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The ultimate guide to cheap eats Amsterdam 2024

Fabulous Amsterdam, here we come! If this city gives you goosebumps from its appetite for broad-mindedness, tolerance or amazing museums, but also from its prices, I am here to break the wall of unaffordable Amsterdam. Let me feed you with tips and tricks on the best cheap eats Amsterdam!

Travelling to the Netherlands for the first time? Check here my post on 30 things I wish I knew before visiting the Netherlands.

Amazing brunch salad
Amazing brunch salad; greenwoods.eu

Content:

Must know tips
Supermarkets in Amsterdam
Brunch ideas Amsterdam
Dutch savory snacks/street food
Dutch sweet snacks/street food
Best cheap eats restaurants Amsterdam
Other good eats Amsterdam
Average Amsterdam prices/person 2024
Interactive map for cheap eats Amsterdam

Must know tips

Here are some simple and basic tips about eating out in Amsterdam.

  • There are many controversies about what dishes are actually Dutch. Let people blabber over, but what is certain is that there are several Dutch snacks.

  • Examples of Dutch finger food include: bitterballen (Dutch meatballs), frikandels, krokets or fries (although some say it’s a typically Belgian dish).

  • Dutch dishes you have to try in the Netherlands are: stamppot (winter dish – basically potatoes or other veggies with sausages on top), raw herring in a bun, fish and chips (eaten more like fish nuggets with mayo).

  • If you have a sweet tooth, you are in the right place. The Dutch specialize in sweets. Ta-daaa!!! Let me introduce the almighty stroopwafels (waffle cookies filled with caramel syrup), the poffertjes (Dutch miniature pancakes) or the apple pie (the classic reinvented, with a twist!)

  • If you are crazy about Asian cuisine, you’re in the right place. The concentration of Asian eateries is huge, but you can also find Mediterranean restaurants as well. However, fewer Italian places than usual.

  • The timetable is an important barrier especially if you aren’t in the most touristy areas (where restaurants have a longer timetable). Some places are only open from 12 to 17, while others stay open for dinner only. Check ahead!

  • Tap water is free and an important thing to remember. If you do not get by default, ask for a bottle of tap water. Not only is it free, it also tastes good.

  • Tipping is classic. If you are pleased with the service, the general tipping is around 10%, but not mandatory.

  • Reservation is useful, especially in high season.

  • You can find lots of vegetarian dishes and vegan friendly places in Amsterdam.
Burrata and prosciutto sandwich
Burrata and prosciutto sandwich

Supermarkets in Amsterdam

Looking for cheap eats in Amsterdam? Well, then the supermarkets are the best place to start.

Albert Heijn is their most widespread supermarket, so, it’s most likely to bump into one of these on your way. Other brands include Jumbo, Lidl, Vomar or Spar.

Not only do they come with more affordable prices, they can also be a solution to cheap eats Amsterdam. Here, you can buy a sandwich, a wrap or tramezzini and a water for around 5-6 euros (more on prices later).

If you are the type to cater for your own needs and cook, you can purchase the raw materials here, or buy ready meals that only need some minutes in the oven.

Brunch ideas Amsterdam

The brunch is that versatile food that can be both your breakfast and lunch between long walks or explorations. Amazing, because it gives you the time to relax your feet, the brunch can be perfectly alternated with some supermarket snack or street finger food.

Here are some brunch places that serve as a start for best cheap eats Amsterdam. Most of these places serve brunch all day.

  • We tested Locals, a place we instantly fell for. Minimalist design, great service, breath-taking food. I totally recommend the veggie sandwich, much above expectations. Everything was yummy!
  • Mortimer Amsterdam is a small and very cozy eatery. You may wait outside to be seated but I assure you it’s totally worth the wait. Craving for something savory? Try their Eggs benedict. A few minutes’ walk from the Central Station.
  • Bakers and Roasters is another excellent brunch option with many egg-based ideas. Besides deli savory plates, you may opt for fresh-fruit salads and kiwi-twisted baked goods all day long.
  • Situated close to center, with charming décor, Gartine offers palatable food, a wide range of tea and great service. Dishes are vegetarian, but you may add fish or meat. Booking ahead would be useful.
  • Greenwoods Kaizersgracht is near the flower market at Keizersgracht. It boasts splendid food and big portions. Their smoked salmon is a hit.
Brunch at Locals: savory and sweet
Brunch at Locals: savory and sweet
Tuna baguette sandwich
Tuna baguette; greenwoods.eu

Dutch savory snacks/street food

The Dutch are experts in finger food. Here are some tips of savory snacks that make good choices for cheap eats Amsterdam.

