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Jun 24, 2009 03:39 PM

Amsterdam Restaurant Recs

I have been traveling through Europe for nearly two months on a tight budget, which means I have had very few nice meals unfortunately. I will be in Amsterdam next week and my dad will be joining me there for three days, and he has asked me to select some restaurants for lunches and dinners. I need some suggestions. I am more concerned in finding the dinners at this point. The first night he will be really jet lagged, so I am looking for something nice but casual. The second night I would like a very nice restaurant. I am not looking for any ethnic food - more along the lines of continental or French. I would like a place that has good cocktails and/or does some very nice wine pairings. Also, I don't want anything too loud or trendy as my dad is in his mid-70s and that's not really his style. I have a few restaurants in mind, or I would be welcome to hear any other suggestions:



Vinkeles at the Dylan Hotel

The Grand Restaurant at the Sofitel

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  1. Greetje looked wonderful, but timing wasn't right for us to be in that part of town at dinner time. Look up their website. I am sorry I missed it.

    We had Indonesian rice table on our one night there and like many say, it wasn't all that great - a lot of wet cabbage in various forms but the over all experience was unique and the kick of flavors was a welcome lighter dinner, though pricey.

    Went to the one recommended down the street from Rembrantsplein. Lots of happy diners and we over all enjoyed doing something we can't do at home. Easily a hundred US dollars with two beers, no dessert.

    3 Replies
    1. re: glbtrtr

      One foodie observation the evening we were in Amsterdam was seeing open boats full of either a group of young guys or young gals (twenty somethings) all plying up and down the canals, and one of them had a BBQ going.

      They were drinking and looked like they were all out for a big meet and greet. Is this how singles meet each other in Amsterdam and do they feed each other off the boats that are cooking things?

      1. re: glbtrtr

        When the sun comes out - which does not happen all too frequently in rainy Amsterdam - all the locals head for the parks, terraces and boats. It's quite amazing how everyday life just stops, everybody drops whatever they have been doing, and heads out for that perfect spot in the sun.

        Lots of people have small boats, 6 meters long with a 5 horsepower outboard engine. And the party is certainly on when they start crowding the canals on one of those sunny days!


        1. re: dutchgrub

          Indeed, the one day we had in Amsterdam was sunny and glorious and exactly like you described - everyone was out in cafes ........ and on the river. The whole feeling of the city was very festive. We left with perfect memories. No reason to tell us about the rain and dark for the rest of the year. (!)

    2. de Struisvogel in the Jordaan on keizersgracht is a very low-key place with modern Dutch food -- 3 course menu for 27.50 €. I can highly recommend it.

      1. From your list, I would definitely opt for Marius. It's French style cuisine, small and not too noisy, and has a special, personal touch.

        Fifteen is rather average - simple, Jamie Oliver style cooking. And your other two options are hotel restaurants - quality, but also somewhat boring and expensive.

        Two great alternatives to Marius would be De Witte Uyl and De Kas. De Witte Uyl also is small and personal, has an inventive fusion French / Dutch / Asian kitchen and a great wine list with many unusual organic wines. It's in de Pijp. De Kas is a bit further away from the center and located in a spectacular former green house. It's slightly bigger and more professional, only uses locally produced ingredients and has some nice cocktails.


        1. i've always enjoyed DULAc on Haarlemmerstraat

          1. Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm definitely going with Marius for one night. What are your thoughts on Ciel Bleu?

            1 Reply
            1. re: becca31

              I would second De Kas. I had an amazing meal there. It has to be one of the most beautiful restaurants in the world. The food wasn't too shabby either. It's outside of the city center, but you can easily walk there (it takes about 50 minutes). here are pics from my meal there: