City Center

Budget:

Espressobar Puccini – Light lunches and desserts, Staalstraat 21, 8:30-16:00 (9 on weekends)
De Laaste Kruimel – Sandwich shop and bakery (Limited Seating), Langebrugsteeg 4, 8:00-20:00
Café de Jaren – Casual international menu, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 20, 8:30-01:00
Eetcafe Singel 404 – Rotating menu of simple but hearty lunch fare and desserts, Singel 404, 10:30-19:00
Thaise Snackbar Bird – Line up for takeout or to claim one of the few precious seats, Zeedijk 77, 13:00-22:00
Skek – Student-run café with a 25% student discount, Zeedijk 4, 12:00-01:00 (16:00-01:00 Mondays)
Salsa Shop – Fast-casual Mexican, Amstelstraat 32, 11:30-22:00

Mid-Range:

Droog – Design store, hotel, and restaurant, Staalstraat 7-A, 9:00-19:00
Van Kerkwijk – Rotating menu of local fare (Limited seating), Nes 41, 11:00-24:00
Kantjil en de Tijger – Indonesian dine-in or take-away, Spuistraat 291-293, 12:00-23:00
Blauw – Contemporary Indonesian, Amstelveenseweg 158-160, 18:00-22:00 (17:00 on Weekends)

Splurge:

Lt Cornelis – Fresh and seasonal Dutch, Voetboogstraat 13, 17:00-22:30
The Seafood Bar – Fish and seafood, Spui 15, 12:00-24:00
Bord’Eau – Michelin-star restaurant of Hotel De L’Europe, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 2-14, 12:00-14:30, 18:30-22:30
De Kas – Restaurant and greenhouse featuring a local and seasonal rotating menu, Kamerlingh Onneslaan 3, 12-14:00, 18:30-22:00

Vegetarian/Vegan:

Maoz Vegetarian – Falafel bar, Muntplein 1, 11:00-01:00
Lavinia Good Food – Breakfast and lunchroom, Kerkstraat 176, 8:30-16:00
Vegabond – Vegetarian and vegan grocery and deli, Leliegracht 16, 9:00-19:00
Sla – Fast casual salads, Utrechtsestraat 10HS, 11:00-21:00
Hummus House – Fast casual loaded hummus and other Middle Eastern specialties, Sint Antoniesbreestraat 25C, 12:00-22:00
De Culinaire Werkplats – Splurge at this unique vegan restaurant that turns vegetables, fruits, and grains into works of art, Fannius Scholtenstraat 10 hs, Thursday-Saturday 19:00-23:00, Sunday 13:00-21:00
Betty’s – Vegetarian fine dining with a fixed 3-course menu, Rijnstraat 75, Wednesday-Sunday 17:30-22:30
Alchemist Garden, Raw, vegan, organic, and gluten-free, Overtoom 409, 9:00-21:00 (Sunday 12:00)

Afternoon Coffee and Cake:

De Koffiesalon – Espresso bar with light fare, Spuistraat 281, 7:00-19:00
Gartine – This tiny café serves light lunches, high tea, and desserts, Taksteeg 7, 10:00-18:00 Wednesday-Saturday
Chocolaterie Pompadour – Chocolate shop, confectionary, patisserie, and tearoom, Huidenstraat 12, 10-18:00
Rum Baba Coffee Roasters and Bakery – Artisanal bakery and coffee roasters, 33 Pretoriusstraat, 8:00-18:00 (9:00 on weekends)
Sweet Cup – Coffee roasted on site with light fare and cakes, Lange Leidsedwarsstraat 93HS, 8:00-18:00 (10:00 on weekends)

Brunch:

