June 19, 2023

Lunch Amsterdam: Unravelling The 18 Best Places to Satisfy Your Cravings

Embark on a journey in the busy heart of the Netherlands, where the perfume of freshly made bread blends with the taste of rich, fragrant coffee during lunch Amsterdam. In this comprehensive tour, we’ll go across the several areas that make up Amsterdam’s lunch scene, each with its own charm and personality.

De Kas Amsterdam
Restaurant De Kas

We’ll discover the hidden jewels that make each region a gastronomic heaven, from stylish Amsterdam Noord to cultural hotspot Amsterdam Oost, sleek, futuristic Amsterdam Zuid, bustling Amsterdam West, and the lovely heart of the city, Amsterdam Centrum. This blog is your passport to lunchtime discoveries in Amsterdam, a city with a rich, diversified, and exquisite lunch culture that nourishes not only the body but also the soul.

The Culture of Lunch Amsterdam

Lunch is more than just a noon meal in Amsterdam; it’s a cultural ritual that’s firmly knit into the city’s fabric. Every neighbourhood lends its own taste to the city’s lunch culture, from the clatter of cutlery on porcelain plates in the snug, ivy-covered lunchrooms of Amsterdam Centrum to the young, energetic cafés of Amsterdam Noord.

Amsterdammers enjoy their lunch breaks, frequently taking time out of their hectic schedules to have a leisurely meal. Traditional Dutch ‘broodjes’ – a delicious selection of sandwiches – are served alongside worldwide cuisines, vegan delicacies, and innovative, adventurous foods. This vibrant culinary environment exemplifies Amsterdam’s worldwide appeal as well as the city’s dedication to preserve its historic tradition while welcoming the new.

The Pleasure of the Best Lunch Amsterdam Centrum

Amsterdam Centrum, a lively sector where historical beauty meets modern elegance, is located in the city’s core. This neighbourhood is home to renowned sights, several retail districts, and a wealth of lunch alternatives for every taste. Every turn exposes a new gastronomic surprise, every alleyway leads to a hidden treasure, and every café and restaurant invites you to join in the pleasure of lunch. Let’s take a gourmet tour, looking for the most delicious lunch Amsterdam centrum venues that characterise the city’s culinary scene.

THE DUCHESS: Experience a Royal Lunch


THE DUCHESS, located in the historic old KAS Bank, is a Michelin-starred restaurant that promises an extravagant dining experience. Serving up a delicious lunch menu exclusively during the weekends, it is an exquisite culinary tribute to the robust flavours of Southern France and Italy.

Upon entering, you’re greeted by a tapestry of delightful scents that subtly transition from the comforting fragrance of teas and freshly baked cakes during teatime, to the enticing aromas of a Southern-European inspired lunch. Indulge in a starter like the tantalising Lobster and King Crab Salad with Avocado and Plum Tomatoes, bursting with freshness, or the intriguing Beetroot Tartare with Yuzu and Mustard Caviar, both prepared with absolute precision.

For the main course – ‘les plats’ – you can enjoy the rich Sautéed Prawns with Champagne Butter Sauce and Grilled Crostini or the Spaghetti with Beluga Caviar, each dish offering a unique interpretation of Southern-European cuisine.

Spaghetti with Beluga Caviar at THE DUCHESS

And for a sweet conclusion to your meal, why not lose yourself in the classic indulgence of a “Real” Crème Brûlée or the exquisite Hazelnut Praline with Hazelnut foam, gianduja and Rum caviars that boasts a play of textures and flavours?

A meal at THE DUCHESS is a royal escapade into a realm where each bite narrates a story, every aroma paints a picture, and the ambience crowns you the guest of honour. At THE DUCHESS, you’re not just having lunch; you’re indulging in a culinary coronation.

