The Western canal ring, stretching from the Singel all the way to the Prinsengracht and bordered by the Brouwersgracht to the north and the Raadhuisstraat to the south, is an absolutely beautiful area of Amsterdam. By day, this neighborhood is picturesque and charming, and by night, the canals are magically lit-up like a fairytale wonderland. One thing is for sure, though. This area offers a delicious meal anytime of day.
Letting is a cozy café perfect for breakfast or lunch. De Vergulde Gaper and Spanjer en van Twist offer beautiful sunny terraces, great for lounging in the afternoon. The Pancake Bakery is all about a Dutch favorite: pancakes. This restaurant is suitable for the entire family, serving more than 75 different varieties of pancakes and omelets. Plus, you have the opportunity to eat in a historical building, a former Dutch East India Trading Company warehouse. Werck also allows you to dine in the Westerkerk’s former coach house.
Seasons, Spanjer en van Twist, Lieve and De Belhamel all serve menus that change with the seasons. De Belhamel is wonderful for a romantic evening out, while Belgian Restaurant Lieve provides three different dining environments, each with their own menu and décor. Chez Georges, on the other hand, is known for its excellent French cuisine and Tasca Bellota for Spanish tapas and paellas.
De Vergulde Gaper, situated on the corner of the Prinsenstraat and the Prinsengracht, is enjoyable year round. Join the mixed crowd at this cozy cafe. When the weather permits, secure a spot on the sunny terrace, kick back, relax and cool off with a refreshing beverage or light lunch. In the cold winter months, head inside and warm up with a delicious dinner and drinks. Make your selection from a variety of sandwiches, omelets and salads for lunch or a burger, ravioli, steak and more for dinner. Don’t miss out on the dish of the day for 11 EUR. De Vergulde Gaper also serves finger food, such as bitterballen, perfect for those who just want a small snack. Be sure to take in your surroundings. The space used to be home to a drugstore, hence the name “the plated yawner.”
Recommended for Western Canal Ring’s Best Restaurants because: De Vergulde Gaper, housed in a former drugstore, offers a casual atmosphere to enjoy a good meal or a few drinks with friends.
Jessica’s expert tip: The dish of the day is 11 EUR
It’s not every day you are able to dine in a former coach house. Restaurant Werck presents you with the opportunity, as this space used to be the coach house of the Westerkerk (West Church). Today, Werck is a stylish restaurant situated next to the Anne Frank House, overlooking the beautiful Prinsengracht. Order one of the sandwiches, salads or burgers for lunch. For dinner, make your selection from the a la carte or three-course menu. You can also just stop by for an appetizer and a drink, perhaps a nice glass of wine. Lounge in the garden when the weather permits. If you feel like partying, drop by on a Friday or Saturday evening when Werck transforms into a club. You’ll find a little bit of everything playing: soul, funk, Latin, techno, house and more.
Recommended for Western Canal Ring’s Best Restaurants because: Werck allows you to dine in the former coach house of the Westerkerk.
Jessica’s expert tip: The restaurant turns into a club on Friday and Saturday
Letting is a cozy cafe that will satisfy all appetites. Stop by for breakfast, lunch or an early dinner. For those that are just looking for a little something to start the day, enjoy a boiled egg with toast or a fresh croissant with homemade jam. If you are absolutely famished, the stack of American pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, scrambled eggs with smoked halibut or an omelet jam-packed with ham, tomato and spring onion are a few of the options that will do the trick. For lunch, choose from items such as homemade soup, the chicken Caesar salad or a variety of sandwiches. If you prefer, you can enjoy high tea, as well. Be sure to order one of the fresh juices or smoothies. Whatever time of day you come, sit back, relax and enjoy.
Recommended for Western Canal Ring’s Best Restaurants because: Cafe Letting caters to appetites of all sizes, big and small.
Jessica’s expert tip: Order one of the fresh juices or smoothies, and make sure to try the homemade jam
Chez Georges is a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant that serves classic French cuisine. The space is a bit on the small side, but the layout of the restaurant creates an intimate and almost private dining experience. The products are always fresh and of the highest quality, which results in delightful dishes worth enjoying with family or friends. Appetizers include smoked salmon; prawns in escargot butter; and grilled scallops with sweet potato cream and sauce Hollandaise. If you want to sample several dishes, order Menu “Comme chez George,” “Gastronome,” “Gourmand” or “Cuisine De Marche.” For instance, “Gourmand” consists of seven fish and meat courses. A reservation is highly recommended.
Recommended for Western Canal Ring’s Best Restaurants because: Chez Georges, an intimate restaurant serving classic French cuisine, offers a menu that enable guests to sample a wide variety of flavors and courses.
