Maria Hedian
Maria Hedian
New York City, New York State, USA
Solo Traveler | Event Producer | Marketing Creative

My Favorite Eats in HOLLAND

Holland is made up of many different cities. So different, in fact, it almost feels as though you are in entirely different countries when you're driving through. The beautiful and historic city of Leiden offers visitors warm cafes and what seems like home cooked meals. Take a day to walk through the coastal city of Volendam and you will be surprised to find some of the best seafood in the world in those small cozy Dutch restaurants. The city of Almere offers a little bit of everything to the more modern visitor. There is still a touch of old Holland, but even as you look around, you know you are in a fairly young and new city in comparison. Finally, Amsterdam. A city that needs no introduction, but sadly seems to only be known for the Red Light District and its notorious debauchery. Here, you will find a very wide selection of cuisines and tastes from around the world. However, a visit to Amsterdam cannot only go as far as the city center, full of tourists and french fry joints, but needs to be investigated and researched. There are culinary treasures to be found. I've made a cheat sheet of some of my favorite restaurants all around Holland to help you on your next trip.
Bon Appetit!  
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1. De Bruine Boon

Stationsweg 1, 2312 AS, Leiden, The Netherlands

After a day of walking around the beautiful city of Leiden, this is THE place to stop for some lunch or that afternoon coffee/drink needed to continue your day of touring. The food is delicious - fresh and portions are very large. My friend and I ordered grilled cheese sandwiches, "tosti" in Dutch, and were pleasantly surprised by the beauty of our meal! Service is wonderful and the place itself is historical yet modern. A must if you're visiting this beautiful historic city.

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2. Bagels & Beans

Haarlemmerstraat 38, 2312, Leiden, The Netherlands

I stopped here on a tour of the city. It was a chilly day so the warm coffee shop vibe was a welcome treat. I ordered a latte macchiato, which was absolutely delicious and a fresh croissant. The vibe was laid back and the staff was very friendly. I can't recommend this coffeeshop enough!

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3. The Black Cockatoo

Bottelaarpassage 89, 1315 ER Almere, Netherlands

This is one of my favorite restaurants in Holland! Small and inviting, this place is absolutely delicious. On my very first day in Holland - literally after stepping off the plane and ravenous, I stopped in. I ordered their special that day which was a Kimchi burger (it was PINK!) and got a side of sweet potato fries with their famous vegan mayonnaise. It was the most incredible thing I've ever tried! Tasted like a real burger, but better. Even the cheese tasted like the real thing. Since then, I stopped in almost daily for breakfast, afternoon coffee or lunch. If you're in the area, you must stop here and try everything on their delicious menu!

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4. Rosita's

Koopmanstraat 5, 1315 HD Almere, The Netherlands

Delicious large Mexican restaurant in the center of Almere. Stopped by on a Thursday night with friends and had a great time. Music plays loudly, margaritas are delicious and the food is wonderful. We ordered nachos to share as an appetizer and the portion was quite generous. My main course was spicy and the ingredients tasted fresh. Overall, a great night.

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5. Happy Tosti Leiden

Maarsmansteeg 10A, 2311 EE Leiden, Netherlands

The place to go to if you want a quality grilled cheese sandwich ("Tosti"). Crunchy but not burnt, with the perfect amount of cheese. Coffee here is also fantastic. Bonus: the seats are swings! Perfect for breakfast, lunch or a late afternoon snack.

6. Bistro Noroc

Pieterskerk-Choorsteeg 4 | pieterskerk -choorsteeg 4, 2311tr, Leiden, The Netherlands

The perfect little restaurant to stop in for lunch or dinner. The staff is so welcoming and warm, the food is absolutely delicious and very filling! Their portion size is generous and everything tastes fresh and homemade. I ordered pasta with pesto, tomatoes, zucchini and mushrooms. It was divine. Tip: be sure to go on a weekday or off-peak hours. Due to its size, it can get very packed and you'll have to wait a long time for a table.

7. Puur Eten & Drinken

Pieterskerk-Choorsteeg 7-9, 2311 TR, Leiden, The Netherlands

Delicious organic food served beautifully. Prices are moderate but the portions are generous. Lively atmosphere and very friendly staff, however service a bit slow. You can tell the food is fresh. I had plenty of options to select from that did not include meat of any kind!

