Unique Restaurants in Amsterdam: 12 Coolest Places to Eat

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in Amsterdam
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Amsterdam is not just about beautiful canals and bike rides. It’s also an amazing place to eat. In Amsterdam’s unique restaurants, you’ll find something different at every turn. Think of eating high up in the sky or in a cozy spot right by the water. Amsterdam’s food scene is full of surprises and great tastes!

Amsterdam is full of surprises, especially when it comes to eating out. It’s not just about good food here. It’s about fun, unique experiences that make every meal memorable. The unique restaurants in Amsterdam are all about giving you stories to share, not just dishes to taste.

I’ve been all over this city, finding spots that really stand out. Think of having dinner in a revolving restaurant or enjoying a meal surrounded by lush greenery. These places are what makes eating in Amsterdam exciting. And the best part? You can find amazing food in the most unexpected places, truly a gem in the Netherlands.

Ready to discover some unique places to eat in Amsterdam? Whether you’re up for a fancy night out or a cozy meal by the canal, Amsterdam has something amazing for you. Let’s jump into the twelve best restaurants in Amsterdam – each one is a reason to fall in love with this city all over again.

The top restaurants to visit in Amsterdam right now
This article on the unique restaurants in Amsterdam will surely impress you

Unique Restaurants in Amsterdam: 12 Best Places in Amsterdam to Eat

Are you ready to discover the best restaurants in Amsterdam? There’s a large variety of eateries to explore here, from dining in innovative settings to quaint, tucked-away cafes. Join me as we uncover the best places to eat in Amsterdam.

Are you excited for an amazing dining experience, like enjoying top-notch meals while looking over Amsterdam from a high-up, spinning restaurant? Or maybe you want to try real Dutch food in a warm, old house by the canal? No matter what kind of unique dining adventure you’re looking for, Amsterdam has it all. Here’s your essential guide to the most unique restaurants in Amsterdam. Let’s dive in!

1. MOON

Ever dreamed of dining in the sky? MOON in the A’DAM Tower makes that dream a reality. Known as one of the best places to eat in Amsterdam, MOON offers a full view of the city as it gently spins you around.

At MOON, the menu is a playful mix of old and new. The chefs here are like magicians, turning classic dishes into something fresh and exciting. It’s the perfect spot for a special celebration or just a night of treating yourself to something extraordinary.

What sets MOON apart is its fusion of fantastic food and a dreamy setting. They use the freshest local ingredients to whip up dishes that dazzle both your eyes and taste buds. It’s a favorite for those who love fine dining in Amsterdam, where every meal is a visual and gastronomic delight.

Make sure to book your spot at MOON, especially if you’re after a dinner with a stunning view, whether it’s under the starry sky or against the backdrop of Amsterdam’s twinkling lights. Dining here is an unforgettable way to experience the city’s vibrant food scene.

MOON is one of the unique restaurants in Amsterdam.
Experience dining in the sky at MOON in A’DAM Tower, offering a full view of the city.

2. Ctaste

Have you ever thought about dining in complete darkness? Ctaste offers an extraordinary adventure in Amsterdam, where your sense of taste takes center stage. This is one of the most unique Amsterdam restaurants where the experience is as memorable as the food.

At Ctaste, the idea is simple yet fascinating: you eat in total darkness, guided and served by visually impaired waiters. This unique setting challenges you to rely on your other senses, making each flavor, texture, and aroma more intense. It’s not just a meal – it’s a sensory journey that changes the way you think about food.

The menu is a surprise, adding to the excitement. You’ll find a range of options, from meat and fish to vegetarian dishes, all crafted to delight your taste buds. Ctaste is perfect for adventurous eaters and those looking for a truly different dining experience.

This restaurant is more than a place to eat. It’s a social experiment that brings people together in a unique way. It’s ideal for those seeking fun restaurants in Amsterdam that offer more than just good food. Remember, at Ctaste, it’s all about the surprise, so come with an open mind and a ready palate!

Dine at Ctaste, where taste reigns supreme for a uniquely memorable meal.
Dine at Ctaste, where taste reigns supreme for a uniquely memorable meal.