  • Try the Dutch bitterballen, a very popular snack served at bars along with beer. Meatballs by spirit, the succulent round or long-shaped snacks are a classic Dutch treat. You can try them at the Café de Tuin pub in Jordaan area, at Bitterballen Amsterdam or the stands of the Amsterdam Foodhallen.
  • Winkel 43 is already legendary for its apple pie (Some say it’s the best in all Amsterdam)! However, why not enjoy some authentic Dutch meatballs as well? 7 come for 7 euros, or a pack of 14 is just over 12 euros… so, I’d say it is a treat for cheap eats Amsterdam!
  • Get some crispy bitterballen along with some olives, cheese and bread on the side, and there you have the perfect quick and affordable lunch.
  • The frikandel is a traditional snack, sort of the Dutch reply to the classic hotdog, while the kroket has also gained a prominent place in Dutch culinary culture for those seeking a quick and budget lunch.
  • Heertje Friet is another good spot for snacks either on the go, or at the table! Prices are decent here, the fries, bitterballen and frikandel will melt your heart!
  • Fabel Friet stands out from the crowd with their perfectly cooked fries and mouth-watering toppings! Try the truffle mayo/parmesan one!
  • To experience the kroket, try Van Dobben, located in the heart of Amsterdam. Go for kroket in the classic, vegetarian version, or with shrimp filling. If you want to try it Dutch style, you can do so by eating it with mustard.
  • Rob Vigboldus Vishandel is the right spot for the traditional herring sandwich eaten with pickles. It is very well placed, next to Beursplein.
  • FEBO offers a wide range of unhealthy, but delicious Dutch snacks. It is fun to buy sandwiches from an automatic machine.
Krokets for takeaway - a good idea for cheap eats Amsterdam
Krokets for takeaway
Delicious fries with topping
Tasty fries; photo: Fabel Friet

Want to find out more about other good and cheap eats?
Check the Ultimate Guide to cheap eats Venice 2024
The Ultimate guide to cheap eats Heidelberg 2024

Dutch sweet snacks/street food

Having a fondness for sweets? Well, you are in the right place! Check out some representative sweet places for cheap eats Amsterdam.

  • The stroopwafel is the star of sweet Dutch snacks! At least this is how I felt! They are so loved and yummy! And can be found nearly everywhere! Of course, they come cheapest in supermarkets, still, their quality is comparable to the caramel waffle from food stalls.
  • Are you ready to try the stroopwafel the Dutch way? They prefer it warm to release the flavour! So, the Dutch use it as a lid over their cup of coffee or tea, so it gets warm and soft.
  • Legend goes that Rudi’s Original Stroopwafels are the best. Sold even today made according to the original (and secret) recipe, Rudi sells his caramel-oozing discs to anyone willing to sample the Dutch taste. Pay attention: the food truck is only open 4 times a week, between 11-17!
  • Other famous places for stroopies are spread throughout the city. Look for Lanskroon, Hans Egstorf Croissanterie or Stach!
  • Poffertjes are Dutch miniature pancakes, a popular street food, sold from stalls, and at outdoor festivals.
  • Poffertjes Albert Cuyp are amazing and affordable! So, if you are in the area, make sure to give them a try! A small portion comes for 4 euros, while for a large one prepare to pay 7.50!  Eat them on the go!
  • De Carrousel Pannenkoeken are specialized in pancakes/poffertjes and although their price is slightly higher, they are said to be the best in all of Amsterdam!
  • The Pancake Club (the one that we visited) offers charming atmosphere, being tucked by the canal. The poffertjes are delicious. We opted for lemon curd and Nutella topping!
Rudi's legendary stroopwafels
Rudi’s legendary stroopwafels; photo: albertcuypmarkt
Poffertjes with lemon curd and nutella
Poffertjes with lemon curd and nutella

Best cheap eats restaurants Amsterdam

Needless to say, there are lots of restaurants and other eating possibilities in Amsterdam. Here, I selected some of the most appreciated cheap eats Amsterdam restaurants both among tourists and locals.

