So you’ve just arrived in Amsterdam and have no idea where to go for better-than-decent chow and awesome vintage decor. Not a surprise, Amsterdam is buzzing with both international newcomers and culinary highlights. The Dutch capital sees more than 4 food places opening up each week! But you didn’t come here for generic kebab/frikandel shop number 29. We at DutchReview help you out in this edition of new and splendidly tasty restaurants and bars in Amsterdam.

1. Yokiyo – Korean BBQ done right

Amsterdam East just keeps getting better and better, and Yokiyo is just the latest addition to this part of town. Yokiyo was first located in the Red Light District, where it had already made a lasting impression with their hip interior and tasty Korean meat selection. That location had to close down, but luckily they opened shop right near the Amsterdam Muiderpoort station with a location even bigger and better.

 

#Korean #bbq incoming @yokiyofast Can’t wait! #koreanfriedchicken #friedporkbelly in Amsterdam Oost. #hotspotsamsterdam #2016amsterdam #foodreview #bardesign

Een foto die is geplaatst door DutchReview (@dutchreview) op

Korean BBQ? Yokiyo is not only a trendsetter in the interior department. Their selection of Korean meat was amazing; spicy and subtle, but also surprising at times. No wonder that Korean BBQ joints keep opening up throughout town nowadays.

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If you want to keep a clean and spotless persona during a first date then this place might not be the one for you. The staff explained to us how to eat Korean BBQ properly: get a lettuce leaf, fill it with meat, sauce, rice, and all the other goodness, and stuff it your mouth — dirty and delicious. And while it doesn’t make for a clean date, is does makes for a fun one; the shared dining obviously helps a lot with that 😉

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When seated inside, they do the BBQ-ing for you in the open kitchen; during the warmer days, you can BBQ yourself on their spacious terrace. Not a meat lover? They’ve got plenty of noodle treats on their menu, as well.

Address: Insulindeweg 1, Amsterdam (Indische Buurt)

Website: http://www.yokiyo.nl/ 

 

2. Homey and classy at Thijs

Right next to a chattering water canal, behind a charming brick hall, and a few stairs down stands Thijs, most certainly one of the true gems among Amsterdam’s new restaurants in the wider center.

A single glance over the interior made it clear for me — the place is all about this special privacy, created through the shared experience with others. Wrought iron, glass, wood, brick, and terracotta are all brought together to a delightful combination of homey, yet classy feeling.

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A huge blackboard informed me who will be cooking and who will be serving my food tonight, somehow to try to prepare me for an exciting moment. Nevertheless, I was thinking that nowadays, with all the Instagrams, Yelp reviews, chefs, and cooking shows it is hard for any meal to surprise.

But Thijs accepted the challenge and won with flying colors! The key to their success? Local products and attention to detail. Not everything needs to be posh or exotic to be interesting or memorable.

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At Thijs, they showed me that common things can be combined in many uncommon ways. A good example were the aperitifs – vermouth with ginger and savoury, limoncello with mint and tonic, and so much more. True beer experts will find a soft spot in the impressive list of only alternative brewery products, specially made to complement all types of food, oysters included.

img_20161006_073532Seafood is in all of the meal courses and is obviously very much loved here, where I was delighted to find (and taste!) that the tuna in the tuna salad does not come from a can, but is instead a well-sized juicy filet.

For people like me, who prefer to “stay ashore” during meal time, the restaurant’s menu hides true treasures as well, with the snails, lamb and bavette on the top of the list.

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And finally, the dessert moment! This is so often and so wrongfully underestimated in other restaurants, but at Thijs is a menu in itself – fruits, cakes, dessert cheeses, yoghurts and so on, and so on. I speak from experience when I say that they all go best with a shot of limoncello served in a tiny glass with a funny saying at the bottom (“Real men don’t erase their browsing history”… Right 🙂 ).

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Charming location, true attention to detail and people, calm atmosphere, polite and excellently informed staff all make Thijs very popular with locals and among a well-sized non-Dutch community. It’s pretty busy, so make sure to put your name on the visitors’ list as well – this exceptional treat for the body and the mind is really worth it. And don’t forget to brag about it with their hashtag, #etenbijthijs 😉

Address: Prinsengracht 438, Amsterdam

Website: http://www.thijsbydikkerenthijs.nl

 

3. Healthy comfort food at SNCKBR

Newcomer in Amsterdam West! After a first successful venue in De Pijp, SNCKBR opened a second restaurant in early September, located on the Kinkerstraat. The discreet facade doesn’t call for much attention, but as soon as you enter, you dive into the SNCKBR atmosphere. Visible pipes, colourful graffiti on the wall, a pillar in the middle of the entrance, and the metal structure industrial design, combined with trendy and hype decoration, sets the tone.

