Home Food Eat on a Budget in Amsterdam, A Complete Guide by Locals

Eat on a Budget in Amsterdam, A Complete Guide by Locals

by Micaela Zaslabsky

Either if you are living or working in Amsterdam, the biggest part of your budget will be destined for your accommodation and the second biggest to food. In general, you can eat pretty well in Amsterdam, even though Dutch cuisine is not the most famous one in the world. However, eating out is expensive. Below you can find a list of some affordable spots to get some good eats.

  • Sandwiches: Bagels and Beans, AH, Stach, De Drie Graaftjes
  • Asian food on a budget: Wok to walk, Toko Joyce, Oriental City, Happyhappyjoyjoy, …
  • Pizza on a budget: Pizza Rimini, La Perla, De Pizzabakkers, …
  • Vegetarian and vegan: Maoz, MKZ Eetcafe, Soup en Zo
  • Dutch cuisine: FEBO, Buurtboerderij Ons Genoegen, Skek, Vlaamse Fruiethuis, Herring Stands…
  • Meat lovers: Arian Irish Pub, The Burger Bar, McDonald’s, Burger King…
  • Extra restaurants: Ikea, HEMA…

If you are planning to visit Amsterdam or even if you live there, here I have created a list of restaurants by category, where you will be able to get the best deals while eating breakfast, lunch, dinner or just grabbing some coffee. If you want to know where to find the best deals and still eat some yummy food, keep reading!

Eat on a Budget: Amsterdam Edition

First of all, I would like to say that the Netherlands, in general, is quite an expensive country. Unlike other countries, if you would go out for dinner in another city or small town that it is not the capital city, you would end up paying more or less the same. Prices in the Netherlands are quite standardized, the same happens with salaries, rent and so on. It is not like you are going to find the best deal somewhere and avoid paying the most expensive one. Basically, nothing is too expensive and nothing is too cheap. So, how can I eat on a budget?

Well, in this article you will be able to find a lot of restaurants that are more in the low category, which means that they are not super cheap but they are yummy and not very expensive. You will also find the best deals, getting the most out of your money. So, if you are going to end up paying, let’s say 15 euros for lunch, at least spend them somewhere, where you get a proper amount of food, yummy and filling.

It is always much cheaper to do groceries and eat at home. Supermarkets are also expensive (the cheapest ones are Lidl and Aldi, among others), but you can always get more food than when you are eating outside, for less money. If cooking, while you are visiting Amsterdam, is an option, I would strongly recommend doing one or two meals in, and maybe only one meal in a restaurant. If that is not possible, don’t worry:

Here you will find different types of restaurants: where you can get sandwiches, where you can eat some Asian and Surinamese food, where to get some Mediterranean food, where to get some Meat and Burgers, restaurants where to get Dutch specialties, Pizza, Sweets treats, Breakfast and much more. 

Sandwiches: Best Budget Options

The first meal that comes to my mind if I am traveling on a budget is sandwiches. This would be the cheapest meal you can get in Amsterdam. If this is an option for you, you are very lucky, because one of the favourite meals of Dutch people are broodjes (sandwiches) so you will have many yummy options to choose from:

Albert Heijn

For those who don’t know, Albert Heijn (AH) is THE Dutch supermarket quintessentially. It is also considered to be a luxury supermarket, a rather expensive one with all the top brands and best products. Albert Heijn does some 3-5 euros meals, including great sandwiches (BLT, Old Amsterdam and mustard mayo, BLTC, etc), salads, yummy hummus, cheese croissants, and other lunch options. 


At the register, you will also be able to ask for free disposable cutlery if you want. They also make yummy fresh juices for a couple of euros and 1 euro coffee deals in most of the big AH. Not bad for Amsterdam.

Plus, most AH is open from 08:00 until 22:00, so if you are up for an early meal or a late one, this is always an option.
Find the closest one to you HERE

  • Vijzelstraat 113
  • Jodenbreestraat 21
  • Frederiksplein 1

Bagels and Beans

This is another one of my favourite sandwich lunches: a bagel. This food chain is all over the Netherlands and you will find more than 20 of them all over Amsterdam. You can get a bagel for 5-7 euros, with bacon, hummus, tuna, cheese, and many other options. They also sell very good coffee, which is just as expensive as everywhere else (2,50) but you get a huge cup of it 😉

Photo Courtesy of Bagels and Beans

Open from 08:00 until 17:00. These are some of the locations in the centre:

  • Raadhuisstraat 18, 1016 DE
  • Keizersgracht 504, 1017 EJ
  •  Waterlooplein 2, 1011 PG

De Drie Graftjes

If you happen to be in the centre of Amsterdam, you are hungry and you want to avoid fast food, De Drie Graftjes is my favourite spot. They have a lot of cakes and cupcakes, but they make awesome brunch plates and sandwiches. My favourite is the BLT. It costs around 8-10 euros, which is not necessarily cheap, but I always share it in two, it is a decent amount! You will always get a homemade cookie with your coffee and you can have big avocado toasts and eggs. Check out their website here!

Me in De Drie Graefjes ?
  • Gravenstraat 13 (9am – 6pm)
  • Dam en, Rokin 130 (8:30am-6pm)
  • Stadionplein 111, 1076 PA (8am – 6pm)


One of my favourite coffee places, a little bit of a more expensive shop, but if you are on a budget you will be able to find 3-4 euros soup, 4-5 euros salads, 6 euros pizzas, 4 euros (super yummy) sandwiches and all of it freshly made on the spot. You won’t regret it, plus you can try their sweet treats, they always have free samples and free fresh minted water. It closes at 10pm, every day of the week, so you will be able to grab some dinner if you want!

