In and around Amsterdam, one of my absolute favourite cities in the world, are gorgeous spots that set the stage for worthwhile memories. You can come chiefly to please your tastebuds, but these spaces are designed such that you’re also satisfied with basking in the atmosphere while you eat.
At these restaurants, the ambience is enough to create an experience as entertaining as dinner and a show; except, with the incredibly picturesque backgrounds, you’re not only a part of the performance, you’re also a main character.
For magical meal times, here are ten beautiful restaurants in the Netherlands:
After seeing the name, logo and aesthetic, I thought: “It would be a shame if this place weren't a plant-based restaurant.” I was pretty satisfied with learning that Hearth, indeed, is a vegan restaurant, though they welcome everyone to see if anything on the menu works for them. The food choices are short and sweet, and it's the variety of drinks that pulls in the visitor who comes to dinner at 10 pm with someone special — a partner, a friend, family member. On a night like that, I only need enough food to responsibly down as many extra cocktails or glasses of champagne as I need to keep the conversation thrilling. Plus, there are live listening sessions on weekends.
If, unlike me, you can visit sooner rather than later, see their menu or book a table here.
The dark bits of the decor perfectly highlight the beautifully polished furniture and refreshing natural lighting. The brick-style aesthetic on the outside, compared to the lustrous look on the inside, makes me think about all the ways I interpret the saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” This ceviche bar — which I learned is called a cevicheria — is the only one in Amsterdam since starting as a pop-up a few years ago.
They usually can't answer the phone during service hours, but you can find important information, like booking a seat on the terrace, here.
3. The White Room
When an artist waxes poetic about their art, it's natural to expect that they create unforgettable experiences for those who consume the art. This is the case of former Michelin chef Jacob Jan Boerma, head of this monument. It is regarded as the oldest restaurant in Amsterdam in its original condition. From food to architecture, this location is worthy of being graced by Dutch royalty.
Visit their website highlighted above for more information.
This hidden gem lies on a narrow and sloping street lined with charming buildings; a perfect representation of the Venice of the North. Rightfully, there's outdoor seating and the interior is filled with beautiful art and craft — from paintings to sculptures. Even the lights have attention-worthy designs, which are especially exquisite at night. And, after a decade in the game, their chefs are skilled craftsmen in Dutch cuisine.
Check out the website for more about dining there.
5. Altijd in de buurt
One of the more affordable choices on this list, this lunch restaurant is heavy on the nature aesthetic: lots of sunlight, majorly bare white walls, plants and wood-centric decor. The scenery is attractive for creatives, from the marvellous tree-like structure to the intriguing seats that are great for group hangouts.
There's no official website, but you can find booking information here.
6. Op Roose
The 1930s aesthetics are pretty constant throughout Op Roose, but the alluring seating arrangements in this restaurant have slightly different themes and layouts in different corners of the place. Some of these corners are perfect for loners, but the restaurant heartily welcomes groups of up to 14 people and even offers customisable menus. There are impressive works of art in every cranny, including the seats.
For work or play, you can plan brunch, lunch or dinner via their website.
Experience the elegance of 17th-century craftsmanship at this impressively picturesque location. The differently coloured themes ensure that you only need to look your best to find a corner for a photo so perfect you’d want to frame the image. The cuisine is modern Dutch, and they serve dinner until midnight.
For details about the experience, visit their mouthwatering website.
You know, I never even thought high tea on the beach was something to be considered. It's wonderful how much magic I keep finding in the Netherlands. After seeing Solbeach on Backdrop, I knew it would be a dream. They aim to make common experiences special. I could chalk up my immense enthusiasm to the fact that this location is a beach, but what could be more exciting than high tea AND a Ferris Wheel in the same place and ON A BEACH? (Forgive me, I got excited.)
For more about the location and all the enjoyable possibilities, check out the Solbeach website.
9. Ijver Amsterdam
The designers pulled off industrial finesse to this former warehouse, giving it a homey feeling that feels like “your second living room.” They swear the beer is as fine as the decor, and your tastebuds will thank you for the food.
For more on all the establishment’s acclaim, check out their website.
10. BAK Restaurant
The view of a former timber port from the third floor of a former warehouse is another spontaneous experience that only the magic of this city can conjure up. Here, I’d have a candlelit dinner that starts right as the sun sets so I can watch darkness envelop the sky.
Their menu changes occasionally, but you can get an idea of the basics of their gastronomical offerings on their website.