3. Beulings

Beulings is a charming spot in the heart of Amsterdam, where dining feels like a special event. Hidden away from the busy streets, this restaurant stands out as one of Amsterdam’s best restaurants for its personal touch and exceptional cooking. Here, the focus is on creating a unique connection between the food, the chef, and the diner.

The magic of Beulings is in its cozy and intimate setting, like dining at a friend’s elegant house. With only a few tables, the restaurant offers a warm and private atmosphere. The chefs at Beulings take pride in their craft, often interacting with guests and sharing stories behind their culinary creations.

The menu at Beulings celebrates the freshest ingredients of the season. Simple produce is transformed into stunning dishes, full of flavor and creativity. Every course is a delightful surprise, showcasing the chef’s skill and love for food.

For me, as someone who enjoys finding unique places in Amsterdam to eat, Beulings was a heartwarming discovery. It’s perfect for those who value a dining experience that’s about more than just food, where the atmosphere, the meal, and the personal interactions come together to create lasting memories.

Beulings offers exceptional cooking and a personal touch, creating a unique dining connection.
Beulings offers exceptional cooking and a personal touch, creating a unique dining connection.

4. Pllek

Pllek is a vibrant and lively restaurant in Amsterdam that truly captures the spirit of the city. Located in the trendy NDSM wharf area, it’s known for its stunning waterfront views and a laid-back, bohemian vibe. Pllek stands out as one of the coolest places to eat in Amsterdam, especially for those who love a mix of great food, culture, and relaxation.

What’s unique about Pllek is its setting in a series of converted shipping containers, offering both indoor and outdoor seating. This creative space isn’t just about dining. It’s a place where art, music, and sustainability come together. The restaurant hosts various events, from live music to movie nights. Believe me, every visit here is a new experience!

The menu at Pllek focuses on healthy, organic food with plenty of vegetarian options. It’s all about fresh, locally sourced ingredients, prepared in a way that’s both delicious and good for the planet. Whether you’re enjoying a leisurely brunch or a cozy dinner, the food here is sure to impress.

Located a short ferry ride from Amsterdam Central Station, Pllek is easily accessible yet feels like a delightful escape from the city’s hustle. While walk-ins are welcome, booking in advance is recommended. I advise that you reserve a spot for evening meals or weekend brunches to ensure you get a spot in this popular Amsterdam restaurant.

Pllek offers vibrant vibes, waterfront views, and a relaxed, bohemian atmosphere.
Pllek offers vibrant vibes, waterfront views, and a relaxed, bohemian atmosphere.

5. De Kas

Next up on our list of the best restaurants in Amsterdam is De Kas, an oasis in the city center. Situated in a beautiful greenhouse in Frankendael Park, this restaurant is a standout for those seeking unique places in Amsterdam to eat. It’s perfect for anyone who appreciates farm-to-table freshness and innovative cuisine.

At De Kas, the connection between the kitchen and the garden is tangible. The restaurant grows its own vegetables and herbs. As a result, every dish features the freshest, most flavorful ingredients. The menu changes daily, depending on what’s in season, offering a delightful surprise with each visit.

The setting of De Kas is as impressive as its food. The greenhouse structure provides a light, airy atmosphere. This makes every meal feel like a serene retreat in the midst of nature. It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely lunch or a romantic dinner, surrounded by lush greenery and the gentle buzz of the garden.

De Kas is a short drive or bike ride from Amsterdam’s city center. It’s a convenient yet tranquil dining destination. While walk-ins are sometimes possible, booking a table is advisable to ensure you don’t miss out on this unique gastronomic experience.

De Kas is a unique farm-to-table restaurant in a stunning greenhouse setting.
De Kas is a unique farm-to-table restaurant in a stunning greenhouse setting.

6. Moeders

Moeders is a heartwarming tribute to home cooking in the heart of Amsterdam. Known for its cozy and nostalgic atmosphere, this restaurant is a celebration of mothers and their timeless recipes. It’s one of the most unique places to eat in Amsterdam where every visit feels like coming home.

The walls of Moeders are adorned with photos of mothers from all over the world, creating a unique and personal ambiance. The menu is a delightful collection of traditional Dutch dishes, each prepared with a homely touch. From hearty stews to classic desserts, the food here is comforting and full of flavor.

