3 restaurants and 3 Bars in Amsterdam

1. Bojo Indonesian Restaurant


Lange Leidsedwarsstraat 49 HS, 1017 NG Amsterdam, Netherlands

Founded by two brothers almost 50 years ago, this is my go-to Indonesian restaurant in Amsterdam. I usually go for the vegetarian combination meal with tofu satay.

Indonesian cuisine is to the Dutch what Indian is to the English. It’s part of their culture. The tour guide on the Flagship canal cruise I was on went as far as to say that, ‘if you want to try traditional Dutch food, go to an Indonesian restaurant.’

Question about sticky rice: I’m unfamiliar with how it’s made in Indonesia. I’ve had it in Thai restaurants, where it is stuck together in a heavy, translucent rice ball of chewy goodness, but the stuff here is compressed into tofu-style cubes. Is it the way sticky rice is done in Indonesia?

2. Sherpa Nepalese and Indian Restaurant


Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 58, 1017 RD Amsterdam, Netherlands

Whenever I find a new Indian/Nepalese restaurant, I order the Saag Paneer. It’s how I compare them. The SP here gets an A+ and the rice and naan breads are pretty good too.

I never miss this place when I’m in town.

3. Tromp


Elandsgracht 27, 1016 TN Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tromp isn’t actually a restaurant. It’s a cheese shop with friendly staff and excellent cheese. They have a deli bar for making sandwiches and salads. I had a sandwich with rocket, sun-dried tomato and vegetarian cheese (no Rennet) on sourdough bread. Be aware that there are no seats.

At the corner of the street you’ll find Cafe de Eland. If you ask nicely enough and order a drink, they might let you eat there. It’s a great place to visit on a warm summer’s day and watch the world go by.

Also on this street is Key-Color. If you’re into film photography and looking for a place to develop your film in the centre of town, this is the one I use. You can check out my photos on Instagram @stevenjohn.tait

The Last Waterhole

the waterhole

Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 49, 1017 PW Amsterdam, Netherlands

Renamed The Waterhole a good few years ago, this is a live music venue where both local and travelling pub bands come to play. They have three pool tables and a smoke room at the back. Over a decade ago the best version of Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix I’ve ever heard was played there.

There’s always a good crowd of people there.

It costs €2 or €3 to get in.

Cafe Alta

Cafe Alta

Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 115, 1017 PX Amsterdam, Netherlands

Live jazz place. Very cozy. Very burgandy.

Good music. Last time I was there was a Latin Jazz night. Free entry.

The old Sailor


The old sailor

Oudezijds Achterburgwal 39-A, 1012 DA Amsterdam, Netherlands

Maybe the most popular bar in the Red Light area. Just walk past The Grasshopper off Damrak and keep going till you see it. It gets very crowded but it’s the perfect place to mingle and watch all the goings-on around you. And the staff are quite nice considering with the amount of people they have to deal with.


Notable others

Bar Gollem

Large selection of beers.

Damkring coffee shop

Was the best ten years ago. Maybe today it still is.

Vellimiux Vlaams Frites.

Maybe the best chips (or fries) in Amsterdam.

Cafe Heuval

Situated on the corner by a bridge on an artistic street.

La Perla

Pizza in Jordaan

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