My favourite Culinary & Cultural spots in Amsterdam

Posted on Posted in Cultural, Food & Drinks, Inspiration, Travel

Amsterdam is a lively place to live and definitely a must visit in getting inspired by the many wonderful activities this city has to offer. I am not referring to ‘the coffee shops’ or the red light district but to the history, culture, museum, architecture, the flat nature, the charming canals and historical houses we have. Go and sail along the canals, ride on a bicycle, enjoy a stroll in the park, just have a relaxing time and absorb the local vibe.

Not to be missed out are our typical Dutch tidbits e.g. biterbal, kroket, stroopwafel, haring met uitjes en zuur, patatje oorlog, poffertjes, oliebol (X’mas season only) and many more local to international culinary adventures you can try out. Pictures from left to right are in order of the tidbits.





Oh, there is one thing that might not charm you… the quality of customer service can be far below your expectation. I don’t understand either and occasional I get annoyed by that. It’s quite normal in Amsterdam and people tend to leave it as it is. However, there are fabulous and friendly cosy places to go, so just go to the ones you like. On the tipping part, we do not have a standard custom and most locals round up the bill or tip 10% for excellent service provided.

I hope you can share your thoughts or tell me your pick’s 🙂


***** I will update this post occasionally on new discoveries and experiences *****


My Favourite Culinary Spots

Type of Experience

De Wallen, Dam Square

Wynand Fockink – a hidden tiny tavern where you can sip ~70 Dutch liqueurs and genevers. Passionate outgoing staff and definitely a memorable experience. Opens from 3pm and can close early evening.

Alcoholic drinks


Chocolaterie Pompadour – go for a super delicious patisserie experience. They have a small tearoom in the shop. Queues may occur outdoor.

Café, patisserie


Winkel 43 – taste the best apple pie in Amsterdam. Freshly baked and delicious with a bit of whipped cream. Long queues may occur. Address is Noordermarkt 43 in the Jordaan area.

Café, apple pie

De Wallen, Spui

De Laatste Kruimel – a charming café having delicious sandwich, bakery and quiche. A few uncomfortable seats but definitely cosy and a must experience. Address is Langebrugsteeg 4 and is open daily from 8am-8pm.

Café, sandwich, bakery, quiche


Café Restaurant De Ysbreeker – in the summer they have a lovely terrace along the Amstel river where you can enjoy the view and the tranquillity of Amsterdam. The food and wine is quite good.

Café restaurant

Canal belt, Leidseplein

Café de Balie – have a coffee break and absorb the local life with free high speed wifi. It’s a cultural centre having a diverse programme about freedom of speech, contemporary art, politics, culture, cinema and media.


De Wallen, Muntplein

Café de Jaren – a nice high-ceilinged café ambiance with a sunny canal-side terrace. Just enjoy some reading and the local vibe.



Wolf Atelier – I had a very enjoyable and delicious dinner here. This place is built on an old rail bridge and the setup is in a glasshouse with a great view towards the waterfront of the Eye museum and the open kitchen. The acoustic can be improved, as it was difficult to have a proper chat without raising your voice. A drawback, they charge table bread and it’s a tiny mini one for two persons to share. The menu price vs quality is superb! Closed on Sundays.

Western cuisine

Reservation recommended especially on Thu/Fri/Sat

Canal belt, Rembrandtplein

Tapas Tia Rosa – a nice cosy ambiance with superb joyful staff, good house wine and delicious tapas. Try out the surprise menu. You won’t be disappointed.

Spanish cuisine

Reservation recommended especially on Thu/Fri/Sat

Rai, Rivierenbuurt

Hakata Senpachi – a taste of the rising sun. This is my most favourite Izakaya restaurant in Amsterdam. The grilled sticks taste delicious as in Japan, great sake selection and on weekend days they serve Fukuoka ramen noodle lunch. Ambiance setup is a Dutch brown café, simple wooden tables and chairs. It’s now closed due to a fire incident end 2016 and will re-open on Feb 27th 2017. Got the last table and I’m so looking forward to the best Japanese grilled sticks of Amsterdam 🙂

Japanese cuisine

Museum Quarter

Taiko Restaurant – situated in the Conservatorium Hotel. Splendid Asian fusion and mostly by Japanese influences. A superb gastronomic experience in a great ambiance. An evening to splurge yourself. Excellent service but some staff can be a bit snobbish. Sunday closed.

High-end Asian Fusion

Reservation recommended especially on Thu/Fri/Sat

De Wallen, Central Station

Restaurant Vermeer (Michelin Star *) – situated in the NH Barbizon Palace Hotel. A marvellous gastronomic experience with excellent friendly professional staff. Ingredients are locally sourced. Sunday closed.

High-end Western cuisine

Reservation recommended

De Wallen

Restaurant de Compagnon – a hidden gem in the red light district. It is a small cosy restaurant with three floors. You will have a wonderful tasting experience. Ensure a table at the window with a great view on the canal. Sunday closed

French cuisine

Reservation recommended

De Wallen Bridges (Michelin Star *) – situated in Sofitel Legend The Grand and former Amsterdam Town Hall. Another marvellous gastronomic experience with excellent friendly professional staff. Dinner on Monday closed.

High-end Western cuisine, afternoon tea

Reservation recommended




My Favourite Cultural Spots

Type of Experience

City Centre

Stopera – National Opera & Ballet

Opera and Ballet

Behind Central Station


Jazz music

Museum Quarter

The Royal Concertgebouw – enjoy a free concert at lunch time on Wednesdays at 12:30pm. Queuing for free tickets starts at 11:30am and there is a limitation of seats. First come first serve basis and only one ticket per person available.

De Wallen

Book Market at Oudemanhuispoort – a charming walk on a non-official book market selling old books, music and prints. Location makes it more special, a gate passage dated from 1786 connecting between Kloveniersburgwal and Oudezijdsvoorburgwal. Opening hours from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm and subject to shop availability/season/weather condition.

Book, music, prints market

Tip: daily last minute online tickets offered at from 10am. There is a maximum of 2 tickets per transaction and the website is in Dutch only


4 thoughts on “My favourite Culinary & Cultural spots in Amsterdam

  1. This article was super helpful and on point, thank you so much. I’m reading all the other articles as well, you’re very insightful and encouraging. Thanks!!!

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