AMSTERDAM is known around the world for its artistic heritage, twisting canal system, and beautiful Dutch Baroque architecture.
However, the fact that the Dutch capital is so popular can occasionally lead to some of the charm of its most famous highlights becoming diluted with big crowds.
Hidden gems are a great way to really get your finger on the pulse of the city, and Amsterdam is full of them. Here are five clandestine canteens that you need to visit:
Tucked away in the Czaar Peter shopping district, Virtú is a quaint little pizzeria that provides customers with a genuine Italian experience.
Its simplicity is what keeps people coming back – a small menu of just 13 pizzas cooked by passionate chefs gives it a real homely vibe, making Virtú somewhere locals can rely on for delicious Neapolitan pizza. Try to secure a seat outside on the pavement and watch the world go by as you eat.
Address: Czaar Peterstraat 106 1018PS, Amsterdam
Defining quality: Authenticity
The Butcher from the Entourage Group has five locations across Amsterdam and is well known throughout the city. The one on Albert Cuypstraat is the original, located in the city’s trendiest neighbourhood, De Pijp, and serves up some of the best burgers in town. But this fast-food restaurant has some secrets that not everyone will be aware of.
The hidden bar at the back brings a select group of in-the-know patrons to the Butcher, which serves up exquisite cocktails to customers looking for a private speakeasy experience.
Address: Albert Cuypstraat 129 De Pijp, Zuid 1072 CS Amsterdam
Defining quality: Exclusivity
This all-day brunch spot blends effortlessly with the natural environment it’s located in. The outdoor seating puts you in the middle of a beautiful green garden, while the inside of the building is propped up by thick pine beams and has glass everywhere, allowing guests to feel connected with the landscape while they eat.
Open between 09:00 and 18:00, Dignita Hoftuin serves their delicious brunch menu all day, with the pancake stacks and homemade cakes coming highly recommended.
Address: Koninginneweg 218h 1075 EL Amsterdam
Defining quality: The tranquil ambience
Umeno opened in 1978 and is the oldest Japanese restaurant in the Netherlands. Despite being around this long, it remains relatively under the radar and is a favourite amongst locals.
Umeno wants to introduce guests to the rich culinary traditions of Japan and does so in a petite Stadionbuurt restaurant that is usually packed to the rafters. Sushi and sashimi are the delicacies here, so make sure you’re a fan of raw fish before booking.
Address: Agamemnonstraat 27 1076 LP Amsterdam
Defining quality: Freshness
The plant-based cuisine at Yerba is a superb option for local veggies and vegans. Every dish is aesthetically pleasing and a menu that changes with the seasons ensures the creative use of fresh ingredients all year long.
Opened in February 2018, chef Walter Marskamp (Wilde Zwijnen, Hoxton Hotel) teams up with Fraiche Hospitality (Restaurant Fraiche, Staring at Jacob) to bring guests a wonderfully exclusive take on sustainable eating.
Address: Ruysdaelstraat 48 1071XE Amsterdam
Defining quality: Sustainability