Where to eat in Amsterdam on a budget

The Netherlands is clearly one of the loveliest and dreamiest places on the planet. The sights and sounds (and smell of tulips) are not to be found elsewhere in the world. According to Expatica, “the Netherlands consistently ranks among the top places in the world”, a definite must-see for those with the travel bug and those who love to experience European culture at its best. Also, Dutch children are ranked by UNICEF as the happiest in the developed world.

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The capital city of Amsterdam is famous for its infamous Red Light District, among other attractions. Coming to Amsterdam, however, is not the cheapest holiday you could ever plan for. Living standards here consistently rank high and according to a Dutch traveler, “the Netherlands is one the most expensive countries in Europe”. Also, a backpacker blogged on Never Ending Footsteps and said “Hostels in the Netherlands are still fairly expensive relative to much of the world. You should plan to spend a minimum of 30 euros a night for a bed in a dorm room in Amsterdam.”

Yet there is always a way to enjoy your visit to Amsterdam without worrying much about expenses. One thing a traveler could do is to eat in Amsterdam in restaurants that serve delicious meals at reasonable prices. In other words, visit the best places to eat in Amsterdam on a budget. Below are our top ten suggestions.

Best places to eat in Amsterdam for cheap

must eat restaurants in amsterdam
Eat in Amsterdam: Mexican food at Taqueria Tacobar

Hot Mexican fiesta at Taqueria Tacobar

Taqueria Tacobar is one of the most authentic taco bars in the capital, and the food is reasonably priced. For less than six euros, you can order a fish, pork, beef, chicken, or vegetarian taco, plus the tasty Mexican fillings, of course. The restaurant also serves avocado fries, chili butter, and honey-lime-tequila chicken legs, plus beers and their popular frozen margarita. Located at Tweede Helmersstraat 26, just five minutes on foot from Leidseplein.

Chinese food at Oriental City

What food can you see in all cities of the world? Chinese food! Oriental city offers tasty yet inexpensive Chinese dishes. This multi-floor restaurant serves what you would look for in Cantonese cuisine – chicken chop suey, beef chow mein, seafood, and so on. All the fresh ingredients are imported daily and prepared by authentic professional chefs from Hong Kong. Oriental City is located at Oudezijds Voorburgwal 177-179, just a 10-minute walk from Central Station.

Delicious Thai option at Thaise Snackbar Bird

If craving for more Asian flavors when you eat in Amsterdam, hop onto Thaise Snackbar Bird for authentic Bangkok dishes, adjusted just a tad for the European palate. Diners love the sight and smell of the open kitchen, with chefs preparing exotic curries, meat, and vegetarian dishes. The favorite here is yam kai jang or Laos-style grilled chicken. Main dishes only cost 15 euros or under. For more Thai dishes and more expensive options, try a quick visit to Bird Thais restaurant just across the street.

Another amazing Asian restaurant to eat in Amsterdam is Eethuis Pondok Indah, a tiny hole-in-the-wall eatery on Prinsengracht. This humble yet popular family-run food place serves the most affordable and delicious authentic Indonesian dishes in Amsterdam. People come here specifically for the tempeh (tofu) and the hot, hot dishes.

best restaurants in amsterdam
Eat in Amsterdam for under €10 at the Lebanese Sajeria

Love Lebanese food at the Lebanese Sajeria

The name comes from the Lebanese round grill, called a saj, which they use to bake flatbreads (or manoushes). These are popular for their tasty fillings. The Lebanese Sajeria used to be a humble food truck, but as it turned out, both locals and tourists loved homemade Lebanese fare and Middle-Eastern wraps, soups, and desserts. The family-run business now has two eateries, one in the boutique-lined Nine Streets area and the other on trendy Utrechtsestraat.

Both offer a quick lunch, dinner, or take away snack, but only the Utrechtsestraat branch serves alcohol. Wraps are priced under 10 euros, while most sides and desserts are less than 5 euros.

Everybody loves spaghetti at Spaghetteria

Spaghetteria is best known for its pasta prepared using the cooking practices of ancient Italy. Go here to enjoy homemade, historical, and fresh, and most of all, reasonably priced pasta when you eat in Amsterdam. Serving six different kinds of pasta each day, Spaghetteria’s seasoned chef uses Emilia Romagna flour and prepares everything in-house. Each dish is just around 9 euros, but the taste is easily more expensive than that. This is why Spaghetteria is one of the best Italian restaurants Amsterdam on a budget!

Spaghetteria has three locations in the capital: Jan Hanzenstraat 32, Van Woustraat 123, Pretoriusstraat 72A, in Zuid, West and Oost

Fun, fat burgers at Thrill Grill

Thrill Grill serves the best charcoal-grilled gourmet burger in Amsterdam at the most reasonable price. Using local ingredients to produce that unique Dutch taste, most of Thrill Grill’s burgers are under 10 euros. For only this little, enjoy organic buns, pure Dutch beef, potatoes from a local farmer, and luscious local gouda cheese. Located at Gerard Doustraat 98, the restaurant’s most popular orders are the Peruvian beef thriller, the salmon thriller, and the skinny thriller.

places to eat in amsterdam netherlands
One of the best places to eat in Amsterdam Netherlands: Pizzabakkers

Pizza and prosecco at De Pizzabakkers

De Pizzabakkers is a household name among the locals. All roads in the capital lead to one of four De Pizzabakkers branches. People love the oven-baked thin, crusty pizza with the freshest and most delicious ingredients when they eat in Amsterdam. All of these for only 8 euros or under. Get ready to dine and wine as they do in Napoli, with a respectable selection of prosecco, wine, and cold beer, as well as a prosecco cocktail. Da Pizzabakkers gives you four locations to choose from – Haarlemmerdijk 128, Sweelinckstraat 16, Overtoom 501, Plantage Kerklaan 2.

