Amsterdam chow recs around Waterlooplein or thereabouts
I'm currently in Amsterdam on business for two weeks (leaving March 19 for Paris). My hotel is located near the Waterlooplein tram stop and I will commute to Ouderkerkeraan everyday.
I'm looking for some fairly inexpensive places for dinner (up to $25 €) that are near Waterlooplein or any tram stops near that stop. I have a weekly season pass valid for two zones so I can travel anywhere in the zones that are covered by the pass. However, since I usually get back to the hotel by 6:00 - 6:30, I don't want to travel too far since I sometimes have to get back to the hotel to do some more work.
Sunday night, I grabbed a mixed grill plate from a place down the street (Grillroom Farao) The plate had bad shoawarma (awful, warmed over bits of meat) but the shashlik and kebab were better (meat was halal) . Fries were nice and crisp and salad was ok (iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced sweet pickles, cucumbers and tomatoes). The best part was the hot sauce that came with it. I didn't like the onion sauce (too sweet) and garlic sauce (not enough garlic). The owner was friendly and very earnest.
Monday night, I went to Thai Bird Snackbar because it was close, I could do takeout and it was recommended on this board. I had Penang gai with sticky rice and spring rolls. The curry was excellent, layered with flavour.
1) I like all cuisines but would prefer places unique to Amsterdam if possible. Plenty of very good Chinese / Asian cuisine from where I'm from so don't really want that. And since I'm going to Paris, French cusine is also not desired.
2) I'm dining alone until Mar 10 and after that I may be joined by a colleague for the rest of the time. So open to takeout and dine-in.
Thanks in advance.
My colleague and I couldn't find the restaurant we were looking for and stumbled on this Italian ristorante called Ponte Arcari on Herengracht 534. The place was packed and it smelled so good when we walked by, we went in hoping to get a seat.
The upper level was packed but we got a table downstairs (be warned, the stairway is narrow, winding and very steep) The service was chaotic, with a mildly irreverent and amusing waiter but the pastas we had were pretty good. I had a creamy porcini truffle ravioli dish and my friend had linguine with beef ragout. Decent for the prices, average of 14-15 euro per pasta dish.
You should walk into a bookshop such as the English Bookshop in the Jordaan and get a copy of Johannes Van Dam's book 'Delicious Amsterdam.'
A friend of mine who is an Amsterdam resident and foodie pretty much uses this book as a bible. It contains a list of recommended shops and restaurants of all types and even a short introduction to Dutch food.
Based on that book we went to L'Angoletto for Italian which was simple yet authentic and delicious - some of the best Italian I've had outside of Italy. The reviews online all seem to disparage the service. I can't disagree - our waitress was very gruff - but sometimes such is the price of great food.
I know you said no Chinese/Asian but consider making an exception for Indonesian food. Because of Dutch colonialism, this is a distinctive food to get in the Netherlands. The one recommended by my friend is Tempo Doeloe.
Thank you, lingua! Very kind of you to recommend my reviews :)
Will try to post more affordable options in the future, Degustation. In case you have one night left, Eetcafe Vooges on Utrechtsestraat comes to mind. It's small, and like other eetcafes a mix of cafe and restaurant. Menu is a mix of French and Dutch and they have a small, but decent wine list: http://www.vooges.nl/
While I am by no means a seasoned traveler to the area, I visited Amsterdam in October, and my boyfriend and I loved these places in Nieuwmarkt, which is not too far a walk from Waterlooplein:
In de Waag - hearty Dutch/Continental food with flair. We went for lunch, which is a much more relaxed affair than dinner there apparently. I had the kroketten, which were not exactly what I expected but were very good; crunchy and savory. My boyfriend had a lovely tomato soup. Service was excellent.
Cafe Bern - great place for fondue. This place was packed and has a very nice bar. When you open the door you're hit with the delicious smell of garlic and wine. The fondue was so good and service was very nice and helpful. Extremely cozy.
In the opposite direction of Nieuwmarkt, Burgermeester on AlbertCuypstraat was a little bit farther walk, but very economical. Delicious burgers and a great baked potato side.
Tujuh Mahret for Indonesian on Utrechtsestraat near Kaizersgracht was pretty good, not too expensive if you forego the rijsttafel and just get an entree and app off the regular menu.
These place all might be a bit touristy, but we liked the food there and I feel pretty good about recommending them.