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With a country as diverse as the Netherlands, you’ll find all sorts of options for tasty food. Starting with Amsterdam alone, the kingdom’s capital city and largest community, there are more than 1,000 restaurants, ranging from formal dining rooms and streetside kiosks to quaint cafes and yummy brunch spots.
Discovering the best restaurants in the Netherlands from more than 15,400 options may feel like a challenge, but it’s a fun challenge, especially if you’re up for adventures in different tastes and cuisines!
Because the country has so many international influences, you’ll find all types of cuisine from Scandinavian to Southeast Asian fare, guinea fowl to gouda cheese, to seared seabream and sea urchin; it’s all right here!
Whether you use the Michelin star total as your guide, other online outlets, or word of mouth, you’ll find all sorts of trendy places in the cities and lots of traditional culinary gems in the countryside. Continue reading our picks for our favorite dining experiences, the best places to eat, and the top restaurants in the Netherlands.
Best Restaurants in the Netherlands
1. Restaurant 212
Address: Amstel 212, 1017 AH Amsterdam, Netherlands
Right away, you’ll notice that this beautiful location differs from many other Amsterdam restaurants. The ‘no table’ concept involves up to 30 seated diners positioned surrounding the central kitchen area so they can focus on watching the creation of delicious meals.
Restaurant 212 has earned two Michelin stars. Diners praise its intimacy and open kitchen experience, where every night can be a little different. Having a front-row communal seat to watch chefs work their magic rather than facing off at separate smaller tables can create wonderful memories.
Owners Richard van Oostenbrugge and Thomas Groot have made a point to start their dishes with simple and fresh ingredients, and then cook them creatively. The trendy à la carte restaurant is in the central part of the city, near the canals, so it could be a lovely destination for a walking tour.
It’s easily reachable from anywhere in the city thanks to public transportation, and those with an Amsterdam City Card have unlimited access to GVB metros, busses, trams, and ferries. If you feel like crashing nearby, check into the heavenly Eden Hotel, just a block away.
2. The White Room
Address: Dam 9, 1012 JS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Located in Amsterdam’s oldest hotel, The White Room is designed to be “elegant but accessible.” That’s the approach of signature chef and former Michelin chef Jacob Jan Boerma.
The philosophy extends to the menu as well, as every item is specially formulated with just the right blend of savory and spices to create the illusion of the color white. Sometimes, this is easy and clever to accomplish, such as incorporating white asparagus, dessert wines, or lighter meats like chicken.
Although the names and owners have changed over the years, the hotel’s restaurant has existed in some form since 1885. Today, it’s considered the city’s oldest restaurant, still sporting its original decor.
Dining in this grand room is an optimal dinner or lunch destination for travelers or an easy walk from the Royal Palace of Amsterdam. As befitting the title of one of the best restaurants in Amsterdam, The White Room is downright timeless.
See Related: Things to Do in Amsterdam (From a Local)
3. Brasserie Van Baerle
Address: Van Baerlestraat 158, 1071 BG Amsterdam, Netherlands
The south end of Amsterdam features the museum district, so there’s plenty to see and do. While learning about the city’s history and culture, stop at Brasserie Van Baerle, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The décor and menu are classical French in origin, with elegant surroundings and a focus on quality.
Its concept is “modern classic,” which includes a touch of formality and an ornate look and feel but also features contemporary elements. The restaurant focuses on timeless touches and local sources in its delicious dishes, including asparagus, oysters, and lobster, all available year-round.
It ensures à la carte items are always on the menu, including a popular three-course meal for a lunch and dinner special and a nice wine list. Part of the appeal of this restaurant is that the kitchen is often open for visitors to tour, and the restaurant staff likes to offer classes in subjects such as cooking or wine pairings.
Among the numerous honors given to Brasseries Van Baerle, it has regularly received the honor of “best wine restaurant” from Grootspraak, a restaurant guide for wine enthusiasts. Come on in for dinner or a wine pairing experience you won’t soon forget.
Address: Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197, 1012 EX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Part of the architectural appeal of Amsterdam is the vast canal system that features hundreds of bridges. At last count, there were about 1,200 in all sorts of colors and sizes, ranging from large ones that autos can safely drive over to smaller, skinny ones meant for a few pedestrians.
Bridges, which many diners consider one of the best restaurants in the Netherlands, pays homage to these noteworthy walkways. The downtown location offers French cuisine with Asian twists and a great view of some of these structures.
