The casual restaurant
In the hip area of Jordaan there’s our favourite restaurant in Amsterdam: Winkel 43. Renowned for its apple pie, it’s nearly unaccessible during market days. Less crowded in the evening (even though we had to wait a while to be seated), when the atmosphere was cosy and the room was filled with happy Dutch chatter of people enjoying dinner, drinks or a slice apple pie. We had a very good dinner for a reasonable price and the menu changes every day, so no risk of getting bored. And anyway we eventually tried the famous pie for dessert and we understood why all this fame!
Winkel 43, Noordermarkt 43
Phone: +31 20 623 0223
The classy restaurant
The Haesje Claes restaurant is not one of those secret findings to whisper into your friends’ ears: it’s featured on most guides and it’s on the central Spuistraat. Nevertheless this is a nice traditional restaurant, ideal for experiencing the dutch cuisine. The interiors are warm and antique-looking with dark oak panels and thick curtains, and the staff is always friendly. The bill is €20-25 upwards if you go easy on beers, however the servings are pretty rich so a soup each and a stamppot to share should be enough. We recommend to book in advance, even on the same day.
Haesje Claes, Spuistraat 275
Tel: +31 20 624 9998
This is one of the first bars I ever visited in Amsterdam, under cloudy circumstances, and I like to visit it every time I’m back in town. The Saloon is pretty central, few steps away from the delirious Leidseplein, but somehow it manages to be an oasis of calm and good feelings. In the evenings you might find some old locals at the counter, chatting with each other and the staff which is always a happy and friendly crew.
Ideal for a beer (or two), maybe at the tables outdoor if the weather is sunny and warm enough. The burgers and other items in the menu are a little to expensive for my standards but the traditional winter pea sout, the erwtensoep, is really good and worth a try.
De Saloon, Lijnbaansgracht 271
Tel.: +31 20 623 0466
If you don’t have time to sit and want something to eat on the go, the Dutch tradition comes to help with their superb herring sandwiches. You can usually find them at street markets or at food vans, which usually offer several types of fish. Herring is my favourite one, slowly marinated with an ancient method, it’s soft and tasty… it gets even better if you add pickles and chopped onions.
Near to our AirBnB flat, on the way to the city centre, there’s a nice market, the Ten Katemarkt. Here it’s quite hard to see many tourists, it’s plenty of food stalls, both for buying ingredients to cook at home and ready-made meals. My favourite is one close to the entrance, coming from Kinkerstraat, that makes huge juicy sandwiches and also hot food, if you get there at lunch time. At the other end of the market a Mediterranean stall sells a great deal of delicacies, above all falafel and hummus. The market closes at 18 but from 15-16 the vendors start packing up and selling out their products for cheap.
Ten Katemarkt is quite small and can be visited in 20 minutes, but if you want to have a beer in a no-frills bar there’s the café on the corner with Hasebroekstraat, or, if you want something slightly more sophisticated, the Bar Brouw West.
The places mentioned so far are good and you’ll probably, and hopefully, thank us for suggesting them. But you will waste your time if you go to Amsterdam and don’t try to eat at Febo.
It’s a chain but it’s brilliant and sadly, or fortunately, only exists in the Netherlands. It’s halfway between a fast food shop and a vending machine and sells krokets, of various shapes and content, that can be taken form a wall of automats. Put the coins in the chosen goodie and enjoy!
Going to Amsterdam? Four our list: Amsterdam on Foursquare to find out all our favourite places!