Keith’s Top Eats in Amsterdam!

Today’s Blogger in the Spotlight (BITS) is Keith of Velvetescape and he lives in Amsterdam. He is an incredibly accomplished travel blogger, but we figured we would push the envelope and give him the ultimate challenge of food blogging..

Not surprisingly, he passed with flying colors as you will soon see from the post below. Here is Keith with his Top Eats in Amsterdam!

Amsterdam is a great place to live. Despite it’s relatively small size – hardly a million people live here – Amsterdam offers a rich and diverse lifestyle in a village-like setting. I often call Amsterdam a ‘global village’ because about 200 different nationalities live here and everything’s within walking or cycling distance! The multitude of different cultures that live in Amsterdam translates into a diverse culinary offering that’s second to none in the country.

Via Guidemag

Having lived in Amsterdam for close to twenty years, I’ve grown a list of personal favourites. These are places I visit regularly when I feel like a certain type of food or cuisine. These places never fail to put a smile on my face!

1. Saturnino

via tripadvisor

When I feel like having some great Italian food, the first place I think of is Saturnino. It’s a quirky place in the Reguliersdwarsstraat that’s always packed. The restaurant owners and cooks are from Sicily. Being smack in the middle of the gay neighbourhood and adjacent to the Flower Market, Saturnino draws in many flamboyant types as well as families and tourists. It’s a great place to people-watch and eavesdrop on conversations as the tables are crammed in like sardines.

Oh… the food! The menu is diverse and there are weekly specials on a separate board. My all-time favourites are the carpaccio, linguini vongole, spaghetti alio olio peperoncino, sirloin steak with black truffel sauce and porcini mushrooms, and the home-made tiramisu. The food is seriously good and never fails to cheer me up!

2. Maoz

I sometimes have a craving for falafel and when I do, I head for Maoz in the Regulierbreestraat. Grab a pita bread and stuff it up with as many fillings as you want. It’s a quick, absolutely divine snack. Maoz is an Amsterdam institution that’s famous the world over.

3.Sama Sebo

via virtualtourist

Amsterdam is also famous for its Rijsttafel, a remnant of the Dutch colonial past. Rijsttafel is Indonesian fare and typically consists of a bowl of steamed rice and somewhere between 15-25 side dishes. The side dishes contain a variety of chicken, vegetable and/or seafood cooked in different ways. My favourite restaurants in Amsterdam to have a rijsttafel are Sama Sebo near the Rijksmuseum and Tempo Doeloe in the Utrechtsestraat.

4.De Klos

via tripadvisor

I love a good steak and there are two places where the steaks are brilliant. Saturnino (see above) and De Klos (in the Kerkstraat). De Klos is another Amsterdam institution. It’s a pretty narrow, dark bar-like restaurants where guests sit in cosy nooks and corners or at the bar. The bartenders/waiters are a boisterous lot and can come across as downright rude at times, but De Klos is certainly entertaining. I love the steaks served on a wooden platter or the equally famous ribs.

5. Fleminckx

via tripadvisor

If you’ve ever tried Dutch (or Flemish) fries with Dutch mayonaise, you’ll be hooked for the rest of your life. The best place in my book for fries is Fleminckx in the Voetboogstraat 31, a lane between the Spui square and the Heiligeweg.

6. Pannenkoekhuis

via us holland

The Dutch are famous for their pancakes. The crust is wafer-thin and they pack on the ingredients, making the pancake a full-blown meal! I’ve lived here for a long time but I’m still not accustomed to pancakes with cheese, ham and sausages.  I do, however, have the occasional craving for the sweet pancakes, the ones with fruit and/or ice-cream toppings. My favourite pancake place in Amsterdam is without doubt the Pannenkoekhuis at Grimburgwal 2. It’s a very small place with only a few tables, and to get to it, you first have to navigate what must be the steepest, narrowest staircase in Amsterdam! The owner doubles as chef, waiter and cashier so eating here is always a leisurely experience!

via us holland

About this week’s Guestpost , by Keith Jenkinskeith

Keith is a thirtysomething who lives in Amsterdam. He has visited more than 60 countries across six continents and writes about his travels on his Velvet Escape blog. In addition to being a travel blogger, Keith offers travel writing services as well as social media consultancy and marketing services. He is also the co-founder of the Global Bloggers Network , a community that helps individual and corporate travel bloggers grow and monetize their blogs.

Follow Keith on twitter:  @velvetescape

Blog: Velvet Escape blog


  • Sean says:

    ooh, if only i had read this before finalizing my itinerary for amsterdam later this month … keith’s recommendation of ‘tempo doeloe’ was one the places that i was considering for indonesian food, but ended up making reservations for another place called ‘blue pepper’ instead. but hopefully it’ll be all good. will try to check out the dutch fries (and maybe some street stall herring!) 😀

  • minchow says:

    Amsterdam! I’ve just started drawing up skeletal travel plans for next year and this city’s right on top. I’m definitely going to have to revisit this post closer to the date. Maoz looks like the messiest bomb!

  • Keith says:

    Woohoo! Thanks Mei. It looks faboosh! 🙂 When you visit me in Amsterdam, you know where I’ll be taking you and MORE! 🙂


  • chaokar says:

    oh i miss amsterdam too.
    like it or not, i also miss the space cake i had and got woozy and happy

  • John says:

    Keith, Thank you for recommending a couple of restaurants to enjoy a Rijsttafel. It has moved a revisit to Amsterdam a little further up my travel plans.

  • LeslieTravel says:

    Yum! I’m down for the fries with mayo and the falafel. This post is making me hungry!

  • eiling says:

    this is good! At least when I go to amsterdam end of the year, I’ll know where to eat!!!

  • Mark says:

    Great post Keith! Amsterdam has always had an appeal to me and I would love to visit someday! Now, thanks to your mention of “Pannenkoekhuis” , I HAVE TO GO!!!! Yum, I think my sweet tooth would be very, very satisfied after going to that place! Cheers!

  • AdventureRob says:

    Great selection, I’d certainly be happy with that lot over the course of a week 🙂

  • Oh Keith better bring us around to eat at these places when we’re ever in town. What an interesting mix of places. And I never knew Rijsttafel is based on Indonesian cuisine. How awesome.

  • Helma Stanley says:

    Wooh! that brings back many happy memories of visiting my mum in Amsterdam. I specially loved the Kroketten and the Poffertjes with butter and icing sugar.

  • Laurentia says:

    Oh dear! This post is wonderful! I loved eating in Amsterdam – just one of the things that makes Amsterdam unique and special! I recall Saturnino very well! As a student living on a limited amount of money their tourist menu was hard to beat. And the food was divine! Now, I reeeeeeaaaallllly want to go back (and I reeeeeeaaaaalllly want lunch!) Tot ziens!

  • cumi&ciki says:

    thanks u guys for all your comments! I totally agree that Keith’s post brings back great memories of Amsterdam for those who have been including myself. For those who have not, I also agree that this post is a great starting point of what to target.. what’s good to eat, especially if you have limited time! Thanks Keith for such a superb article! Pleasure featuring your post;)

  • Sarah Wu says:

    Wow, even your guest post has beautiful photos. They looked too yummy.

  • Scot says:

    I see the review are a few years old. Our your opinions till the same, visiting April 5th to 8th appricate any info

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