas.

    The only difficulty with the Witte Uyl, is that I still struggle to hack bits of chocolate off from their legendary chocolate board!

    Keep up the great work.

  19. Hi Peter,

    No, I rarely see kids at these restaurants, and cannot remember spotting a highchair either. Balthazar’s is probably simply to small and busy.

    Of the restaurants recommended by us, I would suggest either De Kas, Hotel de Goudfazant or Restaurant As with young children.

    –dutchgrub

  20. Hi Candace,

    We’ve never been on a culinary bike tour – an organized one that is, as we cycle around Amsterdam to eat and drink all the time…

    I did a quick search and would recommend against them. Seems very touristy, showing you around the city and offering samples of Dutch treats.

    Why not simply rent a bike, make a map of some great food places and explore on your own?

    –dutchgrub

  21. Thanks for the recommendations. We went to De Kas, De Witte Uyl, Blauw aan wal and Balthazar’s Keuken on your recommendations. It was a wonderful trip and the food was excellent. I posted a review on chowhound to share with others.

    Again, thank you. Your hard work was a large contributor to our wonderful visit in this awesome awesome city.

  22. Dear Dutchgrub,

    Thanks for the list. I know you are not big on Michelin starred restaurants, but I’ve been curious about the Restaurant Ron Blaauw Amsterdam. I just made a reservation for one of nights during my long weekend stay in Amsterdam soon, but it seems there are many other choices worth trying. I also made a reservation at Blauw. Let me know what you think of the Ron Blaauw. Thanks,

    Kay

  23. Ron Blaauw is great. When you go there and want to take some time for your dinner, tell them that beforehand because they tend to rush a little. It is not a stiff michelin star restaurant at all. The staff is young and enthusiastic. The food is very special Another restaurant worth eating at, but a bit out of the way, is Aan de Poel. These guys worked at Ron Blaauw for years and started their own restaurant a few years ago. They very quickly obtained a star as well. Again young, creative, enthusiastic. Not stiff at all and absolutely worth a try. I think they also do lunch but maybe not in the weekend. I don’t think either are open on Sunday, though. Have fun and let us know how you liked it. You can get some info as well at http://www.iens.nl and google translate, or just put ‘iens aan de poel’or any other restaurant in google search. Have fun!

  24. Hey Kay and Annemieke,

    Agree with Annemieke here, Ron Blaauw is young and modern and attracts a rather upscale crowd, especially now that they moved to the posh Amsterdam Zuid neighborhood. I still think it suffers a bit from the need for perfect execution in everything, which means it loses the personal touch like many other Michelin star restaurants.

    For other starred restaurants, also check out http://www.lerestaurant.nl/ and http://www.restaurantlastage.nl/index_main.html. Both are smaller and more centrally located.

    –dutchgrub

  25. Hi Dutchgrub,

    My wife and I are coming over to Amsterdam for the New Year celebrations and wondered if you could recommend a good restaurant for the 31st. We’re looking for simply good food, good atmosphere, good entertainment and somewhere to take us through to 1.00am before we venture out onto the streets for the traditional Dutch festivities.

    Thanks,

    Keith, Inverness, Scotland

  26. Hi,

    I relocated to Amsterdam a couple of months ago and was out to De Witte Uyl on Saturday. I read the review on your site and gave it a go. I must say, my friend and I had a fantastic evening, the food was tasty and the service was impeccable.
    Tried Balthazar Keuken on Friday and that was also good, however the two offer very different experiences. One, the Balthazar Keuken, is much more buzzy and chaotic, whereas at the De Witte Uyl you almost never want to leave as the atmosphere is relaxed and cozy and the conversation flows

    Thanks for your review, I look forward to trying new ones in the next coming weeks

    Emanuele

  27. Hey looking for a special place to have dinner with my boyfriend that will turn 27 soon. Read a bunch of reviews. But have no idea what to pick. Would really need some help. Heard about this place named The colour Kitchen, ever been there? Maybe will try the De Witte Uyl but not sure yet. Is it affordable, i’m not that strong on cash.

  28. Hello Emma, Restaurant De Wereldbol is in a nice romantic place and affordable. Of course you can look things up by googling and looking at the restaurants’ websites. Also Little Collins is nice and affordable. It is known for its brunch but they do dinner as well, where you share dishes. My restaurant De Witte Uyl, might be a little expensive, depending on how many dishes you feel like. Hope you’ll have a nice time.

  29. Thank you Annemieke for the information 🙂

    Can i ask you something as a restaurant owner… Why don’t restaurants in Holland an alocholic choise exempt beer and wine..i drink neither, but i drink cider but never ever is there any to have at a restaurant wich leaves me to drink water, wich is not very fun when you want a nice night out.

    So why is that so…?

