When you are walking around the Jordaan, allow your gaze to move to the top of the facades of the historical houses. Maybe you will spot a coat of arms or one of the many stucco reliefs that symbolised the profession of the first occupants. See if you can find the relief of a miller sieving his flour on a house that dates back to 1729 or the depiction of a vineyard with its many barrels.
The Jordaan is a neighbourhood packed with history, not least of the foodie kind. It is home to Amsterdam’s oldest bruincafé (brown café), Café Chris, which opened its doors to the Jordaan’s working classes in 1624. Today, there remain many of these traditional watering holes who owe their name to the dark interior and the walls yellowed from cigarette smoke. If you find yourself in the Jordaan at borrel time, that is in the early evening when a biertje and snack are in order, take yourself to Café Papeneiland (the first stop on our Amsterdam Food Tour!), Café t’Smalle or one of the countless other brown cafés and treat yourself to a beer and the quintessential bitterballen.
Hang around for dinner and you won’t be disappointed either. Here’s our round up of the best restaurants in the Jordaan.
5 Best Restaurants in the Jordaan
Probably the restaurant in the Jordaan, Toscanini offers a daily changing 6-course tasting menu of authentic Italian fare. But you can also order à la carte. Everything is home-made, from the Italian bread to the pasta dough to the cotechino sausages, and what’s even better is that you can watch the chefs at work in their open kitchen.
Make sure to book a table by calling +31 20 6232813 after 3 pm on the day you would like to visit. The kitchen is closed on Sundays.
Set in a picturesque spot on the edge of the Jordaan, De Belhamel is certainly the restaurant with the best view. In winter, the Art Nouveau dining room proves the perfect setting for a romantic dinner. In summer, the terrace beckons you to while away the long evening with a nice glass of wine and a crab salad. De Belhamel serves seasonal French-Italian dishes for lunch and dinner.
Open: 7 days a week, 12 pm – 4pm and 6 pm – 10 pm
+31 20 622 1095
George’s successor and his small team serve up classic Belgian cuisine in this cosy restaurant on the Herenstraat. The quirky baroque style might not be to everyone’s taste but the servers are personable, the wine list excellent and the portions substantial. Fish lovers will especially enjoy Chez George’s menu, which offers delicacies like lobster bisque, pan-fried catfish with tarragon sauce and scallops with sweet potato cream.
Open: Tue – Sat, 6 pm – 10 pm
+31 206 263 332Bottom of Form
Another great Italian restaurant in the Jordaan, the Hostaria serves slightly less traditional fare than Toscanini. On occasion you’ll find unusual dishes like deer carpaccio or truffle croquettes on the menu. One of their signature dishes is lobster salad, and if you’ve never cracked your own lobster before, the exceptionally friendly servers are happy to lend a hand. The Hostaria is a buzzling little place, loved by locals and visitors alike. That means space is at a premium and reservations are highly recommended.
Open: Tue – Sun, 6 pm – 10 pm. Credit cards are not accepted.
2e Egelantiersdwarsstraat 9
De Eetkammer van de Jordaan
De Eetkamer is a popular restaurant with a weekly changing menu. In addition to classic fare like T-bone steak and Filet Mignon, the menu boasts a small selection of traditional Dutch dishes. Possibly not the best place for vegetarians in Amsterdam, but meat and fish lovers will love the generous portions and friendly service.
Open: 7 days a week, 5.45 pm – 10 pm
+ 31 206 250 746