Bakers and Roasters – Fusion New Zealand, American, and Brazilian hotspot, 54 Eerste Jacob van Campenstraat, 8:30-16:00
Little Collins – Cozy Australian fusion, 19F Eerste Sweelinckstraat, Monday 9-16, Wednesday and Thursday 10:30-22:00, Friday-Sunday 9:00-22:00
Dignita – Middle-Eastern inspired flavors in two locations near Waterlooplein (Nieuwe Herengracht 18a, 9:00-19:00) and Vondelpark (Koninginneweg 218, 8:30-17:00)
Coffee and Coconuts – Beachy menu in a historic former cinema, 282-284 Ceintuurbaan, 8:00-23:00
Oriental City – Dim sum on the Southern edge of Chinatown, Oudezijds Voorburgwal 177, 11:30-22:30

Uniquely Dutch:

Vlaamse Frites – Double or even triple fried, these Flemish-style frites are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, traditionally accompanied by mayonnaise, but often also chili, peanut, or curry sauce.  Get them in the traditional paper cone from Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx (Voetboogstraat 31) or Mannekin Pis (Damrak 41). For another Dutch take on fries try “frites oorlog” (fries topped with mayonnaise, peanut sauce, curried ketchup, and onions), or a “kapsalon” (fries topped with donor or shawarma meat, melted gouda cheese, fresh vegetables, garlic sauce, and sambal).

Herring – Lightly brined herring, freshly caught from the North Sea, are available either on a bun with onions and pickles (broodje haring), or simply sliced on a paper tray, eaten with a toothpick, from a variety of food stands and small shops throughout the city.  Near the University of Amsterdam conference venue, sample them at Frens Haringhandel (Singel 486).

Appletaart – Dutch appletaart features a sturdy, buttery crust, a perfect balance between sweetness and tartness, a crumble top, and a mountainous pillow of whipped cream (slagroom).  Try it at Café Winkle (Noordermarkt 43), often cited as the best appletaart in Amsterdam, although tables are scarce during the Saturday street markets.

Pancakes – Dutch pancakes are large, thicker than crepes but thinner than fluffy American pancakes, and topped with a variety of savory or sweet (or savory and sweet) ingredients.  To try them, climb a narrow ladder to claim one of the few tables at Pancakehouse Upstairs (Grimburgwal 2), or venture into the bustling Negen Straatjes (Nine Streets) shopping district on the West side of the city center for Pancakes! (Berenstraat 38).

Poffertjes – These tiny pancakes can usually be found at street fairs and festivals, hot off a specialized iron griddle and dripping with butter and toppings.  You can find them every Saturday at the end of the Lindengrachtmarkt near the intersection with Lijnbaansgracht, or any time at De Carrousel Pannenkoeken (H.M. van Randwijkplantsoen 1).

Borrel – A borrel typically includes late afternoon or early evening drinks and (fried) snacks (borrelhapjes) in pleasant company.  Try local craft beers at Brouwerij ‘T Ij (Funenkade 7), or a wider selection of Dutch beers at Proeflokaal Arendsnest (Herengracht 90).  De Drie Flesjes (Gravenstraat 18), In de Olofspoort (Nieuwebrugsteeg 13), and Proeflokaal De Ooievaar (Sint Olofspoort 1) specialize in jenever, a juniper-infused distilled spirit reminiscent of gin.  Delirium Tremens, right in Central Station, boasts 750 beers, Café de Sluyswacht (Jodenbreestraat 1) offers a canal-side view in historic surroundings, Hanneke’s Boom (Dijksgracht 4) provides a rustic atmosphere right on the water, and Canvas (150 Wibautstraat) includes an impressive view of the city.

Bitterballen – These breadcrumb-coated balls of molten fried gravy are often mistranslated on menus as “meatballs.”  They generally do contain meat, but their consistency is closer to the filling of a potpie than a meatball.  They make a common savory accompaniment to beer and can be found on most borrelhapje menus throughout the city.  Eetsalon van Dobben (Korte Reguliersdwarsstraat 5) is likely the most well-known local brand, or for a gourmet reinterpretation De Ballenbar (De Foodhallen, Hannie Dankbaarpassage) serves a variety of creative bitterballen reimagined by a Michelin-starred chef.

Grocery:

Albert Heijn – Koningsplein 4, 8:00-22:00
Amazing Oriental – Nieuwmarkt 27, 9:30-18:00 (Closed Sunday)