Chef Raoul Meuwese and the other kitchen staff provide diners with a full of menu choices, including many fish and seafood delicacies such as North Sea crab plus seasonal fresh vegetables. Guests with dietary needs or preferences are treated well, with gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian choices. The staff is also happy to make dietary accommodations or substitutions for those with allergies to nuts, shellfish, or other common ingredients.
Signature meals in the dining room include the six-course menu Bridges Experience, which offers a sampling of regional delicacies, or the seven-course Menu du Chef, where the kitchen serves certain specialties for that day. Even with the elegance, Bridges makes sure there are also affordable dishes and reasonable prices for travelers on a budget.
5. De Librije
Address: Spinhuisplein 1, 8011 ZZ Zwolle, Netherlands
This former municipal prison in the city of Zwolle has one of the most renowned restaurants in the whole world. Zwolle, on the northeast side of the Netherlands and about an hour from Amsterdam, also has canals, plenty of scenery, and sprawling farms where much of De Librije‘s ingredients and raw goods grow.
Owners Jonnie and Therese Boer originally opened a restaurant in the city’s former monastic library and kept it running for over 25 years. But in 2014, they moved operations to the famous Hotel Librije, a former prison for women in the 1700s. The general vibe of De Librije is modern Dutch cuisine.
It has since become a bright and sturdy establishment in the center of town and has also gained a reputation as one of the best restaurants around. Having easy access to an on-site three-star Michelin restaurant to visit during your hotel stay also doesn’t hurt, especially when there are only a handful of restaurants this prestigious in the Netherlands.
The restaurant strongly emphasizes being as local as possible, and not just with herbs and seasonal produce. The chefs also look for local meat, fish, and shellfish suppliers, too. The restauranteurs began this practice 30 years ago as they switched from importing French ingredients to focusing on local supply.
Instead of a fixed menu, diners can select up to four dishes from four flavor profiles, in addition to different seasonal combinations. These choices result in a multiple-course menu and a different dining experience on every visit.
Fun fact: De Librije appeared as No. 46 on the official list of the world’s 50 best restaurants in 2019.
Address: Herengracht 542, 556, 1017 CG Amsterdam, Netherlands
A group of top employees from De Librije including Chef Sidney Schutte, now operate Spectrum. It was originally called Librije’s Zusje, but in 2019, Chef Schutte and others successfully rebranded, renamed, and restyled it.
The two-star Michelin restaurant is part of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Amsterdam. It features the same modern European style/modern Dutch cuisine style and focuses on local ingredients when possible.
Spectrum, one of the top restaurants in the Netherlands, is also known for offering a wide variety of menu choices, from a la carte items to an extravagant 10-course tasting menu that includes everything from fine cheese to homemade bread and after-dinner chocolates.
Many items include unique and unexpected spices, flavorings, combinations, and contrasts. Despite the amazing meat choices, the restaurant also serves vegetarian options.
7. Inter Scaldes
Address: Zandweg 2, 4416 NA Kruiningen, Netherlands
Great things are on their way, promise Jerone and Sanne Achtien, the new owners of Inter Scaldes. In early 2023, they purchased the legendary establishment in Kruinigen, which has been in operation in some form since 1968. They soon shut the place down temporarily to make all sorts of improvements to the facility and the menu.
The Achtiens have done a good job keeping diners abreast of changes using the restaurant’s website. They have assured everyone that a bigger and better Inter Scaldes will open its doors by November 2023.
It will be challenging to top the three Michelin stars and the excellent reputation the place has already earned. Still, they’re optimistic that they’ll make the restaurant even more pleasing to the eye and to the palate.
Jerone Achtien, who earned two Michelin stars at Restaurant Sens in Switzerland, has taken advantage of the temporary closure by sharing information about his professional background and culinary philosophy, including a willingness to experiment and bring together flavors and textures in bold ways. “Each element is an experience in itself, fusing into one inspiring symphony.” Think refined balance.
The site further shares details about their local and sustainable sourcing. For instance, the surrounding region offers vegetables and fruit, meat, fish, shellfish, and natural wines.
8. Harry’s Brasserie
Address: Wycker Brugstraat 2, 6221 EC Maastricht, Netherlands
About two to three hours south of Amsterdam, you’ll find Maastricht, known for impressive Gothic architecture, beautiful scenery, a lovely river, and a renowned art museum. It’s also home to Harry’s, which is one of the best restaurants in the Netherlands.
