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Jan 19, 2009 07:38 AM

Amsterdam - Fun and upbeat

My wife and I will be in Amsterdam for three nights this coming weekend and we were looking for recommendations for some fun upbeat places to dine at. I've been to Amsterdam a couple of times so I have a good sense for the city but it's been a couple years so I don't know what is good these days. I would love to take her somewhere in the Jordaan. I also would like to go to one of the rijsttafels but I don't know which to go to. Also, any recommendations for a couple good bars would be appreciated.

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  1. I have been perusing the Amsterdam restaurant scene for many years and just created a list and map of my favorite restaurants.

    In alphabetical order they are Balthazar’s Keuken, De Kas, Marius, and De Witte Uyl. 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.

    Each of them has support from many other chowhounds. From what you are looking for, I would suggest Balthazar’s Keuken to you: It's right in the Jordaan and will give you a real Amsterdam feel. You can get drinks at Cafe de Tuin at Tweede Tuindwarsstraat before dinner. And hang out at Cafe de Blaffende Vis on Westerstraat 118 later. Both are typical Amsterdam brown cafe with great beer and a local crowd.