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“Drawn to this restaurant because of the write-ups” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Van Kerkwijk

Van Kerkwijk
Nes 41, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Red Light District)
+31 20 620 3316
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Ranked #34 of 2,244 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.
King's Lynn, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Drawn to this restaurant because of the write-ups”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2014

Food,if it was cheaper, would be rated very good but based on the cost (to me) I would expect something more. The ambience was as expected and very entertaining and enjoyable, so much so that the long wait for a table didn't matter since both the waiting staff were so incredibly friendly and nice. The overall experience was very good, hence the extra star, otherwise on balance it must truly be rated better than average but not quite excellent or very good.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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617 reviews from our community

92% Recommend
    403
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Franklin Park, New Jersey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“This should be a "must" on everyone's Amsterdam itinerary!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2014

I was fortunate to be able to visit Holland for business and even more fortunate that my trip went over a weekend, so I was able to do some personal touring of the beautiful and history-laden city. Just by chance I read an entry in an obscure travel blog recommending Van Kerkwijk. What appealed to me is that the blog described the restaurant as small and intimate, and interestingly they do not have printed menus, but rather the staff verbally tells you what the dining choices are for that evening. I set out to visit Van Kerkwijk on my second evening in Amsterdam and immediately liked what I saw. The location was perfect, on a small quaint street off of historic Dam Square. The dining area is rather small, so the restaurant was packed, but that was fine by me because it had that authentic European café charm that you lose in the more touristy restaurants in the area. Since I was solo on this trip, I was able to get a seat at the bar, but for people traveling with others, I would recommend getting there early. The staff was very friendly, even though they were obviously extremely busy. The menu was not only recited perfectly, but also explained so that the listener got some background to help them make their decision. I decided to start out with the house pâté and a glass of house red wine. I have had pâté in many places, but this was, by far, one of the best I have ever tasted. It was seasoned perfectly and the consistency was perfect, not overly dense and easily spreadable on the warm, delicious bread they provided. I followed up with an amazing braised pork with vegetables stewed in a red wine sauce. The meat was fork tender and the vegetables were still firm, a feat that is difficult in stews, but that Van Kerkwijk achieved perfectly! For dessert I chose the beer torte, which was deliciously moist, with layers of pear and garnished with a bit of sour cream. The tart of the cream mixed with the sweetness of the torte was an amazing combination on the taste buds. I finished up with an espresso and left content and full! The meal was so outstanding that I returned the very next night for dinner. There were different staff members this night, but they were just as friendly and thorough as the night before (and also as hard working). This visit I started with the pâté again and finished with another beer torte, but the main course that I chose in between was an amazingly tender filet of beef on a layer of blue cheese and surrounded by a semi-tart strawberry sauce. All of the various flavors blended exquisitely to where I had to immediately recommend it to a couple next to me who were trying to decide what to have. I had heard that Holland was known for their beef, but I didn't expect it to be as unbelievably delicious as that was! I dare say it rivaled Texas, which, until this trip, was the best cut of beef I had ever had! I can't say enough good things about Van Kerkwijk. Excellent food, friendly staff, intimate ambience, great location, and very reasonably priced! If you are visiting Amsterdam, make sure this is a prominent item on your itinerary!

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Lisbon, Portugal
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Great food and excelent service!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2014 via mobile

Very friendly service with the guy sitting down near us and describing the menu. No written menu. The food was great! If I would come again, I definitly will come again. The price was ok for the quality. Paid 50€ for 2 with starter, but no desert!

Visited June 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamburg, Germany
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Pfingsten Holiday near the Dam”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2014

This was a bank holiday and Pfingsten (whatever that means in Christendom), plus a very hot day, so essentially the entire planet was trying to get a table here. Therefore a bad time to judge. However this was our second time and the staff did a marvelous job and remained friendly despite working like dogs.

The starter was absolutely delicious, main course pretty average and dessert OK. As I say if you can produce something edible in these conditions it is quite a feat.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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edinburgh
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Interesting yet uncomplicated Dutch food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2014

In an alley which is quite central with outdoor seating too. Has soups, sandwiches with a rather interesting twist. Coffee was average, house rose wine excellent and so the sandwiches too. Plum cake was excellent and moist.

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