After Frankfurt and London, I think Amsterdam in the place I’ve spent most time over the past two years. As a result, I’ve racked up quite a list of good places to eat and drink.

Normally I stay with ma friend who lives in De Pijp, but most recently I was in the north, over the river from the main train station and near to NDSM wharf; I also spent some time exploring Jordaan and some areas in the East. Hopefully, wherever you are and whatever you fancy eating or drinking, you’ll find some ideas here.


  • Calf & Bloom – near the central Bloemenmarkt, this is good for a casual lunch. I particularly like their open sandwiches, which are enormous!
  • College Hotel – this is nice for a drink in an olde worlde wood-panelled setting, which has lots of nooks and crannies. I think there were open fires in winter.
  • Tunes Bar at the Conservatorium – call in here at the start or end of your evening and try their cocktails. These are delicious and imaginative, often with a botanical or floral theme. The downside is it gets very busy so is not really a place to linger.
  • Gs Jordaan – we had a great brunch here and I particularly loved the bloody mary menu. If you can’t book, get there as they open and they will probably fit you in (as long as you’re not a big group – we were 3!).
  • J.D. Williams Whisky Bar – I really liked their cocktails, not all of which are whisky-based. They do some Asian bar food which looked nice but we didn’t try it. I will be back as I went without David and want him to try it.
  • Mana Mana – the food here is fabulous. Ottolenghi-style delicousness in a casual setting, with a great vibe, not least due to friends and family of the owners/staff popping in at various points. Very good value and delicious – I expect this will be a regular stop when I’m in the city.
  • Omelegg – good egg-based breakfast and brunch at the two branches of this little chain (near the main station and in DePijp).
  • Pho 91 – nice, casual Vietnamese with a short menu and an emphasis on fast and healthy meals made from fresh ingredients.
  • Yay Yam Trattoria – good pizza, available for take-away as well as eating in; reservation recommended.

North and NDSM:

  • Hotel De Goudfazant – I really loved the friendly service and delicious food. It’s a massive old car workshop which has a good buzz and a really nice mix of groups, including some families with kids (there are things like snooker tables scattered about to occupy those who get bored staying at the table). I would definitely go back. One thing though, make sure you work out how to get there if you’re not getting a taxi as we walked the wrong way and ended up on the wrong side of a fence behind the building and had to do a loop.
  • Kebec – a wood-fired pizza hole in the wall, really delicious.
  • Noorderlicht Café and Pllek (pictured above) - I really like these for being on the water and having a low key vibe. Food wasn’t great at Noorderlicht and we only drank at Pllek (there was a festival while we were on so we went along most evenings after being out elsewhere for live music, some drinks and the open fires). If you want a more formal place for a drink on the water then Loetj near the harbour is okay but I wouldn’t eat there.


  • Thirty5ive – this was recommended when I suggested trying Wilde Zwijnen (they are almost next door to each other and my friend thinks this is better); we had a really good meal that was great value and accompanied by some gorgeous Moroccan red wine which one of the owners is involved in making. The set-up is a bit odd in that they wouldn’t tell us how many of their tapas style dishes we needed, suggesting we order two and then see; we did this then decided to go with a final three which was fine (oh, plus a pudding for David).
  • Walter’s - the Walter Woodbury Bar – loved this for a causal meal with interesting gin & tonics. My friend thinks their burgers are the best in town and I loved their chicken tikka on toast with coriander chutney & yoghurt.

Let me know which of your favourite restaurants and bars I have missed.