Puccini Espresso Bar: The Perfect Lunch Spot for Coffee Lovers

A top view of coffee, pastries and a bagel during lunch Amsterdam.
Lunch Amsterdam

Puccini Espresso Bar, located near the Amsterdam Flower Market, is a coffee and sandwich lover’s paradise. This little café is well-known for its fresh sandwiches cooked with high-quality ingredients and a wide selection of handcrafted pastries. The fan fave is their mozzarella, tomato, basil, and home-made pesto sandwich. Lunch Amsterdam at Puccini Espresso Bar is both a delicious experience when paired with their excellently made coffee.

Café de Jaren

Café de Jaren is a popular lunch Amsterdam restaurant thanks to its spacious, light-filled interiors and attractive patio overlooking the Amstel River. Salads, sandwiches, and hot foods influenced by Dutch and other cuisines are available on the menu.

Among the must-try items is their hummus and smoked vegetable sandwich, a hearty and nutritious offering that is a testament to the restaurant’s creativity. This sandwich, with its creamy hummus and smoky vegetables, brings together diverse textures and flavours in a delightful dance.

Equally commendable is their warm goat cheese salad. The tang of the goat cheese, paired with fresh greens and a perfectly balanced dressing, makes for a satisfying lunch that’s both light and fulfilling. This salad is an excellent example of Café de Jaren’s commitment to creating meals that are as delicious as they are healthful.

So, whether you’re craving a light lunch or a hearty meal, Café de Jaren offers a dining experience that leaves you eager for your next visit. Add to this the relaxing views of the Amstel River, and you’ve got yourself an unforgettable lunch spot in Amsterdam.

SLA centrum: A Healthy Lunch Amsterdam Centrum

A close up of a waitress' hands carrying two salads.
Lunch Amsterdam

SLA Centrum provides a variety of fresh, organic, and tasty salads, soups, and bowls for people looking for healthier alternatives. You may make your own salad or select from a curated menu that caters to all dietary requirements. SLA Centrum offers a fresh, guilt-free lunch experience in the centre of the city, thanks to its relaxing atmosphere and devotion to sustainable, nutritional cuisine.

Lunch in Amsterdam Centrum is a delight, with a variety of locations offering various cuisines, outstanding flavours, and one-of-a-kind settings. Whether you’re looking for gourmet dining, a healthy salad, a fast sandwich, or a leisurely meal by the river, Amsterdam Centrum has something for everyone, making lunch an experience to savour and enjoy.

Exploring Lunch Amsterdam Noord

View over Amsterdam Noord
Lunch Amsterdam Noord

The northern neighbourhood of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Noord, is the beating core of the city’s cutting-edge inventiveness. This region, which was once an industrial centre, is now a melting pot of arts, culture, and modern gastronomy, tucked among lovely, old structures and eye-catching new architecture. Cafes and restaurants in the area feature a delectable blend of classic Dutch favourites, modern innovations, and a delicious selection of other cuisines. Let’s have a look at some of the outstanding lunch experiences that Amsterdam Noord has to offer.

Cafe de Ceuvel: An Eco-Friendly Lunch Oasis in Amsterdam Noord

A top view of a vegetarian dish at Café de Ceuvel
Café De Ceuvel

Café de Ceuvel, located by the waterside, is an eco-friendly haven in Amsterdam Noord. It’s more than simply a café; it’s a community created on former shipyard land and thriving on sustainability. Their food, created with organic products acquired locally, demonstrates their dedication to environmental stewardship.

At Café de Ceuvel, each meal is an affirmation of their commitment to preserving the planet. Their menu, crafted using organic ingredients sourced locally, showcases a beautiful synergy between culinary creativity and respect for the environment.

Their Tagliatelle with Tomato-Rhubarb, for instance, is more than just a pasta dish—it’s a canvas where home-grown flavours converge in a delightful symphony. The tanginess of the tomatoes, the subtle tartness of the rhubarb, and the comforting familiarity of the tagliatelle combine to offer a dining experience that’s rich in both taste and texture.

