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Eat Like A Local In Amsterdam

July 13, 2023

Amsterdam is a city jam-packed with restaurants, street food stalls and takeaways – it’s certainly not short of places to dine. But where is best to go I hear you ask?! Check out our selection of the best restaurants in Amsterdam, which compiles some of the most quaint, unheard of gems within the Dam food scene. From eclectic Thai restaurants to the best cheese fondue, we’ve got you covered. Sit back and indulge – literally!

1. Rakang 

Rakang dining room

Rakang has been around for a long time (since 1994 to be exact!) and for very good reason. This cosy Jordan restaurant is a real favourite with the Amsterdam locals thanks to its authentic Thai flavours based around three core pillars: simplicity of dishes, fresh ingredients and vibrant flavours. Colourful and contemporary artwork adorns the walls and Eastern-inspired crockery fills the tables. Favourite dishes with the locals include the thom kha kai soup along with the beef tenderloin in oyster sauce and the fried prawns with curry powder and fiery red chillies.

Where? Elandsgracht 29 – 31 Why go? Book this restaurant in Amsterdam for bold Thai flavours in an eclectic and colourful setting

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2. Miss Korea BBQ

Selection of food at Miss Korea BBQ

All you can eat restaurants can often conjure up visions of unappetising mountains of buffet food. Not so at Miss Korea BBQ. Here, diners sit around a table with an inset barbecue at its centre and cook their own sizzling dinner, choosing from seasoned beef, pork belly, squid, prawns and veg. It doesn’t get much fresher than that. Ingredients are unlimited but there is a penalty for uneaten food in a bid to minimise wastage. It’s a great social spot to head to with a group of friends (old or new!) You can spend a good few hours chatting whilst you cook up a storm. If you’re looking for some of the best restaurants in Amsterdam to eat like locals, you could do worse than Miss Korea BBQ.

Where? Albert Cuypstraat 66-70 Why go? Don’t miss out on this Amsterdam restaurant for a unique dining experience, you can enjoy with friends

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3. De Zuid

Dining tables and chairs at De Zuid
Source: tripadvisor

As a mostly residential area, Java Island isn’t well known to most visitors coming to Amsterdam. A pleasant walk from Centraal Station along the recently developed IJ Waterfront, this small island boasts some impressive modern architecture and great views overlooking the city. It’s certainly worth a visit if you’re looking to venture off the tourist track. De Zuid is a hidden gem and one of the best restaurants in Amsterdam, well-loved by locals. With friendly, smiling staff and a no-fuss atmosphere, this cosy pub does a delectable cheese fondue and has a great selection of Belgian beers. Once you’re finished, take a stroll across the street. Once you approach the water, head towards some giant concrete steps where you’ll get a beautiful view across the water to the city.

Where? Azartplein 2A, 1019 PD Why go? Book this restaurant for cheese fondue and some of the best views across the city

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4. Sir Hummus

Plate of food at Sir Hummus
Source: amsterdamandbeyond

If you often feel overwhelmed with the sheer choice of menus these days, then Sir Hummus could well be the place for you. Located in the trendy De Pijp district, this local-favourite restaurant serves just one thing … You guessed it: hummus! Here at Sir Hummus, the well-loved chickpea dip is more than something to eat with a crisp or spread in a sandwich. It forms the basis of a whole dish. Served slightly warm with fresh herbs, a spicy sauce, pitta bread and a side salad, it’s a hearty and healthy lunch that really hits the spot. Add meat or mushrooms if you’re feeling particularly peckish.

Where? Van der Helstplein 2
When? n.b. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays Why go? Book this restaurant for the best hummus in Amsterdam!

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5. Drovers Dog

Dining room at Drovers Dog
Source: drovers-dog

Aussies know how to do brunch and this place is absolute proof of that. Banging Bloody Marys, proper coffee and a cracking selection of brekkie dishes, this is a spot that Amsterdam locals return to again and again. The atmosphere, as you’d expect from a place run by Australians, is super relaxed. So, if you’re looking for a leisurely way to spend a few hours – with friends or with a book or pile of newspapers – head to Drovers Dog. Brunch is our favourite here, but they do dinner too and we wouldn’t turn our nose up at that either. So popular is Drovers Dog, they’ve now got two other locations in the city.