Jessica’s expert tip: Weekdays are the best for walking in without a reservation
You will fall in love with Lieve, a Belgian restaurant situated in the heart of Amsterdam’s canal district. The quality restaurant provides three different dining atmospheres, each one with its own personality and decor. Moms Kitchen Table, for instance, is bright and warm, filled with comfortable chairs, and serves a three-course menu. Another, the Belgian Baroque, offers a tapas-like dining style in an elegantly decorated room, serving multiple small-plates in each course. Mrs. Bubbles, on the other hand, serves an extensive four-course dinner. The menu changes seasonally, featuring typical Belgian products, dishes and desserts. Later, comfortably relax among books and smoke a cigar or cigarette in the smoking room.
Recommended for Western Canal Ring’s Best Restaurants because: Belgian restaurant Lieve offers three different dining environments, each one with its own style.
Jessica’s expert tip: Lieve serves a separate gluten free menu
Spanjer en van Twist, a cozy restaurant in the heart of Amsterdam that overlooks the beautiful Leliegracht, likes to keep things fresh. Every season, the restaurant modifies its menu. In addition, you will find different specials featured every day, so you always have something new and exciting to try when you visit. Stop by, grab a seat on the terrace or sit inside, either upstairs or downstairs, and enjoy a delicious, affordable meal. If you are not that hungry, order a small snack or a cup of coffee and a sweet treat. This is also a great restaurant to take a break from sightseeing, as it is close to the Anne Frank House and the Westerkerk.
Recommended for Western Canal Ring’s Best Restaurants because: Spanjer en van Twist, overlooking a beautiful canal, serves a seasonal menu and always offers a daily special.
Jessica’s expert tip: Try to find a seat on the lovely canal-side terrace
Enjoy a meal out with the entire family at The Pancake Bakery. Family members of all ages will love this place. As the name suggests, The Pancake Bakery is famous for its delicious, affordable pancakes. Come by for breakfast or order pancakes for lunch or dinner. The restaurant offers an incredible variety, everything from traditional pancakes such as bacon, cheese or apple to internationally-inspired specialties like Greek pancakes with lamb and tzatziki sauce or the Norwegian with salmon, sour cream and cream cheese. Depending on what you order and your taste preferences, don’t forget to drizzle a bit of syrup on the pancakes. You’ll find a bottle sitting on the table. Fun fact: The Pancake Bakery is housed in one of the Dutch East India Trading Company’s old warehouses.
Recommended for Western Canal Ring’s Best Restaurants because: The Pancake Bakery, housed in a former Dutch East India Trading Company warehouse, offers a huge variety of pancakes and omelets.
Jessica’s expert tip: Order one of the international pancakes
Tasca Bellota, situated in Amsterdam’s magical canal belt, is a hole-in-the-wall gem you may miss. Tucked away in the Herenstraat, this cozy restaurant specializes in Spanish tapas, as well as a variety of paellas including Paella de Mariscos and Paella Valenciana. The kitchen is open, so you can take a peek as the cooks work. The delicious dishes are beautifully prepared and made to perfection. Have a drink, perhaps the wine of the month, and lose yourself in the culinary delights and festive, musical sounds. It’s a great place to come together and catch up with good friends in a fun, laid-back environment. One of the owners is also from Venezuela, so sometimes you will find unique specials on the menu, such as arepas, or themed evenings.
Recommended for Western Canal Ring’s Best Restaurants because: The cozy restaurant serves Spanish tapas and paellas in a colorful, cheerful atmosphere. Plus, the staff is super warm and friendly.
Jessica’s expert tip: Drop by for one of the Venezuelan themed evenings.
Share a romantic evening with your significant other at De Belhamel. This restaurant exudes a warm, welcoming ambiance and boasts a beautiful view over the canal. In the summer months, you can even sit outside on the terrace. De Belhamel offers an a la carte menu and a seasonal menu, providing you with plenty of delicious options to choose from. They also have a separate lunch and group menu. The chefs use French and Italian cuisine as the base but also tend to incorporate a variety of other European flavors. Main entrees include dishes such as rack of lamb, poached haddock fillet and baked gnocchi.
Recommended for Western Canal Ring’s Best Restaurants because: De Belhamel serves terrific dishes in a romantic ambiance.
Jessica’s expert tip: Request a table by the window or, in the summer months, outside on the terrace
Photo courtesy of Melissa Adams, www.uncloggedblog.com
‘Tis the season for delicious seasonal dishes at Seasons Restaurant. When you dine at this casual Amsterdam eatery, you have the opportunity to compose your own meal consisting of two or three courses. A three-course dinner includes a starter, main course and dessert. If you only choose two courses, you can decide whether you want a starter or dessert in addition to your entree. If you’d prefer, you can also order a la carte. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 4 and 6 p.m. and Monday, Wednesday and Thursday between 5 and 6 p.m., bring a friend, family member or the love of your life; the restaurant offers a buy one get one free, where the other person eats free.
Recommended for Western Canal Ring’s Best Restaurants because: Seasons allows you to compose your own two or three-course dinner. Make a selection from their seasonal menu.
Jessica’s expert tip: During specific times, the second person is able to eat for free