What I particularly love about Moeders is its welcoming vibe. It’s the kind of place where you can relax, enjoy a good meal, and feel like part of a family. The portions are generous, and the dishes are made with love, just like at mom’s house!

The dishes are authentic and reasonably priced, with main courses generally around €20. I recommend trying their signature dish, the Hollandse Rijsttafel. It’s a delightful combination of all the Dutch specialties they serve, and trust me, it’s delicious!

Due to its popularity, it’s wise to book in advance. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Moeders promises a cozy, affordable dining experience that feels like a warm embrace from a dear family member.

Moeders is one of the unique restaurants in Amsterdam.
Dine at Moeders, where every visit feels like coming home.

7. REM Eiland

Imagine dining high above the water on a former pirate radio and TV station. That’s exactly what you get at REM Eiland! This restaurant, perched on a platform 22 meters above the IJ River, is one of the most unique restaurants in Amsterdam, hands down. It’s a thrilling blend of history, innovation, and culinary delight.

The adventure begins with the journey to the restaurant itself, located on an actual offshore platform. Once aboard, you’re treated to panoramic views of the Amsterdam skyline. It’s a perfect spot for a sunset dinner. The industrial-style décor, reminiscent of its broadcasting past, adds to the unique ambiance.

REM Eiland’s menu features modern European cuisine with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. The dishes are creatively presented, adding to the overall experience. My personal favorite is their seafood selection, which is always fresh and expertly prepared.

This restaurant is more than a place to eat. It’s a journey into a piece of Amsterdam’s quirky history. While it’s a bit off the beaten path, the experience is well worth it. REM Eiland is a must-visit for those looking for scenic places in Amsterdam to eat and enjoy a meal with a view.

REM Eiland, dine atop a former pirate station, blending history, innovation, and culinary delight.
REM Eiland, dine atop a former pirate station, blending history, innovation, and culinary delight.

8. Mediamatic

Step into Mediamatic, and you’re in for a delightful surprise. This restaurant, nestled in a greenhouse on the Amsterdam waterfront, is a haven for eco-friendly dining. It’s a place where sustainability meets creativity, offering a unique twist on the traditional dining experience.

The setting is a dream for nature lovers. Diners enjoy their meals surrounded by thriving plants, with views of the water adding to the serene ambiance. This greenhouse setup isn’t just charming – it’s an integral part of Mediamatic’s commitment to an eco-conscious lifestyle.

Mediamatic’s menu is a celebration of plant-based cuisine. They use organic, locally sourced ingredients to craft dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious. I personally recommend this restaurant to those searching for vegetarian food in Amsterdam. It’s fresh, delicious, and set in a wonderful location.

This restaurant is a fun and enlightening escape, just a short walk from the city center. It’s an ideal spot for anyone looking to enjoy fun places to eat in Amsterdam that are both eco-friendly and full of character. Mediamatic is a must-visit for a meal that’s enjoyable, sustainable, and absolutely memorable.

Mediamatic offers eco-friendly dining in a waterfront greenhouse.
Mediamatic offers eco-friendly dining in a waterfront greenhouse.

9. Pasta e Basta

No list of unique restaurants in Amsterdam would be complete without mentioning Pasta e Basta. This place is a true gem for anyone who loves Italian cuisine and a lively atmosphere. Pasta e Basta is not only about great food. It’s an experience that combines dining with entertainment.

Here, the waitstaff are not just servers. They’re talented singers who perform a variety of songs, from opera to modern hits, as you enjoy your meal. The vibrant performances make every visit to Pasta e Basta an unforgettable evening. It’s a perfect blend of culinary delight and musical joy.

The menu features a range of classic Italian dishes, all prepared with a focus on fresh ingredients and authentic flavors. Whether you’re craving a creamy pasta or a crisp salad, there’s something to satisfy every palate. The restaurant is renowned for its lively ambiance, which makes it a great spot for celebrations or a fun night out.

