Top Dinner spots in Amsterdam

Ertwensoep The Pantry Amsterdam

If you fancy some traditional Dutch cuisine (and sometimes not so much), then look no further to these amazing eateries in Amsterdam.

Cafe Mojo

This was our first dining experience in Amsterdam.  We had a very long day of sight-seeing and bus-riding and being all touristy and we really needed food.  Proper food.  Amsterdam is very notorious for its ‘special coffee shops’ and since we cannot stand the smell of the dreaded herb in the first instance we found it a bit of a challenge to just drop in anywhere for a bite to eat.  After a bit of a walk we stumbled across Cafe Mojo.  It was busy.  It was lively.  And, refreshingly enough, it actually smelled of food!

The hubby is crazy about nachos and if there are nachos on the menu, then nachos it is!  So we had it as a starter.

If you fancy making your own Nacho’s then you can find my Nacho recipe here: Mexican Fiesta

It was ok.  Not the best I’ve ever had.  Not the worst I’ve ever had.  It was ok.  Big.

For mains we had the equally ok Sticky Ribs.  The portion size was just right and it came with a variety of sauces (chef’s yummy aioli being one of them!), french fries and salad.  Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t have the fries.  Since I am allergic to fish and shellfish and chefs taking a short-cut and frying everything in the same oil it is a rare occasion that I can have fries (or anything fried) in a restaurant!

As the night progressed it became harder and harder to hear each other over the table.  The music became louder and the people became louder.  We knew that it was time to call it a night.

Le Bistrot des Alpes

We spent the night before trawling through Tripadvisor to find a unique spot to eat after the mediocre meal we had the night before.  We were looking for somewhere that was loved by the locals and, at the same time, give us a memorable meal that we would want to share with the world.  We found it at Le Bistrot des Alpes.  Ok, we know that this wasn’t strictly Dutch cuisine (wait for tomorrow night for this one!) but it ticked all the boxes for us.

As we entered the restaurant, situated on Utrechtdwarsstraat, we were immediately made to feel welcome.  We loved the cosiness of the restaurant, the stylish decor and the fact that we could hear each other speak in normal voices!

As we sat down the hostess talked us through the specials; what we liked and didn’t like and the fact that I can’t eat fish or shellfish.  I really fancied the sound of the Soup of the Day, a typical Dutch dish of Ertwensoep (pea soup), but there was one problem…  It contained scallops.  My heart sank and I started to reach for the menu once again, just to be told that the chef will fix me a plate without the fish!  I was over the moon and suitably impressed at Le Bistrot des Alpes’ hospitality to say the least.  It was the best Ertwensoep I’ve ever tasted.  It was fresh.  It was earthy.  It was wholesome.  It was just want I needed.

We decided at the start of the holiday that the words ‘diet’ and ‘healthy eating’ temporarily does not exist.  It is a good thing we did that since the next dish would’ve blown any  good intentions right out of the water!  As avid cheese-lovers we had unanimously agreed that Fondue montagnarde aux cèpes (Cheesefondue with charcuteries and porcini mushrooms) would be the chosen dish for the night.  Wow!!  The molten, rich, velvety fondue tickled every sense in my body.  My eyes were treated to a the sight of an oozing decadence only molten cheese can do as I pulled the bread out of its dipping pot.  My tongue tingled with delight as I tried to twist it around the cheesy strings in a bid to guide them into my open yap.  My teeth applauded every time enamel and golden, crunchy crust met.  My throat gulped the treasure to deposit it safely into my eager stomach.  I tingled with delight knowing that there was more where that came from.  Cheese heaven.

It is not often that I eat desert as I prefer savoury dishes, but the night deserved to be treated well.  There is nothing better than ending an incredibly rich meal with more riches.  This time their lemon meringue was the star of the show.  Tart, but sweet at the same time.  Rich yet satisfying.  A very memorable meal.  One that I didn’t want to end.


