8 Places to eat like a local in Amsterdam
When travelling to Amsterdam, there is no better way to experience the culture than through its cuisine. Whether you are looking for something quite unique; from bitterballen or kroketten, to Amsterdam’s famed herring, here is a list of the 8 places in Amsterdam to eat like a local.
If you want quintessential Dutch streetfood without which a trip to Amsterdam would not be complete, head out to sample some traditional herring that you won't find in restaurants. Located in Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal (behind the Royal Palace), you will find Haring & Zo which offers up this local delicacy. While most assume that the humble herring is served raw, they are in fact salt cured. They are traditionally served up in pieces with some onions and pickles, although for a more substantial meal you could ask for some on bread as a sandwich, or as it is called locally, broodje haring.
While on the subject of broodje, located on 1016 AK Amsterdam and not far from the Anne Frank House along the banks of the canal, is a tiny unassuming lunch café that is an institution for sandwiches. A favourite among locals and especially students, the place gets packed and tables are hard to come by at noon. Singel 404 offers up a range of sandwich goodness made with your choice of bread that you can enjoy out on the pavement along the canal.
Wil Graanstra Friteshuis
Friteshuis literally translates to “fry house”, and so it's not surprising to find out that this family-run business has been frying up spuds near Westermarkt since 1956. What the chip shop is to the English, the Friteshuis is for the Dutch... minus the fried fish! Expect to receive some piping hot fries in a cone and top them off with one of several available toppings. Locals would probably recommend topping your fries with some mayonnaise, oorlog (an Indonesian peanut sauce meets mayonnaise), curry sauce or some relish.
Having just opened its third location, Fromagerie Abraham Kef is the perfect place to sample some of the best seasonal cheeses on offer from France and the Netherlands. A selection of the delicious European cheeses are available along with some charcuterie classics, all of which can be washed down with some local ale or wine.
Situated in an old industrial loft in what used to be the former Stork boiler factory, on the northern banks of the River IJ, is the place to be to sample some of Amsterdam’s daily, freshly-caught and prepared seafood. Take a bite of some sustainably-caught sea bream, sea bass, brill, plaice or the soft and buttery North Sea sole. For a healthier appetite, the Stork Plateau is a wide selection of the best the sea has to offer in season.
If you're looking for something more refined in a location that won’t break the bank, head over to Van Diemenstraat 408 to BAK. Housed in a former warehouse, the restaurant offers a set three course or six course menu option that are both under 50 Euros (if you are vegan or have any other dietary requirements, make sure to mention these when booking). Chef Benny Blisto interprets an array of local produce into imaginative and well-designed dishes each day to create their unique set menus.
If you want to sample a range of cuisines, streetfood and local dishes, head over to the magnificent De Hallen cultural complex in the trendy Oud-West neighbourhood. Housed inside is a large food market serving up a range of highend food from around 20 different vendors in a gorgeous historical setting where old meets new. While you will find everything ranging from Vietnamese, Indian, Thai, French and Spanish food, it's also worth visiting “De Ballenbar”. Michelin starred Chefs Peter Gast and Jeroen Elijzen have elevated the humble Dutch bar snack of bitterballen (deep fried stuffed croquettes) with a variety of fillings from the traditional to those filled with bouillabaisse to spicy Thom-Ka Kai.
Brouwerij ‘t IJ
Head over to Amsterdam’s biggest windmill and there, housed in a former bathhouse, you will find a small brewery along with its own pub. If you want to aperitif like the Dutch, this place offers some of the best craft brews along with a basic menu of tasty beer snacks to go along with it. No Dutch-style aperitif would be complete without a sampling of some Ossenworst (smoked sausage) or the cheese unique to Brouwerij ‘t IJ – Skeasprond – a cheese made from the milk of sheep who’ve eaten malts from the brewing process! The brewery also offers a tour with a tasting menu.