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Help please with Amsterdam trip?

We are long time hounds on our first trip to Amsterdam this Easter. From our research it seems like we should just skip trying to have even one expensive dinner during our five days there and just eat well and cheaply. We'd welcome any and all advice from local hounds.

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  1. For lunch Singel 404 or Small World Catering - fantastic sandwiches. Burgermeester for awesome burgers.

    de Struisvogel, Balthazar's Keuken and many other restos, particularly in the Jordaan area offer 3 course menus for €23-25 which is a pretty damn good deal.

    Spuistraat has a nice fish place and a nice tapas place, but I can't remember either of their names.

    de Beiaard for really good beer. Thaise Snack Bar the Bird in the RLD for really good Thai food.

    Also check out dutchgrub.com -- good recs there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: linguafood

      One of my favorite "affordable and tasty" places is Sari Citra for Indonesian food. In my opinion, better than the more fancy riijstafel places.

      It's an Indonesian deli, and there's tables to eat there. The flavors are so incredibly good, and really reminds me of Indonesia / Malaysia.

      Located in De Pijp, reachable by tram as well.

    2. Cafe De Blaffende Vis (The Barking Fish) at Westerstraat 118 near Noorderkerk - nice pub, good, inexpensive food. Great salads.
      La Perla Pizza, Tweede Tuindwarsstraat 14 in the Jordaan. GREAT pizza, Only open 5-10 pm, very little seating and there's always a line - for a good reason. Eat the pizza standing around or sitting on the sidewalk like everyone else.
      Doner Palace, Rozengracht 89. A hole-in-the-wall that has great Turkish food, to eat there or to go. Cheap.
      Sara's Pancake House, Raadhuisstraat 45. A bit slow but the Dutch-style pancakes are wonderful.
      You'll see a lot of steakhouses - Uruguyan Steakhouse, Brazilian Steakhouse, Argentinian Steakhouse. They're all the same and not really very good.
      Be sure to try French fries at any stand with your choice of sauces (curry, sate, etc.) - best fries ever. Also herring at one of the herring stands.
      Puccini Bomboni, Singel 184 - amazing and very pricey chocolates.

      1. Ooh, I forgot - La Grotte on Haarlemmerstraat for very good breakfasts. Try the tosties - they're a grilled cheese sandwich, Netherlands style. You can order them with salad and French fries for breakfast. Really great with a cup of tea or coffee.

        And another tip... I don't know what your feelings are about the coffee shops, but almost all of them serve delicious freshly-squeezed orange juice, at a fraction of the cost in the US. Coffee shops are also a good place to sit and have a cup of tea (many varieties). No one will hassle you, if you don't mind the smoke.

        1. And one other thing (sorry to make so many replies, but I keep thinking of places - we love A'dam and have been there several times, and will be there for 2 weeks starting March 22) - many small pubs/ cakes have excellent homemade soups every day, especially tomato or split pea soup. That with a roll, and maybe a side dish, makes a good pick-me-up or light lunch.

          4 Replies
          1. re: ultravox

            Thank you sooo much for your replies ultravox! Reap the wild wind.

            Are there any places at all that have nicer dinners that you think are worthwhile?

            Also, have you ever taken a night boat trip down the canals that also serve dinner? They seem very romantic albeit expensive.

            Again, tyvm for your time and trouble.

            1. re: seal

              Hi Seal,
              Yes, we ate at Sea Palace and would go back for a nicer evening (or lunch) out. You'll see it - it appears to be a large red and green pagoda sitting on the water in the harbor! It's on the higher-priced end but the food was just lovely - they serve several types of Chinese cuisine (Hunan, Szechuan, Cantonese, etc.) and of course the view could hardly be beat.

              Another place I liked was Cafe Luxembourg at Spui 24. Though it's more of a bistro/cafe than a formal restaurant, the food was quite good ( the frisee salad with lardons and poached egg was wonderful) and I loved the Belle Epoque decor.

              I've never taken one of the dinner cruises - just the daytime ones that don't include any drinks or meals.

              Have a wonderful trip! Bring a scarf and gloves as it appears to be still fairly chilly there.

              1. re: seal

                I think any of the places I mentioned in the Jordaan offering 3 course menus would fit that bill.

                1. re: linguafood

                  Tyvm for your replies linguafood. We will likely try Balthazar's Keuken.

                  And ty to all for the great suggestions. Just a few more weeks and we will be eating very well it seems.

            2. It's been a couple years, but I HIGHLY recommend De Kas. It's in a convvereeted municipal greennhouse. Glass ceiling. Beautiful space, set in a parklike area. No menu per se, but whatever the chef is making with what is fresh that day. Intersting wine choices available by the glass too. Also, restaurant Greetje. It seemed like authentic local food to me. AMAZING black pudding. I was a bit scared of it, but it was SO good. Lovely setting, it's almost like you are in someone's home.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Marra

                We liked Moeders..

                Wagamama's is an inexpensive noodle bar.