On our very first night here we struck up a chat with the doorman of the hotel.  During this conversation I mentioned to him that I would love nothing more than to taste Stamppot.  This is a very traditional Dutch dish consisting of mashing potatoes with vegetables and often served with a type of smoked sausage.

I had to giggle when I learned that Blauwe Bliksem and Hete Bliksem are varieties of stamppot where the potatoes have been mashed with either pears (former) or apples (latter).  In Afrikaans the word bliksem not only means lightning, but is also used informally as an expletive.

He immediately exclaimed that there is only one place in the entire Amsterdam that he would recommend and immediately got on the phone to book us a table.  Unfortunately they were not answering the phone, but he persevered.  By the time we came back from our day of sightseeing and discovering, we found a little note in our room with our booking time and reference to Moeders.  I was so excited.  Finally I can taste some traditional Dutch cuisine!

Upon entry into the restaurant the first thing I noticed was that there was no English-speaking people around.  Aaaahhh.  Since I speak Afrikaans I’ve tried my best to communicate in Dutch (very similar) and my efforts was well-received!  The decor was so very unique!  Everywhere there were random pictures of mothers.  The name of the restaurant directly translates to mothers and it really has become a shrine to all the mothers in the world.  It actually made me quite nostalgic to gaze around at the pictures. Each, I am sure, holds a very special memory.

As a starter I tried Ertwensoep again.  This time it was homey and stodgy and thick.  It instantly transported me back to my grandmother’s kitchen as it tasted just like her pea soup; riddled with thick cut bacon pieces and proper homemade bread.

Then the main arrived: potatoes mashed with sauerkraut, served with locally smoked sausage, a meatball and a rasher of bacon.  In the middle of the stamppot was a tiny little indent (kuiltje) filled with meat juices.  Just like my mum’s cooking.

I am not even going to lie to you: the taste of mashed potato mixed with sauerkraut is odd, yet satisfying.  It is filling and it really just hit the spot.  Thinking about it, when I return home, I definitely want to attempt to cook this oddly satisfying concoction!

Truffle Boutique

During our second visit to Amsterdam, we were far more prepared than we had ever been for a holiday. After the dreaded Covid pandemic it seems like everyone has descended on any decent holiday destination.

I’ve scoured many sites (Tripadvisor and Amsterdam Tourist information sites mainly) to explore new and exciting places to eat. That’s how I came across Truffle Boutique. Truffles are one of my most favourite flavours in the world. I would go through great lengths to experience the earthy, savoury lingering aroma that are truffles. To find an entire restaurant that is dedicated to this delightful little mushroom? Heaven!

The first thing that hits you when you walk through the doors of Truffle Boutique is unsurprisingly the smell of truffles. It is like a blanket that comforts you on a cold, rainy evening.

The restaurant itself is very chic and has a very romantic atmosphere. The little tables are cozy and the lamps are providing just enough light to make you feel like you have stepped into a 1920’s parlour.

Have I mentioned that I love cheese? Well, it is true – I am a cheese-freak (if such a term exists…). I just had to have the baked camembert with truffle honey and freshly picked thyme as a starter. The sourdough that accompanied the cheese was the perfect complement. As the sourdough broke through the molten cheese crust, the truffle scent gently cups your face on both sides. It forces you to close your eyes as the molten cheese drips sweetly down your chin. You decide to ditch the fork and use your hands – it is just way more fun.

The hubby had a steak tartare with, what seemed like a mountain, of freshly shaved truffle on top as his starter. It truly looked decadent.

For mains we both opted for the burger. I was famished and needed something that would fill me up. It was really good. A generous portion and it did hit the spot. However, in hindsight, I should’ve ordered the gnocchi…

It is advisable to book a table in advance as they only serve dinner three days a week.


When I stumbled across Foodhallen it sounded a lot like the Streetfeast or Mercato venues that we get here in London. We were excited to learn that they were open until midnight (kitchens until 22:00) which suited us perfectly as we would only be able to go around 20:00.

