This is Part 2 of our favourite restaurants in Europe covering Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Italy. Do check out Part 1 as well covering countries to the West of these (France, UK, Iceland, etc). Leave a comment at the end with your favourite restaurants in any of these cities.
- The Netherlands
- Den Haag
- Amsterdam & Utrecht
La Campana (near the Pantheon) TripAdvisor
This lauded restaurant is more than 500 years old. Roman classics (Cacio Pepe, asparagus risotto) and specialities (fried artichoke) are done right here. The best part was the waiter listening to our menu choices then recommending a white wine from the Sardinia region that made the meal pop.
Cost (Lunch): €60 for 2 people (incl wine)
Honourable mentions: Osteria Dei Colli Emiliani (beautiful & simple pasta dishes, affordable) and Formula 1 Pizzeria (buzzing energy levels, cheap & excellent pizza). Both in the San Lorenzo / University area.
De Basiliek (just outside the central square) TripAdvisor
This meal was the 1st time we were having proper fusion cuisine after Seattle, Dutch ingredients made with international techniques. All the ingredients were given a lot of respect, the portion sizes were perfect and the service was top notch. This was one of our best overall meals of the year till now.
Cost (3 course lunch): €30
Selamat Makan (near the University) TripAdvisor
As another proof of how historical colonization affects current-day food preferences, we found this legit Indonesian (a former Dutch colony) eatery a short walk away from our AirBnb. The food portions were delicious and plentiful (lasted us 2 meals!). And the flavours were spot on, Nasi* is perfect for rice eaters like us.
Cost (takeaway):€25 for 2 people
Honourable mention: The Pantry in Amsterdam is a good place to explore classic Dutch dishes such as Stamppot and Pea soup (the latter is very delicious)
Nagaya (Japan town) TripAdvisor
This is the highest rated sushi restaurant in Dusseldorf for a simple reason, it holds 1 Michelin star, a fact we clearly did not know when we showed up without reservations and looking casual. They had a table open and also a sharing sushi platter for 2 people as one of the “cheapest” things on the menu. But the sushi was just incredible and so was the presentation. As UK does not have good sushi, we chalked it as an early anniversary treat and enjoyed chowing down a mix of nigiri, sashimi and rolls.
Cost (dinner): €150 for 2 people
Honourable mention: Schweine Janes in the old town for some super-delicious pork knuckle for rock bottom prices.
Früh Am Dom (near Koln Dom) TripAdvisor
Our lists have mostly been about the flavours but a visit to Früh has to be made for the delicious Kölsch beer (local to Cologne). They are served in tiny 200 ml glasses but are so very cold and refreshing. And they serve traditional Brauhaus food like Schnitzel and Pork knuckles though the latter doesn’t look as good as Dusseldorf’s Schweine Janes.
Cost (lunch & beer): €35 for 2
Altin Dilim (near HBF) TripAdvisor
As much as I’d like to put in another Brauhaus in here, the Little Istanbul area very close to Munich’s Central station has some really good Turkish food as evidenced by a takeout meal from this gem. This place is packed with Turkish people because the food (especially Kebabs) are super-legit.
Cost (takeaway): Less than €20 for 2 people
Honourable mention: Baumkuchen (multi-layer cake) from Conditorei Kreutzkamm. It’s a great thing to bring back home. Also, the sausages at Gaststatte Nurnberger Bratwurst Glockl am Dom were really good too.
Paquis de Bains (an island on Lake Geneva) TripAdvisor
Switzerland isn’t really known as the hub of good food but fondue is one thing a traveller should try, especially if they love cheese. Hence both our Swiss recommendations are for that dish starting with the most picturesque place in Geneva to enjoy fondue: a small island on the lake. The island contains a small park, baths and a restaurant and is so popular for its fondue that they had every table booked out (we had reservations, highly recommended). It is also very reasonably priced for Switzerland and a portion for 2 easily fed 3 of us. And nothing like looking out the window to see the glistening blue Lake Geneva.
Cost (fondue and 2 glasses of wine): Just above 50 CHF
Honourable mention: We eat at Migros hot food takeaway every opportunity we get, by far the most affordable and filling place to eat in Switzerland.
Sternbrau (Old Town) TripAdvisor
This place is similar to a German Brauhaus (make their own beer since 1542) but the quality of the traditional food items is really high. It was our final meal during a Christmas trip and we left very happy. The goulash in particular was very nice.
Cost (dinner & wine): Around €60 for 2.
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