Thai Bird on Zeedijk – Amsterdam

Speaking of bird, bird, birds… I have been meaning to post about the Thai Bird for a while! It’s one of my favorite places to eat in Amsterdam.

The Thai Bird is actually two places, located across from each other on Zeedijk near the Chinese temple. One is the Thai Bird Snack Bar, which dates back to the eighties when the Zeedijk still was dangerous and to be avoided. Undeterred, consistently good food at low prices lead to success and later to the opening of the much larger restaurant by the same owners.

The Zeedijk is the street that connects Amsterdam’s Nieuwmarkt with the Central Station. You can still feel that it must have been an important artery during the glory days. Bordering on the red light district, it was in disgraceful state in the early eighties, rife with criminality. It has made a roaring return since and today is a lively mix of Chinese shops and restaurants and traditional Dutch brown cafes serving Pils, Bitterballen and Jenever.

chinese temple on zeedijk amsterdamamstel sign on zeedijk amsterdamroasted birds on zeedijk amsterdam

Both the restaurant and the snack bar are about food, not looks. The snack bar is small, usually crammed with people and simple but clean. The restaurant is large, meandering up and down and left and right behind its small entrance. Don’t be turned off by the appearance. Do walk in and enjoy the excellent food, which is authentic, fresh and always well executed.

Thai Bird Restaurant on Zeedijk AmsterdamAlso don’t let yourself be turned off by the crowds. There is usually a line of people waiting at the entrance of the restaurant, especially on weekends. But somehow it seems to clear more quickly than you would think. The snack bar is the same. It always looks packed, but somehow the staff finds a way to squeeze in a few extra people.

Go to the restaurant if you are with a group. Otherwise go for the snack bar and try to sit on one of the high bar stools behind the large window and enjoy the steady flow of tourists and freaks!

Thai Bird Snack Bar, Zeedijk 77. Thai Bird Restaurant, Zeedijk 72-74.

7 thoughts on “Thai Bird on Zeedijk – Amsterdam”

  1. I love the Thai Bird Snackbar, and always make a point of stopping in there for a tangy-spicy, wonderful Tom Yam Gung.

    Any Sichuanese restos you can recommend? Headed to the ‘dam early-mid March.

  2. Hi Natascha,

    good Chinese food is much harder to find than Thai. There are hardly any restaurants that have a regional menu – it’s mostly mixed Chinese with a focus on Cantonese.

    My recommendation would be Nam Kee on Geldersekade, just off Nieuwmarkt:

    The interior is very bare, which gives it authenticity. And the food is simple but consistently high quality. Like the Thai Bird, Nam Kee has somewhat of a cult status and gets very busy.

    Let me know if you liked it!


  3. Noticed you saying that good Chinese food is hard to find. Well…you might have to travel a bit, but Jasmijn & Ik in Utrecht (Kanaalstraat) has got very wonderful Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai food. Definitely worth trying (& get hooked…). It is owned by Kamwoj Man, who grew up in the Dutch/ Chinese restaurant world and decided she could do better (read: more authentic). And it is to be said that she and her family (!) are doing absolutely great!
    enjoy πŸ™‚

  4. Hi,
    I’ve been following your blog for around 3 years, ever since we moved to Amsterdam and I have to say I love your recommendations! Every single place we’ve tried from your blog has been great!
    We just went to Thai Bird yesterday and it was great! Hadn’t had good Thai food in sooo long πŸ™‚
    Besides the quality, the portions could easily be shared and the prices were very reasonable considering the quality and quantity.
    Can’t wait to go back πŸ™‚

  5. Hi Jailan,

    Thank you for the nice feedback. Glad you liked the Bird. It’s great to know that dutchgrub helps people to find good food!

    Good luck with Early Years Parenting!


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