The Okura Hotel with its range of restaurants including Michelin stars Ciel Bleu and Yamazato, is putting on a vast Christmas dining program. There’s a Christmas brunch, various dinners with special menus and much more.
While many restaurants are still closed around the holidays, it’s encouraging that we have six options this year compared to only three 12 months ago. So we are pleased to note that restaurants are responding to the demand for dining out on Christmas in Amsterdam.
We’re very sad to see two of our favorite restaurants in Amsterdam close down. Both De Witte Uyl and Lovefood closed doors over the last weeks.
De Witte Uyl had been on our list of Best Amsterdam Restaurants since 2009. And Lovefood was one of our Best Amsterdam Brunch places for the last three years. Our lists change rarely – it takes several extraordinary dinners before a restaurant is included. And the restaurants on the lists have shown amazing consistency in their quality. That makes it even harder to see two of them go.
We’re incredibly thankful for all the hard work and uncompromising passion for good food that owners Annemieke and Jason and their teams have put into their restaurants. They set themselves high standards and weren’t satisfied unless those were met day in and day out.
And true to themselves, both owners decided to close shop at the top of their game. With their dining rooms still filled with happy guests every night, even in times of economic crisis, Annemieke and Jason decided that it was time to move on, leave troubles with landlords, diners who don’t get the concept of inventive desserts like the chocolate board, or large numbers of no shows behind, and start new exciting projects.
Annemieke has actually already moved to France and opened three fantastic apartments for rent, naturally each with a big, fully equipped kitchen. And Jason is working on a new idea to be revealed in 2014.
Thank you very much, Annemieke and Jason, good luck with your new projects and please keep us posted!
We love getting emails and comments from our readers with questions and suggestions and we do get quite a few. Nonetheless the one we received a while back immediately made our hearts beat faster. It came from a reporter at the New York Times.
He and his partner had found Dutchgrub while scoping out restaurants for an upcoming trip to Amsterdam. And liked our recommendations enough to get in touch and suggest lunch together. We had a great time at Gartine, one of our Best Amsterdam Brunch Places, talking about how Dutchgrub started, lunches of sliced bread and slices of cheese from Albert Heijn, our thoughts on the improving Amsterdam restaurant scene and much more. In the end we persuaded them to go to Wilde Zwijnen, a recent addition to our Best Amsterdam Restaurants list.
Traditionally, many Amsterdam restaurants have closed over the Christmas days, New Year’s Eve and New Years. And many still do, although more and more people are looking to go out on those occasions.
Since we get many requests for suggestions, we have done a little research and found some nice options for Christmas. New Year’s is a bit harder. We are still looking into it and will post suggestions if we can find any good ones.
So without further ado, here are some great options for dining out in Amsterdam on Christmas:
Restaurant Worst, Marius’ little brother, is organising a lunch cum movie showing on December 24th. The idea is a communal table, starting at 12:45 with snacks and culminating in a main of wild boar served buffet style. After the lunch the food movie “Babette’s Feast” will be shown. Cost is between € 30,= and € 50,= depending on whether you stay for the movie and prefer to dine at Marius or Worst. See deworst.nl/verhalen for details.
Très French Bistrot Neuf, one of the few restaurants in Amsterdam open 7 days a week, is open on December 24th, 25th and 26th also, and serving a menu op various Christmas favourites including Partridge with champagne sauerkraut, Beef Wellington, whole lobster and many others. See bistrotneuf.nl/documents/Kerstmenu2012.pdf for the full menu.
And finally, very popular pop-up lunch turned soul food restaurant lovefood will be open on Christmas Day, December 25th, from 14:00 to 17:00 and serve a roast organic turkey. Details are on their Facebook page.
Happy holidays and make sure you make a reservation for any of these as soon as possible!
Our Best Amsterdam Restaurants list doesn’t change frequently. In fact, since its start four years ago, counting four restaurants, only two restaurants were added while one had to be dropped. Today it’s time for another addition, bringing the total of restaurants on the list to six.
The lucky newcomer is Wilde Zwijnen, a rising star in up and coming Amsterdam Oost (East), that has impressed us – and others – with its rugged chic, ambitious menu and perfect execution on multiple occasions.
Javaplein 23 hs
1095 CJ amsterdam
Open Tuesday – Sunday
Public Transport: Trams 14 to Javaplein.
Price: €70 per person
Three years ago, back in January 2009, we published our first Best Amsterdam Restaurants list. It’s been a great success with more than one hundred comments and many people reporting back having had a great dinner.
The list also has stood the test of time. Surely the best restaurants in town can be expected to consistently serve great food for many years. And indeed all four restaurants on the list are still thriving.
Still, three years later it was high time for an update. Three restaurants from the original list are still featured: Balthazar’s Keuken, Marius and De Witte Uyl. Still being a fantastic location but having underperformed food wise one too many times, De Kas had to make room for two newcomers: Blauw aan de Wal and Madelief.
The new list also has pictures and full information on opening times and public transport direction. We hope you like it as much as the previous one and look forward to many comments!