There’s the atomic, there’s the atmospheric, there’s the astronomic, and then there’s the gastronomic. Whenever you go out on trips, whenever you visit a place that you’ve never been to before, you always have to make sure that you’re not just going to do some sightseeing. While those tired eyes do deserve a treat after months of seeing only bank and billing statements, you also need to recognize that your mouth and your stomach need a treat, too, after months of eating only fastfood and quick bites.
And all that is especially true in Amsterdam. Sightseeing spots in Amsterdam? Check. Excellent foodie spots in Amsterdam? Check. Excellent foodie spots that are also sightseeing destinations in Amsterdam? Well, that’s a double check for you right there. Here is a list of some of the best restaurants in Amsterdam, known not only for great food, but also for being some of Amsterdam’s most attractive locations at the same time.
Restaurant #1: Go Asian in Nam Kee. This restaurant started with a small space, with just a total of 16 seats inside. The visionaries of the restaurant, a Cantonese chef and his friend (or kee), named Nam Chan, stayed true and authentic in their roots, doing away with the temptation to integrate the local Dutch cuisine. The restaurant eventually rose to stardom when Kees van Beijnum wrote the steamy novel The Oysters of Nam Kee, later turned into a film with the same name.
In Nam Kee, you can look forward to an Asian feast that’s unapologetically plentiful and unpretentiously delicious.
Restaurant #2: Experience a literal hole in the wall in Febo. Pronounced ‘fey-bo’, this spot is intended for post-bar people who just had their drinks and would like to enjoy a different sort of food trip. Febo’s concept is of fried food in heated holes in the wall. Now, before you get turned off by the fact that you have to stand up while eating, they now have a sit-down restaurant, so there’s nothing to worry about.
Restaurant #3: Go for some solid ‘dinnertainment’ in Supperclub. ‘Dinnertainment?’, you might ask. Yes, there is such a thing – you’re eating dinner, and at the same time, you’re getting entertained by a lot of nightclub entertainment. Supperclub lets you enjoy your nighttime meals while watching performances that are as noteworthy and quirky as their food. And nope, the emphasis is not on the food itself. It’s really all about the spectacle.
Restaurant #4: Get a bite that takes part in the Rainbow Revolution in Lunchroom Downtown. The city’s first openly gay cafe, this restaurant is not just popular for its good food but also for its social relevance. Its menu serves everything Dutch, including its pancakes. Also, to add a little more history to it, its brick and mortar come from as far back as the 17th century. Today, it caters to crowds of every orientation, offering the same good food and a lot of dancing.
Restaurant #5: Enjoy food that enriches you with a valuable history lesson in De Silveren Spiegel. Translating literally to The Silver Mirror, you can’t help but admire this restaurant as it serves food that’s as pretty as its interior design. It will be of more profound interest to you to know, however, that De Silveren Spiegel used to be a haven for Jews who were being purged in the WWII. So you see why you won’t just go there for the food. You’re also witnessing history coming alive.
There you have it – a short (but exciting) list of restaurants you must absolutely try in Amsterdam – not just for their food, but also for their heartwarming histories and beginnings.