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8. Restaurant The Bishop

Middelweg7-9, 2312 KE, Leiden, The Netherlands

If you're looking for a fancy night out in Leiden, this is the place to go to. Large wine selection, 4-course chef pre-fixe menus and very friendly, hospitable staff make this restaurant the gem that it is. Open kitchen and service you receive makes you feel like you are in the company of friends rather than a French style restaurant. Prices are moderately high, but completely worth it for what you get.

9. Suzie's & Van Aken

Geversstraat 63A, 2341 GC Oegstgeest, Netherlands

Offerings were a bit complicated for me (my taste buds are on the more simple side!) but nonetheless the food was very good. I went with friends and they all absolutely loved their meals. We decided on the chef's 4 course meal. The wine pairings with the food were spot on and the presentation was beautiful. Prices were lower than I expected, given the atmosphere and overall presentation of the food.

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10. Café-Restaurant de Vrijheid

Haven 80, 1131 ET Volendam, Netherlands

After taking the very touristy Dutch pictures next door (we had to do it!) we stopped in to Cafe-Restaurant de Vrijheid. Inside, it is dark but cozy. The place itself was empty when we went in, but slowly started to fill up for lunch. The server was nice, a bit distracted, but very hospitable. We ordered tosti's with fries and they were delicious. Nothing spectacular, but filling and very good tasting food.

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11. De Molen Volendam

Haven 40, Volendam, The Netherlands

Cool cafe with a beautiful view. Low key and delicious. We stopped here after a day sightseeing for drinks, coffee and light bites at the recommendation of one of my friends who is a local. The whole group was happy with the selection as there was lots to pick from and you can't beat the sea view!

12. Cafe Centraal

Haven 94a, 1131 ET Volendam, The Netherlands

Great place to sit back and enjoy a drink after a day of sightseeing. Solid selection of beer on tap and the fish and chips was very tasty. On a nice day, you can it and watch the marina and all the tourists walk by. Very plain and simple bar, but comfortable - they don't rush you out. My friend and I bought a deck of cards and played while we drank our beer. It was great!

13. De Dijk

Haven 108, 1131 EV Volendam, The Netherlands

Cozy place to stop for a drink while sightseeing in Volendam. Touristy, but offers Dutch seafood plates. Their homemade beer is sweet but tasty. Apparently, this is the place to be on the weekend as the place turns into a party. Sadly, we were there on a weekday afternoon and missed the fun! Great service and beautiful marina views.

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14. Restaurant Cafe van den Hogen

Haven 106, 1131 EV Volendam, Netherlands

Warm, friendly and very hospitable restaurant right on the marina. Beautiful views and the water as well as the people walking by. Very good food - bread they bring out is warm and delicious, all of the ingredients taste fresh and the coffee is perfection! Touristy but doesn't have the usual tourist-type prices or feel. I would definitely recommend to anyone visiting the area.

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15. Restaurant Spaandor

Haven 15-19, 1131 EP Volendam, Netherlands

Cozy Dutch restaurant in the marina. Traditional plates like eel and croquettes are served. We ordered local beer, which was pretty good - prices were not high. Staff is so friendly and welcoming, the views are beautiful - especially at sunset. What steals the show, however, is the cool artwork around the place (and on the plates!). Take a look around before or after your meal. You'll be in for a treat.

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16. Paviljoen Smit Bokkum

Slobbeland 19, 1131 AA Volendam, The Netherlands

Awesome seafood restaurant in Volendam. Went there for lunch with my friend and her parents who heavily recommended the place. Definitely did not disappoint! We chose the 'surprise me' option and were brought out a magnificent platter of different kinds of fish. They were fresh, grilled and served with a homemade sauce. The restaurant is right on the marina so you can sit outside on the terrace and see the boats entering and leaving. It's beautiful!

17. Eetcafe Het Pakhuis

Voetboogstraat 10 | 1012 XL, 1012 XL Amsterdam, The Netherlands

My friend, a local, brought me to this cool restaurant/bar. It is quite hidden from the craziness of the center of Amsterdam, which was the best part. The restaurant itself is pretty big, with 2 dining areas and a second level where the bathrooms are located. She ordered a steak and I got a salad, we split fries. The food was good - very large portions. The staff is friendly and like most of Europe, they leave you alone unless you call them. This meant we were able to take out our trusty deck of cards and play a few quick rounds before heading to the next place. Definitely recommend if you want to get away from the craziness of Amsterdam but still have a Dutch meal.

