Dine Around the Port of Amsterdam

If you look at a map of Amsterdam, you will see blue everywhere. Amsterdam is a city built around water.

Most visitors spend plenty of time around the canals, doing a tour of Amsterdam in a canal boat, shopping in the Negen Straatjes (nine little streets) or just exploring the city. The canals are everywhere. And they represent what Amsterdam stands for – narrow streets lined by century old houses and connected by cobble stone bridges. Most of the restaurants are in this area too and go for a similar vibe.

Few visitors ever make it to, let alone over, Het IJ, Amsterdam main water way, situated right behind Central Station, and connecting the city to the North Sea. The Port of Amsterdam lost in importance in the 20th century as it’s far from the North Sea, and lay dormant for years, having been completely neglected by city planners. That’s changing rapidly with many cool apartments springing up by the IJ, as well as several prestigious projects such as the new cruise ship terminal, the EYE movie museum, or the new city library.

The area has a very different feel than the canals – bigger, more industrial and more diverse. As of recently, a number of restaurants have sprung up in that area, providing diners with that same rather different look – larger, more rugged and more modern. And while many of them are not as conveniently located as the restaurants around the canals, we think it’s well worth a trip to explore this area and feel the pulse of the old Port of Amsterdam.

Hotel de Goudfazant (Amsterdam Noord)

Hotel de Goudfazant is one of dutchgrub’s Trendiest Amsterdam Restaurants. It’s located in an impressive former boat shed where diners sit on long tables and plastic chairs, and enjoy a classic French fixed price menu.

hotel de goudfazant amsterdam outside

Aambeeldstraat 10 H
1021 KB Amsterdam
Tel.: +31 (0)20 6365170
Open Tuesday to Sunday 6pm to 1am. Closed on Mondays.
Public transport: Bus 32 or 33 from Central Station to Johan van Hasseltweg
Cuisine: French
Neighborhood: Noord
Vibe: Industrial cool
Price: €35 to €55 per person

Restaurant Stork (Amsterdam Noord)

Café Restaurant Stork is housed in a former dock that was stripped but left intact to a large part. It’s very spacious with a big entrance and bar area, an open kitchen and all the fish on display on ice. The menu is a traditional fish and seafood affair with some meat and vegetarian options.

restaurant stork amsterdam - quay

Bedrijventerrein de Overkant
Gedempt Hamerkanaal t.o. 96
1021 KR Amsterdam
Tel.: +31 (0)20 6344000
Open daily from 11am. Closed on Mondays from October to March
Public transport: Bus 32 or 33 from Central Station to Johan van Hasseltweg
Cuisine: Fish
Neighborhood: Noord
Vibe: Industrial cool
Price: €35 to €55 per person

De Wereldbol (KNSM Eiland)

De Wereldbol (Dutch for globe) is small and individualistic, run by an ambitious chef with a little help serving and in the kitchen. The menu has a mix of favorites from different parts of the world and a strong focus on aperitifs, wine and desserts.

de wereldbol amsterdam

Piraeusplein 59
1019 NM Amsterdam
Tel.: +31 (0)20 3628725
Open Tuesday to Sunday 7pm to 9pm. Closed on Mondays.
Public transport: Tram 10 to Azartplein
Cuisine: International
Neighborhood: KNSM Eiland
Vibe: Modern chic
Price: €40 to €60 per person

Wilhelmina Dok (Amsterdam Noord)

Wilhelmina Dok is the least ambitious of the four food wise but certainly has the most beautiful terrace, overlooking Het IJ with a marvelous view of Amsterdam from the other side. The menu is small but versatile with a meat, fish and vegetarian dish.

cafe wilhelminadok behind Het IJ

Noordwal 1
1021 PX Amsterdam
Tel.: +31 (0)20 6323701
Open daily from 11am to 11pm.
Public transport: Bus 38 from Central Station to Valkenweg
Cuisine: International
Neighborhood: Noord
Vibe: Canteen
Price: €30 to €50 per person

Amsterdam Restaurants on Christmas

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Wilde Zwijnen Added to Best Amsterdam Restaurants

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.

See below for details or check out our updated Best Amsterdam Restaurant list.

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

Little Collins – The Friendliest Brunch in Amsterdam

Australians are renowned all over the world for their friendly laid-back attitude. So that’s what we expected when deciding to try Little Collins, a small brunch place and cafe run by Aussies Charlotte and Georgina. And we certainly were not disappointed!

There’s a friendly atmosphere all around – a happy voice on the other end of the line when making the reservation, a warm hello upon entering the cafe, a modern but warm interior design and all the favorites from mimosas to muesli on the menu. Even our group of picky eaters requiring extra large coffees, spinach on the side or caramelized onions omitted were no match for the good mood of the waitress.

Even though we could hardly wait to try Stan’s bangers and mash, we were quickly won over, lowered pace a few notches and decided to start with a few cocktails. And Little Collins came through on multiple fronts, good execution on classic Bloody Mary and interesting flavors in a Tokyo version with rice vinegar and wasabi.

We were equally happy about the food, and for the same reasons. The classic comfort food dishes like sausages and eggs in several variations are no frills but well executed. The classics are spiced up by less standard concoctions like kedgeree (smoked mackerel and saffron rice) or coriander and corn fritters. And the menu is rounded off by the “big one” – sausage, eggs, beans and more for the hungry Aussies.

1e Sweelinckstraat 19-F
1073 CL Amsterdam
Tel.: +31 (0)20 6732293
Public Transport: Trams 4, 7, 10, 25 to Stadhouderskade or tram 3 to Ceintuurbaan
Cuisine: Brunch
Neighborhood: De Pijp
Vibe: Friendly

Xinh – Vietnamese Food In Amsterdam At Last

Asian cuisine in Amsterdam is very much dominated by Indonesian and Thai restaurants. To the point where it’s hard to find a good Chinese, available on each corner in many other large European cities. So we were very excited when we learned about a Vietnamese restaurant having opened doors.

Xinh is located just off the corner of Elandsgracht and Prinsengracht, in one of those locations that have become known for failing restaurants, having seen a series of bad restaurants going out of business, most recently Waldorf. Xinh did a great job of giving the inside a very different look, sparsely lit, coolish with a touch of 70s atmosphere.

Xinh has both an a la carte menu as well as a three course tasting menu. There are few surprises on the menu but all the Vietnamese favorites such as summer rolls, grilled meat on a stick, Vietnamese crepes, Pho, or dancing beef. The tasting menu is a good choice for those not very familiar with Vietnamese cuisine. It starts out with a fresh salad with shrimps and chilli sauce, and then as main has a combination of dancing beef, lemongrass chicken and caramel pork.

The highlight of our dinner was probably dessert, where we were allowed to switch the banana pudding for ice cream, one of which was durian flavor. At that point we briefly felt like being in Asia!

We weren’t blown away but liked it enough to come back. And we don’t think it will go out of business soon!

Elandsgracht 2
1016 TV Amsterdam
Tel.: +31 (0)20 6240308
Public Transport: Trams 13, 14, 17 to Westermarkt or trams 1, 2, 5 to Spui
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Neighborhood: Jordaan
Vibe: Cool

Best Amsterdam Restaurant List Updated

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!

Best Amsterdam Restaurants by dutchgrub.