On A Budget? Eating Out In Amsterdam.


Amsterdam is a ‘feest voor het oog’ (sight for sore eyes, as the Dutch say) but it’s not a cheap city to visit. Unless you know where to look. We’ve all been there – strange place, hungry, but no idea where to go. Tourist traps abound in Amsterdam.  But the following are my favourite places: nice places – with a good atmosphere – where you can eat at a very reasonable price and feel good about it. Not just places to refuel if you’re on a tight budget. All prices refer to a main dish only, unless otherwise stated.

Please Note: Things change fast in Amsterdam. All information is correct in March 2018. If anyone finds otherwise, if you let me know, I’ll do my best to keep this post up to date.

Couscous Club. Couscous the French Way!
Ceintuurbaan 346. Tel: 020 673 3539
Open every day except Monday from 17.00

Simple, delicious “fast slow food”. Fresh ingredients. Three plates to choose from – couscous with veggies or meat. ( Euro 9 – 15). Wonderful lentil sauce. White tablecloths and chandeliers. Fantastic friendly service.

Mireille’s pop-up-restaurant. Eat in an old neighbourhood cinema!
Ceintuurbaan 338. Tel: 020 662 3488
Thurs & Fri 16.30-21.00
See http://www.rialtofilm.nl for info about the weeks menu.
The home-cooked comfort food Mireille produces from her portable kitchen in the cinema café is nothing short of amazing. Think simmering stews and flavoursome curries. Soup Euro 5. Main – meat or veggie – Euro 8.

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De Stadskantine. Nothing Like School Dinners!
Van Woustraat 120. Tel: 020 7741847  Open Mon – Fri 08.30-22.00. Sat & Sun 09.30-22.00

Breakfast, lunch and dinner.The word canteen maybe doesn’t conjure up the best image – food standing for hours under hot lamps, school dinners, and institutions. Think again! This is tasty, good food for a good price. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed. A place to go for a quick meal, a healthy take away, or when cooking inspiration is lacking.
Dinner – meat, fish, or veggie – one price – Euro 8.85.

Fou Fow Ramen. Slurp!
Van Woustraat 3. Tel: 020 846 75 63 Open 12.00-15.00 & 17.00-21.00 everyday except Mon. http://www.foufow.nl

Different broths. Different noodles. Hip place. Asian wall paintings. Always busy. Reservations not possible. Seating (stools) somewhat uncomfortable. Price Euro 11-15.

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Sari Citra. Indonesian Delight!                                                                                             Ferdinand Bolstraat 52. Tel: 06 186 44 105 Open Mon-Sat 14.00 – 21.00 Sun. 15.00 – 21.00

Everything from Indonesian snacks to full rice table. More of a take-a-way than a restaurant, but the steady stream of locals picking up a meal shows it’s good. There are a few tables for eating in. Price approx Euro 11.

Spaghetteria. Delizioso!
Various locations: Olympiaplein 176, Jan Hanzenstraat 32, Van Woustraat 123. Open everyday from 17.00 onwards. wwwspaghetteria-pastabar.nl

Six traditional pasta recipes – of which three change daily. There are also two veggie options. For after – tiramisu, espresso, sgroppino or lemoncello. Not a place for cosy intimate dinners – tables are mostly large communal affairs, and you’re tightly packed in. in. Price: approx. Euro 11-13.

Hap-Hmm. Going Dutch!
1ste Helmersstraat 33. Open 17.00 – 20.30 Mon-Fri. http://www.Hap-Hmm.nl

A living-room cum restaurant where you can eat old fashioned Dutch food – potatoes, stewing steak and meatballs – to your hearts content. (There are a couple of veggie options). Big portions, big choice of veggies, comfort food at it’s best. Price: approx. Euro 10-13. Reservations not possible.

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Padrun. Burgers for veggies!
The Foodhallen. Bellamyplein 51.
Open 11.00-23.30 Fri & Sat 11.00-01.00

Delicious, juicy Portobello burgers. Fried veggies instead of chips. Price: Approx. Euro 10.

There are many, many other eating opportunities in the Foodhallen, all reasonably priced. But it’s busy, noisy and hard to find a seat.

Haarlemmerdijk 176. Tel: 020 334 6293
Open Tues-Thurs & Mon. 16.00-23.00. Fri-Sun 12.00-23.00.

Tasty pastas and pizza and all other wonderful Italian dishes. Price: Approx. Euro 11.

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Kam Yin. Cheap and cheerful Chinese.  Nieuwebrugsteeg 10-12. Tel: 020 4204563 Open everyday 12.00 – 24.00

Basic eatery. A place to go for a quick fuel stop up with generous servings of good food. Service efficient rather than friendly, but for the price it’s hard to beat. Euro 11 approx.

InStock. The Albert Heijn food waste place!   Czaar Peterstraat 21. Tel 020 363 5765 Open every day. 08.30-23.00 Sun brunch 11.00-15.00 http://www.instock.nl

Informal, friendly place with a great ethos; getting creative with past-it’s-sell-by-date supermarket food. Food is imaginative and tasty. Three courses for Euro 23,50.

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Einde van de Wereld. Eating on a barge!
Javakade 61 on board the Quo Vadis. Tel: 020 419 0222
Open Wed & Fri only from 18.00 – when the food’s gone it’s gone!

A big plate full of simple, decent no-frills food. Meat dish Euro 8. Veggie plate Euro 7. Dessert 2.

MKZ. Wash up your own plate!
1ste Schinkelstraat 16. Tel: 020 679 0712  Open Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday. Necessary to call in advance – between 14.30-18.00

Unbelievable – a three course meal for Euro 5! (Drinks extra). What’s the catch – none! It’s straightforward food, large helpings too and all vegetarian. Pay on arrival, and they shout out when the food’s ready – you fetch your own and wash your plate afterwards. A busy place with a relaxed friendly atmosphere.

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De Culinaire Werkplaats. Food as an artwork!
Fannius Scholtenstraat 10. Tel: 06 546 46 576
Open Friday & Saturday 18.30-23.00

Fun. Provocative. Playful. Beautiful, arty food with a theme, experimenting with texture, colour and taste. Not exactly a restaurant, the food is served, but you take your plate to the washing up area, and help yourself to wine and water. Only drinks have a fixed price – for the food, you pay what you think it’s worth. No credit cards accepted.

The next two I have yet to try. Six months in Amsterdam is not enough!

De Peper. OT301
Overtoom 301 Tel: 020 412 2954
Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Sunday. Call between 16.00-19.00. Food served 19.00-20.30.

Zaal 100.
De Wittenstraat 100. Tel: 020 688 0127
Open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday from 18.00. Making a reservation is a good idea – when the foods gone, it’s gone.
Three course menu. Starter Euro 1. Main dish Euro 6. Dessert Euro 1.

12 thoughts on “On A Budget? Eating Out In Amsterdam.

  1. These places sound wonderful, and so atmospheric! The ones that require clients to wash their own dishes remind me a bit of “milk bars” in Poland.. these were places in the communist era where you could get decent and affordable meals with no frills, and they were low-cost because they contained no meat – hence “milk” in the name.. Interestingly, when I was in Warsaw a few years ago they were really making a comeback – though of course in slightly hipper incarnations.


  2. I love the sound of milk bars. We will be in Romania and Bulgaria soon – wonder if they have the same things there? Funny you should mention Poland – that is coming more and more onto my radar recently…


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