Fathom Favorites : Amsterdam

1. Proeflokaal Arendsnest

Proeflokaal Arendsnest

No Heinekens at this bruine kroeg ("brown cafe" is a classic Dutch bar distinguished by dark woods and smoke-stained walls). Bring friends — lots of them — to sample from more than 100 local craft beers (at least half available on tap). Talk to the friendly bartenders who are more than happy to make recommendations.

Herengracht 90
Amsterdam, 1015 BS

2. Porem


Delicious cocktails, many of which include gin, in small, subterranean digs. There's also an El Jefe under the "swift and light-footed" label including mezcal, lime, banana, agave, and white beer. Cautious (and smart) drinkers should nibble on the Asian bites like fried spring rolls and steamed buns.

Geldersekade 19
Amsterdam, 1011 EJ

3. Lite/Dark


The folks at this juice bar/dessert spot understand the importance of a well-balanced diet: a refreshing fruit energy shake with a decadent dark chocolate pizza, or a hearty salad followed by dark chocolate shots.

Utrechtsestraat 22
Amsterdam, 1017 VN

4. Hoppa!


The city's microbrewery scene is exploding, much to the delight of locals and visitors. Rows of 64 oz. growlers hanging on white-tiled walls in this intimate craft-beers-only bar looks straight out of Brooklyn, and are practical as they are pretty: share amongst friends or bring your own bottle home for a great souvenir.

Singel 460
Amsterdam, 1017 AW

5. Hiding in Plain Sight

Hiding in Plain Sight

The best cocktails in town are served here. Pre-dinner drinks (or a digestif after) can also be had at the equally beloved Gebr Hartering next door. Expect top-notch service and a chic interior of dark woods, iron, and leather.

Rapenburg 18
Amsterdam, 1011 TX

6. Brouwerij 't IJ

Brouwerij 't IJ

With its canal-side, windmill-adjacent location, this is as Dutch a brewery as they come. A great mix of blonde and dark beers are produced on site (take a tour to watch the process). Sunny days bring locals to the backyard for beers (go for a classic organice Zatte, Natte, or Struis) and bar snacks.

Funenkade 7
Amsterdam, 1018 AL

7. ​Bocca Coffee​

​Bocca Coffee​

Caffeine is taken quite seriously at this hidden spot on Kerkstraat. Beverages — creamy, frothy, bottled, Ethiopian-filtered — is served in a minimal Scandi space of light woods, polished concrete floors, white walls, and plants. Note: the Wi-Fi is blazing.

Kerkstraat 96HS
Amsterdam, 1017 GP

8. Barrique


A fantastic wine bar in the popular De Pijp neighborhood where you can pair wine (more than 25 by the glass and many more by the bottle) with two- to five-course French fare. Wine workshops happen on occasion too.

Gerard Doustraat 82
Amsterdam, 1072 VW

9. Vishuisje Herengracht

Vishuisje Herengracht

Eating herring is a Dutch tradition. The best and freshest variety is at the haringkar (herring stand) on Utrechtsestraat and on the Herengracht canal. Other options include Haringstal Ab Kromhout on Raadhuisstraat, or Kras Haring on Wittenburgergracht.

Amsterdam, 1017 VH

Herengracht 560

10. Taiko


You'll find a deeply satisfying meal at the design-savvy Conservatorium. There's Japanese wagyu, sushi, and dim sum. If sake calls to you, don't miss the journey from a collection of rare and unusual breeds. End the meal with a matcha digestif, please.

Van Baerlestraat 27
Amsterdam, 1071 NL 

11. Stach


A casual place to grab a quick meal or shop the well-stocked pantries: organic jams, Belvoir fruit farms drinks, macarons. With six locations around town, it's a great spot to refuel on your cross-city bicycle jaunts.

Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 52
Amsterdam, 1017 DG

12. Sama Sebo

Sama Sebo

One of the oldest and best Indonesian rijsttafel (rice table) in town. A Dutch menu from the old colonial days, various Indonesian dishes are brought to the table all at once: chicken satay, meats in sauces, vegetables prepared many ways, baked banana, rice, grilled nuts, fried onions, etc. It's a beautiful mix of spices. Reservations might be tricky to score; you can also try your luck at the equally loved Blauw or Blue Pepper.