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18. MOAK Pancakes WEST

De Clercqstraat 34, 1053 LB Amsterdam, Netherlands

If you are ever visiting Amsterdam, this place is a MUST. Known for their insane pancakes (some of them have cheddar cheese and bacon on top...ironically, that one is called "American Breakfast"). I ordered a stack of pancakes with blueberries, strawberries and cream. It was out of this world. Their coffee is also so delicious, I ended up ordering 2 cups! Be sure to go early in the morning if you go on the weekend, as there is usually a line around the block to go inside.

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19. Beer Tasting Room In The Wildeman

Kolksteeg 3, 1012 PT Amsterdam, Netherlands

Small bar off a side street in Amsterdam. Main room (with the bar) is usually packed and hard to find a seat. There is an adjacent room with lots of books and games that is larger in size and seats more people. Bathroom is down a very narrow spiral staircase, so be careful! Their white beer is delicious. Prices are great and atmosphere is very laid back. Has a college bar feel, but not as crazy. Definitely recommend for a more mellow night out or as the first (or last) stop of the night!

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20. Boathouse

Noorderplassenweg 150, Almere, The Netherlands

Beautiful restaurant right on the water in the small city of Almere. Large place with a beautiful terrace that leads out to the water. There are small boats available for guests to enjoy in the summer! Stopped by with friends for appetizers and a drink. We enjoyed nachos and prosecco (interesting combo, I know...) both were delicious! Food portions were fairly large and the prosecco was extra dry. Views are absolutely beautiful and ambiance is calm. Wonderful place for a drink and catching up with friends.

21. Cafe Sonneveld

Egelantiersgracht 72-74, 1015 RM Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A cozy local restaurant in Amsterdam with wonderful food! Lots of vegetarian- friendly options and the prices can't be beat. I highly recommend their soups, they are to die for! Portions are large and staff is really friendly. They have a full bar with a wide selection of beer.

22. Quattro Gatti

Hartenstraat 3, 1016 BZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Authentic Italian food in the middle of Amsterdam! Great little place with vintage decor. As soon as you walk in, you feel like you're in Italy - people are laughing and talking loudly, everyone enjoying their food and wine. Our pasta dishes were perfection and tasted as though they were made with the freshest ingredients. The wine list isn't extensive, but what they have to offer goes well with the food. The bathroom is down a steep set of ladder-like steps, so be careful! For dessert we had tiramisu and gelato. Everything was heavenly! The food is so good, it is definitely worth the wait (we only waited about 20 minutes), but because it is a small place - definitely try and make reservations if you can.

23. Bickers aan de Werf

Bickerswerf 2 | 1013 KX, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Located in a quiet residential area overlooking the canal, Bickers is a hidden gem of Amsterdam. They are notorious for their hospitality and friendly staff. If you go while it's not busy, the hostess and even sometimes the chef will come by and chat. On my last visit, the chef explained where all of the ingredients came from that were in our meal and you could tell he absolutely loved his job. Even at their busiest, the staff at Bickers always makes sure to check up on your table and ensure everything is perfect. The food is delicious - there is something for everyone (even us vegetarians!) and the taste is so fresh. Be sure to stop by on your next visit to Amsterdam, you won't regret it!

24. The Happy Bull

Hoofddorpweg 9H, 1059 CS Amsterdam, Netherlands

Famous American burger joint in Amsterdam - known specifically for their outrageously large burgers and delicious fries. The day we stopped in, my friends were very excited to try these larger-than-life burgers. I was happily surprised to see they offer a veggie burger, but it obviously wasn't as good or large as the real thing! For starters we ordered nachos which were honestly some of the best nachos I've ever had. Portions are very large no matter what you order, so sharing among 3 was perfect for us. The restaurant was packed when we got there, but the wait wasn't long. However, it was at a random time of the day (I think around 3 or 4) so I am assuming that during rush hour it's a much longer wait. You can't miss this place on your next trip to Amsterdam.

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25. Box Sociaal

Plantage Middenlaan 30A, 1018 DG Amsterdam, Netherlands

One of the best places in Amsterdam for breakfast! Mellow atmosphere, friendly staff and low lighting make this the perfect meeting place for breakfast with friends, a morning meeting or simply a quiet solo start to the day. I ordered avocado toast that came with an egg and cherry tomatoes and was blown away. Portions are not large, but they are enough. Prices are reasonable and everyone is just so friendly and hospitable, you feel like you're amongst friends. Gets packed very quickly, so be sure to get there early or make a reservation. Can't recommend this place enough.

Last updated at Jan 30, 2019