Everyone’s favorite thing about traveling is eating, right? (Maybe that’s just me?) In Amsterdam, we loved having such a wide variety of cafes and restaurants at our fingertips, most of which were even within our budget. I was surprised by how easy it was to keep our breakfast and lunch meals in Amsterdam under €20 for the three of us! (That’s definitely not as easy to find in London!)
From traditional Dutch cuisine to some much-needed Mexican comfort food, we spent our days in Amsterdam trying all sorts of different foods and were hardly ever disappointed. In fact, all but one of the places we ate at completely exceeded our expectations. If you’re looking for recommendations for where to eat in Amsterdam on a budget, here are a few we personally tried that stood out from the crowd in terms of taste, atmosphere, and price!
Where to Eat in Amsterdam: Our Favorites
Buon Appetito was one of our favorite places because of its central location (less than five minutes walk from our hotel – Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Centre), excellent prices, and their outdoor patio which was a perfect place to sit and wind down after a long day of walking and sight-seeing.
We tried two Dutch bar-food style dishes at Buon Appetito. The first was kroketten (croquettes), a cylindrical-shaped fried food filled with mashed potatoes, ground meat, and a brown sauce. To me, your typical southern girl, these tasted just like fried mashed potatoes and gravy. Delicious, but not so nutritious. (I still ordered them twice while we were in Amsterdam, though!)
The second, bitterballen (bitter balls – ha!), were quite similar to the croquettes. Another fried food, bitterballen are typically filled with a thick beef or veal ragout, refrigerated, and then deep fried. (We are so healthy on vacation!)
I’m practically drooling remembering how good these Dutch pancakes were at Fogata Restaurant! We each picked a pancake and then split them all three ways, like pancake pizza. We tried the ham and cheese, bacon, and chocolate. Dutch pancakes, or pannekoeken, are much larger than pancakes back home and are similar in consistency to crepes, with all sorts of ingredients mixed in to make a sweet or savory style pancake. We all agreed the chocolate was the best, for breakfast or dessert!
One thing we learned in Amsterdam is that not all pancake places are equal. We had a Dutch pancake breakfast at Pancake Corner in the Museumplein area and ended up very disappointed in the bland flavor and exorbitant prices. We should have just returned to Fogata again where the servers were friendly and the pancakes were scrumptious!
The Original California Burrito Company
Go ahead and laugh – I ate Mexican food in Amsterdam. I don’t even feel bad about “wasting” one of my meals on it either. It had been three months since I’d had decent Mexican food and when we saw this place (or rather, smelled it), I almost shed a tear. I am completely unfamiliar with this chain in the US, so technically I was still trying something new!
The Original California Burrito Company definitely knows how to make a quesadilla! Large enough for two to share and packed with flavor, I couldn’t help but go back for lunch a second time. (Hey, it may be awhile before I find a proper Mexican restaurant in London. Cut me some slack!)
Where to Eat in Amsterdam: The Honorable Mentions
Almost as good as our top three favorites, the following places also come highly recommended. Apologies for the lack of photos – I don’t always remember to take pictures of my food before I dive in!
Cafe Corner House
(Traditional Dutch Pub Food)
Address: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 119, 1012 RH Amsterdam
Melly’s Espresso & Cookie Bar
(Cookies & Other Desserts)
Address: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 137, 1012 RJ Amsterdam
Ristorante Italiano Peppino
(Pizzas & Italian Dishes For €5)
Address: Leidsekruisstraat 30-32, 1017 RJ Amsterdam
If you have any recommendations to share for where to eat in Amsterdam on a budget, please leave them in the comments!
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