P. C. Hooftstraat 27
Amsterdam, 1071 BL

13. Ron Gastrobar Oriental

Ron Gastrobar Oriental

A restaurant that feels elegant and sophisticated — and blissfully lacking in pretense. From chef Ron Blauuw (already bestowed with two Michelin stars), there's plenty of shareables including a spread of tapas-style dishes like salmon sashimi with green herbs and wild rice, soft shell crab and udon noodles, or barbecue spare ribs with homemade sambal. Obviously, in stellar weather conditions, you're going to want to fan out on the patio. 

Kerkstraat 23
Amsterdam, 1017 GA

14. Mossel & Gin

Mossel & Gin

Fresh seafood and G+Ts are two things the Dutch do very well. No surprises, then, that this mussels-and-gin joint in the industrial Westerpark neighborhood is a constant crowd-pleaser. Share generous skillets of mollusks and creative cocktails (go for the Tanqueray with watermelon and jalapeño).

Gosschalklaan 12
Amsterdam, 1014 DC

15. Merkelbach


The garden terrace in the former 18th-century coach house is an apt setting for the seasonal fare from chef Geert Burema. Come for an educational dinner with the Slow Food Chefs Alliance four-course menu, or take a lazy afternoon for lunch and tea time pastries.

Middenweg 72
Amsterdam, 1097 BS

16. Lotti's


For a cheery lunch just off the Herengracht Canal, choose from the jazzy cafe-all-day style menu: grilled octopus, Nordic cod, a simple lemon-meets-olives-meets-garlic roasted chicken. There's also a friendly, good-looking waitstaff (pointing out the obvious). Post-meal, wander a few blocks to the Nines Streets and hit all the chic, high-rent shops.


Herengracht 255
Amsterdam, 1016 BJ

17. Jansz


For some of the best food in Amsterdam, pop by this one-time old apothecary (where old bell jars still rest) — which is now part of the Pulitzer Hotel. The chef, Cassidy Hallman (alum of Bouley and Momofuku) tackles bistro-style fare: diver scallops in their shell, braised meatballs in marinara sauce, and an unfussy devil of a hamburger topped with Reypenaer and bacon — completing your Pulp Fiction "royal with cheese" experience.

Reestraat 8
Amsterdam, 1016DN

18. The Goldfinch Brasserie

The Goldfinch Brasserie

For a posh Amsterdam experience, slip into the ritzy Waldorf Astoria and head downstairs to the Goldfinch Brasserie looking out onto a private garden. The menu is serious, a place to ponder life over a three-course menu, and is best commenced with a glass of bubbles. They have a "one-hour business lunch" (two courses), which doesn't mean you need to be working to sit down. Close your eyes and yes, you could be in the rarefied air of the Donna Tartt book.

Herengracht 542-556
Amsterdam, 1017 CG

19. Foodhallen


A newish indoor food hall smack in an old tram depot with about two dozen stalls. Viet View has the tofu bahn mi down, there's veggie sushi from Meneer Temaki, and a popular local treat, the truffle bitterballen's at De BallenBar. Thirsty folks should hit the micro-beer bar or sip a proper gin and tonic (Amsterdam has a strong game) at the G+T Bar.

Bellamyplein 51
Amsterdam, 1053 AT

20. Envy


The Michelin's Bib Gourmand restaurant has been feeding locals on the Prinsengracht for more than a decade now. Dark chairs and tables fill the industrial space and contrast the colorful, inventive sharing plates coming out of the open kitchen. Stop by sister wine bar Vyne down the block for a digestif.

Prinsengracht 381
Amsterdam, 1016 HL

21. Choux


The airy bistro takes up the ground floor of a century-old distillery on the waterfront. Choose from three-, four- or seven-course menus where chef Merijn van Berlo and sommelier Figo van Onna show off avant-garde dishes paired with natural wines. It could get very stuffy, but the buzzy atmosphere and friendly staff keep it casual.

De Ruijterkade 128
Amsterdam, 1011 AC

22. Sir Albert

Sir Albert

The building's previous life as a diamond factory means guests enjoy soaring ceilings and enormous windows. Overall, the hotel has a grown-up, masculine sensibility (a nod to the name) — from the old-fashioned study to the terrace izakaya. Good food, art, and shopping abound in the buzzing De Pijp neighborhood.