Another star on their menu is the Pea Mint Cream on Bread—a simple yet stunning testament to Café de Ceuvel’s innovative approach to sustainable cuisine. The fresh burst of mint perfectly complements the smooth creaminess of the pea puree, creating a refreshing, palate-pleasing delicacy that leaves you wanting more.

Café de Ceuvel outside
Café De Ceuvel

Café de Ceuvel isn’t just a lunch spot; it’s a vibrant hub where food, sustainability, and community come together in beautiful harmony. So whether you’re a passionate environmentalist or a food enthusiast seeking a unique culinary experience, Café de Ceuvel promises an unforgettable journey towards the future of sustainable dining.

Pllek: Industrial Chic Lunch Spot in Amsterdam Noord

Pllek, with its industrial-chic design fashioned from repurposed shipping containers, is a distinctive presence in Amsterdam Noord. Pllek’s panoramic view of the IJ river is the icing on the cake for a superb lunch Amsterdam Noord experience.

Their menu, which focuses on organic and vegetarian food, offers a variety of delectable options for your noon lunch. The grilled green asparagus & artichoke salad, with its delicate mix of flavour and textures, is a crowd pleaser. Furthermore, their steamed mackerel frequently steals the show.

With its unique atmosphere, picturesque views, and diverse, sustainable menu, Pllek truly is a hidden gem in Amsterdam Noord, offering a lunch experience that nourishes both the body and the soul.

Noorderlicht: The Northern Light of Lunch Restaurants Amsterdam

Interior of Noorderlicht
Noorderlicht – Image via Noorderlicht

Noorderlicht, which translates to ‘Northern Light,’ is a lunch venue that fully reflects the essence of Amsterdam Noord. It is located in the free-spirited NDSM district. Its greenhouse-like construction, dynamic atmosphere, and view of the IJ canal set it apart as a distinctive lunch place. The menu offers a culinary journey with a combination of foreign inspirations and locally sourced foods. For a fantastic gastronomic experience, try their vegan Rendang of Yellow Beetroot or the ‘Noord Zee Burger’.

Both dishes, like the rest of the menu, promise an unforgettable dining experience that expertly balances taste, quality, and sustainability. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, a meal at Noorderlicht is a delightful immersion into Amsterdam Noord’s unique cultural and culinary landscape.

Outside of Noorderlicht with a view on the water
Noorderlicht – Image via Noorderlicht

Lunch in Amsterdam Noord is like taking a trip through a delightful and diverse gastronomic environment. The district mixes art and culture, offering sensory experiences that nourish the body and calm the spirit. It exemplifies Amsterdam’s developing cuisine scene, where classic and contemporary ingredients dance in a wonderful duet of flavour.

The Delights of Lunch Amsterdam Oost

Amsterdam Oost, the city’s eastern area, is a gourmet treasure trove waiting to be explored. This dynamic neighbourhood elegantly mixes history with technology, old-world charm and modern attraction, making it a tempting destination for foodies. Amsterdam Oost’s diversified culinary environment provides a wide mix of establishments providing everything from traditional Dutch fare to globally inspired cuisines. Let’s go on an adventure to discover the wonders of lunch Amsterdam Oost.

De Kas: A Freshly Picked Lunch Experience in Amsterdam Oost

A dish at De Kas restaurant
De Kas – Picture by Rinze Vegelien

De Kas is a gastronomic jewel that mixes eating with gardening and is housed in a magnificent glass greenhouse in Frankendael Park. They believe in ‘from soil to plate,’ with many of their daily-changing menu products cultivated in their on-site garden or farm. This one-of-a-kind idea infuses each meal with unrivalled freshness. Try their set lunch menu, which features fresh ingredients served with artistic flair. De Kas is a tranquil haven where food meets nature, making your lunch experience absolutely unforgettable.

