The largest concentration of restaurants in Amsterdam
is around the Leidseplein. In the summer, almost all have outdoor
seating. This is most enjoyable since you get to people watch, musicians
come around to serenade you, and you can more easily avoid smokers (often
a problem as few Dutch restaurants have non-smoking sections). Here
there are streets leading away from the square with one restaurant after
another. The competition is intense, and after you've spent ten minutes
trying to decide which one to eat at, they all start looking the same.
It's a good idea to decide what type of food you want which will make choosing
somewhat easier. You might want to decide based upon ambiance, but
if you're eating outdoors, they're all equal.
The Leidseplein area has a number of well known
restaurants including 't Swarte Schaep (The Black Sheep) with great food
in a cozy 300 year old building (expensive). We found several very good,
reliable Italian restaurants in the area, and some not so good Indian restaurants.
The best clue as to how good the food is, is how long the line is!
The Rembrandtplein is another laid back people watching
area. On nice days and summer evenings the area is packed. Have a beer in one of the large
cafes looking onto the park and if you wait, entertainment of some sort usually appears.
Many restaurants line the square and several popular clubs are in the area.
A very good but pricey Indonesian restaurant is on one corner.
areas with a good number of restaurants is Chinatown in the Red Light District,
where you can get real chinese food, not the Indonesian version. Try the area around the Nieuwmarkt and down the Zeedijk for the best selection of Asian food in town.
Along Utrechtstraat is a very interesting collection of restaurants, in what is now being called Amsterdam's "Golden Kilometer" including a vegetarian one (The Golden Temple). The Jordaan has many small trendy restaurants and bars serving
food throughout the district. Unless you have time to walk around
and discover these gems don't expect to find the perfect place quickly.
If you get stuck you can always check out Pathum Thai Restaurant at Willemstraat 16.
The Spui area has a number of popular restaurants
including the famous D'Vijff Vliegen (The Five Flies), which is 350 years
old and has served traditional Dutch as well as more modern dishes to the
likes of Elvis Presley and others!
Restaurants with views: Since the city
is so compact, few places in Amsterdam have good views. De jaren,
a popular hangout near the university has a great view along the Amstel
river. You can sit outside on either of two patios and enjoy a small
but tasty menu. Many people come to meet friends and drink.
The large noisy interior is OK for sitting back and catching up on the
news offered in free newspapers and magazines.
The Sea Palace Restaurant might not have the best
Chinese food in town, but the view of Amsterdam from this floating restaurant
(Hong Kong style) is excellent.
Note:Find out where the best selection of Amsterdam's restaurants are hiding. Whatever your taste, there's a place to satisfy your hunger.
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