Albert Cuypstraat 2-6
Amsterdam, 1072 CT

23. Pulitzer


The elegant rooms at the newly renovated Pulitzer hotel are designed by Tom Dixon protégé Jacu Strauss. Heritage details (big canal house windows, wooden beams) are given a dash of sophistication through color (a palette of dark green and eggplant) and eclectic furnishings (tufted ottomans, midcentury bar carts, salon-style picture hanging). 

Prinsengracht 315-331
Amsterdam, 1016 GZ

24. Lloyd Hotel

Lloyd Hotel

A hotel on the Eastern Docklands for all budgets. Book a room based on a one- to five-star category: one-star budget rooms have shared bathrooms while five-star rooms are luxurious, unexpected, and sometimes outlandish (think a giant bed that sleeps seven, or a swing hanging in the middle of the room). All 117 rooms are individually outfitted by more than 50 local designers and artists, and the Cultural Embassy offers public spaces to creative types to meet and learn from one another.

Oostelijke Handelskade 34
Amsterdam, 1019 BN

25. The Hoxton Amsterdam

The Hoxton Amsterdam

London hotel spawn has arrived in Amsterdam. With its industrial, schoolboy style, there's plenty of vintage (and just-enough kitsch) and warm colors of hunter greens, blues, and leathery browns. Bonus points for Lotti's

Herengracht 255
Amsterdam, 1016 BJ

26. Hotel Vossius Vondelpark

Hotel Vossius Vondelpark

A nice budget choice centrally located on the edge of Vondelpark on the Museumplein side. There are forty rooms of various sizes (twin to quads) spread over five floors, with rates starting at 104 Euros per night. The decor is minimalist — the furniture is dark or white, the sheets are crisp, and there's the occasional in-room marble fireplace. Hotel amenities don't extend beyond a self-serve breakfast (not included in the rate) and bike rentals, but if you don't need your hotel to give you much, it’s a great choice.

Vossiusstraat 8
Amsterdam, 1071 AB

27. Hotel JL No. 76

Hotel JL No. 76

Tucked behind the Fifth Avenue of Amsterdam is a quaint boutique hotel filled with an eclectic mix of contemporary art. Look for local designer Barbara Broekman's colorful wallpapers in each room — which range from standard twins to executive suites to a full family room in the lower level. A welcome spot for all traveler types.

Jan Luijkenstraat 76
Amsterdam, 1071 CT

28. Hotel Droog

Hotel Droog

On the top floor of the avant-garde design store/gallery/cafe/event space is a one-bedroom penthouse apartment of your interior design dreams. The contemporary furnishings by the conceptual Dutch design studio make you wonder if this is what it feels like to sleepover in a Droog showroom. You'll never want to leave the building thanks to the sun-drenched dining area, friendly staff, and Fairy Tale garden on the first floor.

Staalstraat 7B
Amsterdam, 1011 JJ

29. Generator Amsterdam

Generator Amsterdam

The stylish hostel group recently opened in the Dutch capital, refashioning a former university building in the up-and-coming Oosterpark neighborhood. The 168 rooms are simple and all come with private bathrooms. Highlights are the social areas: a lounge and bar occupy a former lecture hall, and a not-so-secret late-night spot is in the original boiler room.

Mauritskade 57
Amsterdam, 1092 AD

30. The Dylan

The Dylan

Regal canopy beds, cathedral ceilings, a Michelin-starred restaurant; nothing less would be expected from a hotel along the prestigious Keizersgracht (Emperor's Canal). It's bright and contemporary inside, with blond wood beams, beige-striped walls, and white marble floors. 

Keizersgracht 384
Amsterdam, 1016 GB

31. Conservatorium


Anyone who appreciates great architecture, thoughtful design, and the preservation of old things will fall in love at first sight with the giant lobby and sky-high ceiling. There is something interesting at every turn, but the best surprise will be the pool within the wellness center in the basement. Opt for a duplex room with floor-to-ceiling windows in the bedroom.


Van Baerlestraat 27
Amsterdam, 1071 AN

32. Canal House

Canal House

A series of 17th-century merchant homes on the Keizergracht make up the charming 23-bedroom Canal House. Some rooms have canal views, and The Best Room (which is really a suite) on the top floor has a free-standing bathtub. When you're done shopping in the nearby Nine Streets area, come back to unwind in the lovely garden courtyard.

Keizersgracht 148
Amsterdam, 1015 CX