Gardens of De Kas restaurant
De Kas – Image by Ritze Vegelien

Eetbar Wilde Zwijnen: Amsterdam Oost’s Forest-Flavoured Lunch

Just as its name suggests, Eetbar Wilde Zwijnen – or ‘Wild Boars’ – offers a taste of the wild in the heart of Amsterdam Oost. This modern, yet rustic restaurant is known for its innovative approach to Dutch cuisine. The lunch menu is a celebration of local produce, with each dish telling a story about the flavours and traditions of the Netherlands.

Try their hearty sandwiches, fresh salads, or the daily changing special for a truly delicious lunch experience. The restaurant’s stylish interior, with a touch of wilderness charm, adds to the overall delightful dining atmosphere. It’s a must-visit spot for a lunch in Amsterdam Oost that’s a little bit out of the ordinary.

The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club is a bright and welcoming all-day breakfast and lunch hotspot. Inspired by the concept of New York’s breakfast culture, The Breakfast Club serves delightful meals throughout the day. Their pancakes are a crowd favourite, fluffy and perfectly paired with a variety of toppings.

For lunch, their gourmet sandwiches, rich soups, and freshly squeezed juices are a big hit. The Breakfast Club, with its commitment to quality ingredients and great flavours, offers a cosy spot for a relaxed, satisfying meal in the vibrant neighbourhood of Amsterdam Oost.

Bar Basquiat: One of Our Favourite Lunch Spots

Two dishes at Bar Basquiat
Bar Basquiat – Image by Matthijs van Schuppen

Bar Basquiat‘s frenetic, vivid environment, inspired by the American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, making it a go-to destination for a boisterous lunch. This Javastraat cafe’s cuisine is a fascinating blend of different flavours.

The artistic spirit of Bar Basquiat extends to its food as well. The cuisine served here is a compelling fusion of flavours from around the globe, making it a testament to culinary innovation. One of the standout dishes on the menu is their Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches. This traditional Vietnamese street food has been given a unique twist at Bar Basquiat, becoming a flavour-packed experience that reflects the vibrancy of its surroundings.

It’s not just about the food, however, the cafe’s beautiful decor and lively atmosphere further enhance the dining experience, making it a feast not just for the stomach but also for the eyes. Each visit to Bar Basquiat is a celebration of the unconventional, a tribute to the spirit of the avant-garde, and a delicious journey that leaves a lasting impression.

Outside terrace of Bar Basquiat
Bar Basquiat – Image by Matthijs van Schuppen

Lunch in Amsterdam Oost is the ideal combination of various cuisines, innovative concepts, and a rich, energetic environment. Whether you’re looking for the warm familiarity of classic cuisine, the thrill of current flavours, or a lunch restaurant with a distinct concept, Amsterdam Oost will fascinate and please you.

Savouring Lunch Amsterdam Zuid

Amsterdam Zuid, known for its elegant charm and vibrant atmosphere, is a destination that invites you to savour the pleasures of a delightful lunch. From quaint cafes to high-end restaurants and charming lunchrooms, Amsterdam Zuid is a district where lunch is more than a meal – it’s an event. Let’s explore some of these establishments that make lunch Amsterdam Zuid an experience to savour.

A toast with salmon and vegetables.
Amsterdam Lunch

Broodje Bert: Sandwich Royalty in Amsterdam Zuid

Broodje Bert is a beloved institution in Amsterdam Zuid, known far and wide for its outstanding sandwiches – ‘broodjes’ in Dutch. This small, unpretentious lunchroom prides itself on serving high-quality, generously filled sandwiches that delight the palate. The sandwich options at Broodje Bert are varied, from the mozzarella tomato pesto to filet americain. Don’t miss their famous grilled chicken filet sandwich. Broodje Bert proves that simplicity, quality, and flavour can combine to create a truly unforgettable lunch experience.

The Seafood Bar

Outside view of The Seafood Bar Amsterdam
The Seafood Bar – Image by Kamile Kave

The Seafood Bar, located in the chic Ferdinand Bolstraat, is an excellent spot for seafood lovers. This family-run business serves a wide range of seafood dishes, freshly prepared and beautifully presented. Their lunch menu includes a selection of fish and chips, seafood pasta, and a delightful seafood salad. The light, bright, modern interior enhances the dining experience, making The Seafood Bar a must-visit lunch spot in Amsterdam Zuid.

