Restaurant Marius Covered in NY Times

Restaurant Marius Amsterdam is one of the four restaurants on Dutchgrub’s top Amsterdam restaurants list. So I was happy to hear from an avid reader of dutchgrub that the NY Times had just published a nice write up of Marius.

The article goes into Marius’ history. Chef and owner Kees Elfring used to cook at Berkeley institution Chez Panisse, which provided both training and inspiration for the name of the restaurant. Marius is the title of a movie that’s part of a trilogy in which the main character is called Panisse. The article also goes into details of the daily market menu that the author thoroughly enjoyed! With pictures.

It’s nice to see that Marius is getting well-deserved praise. And since it’s such a small and genuine place, I am not worried that too much coverage would ruin the magic.

Best Amsterdam Pizza

This is an older version of dutchgrub’s Best Amsterdam Pizza list that I wrote back in May 2009. Please see here for the current version that now includes four pizzerias as well as up to date addresses and a location map.

In January I published my list of the best restaurants in Amsterdam. Many people have posted comments or asked for additional information. So I decided to write additional best of Amsterdam restaurant posts such as best snacks and lunch, best beer and wine or best Asian restaurants in Amsterdam. Today I will tell you where to find the best pizza in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam does not have the best Italian cuisine in the world. If you are a foodie who travels frequently, I would suggest you look into other food options. There are, however, those days when you want nothing else than good pizza. And luckily Amsterdam does have three great pizzerias: Forno Communale, Renato’s and Yam Yam! All three are somewhat off the beaten path. All three require reservations at least a few days in advance. And all three serve great pizza – thin crust, from a wood fired oven, with fresh ingredients and generous toppings. Newcomer Restaurant Forno Communale in West behind Overtoom draws a younger crowd with a simple and fairly priced menu. Renato’s Trattoria in de Pijp is small and traditional and stacks its pizza with fresh greens and herbs. And Yam Yam Trattoria, west of the Jordaan, is very busy with tables close to each other, an artsy feel to it and an incredible truffle pizza.

Restaurant Forno Communale

Forno Communale opened in 2007 as a neighborhood pizzeria in West, behind Overtoom. It draws a young crowd with its stylish, modern interior and fairly priced menu. Forno uses trendy ingredients such as Gorgonzola, apples, raisins, Italian speck and wild salmon. There are some standard pizzas with a twist and some highly unusual ones like the pizza Forno with Gorgonzola, ham, apple, raisins and rucola. The crust is thin and the pizza baked briefly in the hot wood fired oven. The service is quick and many guests swiftly move on to one of the local bars. The wine – organized by categories cheap, decent, good and special – goes down well. And all pizzas are also available to-go – just order  directly from the kitchen and wait for your pizza on one of the bar stools.

Renato’s Trattoria

Renato’s Trattoria is a small, authentic and family-run Italian in de Pijp. There are many bars and restaurants in the area and Renato has built up a great reputation with consistently good food and friendly, quick service. The interior is traditional Trattoria style with a large bar by the entrance, wooden tables and chairs, some food posters and a dominating Italian flag. The pizza selection is mostly classics. Renato uses fresh ingredients – some of them home-grown – on his quest for the perfect pizza. The dough is Italian style, made from the best flour. Toppings are generous, often garnished with heaps of greens and herbs, added after the pizza has been baked. One of my favorites is the pizza with Parma ham and rucola. Renato’s attracts mostly locals from de Pijp, especially in the summer when they bring out tables and chairs to the sidewalk.

Yam Yam Trattoria

Yam Yam is a pizzeria and trattoria with a simple decor and a friendly, alternative flair. It’s located west of the Jordaan, has two dining rooms and an open kitchen and wood fired oven. The tables are very close to each other and Yam Yam has a busy and sometimes noisy atmosphere. The same friendly and cosmopolitan staff has been running the restaurant for a long time. The trattoria menu is written on a black board and the pizza selection is divided into classic and special. I go to Yam Yam for the unusual flavors of the special pizzas, using eclectic ingredients such as mascarpone, goat cheese or fennel salami. My absolute favorite is their pizza Yam Yam with truffle sauce, Parmesan, rucola and ham. The crust of the pizzas is very thin, forming large crusty bubbles in the oven. The crowd is mixed, consists of locals and visitors and anybody from couples on dates and to small groups and families.

Best Amsterdam Restaurants

This is an old version of our Best Amsterdam Restaurants list. We’ve left this page up because of the many great comments below. Please go to the current list of Best Amsterdam Restaurants for up to date recommendations.

Everyone has their own list of best restaurants. Here are my favorites in Amsterdam! Created over 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 venturing out to distant places, coming back to Amsterdam, comparing new culinary experiences with the best of Dutch grub. Adding names to the list and removing others.

The result is Amsterdam’s top four restaurants:  Balthazar’s Keuken, De Kas, Marius, 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, the incredibly hip but remote greenhouse setting of De Kas, Marius’ individualism and provincial style near the IJ, 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.
Elandsgracht 108
1016 VA Amsterdam
Tel: +31 (0)20 420 21 14

De Kas

De Kas is a large restaurant and nursery, located in a former greenhouse on the outskirts of Amsterdam. The concept is based on serving only food produced on associated farms around Amsterdam. There is an annex with an herb garden that you can visit in between courses. The food is a healthy and organic 3 course fixed menu, prepared meticulously and presented with lots of attention to detail by the attentive service. The inside spacious and hip, as is the crowd. The wine list is extensive.
Kamerlingh Onneslaan 3
1097 DE Amsterdam
Tel: +31 (0)20 462 45 62


Update October 11th, 2010: After a brief sabbatical, Marius has reopened in the same location as of late September 2010.

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.

No web site
Barentszstraat 243
1013 NM Amsterdam
Tel: +31 (0)20 422 78 80

De Witte Uyl

De Witte Uyl is different. From the 1920s interior in which no two chairs are the same to the unusual menu from which guests pick two main courses but no starters. Knowledgeable hostess Annemieke is the glue that ties it all together. De Witte Uyl has a seasonal menu that changes four times a year and often is inspired by recent trips of the owners to far away places. The dishes are a combination of tradition and inspiration, prepared form the finest but also most ecologically sustainable ingredients. The wine list is extensive and Annemieke makes great recommendations. The chocolate board – hunks of chocolate that you will attack with an ice pick – is legendary.
Frans Halsstraat 26
1072 BR Amsterdam
Tel: +31 (0)20 670 04 58