Knowing a local is one of the biggest advantages while traveling abroad. They point you towards the best places to eat and show you hidden spots that aren’t listed online or in travel books.
But some of us may not be so lucky to know locals in every city so I’m here to be yours. Amsterdam Local Guide is a way for me to expose everything I learned while living in this city. I’m here to share the places worth visiting and the secrets worth discovering.
First up, is food. After visiting various European cities, it can become pretty obvious which restaurants are tourist traps. HINT: The ones that have waiters outside luring you to come in and eat/drink at their restaurant. I recommend staying away from those places as much as possible, they’re overpriced and just not worth it.
Instead, look through this list of budget-friendly options that I’ve personally tried out.
Conveniently located next to Amsterdam Centraal and in Rembrandtplein, there’s no reason you shouldn’t visit this Italian restaurant. It’s not exclusive to the Netherlands but Vapiano is the best place for inexpensive home-made pasta and pizza. It’s comprised of self-service stations where you order your meal directly from the chef and watch he/she make it in front of you.
It’s a unique experience and you get the enjoy eating in a open space (think of your high school cafeteria just a lot more chic and comfy). Vapiano also takes advantage of technology and uses a smart-card system, so you don’t have to worry about paying for your meal until you’re about to walk out the door.
Average Price: € 15
2. Chocolate Bar
Don’t let the name confuse you, by no means is this a candy shop. Chocolate bar is located on a street right off Albert Cuyp Market (De Pijp) so if you don’t feel like eating french fries and waffles for lunch then try this place out. Their cozy couches and dim lights make this the perfect date or spot to hangout with friends. I ordered a club sandwich during lunch and all I remember is it being really good and less than 10 euros. You can always just stop by to grab a drink.
Average Price: € 10
This spot is located in De Pijp and Jordaan, two trendy neighborhoods I would reccommend checking out. They serve food similar to “Spanish tapas”(small portions that you can share with the whole table) with a European twist. The place is small but has a great atmosphere with outdoor seating and indoor lounge area.
Average Price: € 20
4. Bagel & Beans
This is the prime spot for a quick breakfast and lunch. I’m from Long Island, NY and its been said that we have the best bagels in the country so it means a lot when I say these bagels are delicious! This isn’t your regular ol’ bagel and cream cheese type of place.
They have an extensive menu and put all sort of things on bagels like smoked chicken, salmon or mushroom. They also have gluten-free options. My favorite is the plain bagel with banana, cinnamon and maple syrup on top. So Instagram-worthy!
Average Price: € 6
5. Wok To Walk
If you’re in Amsterdam to party then you better put this one of your list. Wok to Walk is the best fast-food restaurant for Asian cuisine. It’s open past midnight so you best believe after a fun night out in Leidseplein everyone will be here if their not already at McDonald’s, FEBO or BurgerKing. It’s cheap, taste good, vegan-friendly and they give you a whole lot of food (No you don’t have to be drunk for food to taste good here).
Average Price: € 8
It’s where all the hipsters hangout. Foodhallen is not a specific restaurant but rather an indoor food market located in De Hallen complex. It’s a bit far (using a Dutch mindset) so almost not at all (use tram 7 or 17) from the center of the city. It’s worth the visit if you’re a big foodie and looking for high-end street food and drinks. There are probably over 15 different stands you can choose from and a large sitting area in the middle.
Average Price: € 25