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“Great food and great value” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Van Kerkwijk

Van Kerkwijk
Nes 41, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Red Light District)
+31 20 620 3316
Website
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Ranked #37 of 2,445 Restaurants in Amsterdam
Price range: $13 - $39
Cuisines: European, Dutch
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Outdoor seating, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Neighborhood: Red Light District
Description: Van Kerkwijk, situated at the Nes 41 just behind Dam square, is a classic Amsterdam cafe and restaurant where you can eat and drink from early in the morning till late in the evening. Van Kerkwijk sisters have chosen a personal approach. That's why a menu doesn't exist and your options are presented at the table by your waiter. Van Kerkwijk stands for quality food and drinks in an urban atmosphere. Characteristic, easy going, value for money. You feel at home between the regular customers who keep returning for the varied menu and the relax atmosphere. Van Kerkwijk doesn't take reservations, walk in for a table or wait at the bar with a good beer or wine.
Helsingborg, Sweden
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great food and great value”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

My wife and I ate here our last night in Amsterdam after reading Tripadvisor reviews. Very glad we came here, and very lucky that we got a table. I'm not sure what the usual "dinnertime" in the Netherlands might be, but this spot was crowded from 6:30pm until we left around 9:00pm - several diners waited at the small bar for tables to come available.

As others have written, there is no menu, not even a blackboard. The server will let you know what three or four starters they are serving, as well as five or six mains (two out of six were seafood the night we dined.) You order, and the delicious, fresh food is brought to you. For starters, we had the lentil and tomato soup, and the house made pâté - both were excellent. For mains, I had the Irish tenderloin over goat cheese with a strawberry reduction while my wife had roasted lamb shanks with vegetables. Again, both were superb but be aware that at least in our experience the Dutch presume you prefer your meat rare - not a problem for me, but perhaps for some. Also, all tables receive a large plate of salad to share (exceedingly fresh), and a plate of fries/chips with mayonnaise.

Dessert was cappuccino and a slice of homemade apple cake - also delicious.

With no menu, my wife and I were curious what our bill would come to. Two starters, two mains, two small bottles of mineral water, two 25cl glasses of pilsner, one dessert, and one cappuccino for only €62! Definite value for money.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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742 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    491
    191
    34
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Loved it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

Wife and I were there, came across it in tripadvisor. First night we gave up (too many people waiting in the street). Second night we came in a bit earlier, 19:00. Waited 20 - 30 minutes at the bar before seated. No menus, verbal explanation of the day's available dishes. Although the line at the bar is getting longer and people are willing to wait even an hour, no one is pushing you and the atmosphere is calm and warm. Food is great, staff is relaxed and welcoming and dinner was wonderful. I counted just below 30 people seated and about a dozen waiting at the bar, but again, no one is pressing you to eat and leave.
To sum up - with some patience, you can enjoy terrific food and service, have a great dinner experience.
Roy.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bishop Auckland, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“An unusual brilliant little restaurant.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

We visited twice - the first time for a drink and the second time for a meal. Service on both occasions was excellent and very friendly.
The first visit there was a blackboard menu by the door but on the second visit they had redecorated and the menu had gone. No matter the chef explains all the dishes to you and you make your choice. Its not an extensive menu but balanced and interesting and obviously changes daily. The house wine was pretty good but there was some very nice real ales on offer.
We were quite early for an evening meal which was a bonus as there was quite a lot of choice for seating. An hour later and there was a queue for tables. A drink at the bar while you are waiting is fine. There were a lot of locals in and a good time was had by all.
The cost was more reasonable than some of the restaurants.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Superb! Exceeded the 5 star rating expectation and recommended by KLM staff”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013 via mobile

I had the salmon dish. Loved the side salad that came with it. Being from the Pacific NW USA, I eat a lot of salmon and this one was prepared extremely well - succulent and fresh. Still thinking about it the next day. Couldn't get used to the 'mayonnaise' on the side of the fries but that is a cultural thing and no big deal. Very nice service. They were packed and so I sat at the bar. Met a group from Oregon's Governor's office and Oregon Tourism and they came from recommendation of KLM management. '

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Southampton
Top Contributor
203 reviews 203 reviews
93 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
170 helpful votes 170 helpful votes
“Great restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

Van Kerkwijk is just off of Dam Square - and in the winter when there are no tables outside it can be easily missed. It is a small restaurant and you cannot reserve tables. We had to wait at the bar for about 30 mins before a table became free, and before and after us many others were also prepared to wait to get a table. We expected the wait, so not a problem. At peak times it would not be a good place to go with a group of more than four people. The tables are close together, so not a place for a romantic meal. There are no menus - the waiter came and explained exactly what was being cooked that night - a nice touch. The food was excellent - a good selection and reasonably priced, and we would definitely eat there again.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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