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Discover Amsterdam’s Thrilling International Culinary Scene

13 October, 2021 in Blog by Dani

Amsterdam is famous for its many canals, bustling bicycle lanes and countless coffeeshops. The Dutch capital is also one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe, with the former trading port now home to an incredibly diverse population. Amsterdam’s eclectic demographics influence all walks of life, but they have had a particular impact on the city’s culinary scene. Dining out on new cuisines is one of the premium pleasures of travel and in Amsterdam, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to menu options.

From homegrown favourites like poffertjes and Dutch croquettes to full-course meals at Michelin-starred restaurants, there’s no shortage of dining options in Amsterdam. What’s more, Amsterdam is a melting pot of world cuisines. With everything from wood-fired pizzas to luxurious Levantine feasts waiting to be enjoyed, you’ve plenty to look forward to. To experience the best of Amsterdam’s multicultural menus, some basic foreign language proficiency will go a long way. Anyone looking to go off the menu and order à la carte should definitely consider brushing up some foreign language basics ahead of their departure.

Middle Eastern Menus

Amsterdam is home to a considerable Middle Eastern population, with more than 42,000 Turks now residing in the Dutch capital. In fact, Amsterdam has been a popular destination for migrants from the Levant since the 1960s. This is reflected in the local culinary scene, with diverse pickings for food lovers looking to sample the best of Turkish, Lebanese and Syrian cuisine. Those keen to keep to a budget can keep things simple with humble hummus dishes and mezze platters. Visitors looking for more premium plates may want to consider making a reservation at Levant, a first-rate restaurant that samples the best of Middle Eastern, Northeast African and Mediterranean cuisine.

Inspiring Asian Dishes

Food of East Asian origin has long been a favorite of Dutch diners, with Indonesian menus being particularly popular with locals and visitors alike. You’ll find Indonesian restaurants throughout the city, although if you’re unfamiliar with this varied cuisine, keep your options open and order a rijsttafel banquet boasting a host of different side dishes that should cater to every palate. Amsterdam is also home to a decent amount of Japanese dining establishments. Conveyor belt sushi restaurants are on hand for those who prefer to help themselves, while sit-down dining is also an option.

If you prefer your Asian cuisine with more fire, it’s worth taking the time to seek out one of the handful of Indian and South Asian restaurants in the city. Although not as well-represented as other cuisines, there’s ample choice of menu options once you’ve booked a table at an Indian restaurant in the city. Spice-laden meat and seafood curries should satisfy those with braver palates, while vegan and vegetarian diners are also catered for. Fine Indian dining is also possible in the Dutch capital, with premier haunts like Ashoka well worth investigating.

Fine Dining Options

Travelers looking to indulge during their stay in Amsterdam have a surprising number of options when it comes to fine dining establishments. In fact, Amsterdam is home to more than 20 Michelin-starred restaurants.

These celebrated establishments cater to a broad range of palates, with everything from traditional Dutch cuisine to more far-flung flavors on the table. What’s more, five-star dining in Amsterdam isn’t as expensive as you might think. Michelin-starred restaurants like Ron Gastrobar provide diners with premium menus at prices that won’t break the bank.


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