  30. Hello Emma, I think that is because nobody else drinks it here. In my 16 years of owning a restaurant nobody has asked for it, and to offer it just in case somebody might come by is not very economic.
    Hope you’ll have a nice night out nevertheless

  31. Thanks for the suggestions and explanations, Annemieke!

    And Emma, if you wanted to stick to this list, Balthazar’s Keuken might the best option. It’s quite affordable.

    –dutchgrub

  32. May I get your email
    address so I can ask my
    Amsterdam dining
    questions directly?

  33. Hi Sue,

    Yes, of course. Please see the “Contact dutchgrub” box on the right below the blog-roll for email address and other contact options.

    –dutchgrub

  34. Hi Dutchgrub,

    I’d like to mention this very cute restaurant in the Jordan I went to last night. It’s an Italian restaurant called Eetcafe Koevoet. The place is very cozy and the service was very good. The food was also of a good quality, I had a Filetto al Pepe verde and my friend had a Parmigiana. We were very happy with our choice, also the wine list, although limited, is quite good.
    I would be interested in hearing what others think about this place

    Thanks
    Emanuele

  35. Took your recommendation and booked a birthday dinner at Witte Uyl. Very nice experience..fun conversation with the hostess, good wine, nice romantic atmosphere. Lamb lasagne was the standout.. but beef was bland.. would definitely go back to try more of their dishes.. Thx again for the tip…

  36. We are going to Amsterdam and staying at Banks Mansion April 18 & 19. There are six of us and we are looking for good food but not wildly expensive. What would you suggest?
    Thanks!

  37. Did you know De Witte Uyl is closed. Their website says the chef is starting a new project in France.

  38. Hey Tim,

    Yes, indeed we knew that De Witte Uyl had closed, actually got to go one last time on their final night.

    It’s very sad. Need to find time to update the list and write a little farewell post to thank them for all the hard work and amazing dinners.

    –dutchgrub

  39. Help us dine where locals dine in Amsterdam without astronomical prices. Thanks, Joy

  40. Madelief has closed! however the new great addition with natural wines (yes!) and great food is Kaliber on the wilhelminastraat 153 ;

  41. Hi Johan,

    Thanks for the heads up! Didn’t know Madelief had closed down.

    Must have been rather sudden and likely due to financial trouble as I found a notice by the liquidator auctioning off the furniture.

    Too bad!

    Will have to try Kaliber.

    –dutchgrub

  42. Wilde Zwijnen is a great recommendation. Thank you. I agree that De Kas has fallen from past heights. Their appetizers still are excellent. The main dishes too bland and boring. By the way, Ron Gastrobar, which you touted, was mediocre.

  43. Hi Richard,

    Thanks for the feedback!

    Do you have some more details on Ron’s Gastrobar? We are tempted to add it to our list of best restaurants after several great visits. But it’s also not the first time we hear from others who were underwhelmed.

    –dutchgrub

  44. Love the way this thread has expanded over a couple of years! First of all I’m gutted that Madelief closed down without a warning. Secondly, I must say that the last time I went to the Koevoet (about a year back) I felt it had gone downhill and it was my second disappointment there, so I never went back, as there are plenty of other Italian gems in town that I felt tried a little harder. As for Kaliber, it’s a cute place but they don’t actually make their own food. It’s prepared by a caterer and warmed up on location. Nothing wrong with that, they have a proper oven (not a microwave) but I’m more interested in eating at a restaurant where there’s a cook if a warm meal is being served. It’s missing that personal touch. The wines are from Vleck, a place I’ve become disenchanted with after realising that for over a year they recommend the same assortment to everyone, no matter if you’re a caterer asking for good matches with Arabic food (me), a bar or a restaurant.
    Lastly, I visited Ron Gastrobar twice and both times were good experiences. I was less enthusiastic about the lobster ravioli (or was it shrimp?) and once it took forever to get our meal, but the service, atmosphere and wine are excellent.
    I’m not impressed with Blauw aan de Wal at all, but I see that many people here share this opinion.
    Lastly, I haven’t been to Balthazar’s Keuken in about fifteen years, even though I always liked it. But one thing that kept me from returning was that if I didn’t want to eat meat, there was always tuna steak on the menu. So I’d go for the veggie option, which I preferred in places where the cook was more inventive with veggie meals. Hopefully they have more variety with their fish selection now.

  45. Hi Nihal,

    Thanks for the long comment! You are totally right, all the feedback, suggestions and questions in the comments make this page special. We love them and hope they will keep coming.

    –dutchgrub

  46. Hello,
    Im going to be in Amsterdam over Christmas, and your recommendations for food sound great!
    I was just wondering if you know of any places that will be open for Christmas lunch that you can recommend?
    Thanks!

  47. Really nice to see that there are some restaurants I usually visits when i’m in Amsterdam. Nice list!

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