Seafood platter and glasses of wine at The Seafood Bar Amsterdam
The Seafood Bar – Image by Kamile Kave

Lavinia GoodFood: A Healthy Lunchroom Amsterdam

Lavinia GoodFood is a health-conscious café that serves a delicious array of nutritious, organic, and largely plant-based meals. Lavinia’s philosophy is around ‘honest food’ and is housed in a beautifully designed setting. Their lunch menu has a wide variety of salads, soups, sandwiches, and hearty main entrees, all produced fresh in-house. Their handcrafted vegan cakes are very popular as a delicious finale to your lunch. In the heart of Amsterdam Zuid, Lavinia GoodFood provides a comfortable, energetic place in which to have a healthy, tasty lunch.

Amsterdam Zuid invites you to savour lunch at your own pace, whether you’re enjoying a sandwich by the canal, dining in a chic restaurant, or grabbing a quick bite in a bustling lunchroom. The district’s culinary offerings celebrate the city’s diversity and the shared love for good food, making lunch in Amsterdam Zuid an adventure worth exploring.

The Taste of Lunch Amsterdam West

Amsterdam West is a bustling, varied, and energetic area. It serves as a playground for food connoisseurs, offering a variety of lunch alternatives that represent the district’s unique culture. It is known for its cultural blend, eccentric stores, and booming culinary scene. Amsterdam West is an exploration of foods and experiences that will leave your taste buds tingling, from contemporary cafés and classic bakeries to cosmopolitan diners and intimate lunchrooms. Let’s have a look at some of the unusual restaurants that add to the particular flavour of lunch Amsterdam West.

Café de Walvis

Café de Walvis is a laid-back, friendly spot located in Amsterdam West’s bustling neighbourhood. It’s a hit with both locals and tourists, thanks to its warm, inviting ambiance and simple yet delicious fare. Their lunch menu blends classic Dutch dishes with a touch of international flair, producing meals that strike the perfect balance between comfort and novelty. Make sure you try their Walvis Club Sandwich, layered with chicken, bacon, egg, avocado, and a delightful homemade sauce


A crowd in the Foodhallen Amsterdam
Foodhallen Amsterdam – Image by Jorg Mackloet

Foodhallen, an indoor food market built in a former tram depot, is a gourmet paradise offering a variety of world cuisines from numerous food vendors. Lunch selections here appear to be limitless. Everything from Vietnamese spring rolls to Spanish tapas to Italian pizza and Dutch ‘bitterballen’ is available. It’s ideal for a relaxed lunch, where you can try a variety of foods in one lively, busy venue.

A Dumpling dish at the foodhallen Amsterdam
Foodhallen Amsterdam – Image by Jorg Mackloet

White Label Coffee

White Label Coffee is a coffee roaster and café in Amsterdam West. They provide some of the best coffee in town, as well as fresh sandwiches, handmade pastries, and healthful salads for lunch. The simple décor and laid-back atmosphere make it an ideal location to chill, catch up on work, or simply have a tasty meal.

De Bakkerswinkel

De Bakkerswinkel is a beautiful bakery and café ideal for a leisurely meal, with a friendly ambiance and freshly baked food. Their selection of sandwiches baked with fresh bread, savoury quiches, and daily soups are sure to please anybody looking for a warm, homemade-style lunch. However, the highlight is their array of delectable delicacies. Try their classic Dutch apple pie as a delicious way to conclude your lunch.

Lunch Amsterdam West is as different as the neighbourhood itself. The range of culinary choices, which represent the district’s colourful culture and ethnic people, assures a memorable lunch experience. So, experience the thrill of a genuinely fulfilling lunch by immersing yourself in the delicacies of Amsterdam West.

