You’d think three months living in Amsterdam would be long enough to eat at all the restaurants I wanted to but it was not.
Instead it wasn’t nearly enough time to throw all that Amsterdam’s restaurants cafes and bars had to offer down my throat. Let that be a lesson to my fellow hungry, city-hopping slow travelers; eat more!
I did, however, try a fair few budget food spots in Amsterdam and these make my top five.
1. De Pizzabakkers
Ah, Pizzabakkers, you had me at “pizza and prosecco”. This restaurant is possibly the very reason I failed to try out more Amsterdam restaurants as I found myself getting drawn back to it with its menu that focuses on, you guessed it pizza and prosecco.
Admittedly, it’s not the cheapest pizza in the city, but it’s certainly the most affordable prosecco with prices starting at less than 3 Euros for a glass of prosecco and around 9 Euros for a (very yummy) pizza. Check the website for their locations across Amsterdam and make sure you book a table for weekend nights.
It may seem a little strange that the first time I try Ethiopian food it’s in the Netherlands, but that’s actually how I like doing things so it was with great pleasure that I found out that Abyssinia was as affordable as it was tasty and filling.
Served on a huge spongy pancake type bread and with another on the side, the main dishes, which start at around 12 Euros will fill you up until the following lunchtime, if you can eat it all of course. Best of all you’re not only allowed to eat with your hands, it’s expected and trust me when I say that it tastes even better washed down with the Ethiopian beer.
Photo licensed under Creative Commons License , courtesy of http://www.asthebirdfliesblog.com/2012/07/best-kept-secret-moeders-restaurant-in.html
Admittedly Moeders isn’t the cheapest restaurant in Amsterdam but I think it does represent the most value for money and not just in terms of the portion size, which are bigger than the average person’s head.
Moeders, being Dutch for “mothers” serves up traditional, home-cooked Dutch cuisine with a little flair, a funky atmosphere and a lot of love, beaming down on you from all four walls of the restaurant that are covered in photos of “mothers”.
In fact, you can take a framed photo of your own mother to add to their collection, which they welcome. Main dishes are stodgy and full of flavour and impossible to finish, and when that comes at 15 Euros I think that’s a budget happy meal.
Of all the restaurants that I frequented in Amsterdam, this was where I went so often that they knew my name as well as my preferred beverage of choice.
This typical rotating belt style sushi restaurant next door to Wagamama (which, by the way is overpriced and overestimated over in Amsterdam) serves freshly made sushi rolls, nigiri and maki with the cheapest dishes starting at 2,75 Euros.
It’s therefore quite easy to gorge yourself on raw fish for less than 10 Euros. Trust me, it’s been tried and tested. Too many times.
5. FEBO de Lekkerste
It would be sacrilege to write about budget eats in Amsterdam without mentioning Febo, the chain of vending machine style fast food restaurants that locals love to hate and hate to love, especially at 4am in the morning and they’ve just been kicked out of a closing nightclub.
Surprisingly tasty fast food snacks ranging from burgers to the Dutch specialties of frikkandel (minced meat hot dog) and krokets all available at the deposit of a couple of Euros and the push of a button. As unappealing as it may sometimes look, FEBO de Lekkerste (which means FEBO The Tastiest) must be doing something right as it has 22 branches across Amsterdam.
When my boyfriend comes in from a night out and tells me that he’s just tasted the best burger in his life, I listen and then I say “Take me to you burger maker”. Which is why I found myself devouring a Burger Bar burger on my very last night in Amsterdam, sitting outside on a bench in the pouring rain.
But did I mind? Not at all, because it was indeed a mighty fine burger. (Possibly not the best in my life, but I think on the previous occasion my boyfriend was under the influence of something that is freely available in Amsterdam).
For a fast food bar stuck in the middle of the Red Light District they take a surprising amount of care over their burgers and if you fancy splashing out you can even choose a wagyu beef patty.
I lpersonally ove Burger Bar because they also offer brown bread buns, and obviously that then makes my 200g of beef and melted cheese (and fries on the side) healthy.
And here are some bonus tips for you…
If you stumble into a bar that has Bitterballen on the menu, try them!
It’s unlikely they’ll be more than 3 Euros and they are about as Dutch as orange clogs and are surprisingly filling (and addictive) so that’s a cheeky extra budget eat tip.
Also visit Basis, a bar on Vijzelstraat, which welcomes you to bring your own food to accompany the drinks you then order. Basis even provides cutlery, microwaves and plates so it doesn’t have to be sandwich, they’ll also order in takeaway for you if you fancy splashing out a bit, all in the name of “gezelligheid” a Dutch term which literally means togetherness.
Meet the Bird
After several years of loving London, itchy feet have forced the Bird to spread her wings and fly the nest.
A freelance copywriter and researcher, Frankie describes herself as a “professional amateur photographer” and is as happy on her snowboard as she is digging her toes into warm Thai sand or crocheting in an airport departure gate.
Frankie is city hopping her way through Europe at the moment with her Aussie boyfriend and a rubber duck.
Follow Bird’s journey As the Bird flies…
Creative Commons License attribution
De Pizzabakers photo was licensed under Creative Commons License , courtesy of http://jenzie.com/2011/11/pizza-and-champagne-at-de-pizzabakkers/ , Abyssinia photo was licensed under Creative Commons License , courtesy of Abyssinia – http://www.fat-palate.com/2011/05/abyssinia-african-dining-in-amsterdam.html, Yumi Sushi photo licensed under Creative Commons License , courtesy of http://www.facebook.com/YumiSushiAmsterdam Febo photo was licensed under Creative Commons License , courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/alkanchaglar/1240486060/ and Burger Bar photo was licensed under Creative Commons License , courtesy of Burger Bar http://www.flickr.com/photos/amsterdam-hotels/6346682147/
Source: Cheap eats guide to Amsterdam