Best tapas restaurants in Amsterdam from Middle Eastern to Spanish!
By Anne de Buck
Amsterdam Local Expert
Tapas are always a good idea! It doesn't matter in what city you are whenever you see a tapas restaurant it's always nice to go to. You know what to expect: small bites, sangria, Spanish wines and beers. Amsterdam is home to many tapas restaurant. Some typical Spanish and some Middle Eastern or Asian. Almost every neighborhood has it's own local favourites. In this list you will find the 10 best restaurants that serve tapas style dishes in Amsterdam.
A tapas restaurant is great to go to to with friends. The food is served to the whole table and you can just order whatever you like. Share the food and try to taste as many different flavors as possible. But even if it's just the two of you a tapas dinner is a great way to spend an evening of food and drinks.
In Amsterdam the best tapas restaurants that focus on the Spanish style tapas are Pata Negra, A La Plancha, Mercat and Dos. The Spanish restaurants have a typical tapas menu with all the favorite dishes on it. From patatas bravas to calamares and Spanish hams.
Another vibrant tapas scene in Amsterdam is the one with the Middle Eastern restaurants. The tapas there are called mezzes and delicious and healthy. The best places to eat mezzes in Amsterdam are: Beyrouth, Bazar and Orentes.
Discover the best tapas restaurant and try them one by one.
If you ask a local in Amsterdam for the most famous tapas restaurant in town they will mention Pata Negra. Although this place is listed in every guide book it's still very popular with both locals and tourists. It's always crowded so don't be surprised if you have to wait for a bit till your table is ready. The menu at Pata Negra is the typical tapas list. Great dishes are the dades with bacon, the salad with blue cheese, albondigas (meat balls) and the calamaris. The dishes are served to the table when ready and Pata Negra is perfect to go to with a group of friends or as a couple. It's located at one of the best shopping streets in Amsterdam, the Utrechtsestraat. (020 422 6250)
Izakaya, located in the Sir Albert boutique hotel not too far from the Albert Cuypmarkt and Museum Quarter, offers delicious Japanese dishes made for sharing, as well as carefully crafted cocktails and wine ready to compliment any meal. Izakaya, where the name best translates from Japanese as "pub," provides a simple, authentic and welcoming environment; it is the perfect place to relax on the terrace or have an elegant evening out. At Izakaya, you'll experience Japanese dining at its finest. The menu at Izakaya is great. The food is perfect for sharing with the whole table as Asian tapas. The gyosa is very good and a must try! (+31 20 305 3090)
Do you like the Spanish markets they have in Madrid and Barcelona? Then I have good news! In Amsterdam there's a restaurant with the vibe of a Spanish market. Mercat is located between Amsterdam Central Station and Amsterdam East in a former factory building. The industrial looks of the restaurant give it a true market vibe. The central place at the restaurant is the huge squared bar where you can eat pinxtos and other small plates. It's fun to go there with friends and have drinks at the bar before going to the table. Ask the staff for the specials and enjoy the Spanish wines! (020 344 6424)
Duende Dos is the Spanish tapas restaurant at the border of the Jordaan and the Marnixstraat in Amsterdam West. The restaurant at the corner of the Nieuwe Willemstraat is light, colorful and has a great Madrid like vibe. It's a perfect place for groups to go for dinner or just a couple. At Duende Dos you are also welcome for just a beer at the bar to watch Spanish movies or listen to the Flamenco music. The menu at Duende Dos is extensive. So many delicious dishes! Must tries are the classics like the patatas bravas, chorizo and calamaris. Order a plate of Spanish meats to taste the juicy Pata Negra hams. (020 427 0204)
A La Plancha
If you're looking for an authentic tapas restaurant in Amsterdam then A La Plancha is one of the best picks. It's located in a small street in the heart of the Jordaan and perfect to go for dinner with friends or your love. It's a small restaurants with a huge bar and only a few seats in the back. Best place to enjoy your tapas is at the bar. The Spanish owners will make sure you have the best evening. Ask them for the recommendations of the day or choose one of the delicious dishes from the display at the bar. (020 420 3633)
La Oliva Pintxos Y Vinos
Dining at La Oliva Pintxos Y Vinos in the Jordaan will make you feel as if you've left Amsterdam and traveled to Spain. The restaurant serves the best Pintxos in town, as well as other delightful dishes from Northern Spain. Go with a group of people and share several Pintxos plates -- this way you can taste a bit of everything. Each bite you take is perfectly complimented with a carefully chosen Spanish wine. Enjoy your lunch or dinner in a relaxed atmosphere paired with great food and friendly service. Call ahead for a reservation, as the restaurant fills up fast. (020 320 4316)
Walk into a world of food at the Bazar. The building, once a church, features high ceilings and is full of color, character and beauty. The restaurant serves North African, Iranian and Turkish food, where you can choose a delicious dish from the menu or one of the daily specials; either way you cannot go wrong. As the establishment is located in the Albert Cuypstraat, it's a great place to start your morning before you stroll through the market or go in later during the day to enjoy the Middle Eastern tapas. Try to get a table on the upper level; it overlooks the bar. Most of the food at Bazar is served tapas style to share. Great if you want to enjoy many flavours! (+31 20 675 0544)
Spend the afternoon at the famous Albert Cuypmarkt or peaceful Sarphatipark. Later, head over to Orontes for a wonderful meal. The restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine, specializing in Turkish dishes from Hatay and Antakya. Orontes offers both warm and cold starters. Cold starters include the octopus salad and roka, while mussels, sigara borek and oruk are a few of the items from the list of warm appetizers. If they all look good and you cannot decide, order the mezze table, a selection of five cold and three warm starters. If your mouth is not watering already, the main entrees will do the trick: varieties of fish, such as sea bass, salmon and tong, as well as meat dishes such as lamb chops, sac kavurma and karniyarik. Be sure to end on a sweet note, for instance with the baklava or Greek yoghurt with honey and walnuts. (+31 (0)20 6796225)
Arabic food is great for shared dining. This kitchen also has a high comfort food level! It's pure and gives you the feeling of a home cooked meal. Beyrouth at the Kinkerstraat in Amsterdam is one of the best Lebanese restaurants in town. It's a family restaurant run by two brothers. In the kitchen are the grandpa en grandma who cook the dishes. Beyrouth is known for its great dishes to share. You can choose from 10 - 15 tapas dishes served for the whole table. From vegetables to meats and fish served with fresh bread, hummus and eggplant spread. (020 616 0635)
If you're looking for a cheap and cozy place to go for dinner with the whole family Boca's Park is a great pick. This cafe style restaurant is located at the foot of the Sarphatipark. This park is one of the smallest and most beautiful parks in Amsterdam. Boca's Park is also located close to the famous Albert Cuyp Market. The crowd is younger and you see a lot of students here, hipsters and friends and families having dinner. The menu is full of tapas and boca's which are small buns with something delicious on top. Also great are the plates to share with the table. You can choose from meat to veggie and from cheese to fish. Or ask for a mix of all of the above! (020 675 9945)