Vegan Lunch Amsterdam

A close-up of a vegan dish
Vegan Restaurant Amsterdam

In a previous exploration of Amsterdam’s culinary landscape, we delved into the diverse and vibrant world of vegan restaurant options in the city. The burgeoning vegan lunch Amsterdam scene offers a plethora of eateries where plant-based meals shine, showcasing creativity, flavour, and a commitment to sustainable dining. From the comforting bowls at Mr. & Mrs. Watson to the globally inspired dishes at Vegabond, we found a treasure trove of vegan delights in Amsterdam. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the detailed guide to vegan restaurants in Amsterdam for a deeper dive into the city’s plant-based offerings.

Brunch in Amsterdam

In another culinary adventure, we embarked on a delightful journey to discover the best brunch spots in Amsterdam. As the city that masterfully merges breakfast and lunch into an art form, Amsterdam boasts an exciting brunch scene. Whether you prefer a lavish spread at the elegant G’s Brunch Boat, the classic American-style pancakes at The Pancake Bakery, or the innovative breakfast creations at Bakers & Roasters, Amsterdam offers a brunch experience to suit every taste. To revisit these delicious moments and to discover more hidden gems, don’t forget to miss the article to the ultimate brunch in Amsterdam.

With such diversity in dining options, from vegan lunches to indulgent brunches, Amsterdam continually serves up delightful surprises, making every meal an opportunity for a new gastronomic discovery.

The Unforgettable Experience of Lunch Amsterdam

Sushi at the Foodhallen Amsterdam
Foodhallen Lunch Amsterdam – Image by Jorg Mackloet

Amsterdam is a city that truly understands and celebrates the joy of lunch. Its diverse culinary scene, thriving in every district, offers a palette of flavours, textures, and culinary concepts that cater to every taste. The pleasure of sitting down to lunch Amsterdam, whether in a cosy canal-side café, a vibrant food market, or a Michelin-starred restaurant, is an experience as unforgettable as the city itself. Each neighbourhood presents a unique culinary narrative, painted with the vibrant colours of diverse cuisines, innovative approaches, and genuine hospitality.

Final Thoughts: The Best Lunch Amsterdam Experience

Reflecting on the best lunch Amsterdam, it’s clear that the city’s culinary prowess resides not just in the quality of its cuisine, but also in the experiences that go with it. The true allure of Amsterdam’s lunch scene is its ability to turn each meal into a memorable occasion, wrapped in the city’s distinct personality and delivered with a side of the city’s friendly attitude.

Lunch is more than simply a meal in Amsterdam; it’s a celebration of culture, creativity, and community. As we end our culinary adventure, we welcome you to continue exploring, savouring, and immersing yourself in Amsterdam’s lovely world of lunch. After all, the ideal lunch Amsterdam is one that entices you to return by offering new tastes, new views, and the enduring warmth of the city’s culinary heart.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of cuisine can I expect for lunch in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is incredibly diverse when it comes to cuisine. You can find everything from traditional Dutch fare to international flavours including Italian, Indonesian, French, vegan and vegetarian options, and much more. The city is a melting pot of culinary cultures.

Are there any budget-friendly lunch spots in Amsterdam?

Yes, Amsterdam has a range of eateries to suit various budgets. Places like Broodje Bert, Foodhallen, and Puccini Espresso Bar offer quality meals at affordable prices. It’s also common to find daily lunch specials in many cafes and restaurants.

I’m vegan. Are there many vegan lunch options in Amsterdam?

Absolutely! Amsterdam has a thriving vegan scene with numerous restaurants and cafes dedicated to plant-based cuisine. Check out our previous article on vegan restaurants in Amsterdam for a comprehensive guide to the best vegan lunch spots in the city.

Are there good places for a business lunch Amsterdam?

Certainly, many places in Amsterdam cater to a business crowd for lunch. Restaurants like The Duchess in Amsterdam Centrum or Restaurant As in Amsterdam Zuid offer a sophisticated atmosphere ideal for a business lunch.

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