We were very disappointed to learn that most food were either sold out or there were such cross-contamination with allergens that I could hardly eat anything. There were 21 food stalls, but only around 6 of them still had some food left. I went to one stall and asked the lady if she was still open. I got excited when she said ‘yes’, but my heart sank almost immediately when I realised that I will not be getting a delicious burger. Instead she was trying to flog about half a portion of really sad-looking fries exclaiming that it is all she has left.

Stall after stall I leave disappointed that I couldn’t eat anything as everything is fried in the same oil as fish and shellfish which means for someone, like me, with allergies it could not end well.

We decided to get a table and then I will just go and order anything I can eat. The hubby will then follow and order things he would like to eat.

To say that I was disappointed is an understatement. It was noisy and super busy, which normally isn’t a problem but when you are hangry and unable to find anything it gets a bit uncomfortable.

We finally managed to get some food. For me the most delicious was the hotdog with truffles, nuts and pickles from Bulls and Dogs and a definite shout-out to the bartender at the Gin Bar for a glorious G&T!


We tried our luck to do a walk-in at Rancho. Earlier in the day we met some like-minded travellers that loves their meat. They recommended that we gave Rancho a visit if we were in need of a great plate of meat. It didn’t disappoint. We decided to go to the Leidseplein branch (they have 4 locations in Amsterdam) and lucky enough they had one table open for us.

For the starter I ordered the Meat Empanadas with chimichurri sauce and the hubby thought he had ordered the nachos. When the two plates arrived my empanadas looked delightful, however, his nachos looked very sorry for itself. It is only now, that I’m writing this post that I realised that the waiter had mixed up the nachos with the Chips con Guacamole and therefore the hubby received the wrong order.

We don’t do this very often, but we decided to order a sharing platter as a main. We settled on the Parrillada which consisted of one piece of rumpsteak, sirloin steak, chicken breast, 4 spare ribs, chorizo sausage and a corn on the cob per person. Throw in salad and chips too and you have yourself an enormous dinner! The chicken alone was worth it – it was juicy and tender and packed with flavour.

We were so stuffed that there was no room for dessert…

The Pantry

If ever you go to Amsterdam, this should be on your list. Of all the places I’ve ever eaten in Amsterdam this has to be my favourite.

Years ago my hubby went on a work-do in Amsterdam and ended up having dinner at The Pantry. He has been raving about their food ever since (it has been over four years!). Now that I have been myself, we can rave together as it truly has lived up to the hype.

About two weeks before our trip we decided to book up our dinner restaurants in advance just to ensure that we don’t have to think about it too much. We rather wanted to spend our energy on sightseeing as opposed to frantically looking for a place to eat then have to settle for mediocre because they are too full.

The Pantry was one such place. I’ve kept an eye on their website for weeks, but could only manage to find a lunch reservation (which I took). Thinking that there must be a mistake with their booking system, we asked our concierge at the hotel if he could perhaps book us a table by phone. Then the bad news came. They are fully booked, but we are welcome to join the queue. Queue? Surely not!

Low and behold, we walked past the restaurant at 20:00 on a Tuesday evening and yup! there’s the queue they spoke of so fondly. As we marvelled at the menu outside the door, the hotel manager/owner came out and spoke to the crowds. A two-hour wait… Instinctively I knew I did the right thing by taking the lunch reservation. I couldn’t wait for the next day.

13:30 on Wednesday came. We triumphantly walked past the queue and announced our arrival. I felt like royalty. I loved everything about this place: the generous hosting, the cozy tables, the delightful decor. And the food. Oh wow, the food!

I’m going to let the pictures speak for itself whilst I dream about our experience all over again:

Have you tried stamppot before?  What was your experience?  Please share your experience in the comments below as I would love to hear from you!

All of the above opinions are my own.  I have not been paid for any content on this post.

Fancy some more Amsterdam experiences?

Top breakfast eateries in Amsterdam

Whenever I travel, I want to taste the local cuisine.  During our four-day stay in Amsterdam was not any different.  Here is a list of the restaurants we visited for breakfast.  

Click here to share in the experience

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3 Comments on “Top Dinner spots in Amsterdam

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