4 Unique Eats and Treats in Amsterdam

Our top 4 unique eats and treats that you must try on your next trip to Amsterdam.

Moon Revolving Restaurant - Amsterdam Tower - Panoramic view over Amsterdam from the table

Xtracold Icebar Amsterdam

First up is Amsterdam’s iconic ice bar. Now I can tell what your first question is. Yes, it’s very cold at -10°C (14°F) so wrap up warm.  

Our recommendation is to wear closed shoes, long trousers and a jumper, if possible. Bar staff provide you with a thin thermal jacket and a pair of gloves but that’s it. You don’t want to be in a situation where you have to turn around and leave because you’re too cold.

Experience

We arrived about 20 minutes before our session time and sat in a heated bar which was pirate-themed. The staff firmly embraced this. About 5 minutes before the session started one of the staff members arrived to collect the group and make an introduction. 

As expected, there was a safety course first. You had to put on the thermal jacket and gloves that they gave you. They told us we could leave any time and we should do if we felt too cold.

Xtracold Icebar Amsterdam Collage with Damon and Andrew - Wearing red gloves and thermal jacket

Each person was given 3 tokens. These could be exchanged for drinks inside the ice bar. But here’s the thing. You were only allowed one ice glass. Some glasses were large enough for beers and others were made for soft drinks/flavoured vodkas. So if you want a beer and a vodka, get the beer first, in the larger glass. 

Xtracold Icebar Amsterdam Ice Glasses and ships wheel collage

On offer was a small selection of flavoured vodkas, beer and orange juice. Sometimes they offer cocktails however this is seasonal, so not always available. 

Cost

Location and Getting There

The Ice Bar is centrally located within walking distance of most of Amsterdam’s major sights. This helps keep travel costs down. 

 

Conclusion

Xtracold Icebar is a unique experience which will leave you with fond memories and fun pictures.

Sea Palace Restaurant

Built in 1984, the Sea Palace Restaurant was Europe’s first floating restaurant. With its unique oriental architecture it has become an icon of Amsterdam. Worth a visit, even if it is just for pictures. 

Sea Palace Amsterdam - Europe's first floating restaurant - Front

Speaking of pictures, you will get some incredible ones inside as the whole restaurant has been decked out to look like the inside of the forbidden city. The walls and ceiling are covered in carved wood panels and accented by gold furnishings. 

Sea Palace Architecture - gold ceilings, bar, oriental design

Experience

We were seated at a window table with views across the water to the city. The Sea Palace specialises in Cantonese cuisine but offers both traditional Chinese food as well as a more Westernised selection. The Peaking Duck is a must try. Beautifully cooked, carved at your table and served with plenty of spring onions, sliced cucumbers and steamed pancakes. 

Sea Palace Menu and food - Peaking Duck and Tea

The only let down to the restaurant was the service. It was a little slow at times and the wait staff were a little stand-offish.

Cost

With mains starting at €17 this is not the cheapest Chinese food in Amsterdam. But, you do get quality and quantity for the price.

Location and Getting There

The restaurant is located just 5 minutes from Amsterdam Centraal Station but it is a little out of the way if you are in the city centre. Walking there isn’t a bad idea but if you’re not in the mood, Uber is always a good option. 

Use our UBER code: andrewy2730ue or sign up here to get a free ride

 

Conclusion

Despite the slow service detracting slightly from the overall experience, we think the food at the Sea Palace and the location are hard to beat.

Lovers Canal Cruise

This is a great option if you want to grab lunch or dinner but you don’t want to stop sightseeing. The Lovers Cruise allows you to sit back, relax and watch Amsterdam’s iconic architecture float on by. 

Experience

We arrived about 30 mins prior to cruise time and waited in the boarding area which also doubles as a bar.

After boarding, we realised that we had been lucky in being given a window table. Each table can serve up to 4 adults seated together so we had another couple seated next to us. They did put a low divider between us but we would have been annoyed if we were given the inside table. 

We would recommend e-mailing in advance and requesting a window table if you’re a party of 2. 

Lovers Cruise - Window Table - Damon looking at the view of the canals

When booking the 4-course dinner cruise you pre-select the protein for your main meal (ie. meat or fish). The food was high quality and the service was prompt. Unlimited wine, beer and soft drinks were also included. 

Lovers Canal Cruise Food - Starter of soup, meat and fish main course, pudding

The cruise, at 2 hours long, was enough time to enjoy the meal and the view at a leisurely pace. Some notable sights along the way included the Western Church and the Anne Frank House.

Cost

There are a range of different food options and time slots. Their cheapest option is currently a 1 hour day cruise without food (€16). We decided to go on their evening 4-course dinner cruise which at the time was cheaper. It is currently priced at €92.50 per ticket (2019). 

This is the pricey option but the tour does last 2 hours, you cover a lot of ground and you get a 4-course meal. They do offer a 1 and a half hour burger and pizza cruise, which is a little more reasonable at €42.50.

Location and Getting There

You check-in and board the canal boat near Amsterdam Centraal Station at Prins Hendrikkade 25. 

 

Conclusion

If you opt for a cruise in Amsterdam, consider making the most out of it with Lovers Canal Cruises. Enjoy a pizza/burger or go all out and enjoy a 4 course dinner. An excellent way to enjoy the food and the sights of Amsterdam. 

Moon Restaurant

There’s a first time for everything and this was a major first for me, a revolving restaurant. Moon is a fine dining eatery located on top of the distinctive Amsterdam tower located across the water from Amsterdam Centraal Station. 

Experience

On arrival, we checked in at the restaurant’s separate check-in desk. There is one for the viewing platform and one to the right of that for the restaurant. After confirming our reservation we were escorted to the restaurant via a private elevator. 

Our table had an incredible sweeping view over Amsterdam. The restaurant rotates 360 degrees roughly every 60 minutes.

Amsterdam Tower - Moon Rotating Restaurant - View out the window

Andrew and I opted for the 5 course dinner option. This, as we discovered, was more than enough for us as we felt stuffed at the end. The food was incredible and the service was amazing to match. 

Moon Rotating Restaurant - A'DAM Tower - Starter, Soup and Heineken Beer

Cost

The dinner was to celebrate the end of our short trip to Amsterdam and as such, was a bit of a holiday splurge. The menu ranges from a 3 course lunch at €40pp all the way up to the full moon (starting at €135pp). 

The mid-ranged 5 course dinner option that we selected comes in at €65pp. 

Location and Getting There

It’s easy to get to from Amsterdam Centraal train station. Simply hop on the free ferry behind the main concourse. The ferry goes back and forth across the water from the Centraal Station stop to the IJplein stop near the base of the tower. You can visit this section of the gvb website for an updated timetable. 

Amsterdam Tower - Moon Revolving Restaurant - Free ferry from Centraal Station to IJplein
 

Conclusion

At no point did we feel rushed, the service was never slow and it flowed perfectly. We spent around 2 hours in Moon which was just enough time to do 2 complete rotations. This is by no means a cheap eat but, for a romantic dinner, it was well worth it.

Final Thoughts

These are 4 great ways to add variety to your trip and experience something new along the way. Let us know if you have any unique Amsterdonian food recommendations in the comments down below.