Friendly disclaimer! We want to be as accurate as possible, but given these challenging times, we urge you to recheck that the venues are open when you decide to visit.
The approach of spring-summer time in Amsterdam is something to look forward to. Just as the sun emerges from hiding, restaurants, cafés, and bars open up their outdoor seating on balconies, terraces, and patios. Canal-side lounging and dining is indeed an authentic Amsterdam experience. Here’s a list that captures some of the unique ways in which you can enjoy this experience.
This is the in-house restaurant of an arts centre that focuses on nature, biotechnology, and science. But what’s so special about its restaurant? It has been making headlines for its unique response to the pandemic – by converting some of its old greenhouses into self-contained, candle-lit dining rooms for guests! These are called “serres séparées,” and each can seat up to four people. Besides, the purely vegan and plant-based food is served on extra-long wooden planks by the waiters to minimise contact.
The cost for a four-course dinner starts at €55 per person and includes vegan specialties like amuse-bouche, paccheri pasta with saffron and seaweed, rhubarb brownie, and so on.
Address: Dijkspark 6aAmsterdam, 1019 BS
Phone: +31 6 31903218
Timings: Currently closed, check for updates
This Michelin star restaurant is located at an incredible location – right at the tip of IJdok (on the IJ riverbank), with the NDSM wharf in the distance, and a stone’s throw away from Amsterdam Central Station. The cuisine is French with Asian accents and this fusion is plated up excellently. There are many fresh seafood options such as the North Sea crab salad or roasted dorade with foie gras.
Timings: Tue – Fri 12 pm to 2:30 pm, 6 pm to 10 pm; Sat 6 to 10 pm
Phone: +31 20 638 0866
This is another restaurant located on the IJ river bank specialising in fresh fish and seafood. It is housed in a former industrial loft at business park De Overkant and features a terrace facing the river with views of ships setting off for sail. They aim to encourage sustainable fishing practices with fish and crustaceans, served keeping in mind their breeding seasons. Crab legs, oysters, and juicy lobsters are some of their specialties. They have their own jetty too.
This 80-feet tall red-and-white sea rig off the coast of Amsterdam was originally a ‘pirate’ radio and TV station. From this tower situated on international waters, a private Dutch channel called TV Nordzee aired its shows and commercials, when only state-sponsored television was deemed acceptable in the 1960s. It was a four-month-long, short-lived rebellion before the Dutch marines raided its operations. Under government use till 2006, it changed hands to become a private restaurant after renovations. Guests can climb up its set of zig-zag stairs to the cosy restaurant or terrace dining area with unmatched views over the IJ. The menu highlights include tournedos (tiny, round cuts of beef), sea bass, octopus terrine, accompanied by a great wine selection.
The floating café-restaurant Riva is situated inside an actual boat docked at the river Amstel. It features a selection of international cuisines for lunch, drinks, and dinner, an extensive wine selection, and a large terrace. The indoor restaurant offers seats with picture windows overlooking the water. Free parking space is offered next to the nearby Rembrandt Tower.
Address: Amstelboulevard 1, 1096 HH Amsterdam
Timings: Currently closed
Phone: +31 20 760 2030
Café de Jaren
This spacious and cosy café offers one of the best views of River Amstel and is situated centrally between the Muntplein and the Amsterdam Music Theatre on Waterlooplein. It features a balcony and patio that are both canal-facing. It offers a vast international menu with breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and tea.
Casual dining and lounging
The riverside terrace of this bar cum restaurant situated on the ground floor of a garage along the Singelgracht canal offers generous outdoor seating and views. Besides the beer, wine, gin and refreshing cocktails, the cuisine is mostly Surinamese (of a former Dutch colony in South America). These include Surinamese buns filled with salted codfish, snake beans, pickles, and Sambal. Favourites like Chicken Tikka and Chicken Roti Rolls are also on offer.
Address: Marnixstraat 246, Amsterdam, 1016
Phone: +31 20-737-1126
Timings: Mon – Sun 5 pm to 9 pm
This shack-style café and restaurant made of second-hand and upcycled wood is just near the Central Station and across the water from Nemo science centre. It features a huge garden and a rooftop bar. Come here for the live music, DJ sets, young local crowds, exciting events, and vast outdoor seating on the docks. The pricing is reasonable with drinks, nachos, sandwiches, and organic burgers on offer.
Address: Dijksgracht 4,1019 BS Amsterdam
Phone: +31 20 419 9820
Timings: Sun – Thu 10 am to 1 am, Fri – Sat 10 am to 3 am
This is another artsy bar-restaurant space situated in a formerly abandoned shipyard. It features a canal-side terrace, and a sandy beach playground with ropes, tyres, hammocks, and also hosts bonfires in winter. Not to mention the most happening events – concerts, DJ nights, art shows, film screenings, and market festivals.
Phone: +31 6 11286924
Timings: Currently under renovation
This restaurant with beautiful views across the IJ river is located in Amsterdam west, away from the crowded central areas. It is still easily accessible in a few minutes on foot from the Central Station. It features a stylish indoor restaurant and a large terrace with deckchairs, picnic tables, lounge beds, garden furniture, and fire pits for the winters. The menu is compact but features tasty and affordable food.
Phone: +31 20 419 9820
Timings: Wed – Sun 12 pm to 10 pm, Tue 4 pm to 10 pm
Amsterdam is undoubtedly one of the trendiest destinations in Europe today that has much to offer to the intrepid traveller. If you have more time in hand to explore the city further, check out our elaborate itinerary that unravels Amsterdam in 3 days.