Restaurants around Nieuwmarkt square
Amsterdam's Nieuwmarkt has been a historical centre of commerce since the 17th century and it has always served as a place to buy good food. While in the past, this meant buying fresh produce from farmers passing through St. Anthony's Gate to sell their ware, these days it is the many Nieuwmarkt restaurants that make this the place to be for food lovers. Being so close to Amsterdam's Chinatown, there is a high concentration of Chinese and Thai restaurants here, as well as those of many other Asian cultures, so whether it's Dim Sum, dumplings or duck you are almost certain to find it here.
The large Thai community living in the city means that Amsterdam Thai restaurants have a reputation for authenticity and quality in their food. It is not just tourists and native Dutch who visit these restaurants, but many Thai expats, which speaks volumes for the quality on offer.
Thai restaurants in Nieuwmarkt range from the exquisitely exclusive to cheap and cheerful takeaways. De Koning van Siam on Oudezijds Voorburgwal 42 lies just beside the Oude Kerk a short stroll from Nieuwmarkt and is one of the more upmarket Thai restaurants in Amsterdam. The well-respected Bird Snackbar, on the other hand, takes a more casual approach to dining and you can see the cook quickly put your meal together in their snackbar at Zeedijk 72, or grab a table at the Bird Restaurant opposite if you wish.
This being Chinatown, some of the best Chinese restaurants in Amsterdam can also be found mixed in with the other Nieuwmarkt restaurants. While the concentration may not be as high as that of Thai restaurants, there is certainly no shortage of places to get great Chinese and Cantonese cuisine here.
Nam Kee is a collection of three of the most well-regarded Amsterdam Chinese restaurants, all owned and operated by the Chan family and have been a fixture of the city since 1981. The atmosphere is comfortable but not overly opulent, with most of the focus being on the food, and two locations are around Nieuwmarkt, one at Zeedijk 111 and the other right on the square at Geldersekade 117. Other Chinese restaurants worth a visit are the intimate New King at Zeedijk 115 or the more relaxed Hoi Tin close to the square at Zeedijk 122.
While Chinese and Thai restaurants are by far the most common, the diverse Asian and European population in Amsterdam means that there are a number of popular Nieuwmarkt restaurants offering Asian fusion fare. The chic and modern Eat Mode, at Zeedijk 105, offers unique takes on classic dishes as well as sushi and freshly squeezed juice to keep your diet healthy. Good fortune, at Zeedijk 87offers more traditional dishes, but here you will be able to order Thai, Chinese and many other types of Asian cuisine at the one sitting, perfect for groups who want to try a little of everything.
There are more than just Asian restaurants in and around Nieuwmarkt, and those looking for more European fare will find they also have plenty of choice. From Italian trattoria to typical Dutch eetcafés, the main problem is deciding where to go.
Very welcoming and cosy, what the Dutch call 'gezellig', 't Tuinfeest is a bar and café that serves excellent meals along with Dutch and Belgian beers. Warm weather is great for a large salad on the terrace, while during the winter a cheese fondue in the cosy interior is the way to go. One of the hardest to miss Nieuwmarkt restaurants is, of course, Restaurant-Café in de Waag, located inside the former city gate and weigh house that dominates the square. The food here is inspired by Dutch traditions and, during the day, the very European High Tea is a popular choice.
Fast Food Restaurants
If sitting down for a meal isn't your thing, then Nieuwmarkt and the surrounding are is practically heaving with fast food restaurants for hungry tourists to grab a bite and go. The ever popular Febo has a branch inside the Red Light District, while kebab houses and shops selling Vlaamse frites, the famous 'fries with mayonnaise' are dotted throughout the area. One thing to keep an eye out for is the regular market on the square itself, which often has stalls selling good quality hot dogs or boiled corn on the cob with fresh butter.