There aren’t many travelers who don’t like a nice Italian meal. A tourist trap favourite cuisine to offer, Italian restaurants are in almost every western town and vary heavily in quality. Amsterdam’s no exception – there are around 250 Italian restaurants excluding take away/delivery counters in this village alone (with just over 756,000 inhabitants, it’s tiny compared to most world capitals *random Amsterdam trivia).
Annoyed by the quality of some restaurants, we decided to do some research to find the best places forra di pasta e pizza ina di towna. That’s just about the best Italian impression I can manage. Comments in Italian are welcome.
Situated on the second floor of a building overlooking the Muntplein/Flower Market area of the city, this gem is hardly noticable on the outside. Its relaxed modern interior, very pure offerings and extensive Italian wine list make it the spot for your special evening in Amsterdam. I particularly love their risotto as part of my meals there. Not suitable for those on a budget or only into casual dining, but worth every penny if you feel like splashing out a bit.
Trendy eatery in the theatre street Nes close to Dam square. Very nice simple pasta dishes for a reasonable price. Great for winding down after a long day in town or just a nice casual dinner. I quite frequently take people out here, most recently including two Italian colleagues, who didn’t complain 😉 .Try their orange tiramisu as well (when available)!
3. Casa di David
Already a favourite amongst locals and tourists because of the good authentic tasting dishes on offer, Casa di David is a safe bet for a good Italian meal in the centre. One of the few real Italian restaurants that also do proper pizzas. However, food quality seems to have gone to the heads of staff a little as service can be dreadful. If you can stand being ignored from time to time or getting the ‘you should be glad to be here’ treatment when busy and concentrate on the food instead, you’ll have a good night out.
4. La Storia della Vita
About 10 minutes walk from Leidseplein and just a few minutes away from the Heineken brewery is this family run restaurant, which is quite the experience (and wins the Hungryhelen award for prettiest name for a restaurant in town :-)). Listen to their Italian granddad sing and play the piano while having an a la carte or surprise meal (on weekends, they only offer a 3-6 course fish or meat menu from EUR 32,50). After a dinner with friends, mentioned granddad came up to our table with a cart full of after dinner drinks, and we all left with smiles. Also great for your date.
Gustav Mahlerplein 16
This one’s more for locals and business travelers, as Gustavino’s located in the Zuidas area of town just outside the Amsterdam Zuid train and subway station (the newly created business oriented district). Already well known amongst people working in the area, this is a nice place for business lunches and casual smart dinners. Following the typical Italian primi and secondi courses, they offer good quality pizzas, pastas and proper mains in a pretty trendy setting.