  • Café Sonneveld is what we call good value for money. It sells Dutch, but also European dishes. Try the stamppot or goat cheese with honey pastry! Simply mouth-watering!
  • Il Sogno (The Italian Concept store) has an excellent location and totally decent prices! The place isn’t fancy, but the pizza here is delectable.
  • Sugo Pizza comes with a fair offer: good pizza for budget prices. What more do you want?
  • Sir Hummus is a great Middle Eastern eatery. Everything on the menu is delicious, and the green secret sauce is simply magic. Plan a brunch/lunch here as they close at 5.
  • As you may have guessed, The Lebanese Sajeria doesn’t sell Dutch products. On the contrary, they want to make Lebanese food world famous through their products. Considering the reasonable price and how deli they are, they are on the right path!
  • If you love chicken, Benny’s Chicken is your thing! One of cheap eats in Amsterdam, look for it when visiting Albert Cuyp market. And I mean it! They come with an excellent chicken in all shapes and flavours!
  • Pho Hanoi is a reasonable Vietnamese restaurant. Here a main dish swivels around 14 euros. What a bargain for Amsterdam!
  • Dumplings is a simple Chinese stall situated conveniently at the entrance to Westerpark. Pick your favourite dumplings, noodles or samosa! Unbeatable food and prices!
  • Orontes (de Pijp) is a fine Mediterranean/Turkish restaurant with good vegetarian and vegan options. Watch out again for the timetable! We arrived at 2 p.m. and they only open for dinner!
  • Hungry for soup or cake? Try Latei, a central and cozy café, with a crowded and kitsch décor.
Deli Middle Eastern dishes are a good idea as cheap eats Amsterdam
Deli Middle Eastern dishes; photo: Sir Hummus
Steak, eating at Orontes is an example of cheap eats Amsterdam
Steak; photo: Orontes

Other good eats Amsterdam

Here’s a list of not so cheap eats Amsterdam! However, being a treat to your palate, I couldn’t have skipped them!

  • Café In de Waag is easily recognizable as it looks like a medieval fortress. They serve good Dutch and European dishes. The green curry they serve and hamburgers are mouth-watering!
  • If you are in the museum area, it means you are close to Hot&Hot. Their hotpot is something to die for if you fancy Chinese food.
  • Sampurna is an Indonesian restaurant present on this list for the exquisite food they serve. Try their Rijsttafel (rice table) – the concept of eating together and sharing food. Book ahead!
  • Café Piazza is well situated and comes with a delightful offer of Italian dishes. We very much enjoyed the ravioli verde filled with ricotta and spinach, next to a glass of wine!
  • As you may have guessed, Ramen-Ya serves Japanese dishes, but above all, heavenly good ramen!
Green curry at Cafe in de Waag
Green curry at Cafe in de Waag
The famous rice table at Sampurna
The famous rice table; photo: Sampurna

Average Amsterdam prices/person 2024

These are the average prices for a snack or lunch as we experienced them in some Amsterdam supermarkets and restaurants.

Disclaimer: The tariffs below are not representative unless you follow the cheap eats Amsterdam restaurants.

Water (supermarket)0.90-2.50 € (+warranty around 0.25). The price depends a lot on the area and supermarket.
Water (restaurant)Tap water, free
Coffee/hot chocolate (bar/pub)2.75 -4/4.5 €
Sandwich/wrap/tramezzino (supermarket)2.5-4 €
Bitterballen (Dutch meatballs)7-14 € according to portion (small/large)
Kroket (portion)3.50-4.50 €
FriesAround 4 € + topping 1.50 €
StroopwafelsAround 3.50 € a piece (you can also buy packages with 10 stroopies at supermarkets for the same price)
Brunch (sweet/savory)Around 15 € (sweet dish usually 13-14, savory 14-16)
Pizza8.5-13.5  (but you can easily bump on pizza for 15-18 )
Burger menu15-20
Asian/Middle Eastern dish11-14
Beer/wine (glass)4/6.50
Ricotta and lemon ravioli
Ricotta and lemon ravioli
Just chillin'
Just chillin’

Interactive map for cheap eats Amsterdam

On the map, the brunch places are coloured in red, the savory snacks are yellow, while the sweet ones are purple. In green you’ll find the best cheap eats Amsterdam and the pricier restaurants come in black.

Bon appetit!

Have you been to Amsterdam before? Did you like it? Do you have any further tips for restaurants? I look forward to reading your experiences!

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