The Best Eats in Amsterdam - A Food Guide
Updated: Feb 25, 2021
Since our latest trip to Amsterdam was only 72 hours, we really had be picky to squeeze in the best foods while keeping on track with our itinerary. We managed to eat at some of Amsterdam's most amazing food destinations, so here's our food guide for must haves in Amsterdam:
Every great trip starts off with a great brunch. Awakening from that jet lag funk on your first morning after a questionable night's sleep in a brand new place (even somewhere as nice as the Sir Adam) there is nothing better to turn things around than a good meal and a healthy dose of caffeine. With multiple locations around Amsterdam, Omelegg is just the place you need.
I have visited the city center location twice on two different trips, both times there was a line and a 20-30 minute wait for the table. Rest assured, both times the wait was a small sacrifice to make for the great food, tasty coffee, and quick service. The menu features over two dozen omelets such as my personal favorite the Farm Boy which includes bacon, sausage, salami, broccoli, mushrooms, onion, spinach, peppers, sundried tomato, and of course, a healthy portion of farmer cheese (come to think of it, it might be easier to describe the farm boy by what it doesn't have, rather than what it does). Personally, I don't think there is a bad item on the menu and you can wash it all down with your choice of coffee, espresso drinks, or fresh squeezed juice.
Snacks while you Stroll: Cheese Shops
Cheese is such an iconic part of Amsterdam. Gouda in particular, is Holland's most loved cheese. While I'm not a connoisseur of cheese, it was still fascinating to see such a huge variety and I left with a new-found appreciation for it.
For cheese lovers out there, you will absolutely love Amsterdam. First of all, because cheese is such a big part of their cuisine, you can find a cheese store down every block! Sometimes, in a heavy shopping area, you can find multiple down one street. Second, the shop owners are always super generous. When we visited, the owner had us stay for almost half an hour just trying all the flavors. Last, but not least, the different flavors were incredible! I'm sure we have unique cheeses in the States if you go to a specialized store, but in your general grocery store, you can really only find the common ones like Mozzarella, Gouda, Pepperjack, etc. But in Amsterdam, we got to try red pepper cheese, wasabi cheese, pesto cheese, truffle. cheese, and so much more!
Since these cheese shops are all over the place, the Amsterdam official site recommends The 9 Streets (De 9 Straatjes) to find your cheese. We wrote about our experience exploring this incredible shopping area, and highly recommend dedicating half a day there to check out the local lifestyle!
Dinner: Casa Nostra
One of the things we love to do, especially when going to countries we've been before, is to dedicate time exploring local's recommendations. Casa Nostra was one of them. During our amazing stay at Sir Adam Hotel in Amsterdam (check out our hotel review here!), the front desk team recommended this charming restaurant to us. There wasn't a ton of information online, so we took the leap of faith and booked a reservation for dinner. It turned out to be such a wonderful experience.
Casa Nostra is a small but intimate and charming Italian restaurant opened by Italian immigrants. It has a variety of food beyond pasta, a reasonably priced wine list, and they are vegetarian and vegan friendly. What made this place a must-visit for us is that the chef himself sits up by the front window and makes handmade orecchiette pasta every evening for that day's dinner service! Normally, a small storefront like this on a busy street, you would pass by without ever noticing. But the homey and interactive nature of the restaurant left both our hearts and stomachs full. We're so glad we followed the local's recommendations!
This part might be my personal favorite. I'm a huge dessert girl, and ever since I've been introduced to stroopwafels, I've been on the hunt for some GOOD stroopwafels. It is said that the first stroopwafel was actually created when a baker sweetened leftover breadcrumbs with a thick syrup for a cheap treat during tough times! Even though this dessert has become a well known snack across the world, unfortunately, it's not as popular in the US, which means we don't see much variety other than the original you might have seen on your last United Airlines flight.
However, coming to Amsterdam is one of those precious times where I get to fulfill all my stroopwafel cravings! Because the Netherlands is the birthplace of the stroopwafel, they've really gotten creative with the flavors and toppings. Just take a look at all your options!
Stroopwafel stores are also a great place to bring your kids. Many stores will have employees hand press them in front of you! You get to customize your toppings, and watch the creation process, and best of all enjoy a fresh stroopwaffel that is still warm and gooey on the inside. I personally became a kid again in this store!
Don't forget, stroopwafels are such a classic Amsterdam thing, that it makes for a delicious gift for friends and family. Stores and even street market stalls will sell beautiful tins full of fresh stroopwaffels made that morning to bring home for your loved ones (or yourself) when you return home. While the shops were the best for dipped and topped options, we found some of the best souvenir options from street market vendors. We wrote more about our Amsterdam street market experience as well.
Late Night Snack: Wok to Walk
Wok to Walk is an Amsterdam fast food restaurant that opened in 2004. Think Chipotle but an interactive version focused on stir fried rice and noodle bowls cooked fresh right in front of you. They are so popular that they've even expanded to the US (in NYC, Florida, and more than 100 restaurants around the world).
The first night in Amsterdam, we landed so late and we were completely exhausted and could barely find the energy to leave the hotel. Kyle took me to the nearby Wok to Walk as we were walking around town, and my life was forever changed (let's just say that in only 24 hours we visited Wok to Walk twice).
Every location is a small storefront with only a few seats, and if you catch it when the bars are closing there can be a long line. Personally, seeing a line at a food place is when you know you've found the right place. Right when you walk in, you're prompted to choose your base, protein, veggies, and sauce. But the fun part starts when the chef stir fries your food right in front of you! I loved it so much because the whole big flames and big wok vibe really reminded me of my family's cooking style. Best of all, the food is served piping hot in a compact box, so even if you need to bring your stir fry back to the hotel, it will stay fresh and hot. Wok to Walk is the perfect way to finish off a night out in Amsterdam.
We hope this list helps give you an idea of how we ate in our 72 hours in Amsterdam. Feel free to watch our trip here: