Chef Jean-Christophe Royer is fully deserving of his Michelin star for his clever blending of French style with US experience and East Asian influences to great effect. The result is exotic flavour combinations, such as cod and merguez sausage, with preserved Cevennes onions in a reduction of red wine and vinegar. His culinary creations are served with flair in a chic, contemporary canal-side restaurant. Reservations are essential. Only open for dinner.
Tel: (020) 625 0807.
Stylish continental cuisine at affordable prices is the speciality at this sumptuous art nouveau-style restaurant, overlooking a picturesque, leafy canal in the bohemian Jordaan district. The signature dish (beef with poached shallots and Armagnac and anise mushroom sauce) is a must, followed by crème brûlée with vanilla ice cream and a cinnamon galette or Dutch cookies served with vanilla-flavoured mascarpone and red fruits. Booking is advisable, especially for the sought-after tables on the terrace.
Tel: (020) 622 1095.
De Silveren Spiegel
Fish is the speciality on the haute cuisine menu of this intimate, candlelit restaurant, housed in two beautifully restored 17th-century townhouses near the Centraal Station. Menu highlights include Zaandam mustard soup with bacon crackling, lukewarm smoked eel from Volendam with cucumber salad and white wine and horseradish sauce, a sensational calf's liver terrine with bacon and apple sauce or grilled filet of brill with seasonal vinaigrettes.
Tel: (020) 624 6589.
This creation by the legendary people behind über-cool restaurant and bar Supper Club is a firm favourite of the Amsterdam style brigade. The immaculate staff look like they have just walked straight off the catwalk and the décor is suitably stylish and smoothly minimalist. The most popular option is a five-course tasting menu that combines fresh local ingredients and culinary influences from all over the world.
Tel: (020) 344 6407.
Café van Puffelen
At the back of this intimate, sawdust-strewn brown bar, there is a cosy restaurant that serves generous portions of tasty, modern Dutch food. The mustard soup with mussels, followed by salmon marinated in beetroot with a saffron dressing, with delicious cherry clafoutis for dessert, is highly recommended. The handmade chocolates served with coffee should not be overlooked. During the summer, a barge moored outside doubles as a terrace.
Tel: (020) 624 6270.
d'Vijff Vlieghen (The Five Flies) is a cosy, candlelit restaurant that is popular with both tourists and locals. Set in a series of period rooms and spread over five ancient, rambling, 17th-century canal houses, the dark wooden panelling, crisp white linens and antique furnishings of the interiors create a formal yet intimate setting. Typically experimental dishes include spring onion soup laced with berry-flavoured Dutch gin or red perch with sauerkraut, with tangy plum compote for dessert.
Tel: (020) 530 4060.
Krua Thai Classic
This is one of the city's best and most stylish Asian restaurants, with subdued lighting, sleek chairs and candles on the tables. Diners are ushered into Krua Thai Classic by smooth Thai staff in suave rather than overblown traditional dress. Highlights include juicy chicken satay to start and mains such as Penang beef. Sticky rice with coconut milk and mango is a good way for diners to cool down after the hotter dishes.
Tel: (020) 622 9533.
This bar/restaurant/club complex is a breath of fresh air on touristy Rembrandtplein. The bouncers and dark facade are a bit off-putting, but it is worth the effort of getting inside to enjoy a funky, visually impressive space. The menu covers three different types of cuisine (Asian, Continental and Mediterranean) and carries each off impressively well.
Tel: (020) 626 7078.
De Keuken van 1870
Once a soup kitchen for the poor, this basic, old-fashioned establishment now serves huge platefuls of cheap, no-frills Dutch fare to workers and tourists alike, all seated at communal tables. Visitors should expect traditional staples, such as stamppot (a meaty stew) and paling (smoked eel).
Tel: (020) 620 4018.
Situated in a lovely old gabled canal house, the Pancake Bakery is a friendly restaurant that claims to produce 'the best pancakes in town'. With over 70 different sweet and savoury toppings, the choice can be bewildering. Offerings range from the simple syrup or sugar pancake variety to gourmet creations such as pancake with cheese, sunflower seed, onion and mushroom. Dessert is just as adventurous, including the Dutch favourite of a hot cherry, vanilla ice cream, cherry liqueur and whipped cream pancake.
Tel: (020) 625 1333.
The highly successful Wagamama formula works well in Amsterdam. Those in the know will be pleased to hear that all of the Wagamama staples are here - the communal seating, the chopsticks and, of course, the great big bowls of noodles. Prices are reasonable for large and healthy portions of ramen noodle dishes and spicy curries. The communal seating may not be to everyone's liking.
Max Eeuweplein 10
Tel: (020) 528 7778.