Our guide to dining out in Amsterdam
Something Special – THE GRAND HOTEL
The Grand hotel is home to one of Amsterdam’s most classic afternoon teas, which can be enjoyed in a serene courtyard garden – weather permitting. Delicacies such as crostini with smoked eel and basil cream, poached egg with caviar and crème fraîche and scones with jam, lemon curd and Devonshire clotted cream are served on elegant etagères with a selection of Newby teas. We particularly enjoyed the French pastry plate with Opéra cake, strawberry rhubarb crumble and la religieuse – choux pastry berry bombs – a subtle nod perhaps to the building’s beginnings as a 15th-century convent.
Something Tasty – BULLS & DOGS
While the pretzel bun-based hot dogs at this little slice of hipster heaven divide opinion between purists and fans, do try the ‘Smokey Pepper Dog’ with merguez sausage (€5.50)and hand-cut sweet potatofries (€3.75). The chocolate‘freakshake’ (€6), a milkshake with Oreo cookies, Nutella,chocolate buttons and a cigarette wafer roll, is universally adored.
Something of a Bargain – HEMA
Beloved by Dutch builders and bankers alike, HEMA’s €2 take on the fast-food favourite is echt Hollands and deeply down to earth. In a typical display of polder practicality, the white bread rolls come with a tubular tunnel down the centre for the warm sausage and HEMA’s scrumptious ‘secret mustard sauce’
Set Menu – CAFE BERN
Limited menu options are not uncommon in Amsterdam (another local quirk), and restaurants so structured can be a bargain. A favorite is Café Bern, where the thing to order is cheese fondue—it’s delicious, and with a salad and house wine, dinner is about 25 Euros.
Something Meaty – L’ Entrecote et les Dames
The best bargain for steak in town may be L’ Entrecote et les Dames— entrecote with pommes frites is all they serve, cooked perfectly to order, sliced, and preceded by a delicious salad of butter lettuce and walnuts. Shockingly, once you’ve cleaned your plate, the waiter passes by with a platter offering you seconds
Downtown is in a central location, busy inside and outside for lunch. The Garlic Queen inReguilersdwarsstraat 27 is truly deliciuous, where everything is made with healing and aromatic garlic, including ice cream! Yes its amazing. Getto (Warmoesstraat 51) ‘serving hungry homos since 1996,’ offers home cooking, cuisines from Louisiana to Paris with a popular Sunday brunch. The gay-trendy restaurant is along the lovably seedy and leather-oriented Warmoesstraat, is an inviting spot that’s known as much among see-and-be-seen types for sipping cocktails as for tasty food. Meanwhile, Cafe t Leeuwtje (Torensteeg 1) offers a drag show dinner with two seatings.
MOMO blends the Far East with the West. The interior is cosmopolitan, trendy and colorful which attracts a hip crowd. The menu is described as modern Pan Asian and dishes are meant to be shared. The large bar in the center dominates the room. Great spot to try one of MOMO’s fabulous cocktails. Open for lunch and dinner.