Located in the heart of Amsterdam, Pasta e Basta is easily accessible and a popular choice for both locals and tourists. Due to its popularity, booking in advance is recommended, especially if you’re planning to visit on a weekend. For those seeking fun restaurants in Amsterdam, Pasta e Basta is a fantastic option for an evening filled with delicious food and enchanting music.

Pasta e Basta in Amsterdam offers lively Italian dining fused with entertainment.
Pasta e Basta in Amsterdam offers lively Italian dining fused with entertainment.

10. Palais van de Weemoed

Palais van de Weemoed brings a special mix of fine dining and vintage cabaret to Amsterdam’s restaurant scene. This place transports you to the glamorous 1920s and 1930s, offering an experience that’s about more than just food.

Walking into Palais van de Weemoed is like stepping into another era. The décor, inspired by classic cabaret clubs, creates an atmosphere of elegance. Live jazz and captivating cabaret performances during your meal add to the excitement.

The menu combines contemporary and classic dishes, all prepared with sophistication. The flavors are inviting, and the presentation is beautiful, fitting the luxurious feel of the restaurant.

In the heart of Amsterdam, Palais van de Weemoed is a great choice for a special evening. It appeals to those who love the charm of old-world entertainment and unique places in Amsterdam to eat. Palais van de Weemoed offers an enchanting experience, blending great food with artistic performances.

Palais van de Weemoed offers a unique blend of fine dining and vintage cabaret.
Palais van de Weemoed offers a unique blend of fine dining and vintage cabaret.

11. Castell

Castell is all about cozy comfort and delicious barbecue. This restaurant is a favorite for those who love a laid-back atmosphere paired with mouth-watering grilled dishes. It’s a place where you can unwind and enjoy some of the best barbecues in Amsterdam.

The charm of Castell lies in its relaxed, almost homely setting. Think comfortable sofas, an open fireplace, and a friendly vibe. It’s like visiting a friend’s house for a barbecue, but with the bonus of professional chefs at the grill!

Their menu is a paradise for meat lovers. Juicy steaks, tender ribs, and perfectly grilled chicken are just some of the highlights. The portions are generous, making it a great place to satisfy your hunger after a day of exploring Amsterdam.

Located conveniently, Castell is easy to find and a fun spot for a casual dinner. It’s especially appealing in the colder months, thanks to its warm and inviting interior. For anyone looking for fun places to eat in Amsterdam where the food is as comforting as the setting, Castell is a top choice. It’s a place where good food and good times come together effortlessly.

Castell offers a laid-back atmosphere and mouth-watering barbecue.
Castell offers a laid-back atmosphere and mouth-watering barbecue.

12. Foodhallen

Last but not least on our Amsterdam culinary adventure is Foodhallen, a vibrant and bustling food market that’s a paradise for food lovers. This place is a lively hub where you can taste a variety of dishes from all over the world. It’s perfect for those who want to explore different flavors in one exciting location.

Foodhallen’s lively atmosphere is contagious. With its array of food stalls, each offering something unique, it’s like a festival of food under one roof. From gourmet burgers to artisanal sushi, the choices are endless and cater to every taste and preference.

What makes Foodhallen stand out is its casual, communal dining setting. It’s a place where locals and tourists mingle, sharing tables and stories. The open layout and vibrant decor add to the fun, which makes every visit a new experience.

For anyone looking for cheap eats in Amsterdam, Foodhallen is a treasure trove. You can sample a variety of dishes without spending a lot. It’s ideal for budget travelers or those looking to try a bit of everything.

As a personal recommendation, don’t miss out on the local Dutch specialties available here – they’re a delicious way to connect with Amsterdam’s food culture. Foodhallen is not just a dining destination. It’s a celebration of food and community, ending our list with a flavorful bang!

Foodhallen is one of the unique restaurants in Amsterdam.
Foodhallen is a bustling paradise with a variety of global dishes in one lively hub.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Unique Restaurants in Amsterdam

Searching for more information to help you decide where to eat in Amsterdam? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about Amsterdam’s best restaurants.

In Amsterdam, you’ll find tasty local foods like herring, often eaten raw with onions, and stroopwafels, sweet waffles with caramel. Bitterballen, fried meatballs with mustard, are also a favorite. These are best tried at street vendors or local cafes. Besides Dutch food, Amsterdam has many restaurants serving food from all over the world.