Known for its French flair and creative food and taste combinations, Harry’s has become a go-to place for Dutch cuisine made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. Some items are even grown in a 200-square-meter garden that supplies many vegetables and fruits.
Harry’s kitchen staff is quick to say that even though the food is creative and high quality, the place isn’t intended to be formal or pretentious in any way. The owners like everything being informal, casual, and straightforward, where guests can enjoy their meal in a relaxed setting. The restaurant also places a good deal of emphasis on sustainable practices and better management of the restaurant’s waste.
Diners can always try a selection of locally harvested Normandy and Gilladreau oysters, plus Asetra caviar. Other specials on large or small plates include grilled meat dishes, shellfish, and more, served with an assortment of alcoholic drinks.
Guests can have breakfast, lunch, or dinner in the main dining area or several different private rooms, which could be ideal for private groups or events.
See Related: Best Coffeeshops in Amsterdam
Address: Govert Flinckstraat 251, 1073 BX Amsterdam, Netherlands
This modern bistro in Amsterdam offers fine, creative dining in a casual setting. Some in the culinary community use the term “neo-bistro” to describe the more modern style of Arles.
This style was implemented by Chef Numa Muller, who grew up in the Provence region of France. Along with regular menu items, Chef Muller offers special meals each month that consist of three or four courses, even five sometimes.
The fare is mostly French and Mediterranean, but he also likes throwing in other tastes and fresh ingredients from other cultures for fun. He also changes the menu at least once a month, increasing demand and giving visitors more opportunities to sample new delicacies.
The wine list is expansive but entirely French, with a blend of traditional commercial producers and new wineries that Chef Muller enjoys and has offered to provide exposure for. You’ll be able to find Arles along Govert Flicnkstraat, which makes it easy to reach on walking tours, public transit, or by bike.
10. FG Food Labs
Address: Katshoek 41, 3032 AE Rotterdam, Netherlands
In 2009, head chef Francois Geurds created a ‘flavor laboratory’ housed inside a former railway tunnel in Rotterdam. Geurds wanted to experiment with different sauces and flavorings and for guests to join him in his research.
The result seems to have been worth the investment, and now, FG Food Labs ranks among the top restaurants in the Netherlands. It has become synonymous with quality food that’s affordable and creative.
Geurds includes all sorts of choices for diners, including dozens of steak knives, 170 types of champagne, and many infused salt selections. It’s also common for him to come out most evenings and greet visitors. Chef Geurds said his ultimate goal is to help diners create lifelong memories from this culinary experience.
The fine dining establishment is open for lunch and dinner, and guests can pop in and out for a bite or stay longer for an enjoyable multi-course experience. The restaurant is also known for FG Candy, an original hard-shelled bonbon with different colors of cocoa butter!
See Related: Best Bike Tours In Amsterdam
11. The Harmony
Address: Westersingel 95 3015 LC, Rotterdam, Netherlands
The Harmony, or De Harmonie, has been designed to provide peaceful, tranquil surroundings while you enjoy harmonious food. The location certainly helps the vibe: a former greenhouse at a manor home in the Rotterdam area.
But rather than being overgrown or abandoned like some former buildings of this type are known to do, considerable effort has gone into making sure it looks pleasant for diners. This is further enhanced by appropriate artwork on the walls, created by the multi-talented head chef, Jannis Brevet.
Brevet wants guests to have a wonderful experience, whether they’re picking up an a la carte item or sitting down for a multi-course meal. How many courses? It depends on you and any fellow diners.
The Harmony can offer four, eight, or even 28-course meals, which create amazing taste combinations, everything from sea bananas to sliced apples or lavender to goose liver. These are followed by a selection of fine wines that best match the specials, which change from day to day.
What is the best restaurant in Amsterdam?
Regarding total Michelin stars, the only three-star restaurants currently in the Netherlands are outside of Amsterdam, Inter Scaldes, and De Librije. There are now 23 one and two-star restaurants in the capital city, which vie for the title of the best restaurants in Amsterdam. Based on the number of awards and overall reputation in the community, many suggest that 212 is the best choice.
What is the most famous food in Amsterdam?
The most popular food in the Dutch capital is the Stroopwafel, a portable dessert featuring a set of wafers with syrup in the middle. These treats can be eaten plain or drizzled with chocolate. If we’re talking the Netherlands as a whole, it’s herring or kibberling.
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.