In Amsterdam, it can sometimes be difficult to avoid the touristy corners of the city — and this is particularly true when searching for really local foods. It’s not easy to spot the differences between what is truly local and homemade, and what is mass-produced.
And while you might think that food in Amsterdam is about fries, fries, and more fries, this city is actually full of authentic flavors that range from the most typical to most original. Here are a few of our favourite artisanal restaurants in Amsterdam for getting authentic, quality Dutch cuisine — broken down byh our votes for best in atmosphere, best in selection, and best in craftsmanship.
Best for atmosphere: PapaBubble
PapaBubble is located on the Haarlemerstraat in the Jordaan, and it’ll make you feel like you’ve gone back in time to your childhood, thanks to the display of jars and lollipops everywhere. You’ll feel, well, like a kid in a candy shop!
They manufacture many of their audacious candies on the spot, twisting and pulling the warm, gooey, sugary mass into bite-sized flavour bombs. They can even transform your company logo into a bite-sizes advertisement. You can try a piece of traditional passionfruit or watermelon, but crispy cinnamon and eucalyptus are some of the less common flavours well worth exploring. They offer a candy-making class as well, so you can put your own candy cooking skills to the test.
Be prepared to be overwhelmed by the colours, smells, and selection in this quirky little shop. And if you are there on a day that candy is being made, you can ask for a sample of fresh, warm-to-the-touch creations.
Best for selection: FoodWare
FoodWare is the place to go if you need a healthy and delicious lunch break. There are three different locations in the city, so no matter whether you’re in the Pijp, Jordaan, or Centrum, you’re not far from a company that believes in quality and craft movements in the food industry.
Simple dishes, local products, and fresh fruits and vegetables are what to expect, and getting something to go (meenemen) is how most locals interact with this shop.
Try a main dish of North Holland chicken in truffle sauce or Greek lamb keftedes in a mint-yogurt and tomato sauce. The clotted yogurt with fresh fruit comes straight from the farm. This is good, honest food from owners who offer the best selection in take-away.
Best for craftsmanship: De Laaste Kruimel
De Laaste Kruimel is on a tiny side street near the University of Amsterdam. It is impossible to pass by the window without salivating, thanks to the amount of savoury and sweet choices that assail your senses.
People crowd in for sandwiches made before your eyes on freshly baked bread. But the real star is the pastry selection. You can have fresh lemon pies, hot cheese puffed pastries, or a savoury bread pudding that will knock your socks off. Best of all, the owners have a strong philosophy of promoting a sustainable universe by sourcing local ingredients whenever they can.
The owners try to create a friendly, if not trendy, environment, and the nearby student body appreciates the location so close to classes. If you’re lucky, you can grab a free spot on their tiny terrace of only two tables overlooking one of the hidden canals of Amsterdam.
Get more Amsterdam tips on a city tour with one of our local guides!