How expensive is a meal in Amsterdam?

The cost of a meal in Amsterdam can vary widely depending on the type of restaurant and its location. Here’s a general idea of what you might expect to pay:

  • Budget Dining: For budget-friendly options such as fast food, street food, or a simple meal at a casual café, prices typically range from €5 to €15 per person.
  • Mid-Range Restaurants: A meal at a mid-range restaurant, which includes many of the city’s popular eateries, can cost between €15 and €30 per person. This would typically include a main course and possibly a drink or dessert.
  • Fine Dining: At a high-end restaurant, especially those in tourist areas or with a renowned chef, prices can start from €30. A three-course meal at such a restaurant could cost anywhere from €40 to over €100 per person, depending on the establishment and the chosen dishes.
  • Drinks: The cost of drinks can add up. A beer or a glass of wine in a restaurant can range from €4 to €8, while specialty cocktails might be more expensive.
  • Tipping: Service charges are often included in the bill in the Netherlands, but it’s common to round up or leave a small tip (5-10%) for good service.

Keep in mind that prices can vary based on the location within Amsterdam, with tourist-heavy areas typically being more expensive. Also, ethnic and specialty food restaurants (like Indonesian, which is popular in Amsterdam) might have different price ranges.

A retro diner with vintage décor in a nostalgic ambiance.
A retro diner with vintage décor in a nostalgic ambiance.

Where can I eat local food in Amsterdam?

For real Dutch food, head to Moeders. It’s famous for dishes like stamppot (mashed potatoes with veggies) and suddervlees (slow-cooked beef). Foodhallen is another great place, offering a range of Dutch foods in a fun market setting. These spots are perfect for tasting traditional Dutch flavors.

How can I eat on a budget in Amsterdam?

Foodhallen is a top spot for cheap eats in Amsterdam. It has many different foods at good prices. Street food is another cheap option, with tasty Dutch sandwiches and mini pancakes. Also, check out local markets like Albert Cuyp for affordable and delicious food.

What are 3 famous foods in the Netherlands?

Three famous foods from the Netherlands include:

  1. Stroopwafels: These are thin, round waffle-like cookies made from two layers of baked dough with a caramel-like syrup filling in the middle. They are often enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee, where they are placed on top of the cup to warm up and soften the syrup inside.
  2. Haring (Dutch Herring): This is a traditional Dutch snack, typically served raw and garnished with onions and pickles. The herring is often eaten by holding the fish by the tail and lowering it into one’s mouth. This delicacy is especially popular during the herring season, which traditionally starts in late May with the arrival of the “Hollandse Nieuwe” or “new herring.”
  3. Bitterballen: These are savory deep-fried balls. They’re made from a thick stew of beef or veal (though there are also vegetarian versions), thickened with roux and breadcrumbs. They are a staple at Dutch pubs and are usually served with mustard for dipping. Bitterballen are a popular snack at social gatherings and are part of the traditional Dutch “borrel” culture, which refers to casual social drinks.

Do you tip waiters in Amsterdam?

While tipping is not as customary in Amsterdam as it is in some other countries, it is still appreciated for good service. In restaurants, it’s common to round up the bill or leave a small tip, typically around 5-10% of the total. For exceptional service, a larger tip is always welcome. In casual dining settings like cafes or bars, leaving the change or rounding up is a nice gesture.

Recap: Unique Restaurants in Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s dining scene is extraordinary, and each restaurant we’ve talked about is a gem waiting to be discovered, showcasing that unique Amsterdam charm. These eateries don’t just serve food. They serve experiences that linger in your memory long after the last bite. If I had to pick just one unique restaurant in Amsterdam that you absolutely can’t miss, Moeders stands out. Its quirky interior and excellent local Dutch food is a winning combination!

From the sky-high delights of MOON to the interactive fun at Pasta e Basta, there are plenty of incredible Amsterdam restaurants waiting to greet you when you fly to Amsterdam. Each restaurant on this list brings its own flavor to the table. When you’re here, every meal is an opportunity to create a story you’ll be eager to share.

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