When we started the list in 2012, good brunches were much harder to find, and we were thankful for Lovefood to open doors, first as a pop-up and later as a daily brunch. Well, Lovefood has come and gone, but today there are quite a few good brunch options.
We are delighted to have added Kiwi-run Bakers & Roasters as well as Aussies Little Collins to our list. With Dutch brunch and lunch favorites Gartine and Brits Greenwood’s still going strong – both original list members – the list is just as international as Amsterdam itself.
Craving for many varieties of eggs and great coffee? Check out our Best Amsterdam Brunch List and head over to one of our favorites!
Restaurant Fier – as in French for proud rather than Dutch for four – is uncomplicated dining Belgian style.
The menu is simple. There are six choices on the menu, all tried and true comfort food favorites: Burger, chicken, hangar steak, pot roast and a daily fish and vegan special. Each is accompanied by a choice of different style of French fries, veggies or salad, and four sauces.
Most of the food is cooked in the Big Green Egg – an ever more popular combined grill, oven and smoker. It turned out lovely smokey chicken, juicy burger with lots of truffle sauce, and succulent rare, almost blue hangar steak.
The opening hours are convenient. Every day from 10am to 10pm for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and drinks at the bar until late.
The service is quick and friendly, the tap water put on your table right away without having to ask for it, the wine list short but adequate, with all wines available per bottle or by the glass, and the beer options vast.
The decor is simple with bare brick walls, a semi-open kitchen, a long bar and also ample seating outside.
And prices are quite affordable at € 16,- for any of the main courses.
We dined quite comfortably and without any complications!
De Clercqstraat 79
1053 AG Amsterdam
Tel.: +31 (0)20 22 17 449
Open every day from 10am to 10pm
Public transport: Tram 3, 12, 13, or 14 to De Clercqstraat
Neighborhood: Oud West
Price: €30 to €40 per person
The number of Michelin stars keeps growing in Amsterdam. It has gone up five years in a row now and reached a total of 15.
The biggest contribution came from &samhoud places, which went straight to 2 stars thanks to its molecular gastronomy menu and ability to keep its stars after the move to Amsterdam. While there still is no three star restaurant, 2013 saw four with two stars: &samhoud places, Aan de Poel in Amstelveen, which went from 1 to 2, Ciel Bleu and Ron Blaauw.
Then there are seven restaurants with one star, with Bord’Eau being the lone newcomer.
It will be interesting to see if 2014 will be another year of additional Michelin stars for Amsterdam as Ron Blaauw has changed his formula and gone for great food in a less formal setting and Amsterdam would need to make up for two stars.
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.
Ron Blaauw is one of the most prolific Dutch chefs and one of the few to be decorated with two Michelin stars in Amsterdam. He maintained those stars for many years, first in picturesque Ouderkerk aan de Amstel just outside the city, then in Amsterdam proper after his move there.
And then he did the unthinkable: He closed [Dutch] down the two Michelin star restaurant, only to re-open the next day at the same location, but with a different, less formal, menu and setting. And it worked beautifully!
We’ve been on the record for preferring smaller, more personal, less formal and possibly more daring restaurants to the Michelin stars, especially those in hotels. So we were very pleased about the news and eager to try out the all new Ron Gastrobar. And we were not disappointed!
The setting is chic and classy but not formal. The gastrobar takes no reservation, so we just walked in and were welcomed by the young and hip waiting staff. We were quickly shown our table and once seated happy to be greeted by the bartender. He came up with some great suggestions based on our preferences, not settling for safe choices but daring to pitch the unusual and set us up with a “Four More Years”, supposedly invented for Obama’s re-election and nicely combining gin, bubbly egg white and green sencha tea leaves. The cocktail plus the bread in a paper bag with nutty butter and pickles made us feel quite relaxed and inspired.
Like the setting, the menu is very different from the formal Michelin style. It’s basically two pages of dishes at € 15,= each that you can mix and match any way you want. The dishes are a mix of French classics like oysters or a steak tartare, Asian dishes including sushi and also some fusion plates such as a Wagyu burger or grilled Chinese cabbage with marrow and sage.
We went with two dishes per person, which was sufficient but left room for dessert.
Another thing that we liked much better than at most Michelin star restaurants is the wine list. It’s much more modern with many interesting new world wines rather than pages of Bordeaux wines.
The desserts are a similar mix of French classics and Asian influences, as well as cheese from our favorite cheese store L’Amuse just down the road.
Overall, the food was great, in no way less quality than the Michelin star predecessor. And we loved the casual atmosphere, service with a fun attitude and modern menu. Let’s hope this is a new trend!
1075 PB Amsterdam
Tel.: +31 (0)20 49 61 943
Open Monday to Sunday from 5:30pm.
Public transport: Tram 2 to Amstelveenseweg
Cuisine: French International
Price: €50 to €75 per person
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!