The two-terraced Café Lennep

Café Lennep serves premium grilled and spit-roasted food on two terraces – one overlooking the waterfront and one over the courtyard. The restaurant offers enough space for everyone to enjoy amazing food and drinks that cost much less than in other restaurants. The main courses cost just around 15 euros, and that includes steak, lamb, burgers, mussels, ravioli, fish, and more, plus a number of special beers to choose from.

Known for its warm, friendly, and casual atmosphere with a welcoming staff, Café Lennep is found at Jacob van Lennepkade 334, Amsterdam West. Definitely one of the best restaurants in Amsterdam Netherlands when eating on a budget.

Go Dutch at Skek

Skek is one of the Amsterdam restaurants located not far from the Red Light District, which is a must-see spot when you visit the capital of the Netherlands. Other than food and drinks, locals and tourists come to Skek for its live-music nights and a bar that offers an array of special beers. The atmosphere is that of the classic Dutch café vibe look and feel, which make this one of the top places to eat in Amsterdam and an ultra-popular bar to students. Food costs around 13 euros on average. Come to Skek at Zeedijk 4-8.

best places to eat in amsterdam foodhallen in oud west
Best places to eat in Amsterdam: Foodhallen. Photos by Paul Arps from The Netherlands, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Finally, a variety of options at Foodhallen

Foodhallen, a well-known indoor food court, houses a number of eateries serving a variety of dishes. Think of it as a one-stop solution to your Dutch food cravings. Check out these cool restaurants Amsterdam:

  • Le Big Fish for their crispy soft-shell crab buns, a must eat in Amsterdam
  • The Butcher to taste their popular burgers with sweet potato fries
  • Vet View for their rice-paper rolls and other Vietnamese street food options
  • Gin & Tonic Bar for some potent drinks to end the night.

There’s also a sit-down restaurant, the Kanarie Club. Located in an Oud-West tram depot-turned-cultural hotspot, the warehouse-like food hangout area is full of friendly and hungry people at any time of day or night. Diners usually catch a movie at the nearby FilmHallen or shop at De Hallen’s shops after eating.

Dishes at Foodhallen range from 3 to 20 euros. And, thanks to its diversity, this is one of the best places to eat Amsterdam on a budget.

Explore the city as you eat in Amsterdam

  • Chocolate fondue in the dark. If you’re wondering what to eat in Amsterdam to enjoy a completely new experience, try a chocolate fondue in the dark. You’ll taste food as you’ve never tasted before: in total darkness, using all of your senses. Blind waiting staff offers excellent support, providing encouragement and reassurance along the way.
  • Amsterdam Canal Cruise in Classic River Boat With Drinks & Dutch Cheese. This 75-minute Badge of Excellence boat tour takes you around Amsterdam’s popular canals. Take a seat on the traditional wooden saloon boat and take in the sights of the beautiful city while you eat in Amsterdam. Sip on a drink and nibble on Dutch cheese: come hungry and leave satisfied!
  • The Dutch Experience: Food & Drink Tour. On this 3- to 4-hour Classic Dutch tour, you’ll stroll through the city and discover the best food in Amsterdam. There will be a total of 8 stops, mainly for food, but also for a stop at the best bar in town for top-notch Dutch beer and jenever. The perfect option when you can’t decide where to eat in Amsterdam!
  • The 10 Tastings of Amsterdam With Locals: Private Food Tour. On a private tasting tour led by a local foodie guide, discover the city as you eat in Amsterdam’s international dining scene. While eating at a local market, beer garden, and family restaurant, learn about the foreign flavors that have inspired Dutch cuisine. Hand-picked local delicacies such as the best fish in town, a sweet stroopwafel, and artisanal cheese are on the menu.
  • Amsterdam Countryside Bike Tour Including Cheese Tasting and Clog Demonstration. After you eat in Amsterdam in some of the best budget restaurants, it’s time to leave the city. This guided bike tour from Amsterdam takes you into the countryside. Visit a historic windmill, a farmhouse, and a factory to taste Dutch cheese and see how wooden clogs are produced. This relaxing ride follows the Amstel River, passing through country villages and lush fields dotted with cows. Learn about rural Dutch customs and history before finishing your tour by visiting Vondelpark, Amsterdamse Bos, and Beatrixpark in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam foodie guide is also available on GPSmyCity.

Recommended tours to discover Amsterdam for foodies

The author of this short Amsterdam food guide

Mirela Letailleur The Travel Bunny

Mirela Letailleur is a Romanian travel blogger living in the South of France. She writes on The Travel Bunny travel blog about affordable travel in Europe, creator of unique free travel guides, local travel expert. Problem solver. Wannabe coffee guru.

Read more about Mirela Letailleur

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