Where? Eerste Atjehstraat 62, 1094 KP Why go? Book this restaurant in Amsterdam to eat like a local – via Australia Book your table here

6. Hotel de Goudfazant

Busy restaurant at Hotel de Goudfazant
Source: timeout

If you’re visiting Amsterdam for a special occasion, we’d heartily recommend a visit to Hotel de Goudfazant. Unlike its name suggests, this is not a hotel but rather a restaurant in an old industrial warehouse in Amsterdam Noord (not so far from ClinkNOORD youth hostel). The space manages to feel grand yet cosy with an impressive chandelier hanging from the high ceiling. For just €31.50 you can enjoy a three-course set menu which generally comprises classic French-inspired dishes. Tables are filled mainly with groups of Dutch friends, families and couples so if you’re looking for the best restaurants in Amsterdam to eat like a local, Hotel de Ghoudfazant is a ‘ghoud’ bet.

Where? Aambeeldstraat 10H Why go? Book this restaurant for a special dinner in a spectacular setting Book your table here

7. Yam Yam Trattoria Pizzeria

Pizza with toppings at Yam Yam Trattoria Pizzeria
Source: yamyam

Sometimes, nothing but a good pizza will do! Luckily Amsterdam has upped its game in recent years when it comes to good Italian food. Yam Yam is a local favourite restaurant in Amsterdam West. With a proper wood-fired oven and the feel of a chic Italian cafeteria, this is the perfect spot to enjoy crispy, authentic pizza and a nice bottle of red. Plus, as the pizzas are light to eat, we’re quite sure you’ll have room for one of Yam Yam’s famous gelatos to finish off your dinner the proper Italian way.

Where? Frederik Hendrikstraat 88-90 Why go? Book this restaurant in Amsterdam for pizza done right

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8. De Wasserette

Outdoor dining at De Wasserette
Source: awesomeamsterdam

If you’re planning a visit to Albert Cuyp market, a favourite with locals, then De Wasserette is a great restaurant to stop for a spot of lunch when you’ve wandered around a lot of stalls and started to feel peckish. Well known for their fantastic sandwiches, you’ll find a young, hip crowd here (the ones who always know where to find a good coffee!) With outdoor heaters, you can even sit outside during the winter – a great spot for watching the colourful characters that go by in this vibrant neighbourhood.

Where? Eerste Van der Helststraat 27 Why go? Book this restaurant for cracking sandwiches and proper coffee

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9. Cafe Par Hasard

Restaurant entrance to Cafe Par Hasard
Source: cafeparhasard

What list of local favourites would be complete without a mention of a firm Dutch favourite snack – fries served in a paper cone with a good dollop of mayonnaise on top? Try this restaurant in Amsterdam to pick up a delicious version of this on-the-go snack at the Friterie counter next to Café Par Hasard. Or if you’re looking for something a little more substantial, then Par Hasard serves up hearty classics like bitterballen, fish and chips and steak tartare. The three-course menu for €27.50 is popular amongst locals and pretty good value in our book.

Where? Ceintuurbaan 113-115, Amsterdam Why go? Book this restaurant for classic and hearty dishes at a great price

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Although it’s great to eat like a local in Amsterdam, don’t forget, that we serve up our very own affordable, all-you-can-eat breakfast each day at ClinkNoord. Our breakfast includes a selection of cereals, bread, cheeses, cold meats, salads, eggs, beans, fruit, and local foods like Hagelslag and Farmers Cake. As well as plenty of juices, tea and coffees to choose from. Book for your whole stay in advance for only €5.90 a day, or it’s €8.00 otherwise.

Where? Badhuiskade 3, 1031 KV Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Book your stay at ClinkNOORD youth hostel in Amsterdam for a friendly affordable place, and check out our cheap group accommodation in Amsterdam if you’re planning a group gateway.