After a warm welcome, and with our drinks on the way (no cocktails yet at the time, unfortunately, but it was a Tuesday gin evening!), it was time to check out the menu. The pitch at SNCKBR is to eat comfort food made with sustainable ingredients, not too much fat, no refined sugar, and when possible, they’ll make it gluten free, vegetarian, or even vegan. As they say: “food that stays away from the bullshit” says it all. Salads, pizza, burgers, chicken saté, beef tartare — they’ve got all the classics, with a twist. Healthy food lovers will find their happiness at SNCKBR, that’s for sure!

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We opted for the Chef’s platter as a starter (no photo, we were starving by the time it arrived and immediately dug in). We ended up with a bowl of hummus (absolutely delicious though), a salad with some smoked salmon, and some octopus that we changed for more veggies. Seeing the variety of the starter menu, we were expecting some more samples of all the dishes.

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For the main, I chose the burger served with sweet potato fries — perfectly cooked and moist meat — while my friend went for the steak served with Roseval potatoes and seasonal vegetables. We were both happy with our meals!
 
We went all chocolate and nuts for dessert: a brownie served with a variety of nuts, grated coconut, biscuits, and a chocolate ice/mousse. Half the plate would have been enough — it was delicious but sickly-sweet at the same time!

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Overall, the food was nice, with a healthy touch, although we should have tried another starter. The service was amazing; all waiters were very caring and considerate, which tends to be quite uncommon in Amsterdam. The atmosphere was really relaxing, and the restaurant was full on a Tuesday night! However, at the time (one month after the opening), the dynamics of the team wasn’t at its best; the waiters seemed sometimes snowed under. To sum up, SNCKBR has a lot of potential, and I’d recommend it for a healthy comfort food evening!

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Address: Van Woutstraat 34-36 or Kinkerstraat 106-108, Amsterdam
 

4. Het Warenhuis

 
The Haarlemmerstraat right to the West of Amsterdam Centraal is improving every day, and the arrival of ‘Het Warenhuis’ is another plus for the neighbourhood. Right in the storefront of an old warehouse (hence, warenhuis) you can have breakfast, brunch, work, lunch, date and dine while watching the people pass by its big-ass windows.
 
As you can see, it’s really done up tastefully and is meticulously designed and furnished. The after-lunch dip was well spent lounging on their relaxed sofas and chairs just watching life happening in the ever-busy Warenhuis.
 
 
It’s hard to decide if the chilled-out seating and decor are the Warenhuis’s biggest asset or their delicious eggs and cocktails. Being a place that serves food all day, it has a wide variety of offerings on the menu, but it really shines with brunch (ignoring all rules of etiquette, we brunched at 2 o’clock). The eggs Benedict were some of the best I’ve ever had. And for the foreign visitor, their borrelplankje is an ideal choice since it comes with Dutch classics such as leverworst and ossenworst.
 
 
And since a brunch without booze is just some pansy-ass lunch, we went for their cocktail collection as well. Mimosas, a Bailey’s Martini and something that was called a Moscow Mule. All tasted and looked the part.
 
 
All in all, we enjoyed this brunch way too much 😉
 
Address: Haarlemmerstraat 65
1013 EL Amsterdam

5. Food from all over the World: Jackson Dubois

I love street food and I love a good story — Jackson Dubois brings both. Right in the heart of Amsterdam, at Spui, the well known Caffe Esprit turns into the bar of seasoned traveller Jackson Dubois.

Jackson is poised to bring you some of the best food from around the world; you can read his extravangant story here. Loads of stuff on the menu falls into the category of ‘street food’ but he left the streets behind when it comes to the interior. It’s rather posh and stylish — perfect late-night dining:

That’s a marshmallow on a stick

Shared dining is always a great and gezellig idea and it certainly fits this place. There were also some bitterballen and frikandellen on the menu, so even for the staunch Dutch person there’s something to their liking.

That’s a little Tokyo slider right there

As with any restaurant that tries to offer multiple dishes from around the world, there are always pros and cons. The upside is that there’s always enough stuff to choose from. Spaghetti, Asian food, and hamburgers —it’s all there. The downside is that, in my general experience, the quality or originality of the food always loses out a bit to a place that just serves Vietnamese food or burgers. We went for the Big Boy Burger and the Indonesian Rice Table.

No worries, quality was great and portions were fine. But we missed that zing-feeling you might get in an actual Indonesian place. All in all, great decor, fine wine, and the staff really tried to make it a special night. Great place to eat, especially after shopping !

Address: Spui 10
Website: jacksondubois.com

That’s it! Do you know any place we should definitely visit, or would you like your place reviewed? Feel free to drop a comment or get in touch!