Photo Courtesy of Franklin Heijnen || Flickr
  • Admiraal de Ruijterweg 77hs, 1057 JZ  (8am – 10pm)
  • Overtoom 112, 1054 HL (same)
  • Van Woustraat 154, 1073 LW  (same)
  • Nieuwe Hoogstraat 1A, 1011 HC (same)
  • Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 52  1017 DG

Asian Food on a Budget

If you are in the Netherlands you can’t miss trying out Indonesian food. However, Dutch people really enjoy exotic, spicy and interesting food options, so finding Asian food in Amsterdam is quite easy. These are my recommendations of Asian food on a budget:

Wok to Walk 

Imagine you have had a night out and need a filling yet cheap meal? What about some wok? This is a pretty decent way of getting a filling meal for a relatively low price. I can eat twice with a wok, which means a normal person would be happy with the amount. It is easy to find it online on Thuisbezorgd and also in the streets of Amsterdam. Woks cost around 5-7 euros, you can order rice, quinoa, noodles of four types, all veggies, chicken, pork, beef and eight types of sauce to choose from and toppings. You can build up your wok and pay as much as you want for it. All freshly made and my personal favourite! Here the menu.

  • Ferdinand Bolstraat 46, 1072 LL Amsterdam (11am until 1am, except Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 2am)
  • Leidsestraat 96, 1017 PE Amsterdam (11am until 11pm, except Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 4am)
  • Kolksteeg 8, 1012 PT Amsterdam (11am until 1am, except Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 2am)
  • Warmoesstraat 85, 1012 HZ Amsterdam (11am until 3am, except Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 4am)
  • Reguliersbreestraat 45, 1017 CM Amsterdam (11am until 3am, except Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 4am)

Toko Joyce

This is a very popular Surinamese-Indonesian fusion, Amsterdamers love. And it belongs to this list because it’s cheap and really good. The are famous for their roti, green beans, hot meats and savoury tofu. You can have them as a sandwich or make a meal out of them, Toko Joyce is a scrumptious and authentic Dutch version of international cuisine, right on the Nieuwmarkt. Dishes are around 6 euros. Check out their MENU.

Photo Courtesy of Toko Joice

Nieuwmarkt 38
Mondays, 4 pm – 8 pm; Tuesday to Saturday 11 am – 8 pm; Sunday 1 pm – 8 pm.

Thais Snackbar Bird

Thais Snackbar Bird is located across the street from a restaurant, with the same name, but this version of the restaurant offers smaller/cheaper dishes to go or eat in. You will find a cozy one-room lunch area and the small kitchen where you will be able to see what it is going on inside. They are famous for their Thai green and red curry dishes (including Phad Thai). This restaurant is also close to Nieuwmarkt, and one of my favorite things on a nice day is to take my meal to go and eat it at the square. Servings are around 7-8 euros, big includes rice, and vary from mild to flaming spicy, up to you.

Photo Courtesy of Bird Thai Restaurant

Zeedijk 77, (close to Nieuwmarkt square)
Every day of the week, from 1 pm until 10 pm.

Oriental City

I think this is definitely one of the most popular Asian restaurants in Amsterdam. Oriental City, also close to Nieuwemarkt is a very cute restaurant in the corner of the Red Light District. Every time I pass by it is super crowded, so I recommend you booking a table, either for lunch or dinner. It is one of the best places to get Dim Sum in the city. And best of all, it is relatively cheap for a dinner meal (12 euros). The chefs are originally from Hong Kong, and there are dozens of options to choose from, all original: prawn dumplings, steamed Chinese buns with roast pork, chicken chop suey, beef chow mein, my favourite, Won ton. Everything is really yummy and freshly imported daily.

Photo Courtesy of Oriental City

Oudezijds Voorburgwal 177-179, (10 mim walk from Central Station)
Tel. 020/6268352
Every day 11:30 am until 10:30 pm


Curious name, right? This great restaurant is a fusion of rich flavors, bright colours and textures from Bangkok, Hong Kong, Thai and Vietnamese. Inside this restaurant, you will discover a new menu of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. Happyhappyjoyjoy is a new restaurant on the Bilderdijkstraat in Amsterdam. The new restaurant in the west of Amsterdam is a cheerful collection Asian flavours from 3 to 14 euros the dish: they have ramen, dim sum and many other fusion dishes. This playful, organised eclectic chaos is inspired by the typical Asian cities.

Bilderdijkstraat 158hs, 1053 LC 
Open only Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 10:30 pm

Roompram Roti

For a Surinamese experience on a budget, this is your place: Roompram Roti is the authentic experience of being in Suriname but in Amsterdam. The owner decided to bring his culinary roots to the old continent and started making fried roti for everybody at a great price for a big portion: 6-12 euros. You can also get food to go.

Van Woustraat 37, 1074 AB Amsterdam
Everyday from 1pm to 9pm, except Sundays from 3pm to 9pm

Pizza on a Budget

Being half Italian myself makes me be very picky when it comes to recommend pizza, but it is one of the very few meals you can eat however and whenever, right? There are many places where you can find pizza in Amsterdam, not all of them worth it, some of them too expensive and I have to admit I sometimes end up buying supermarket pizza. If you are on the go, these are my cheap, yet good recommendations:

De Pizzabakkers

First of all, I have to highlight the nice atmosphere of De Pizzabakkers, a place where you can enjoy of a nice meal and ambiance. Pizzas here are Italian-style, thin and nicely made. You can tell by their irregular shape that they have been homemade. Each costs about 6-7 euros for lunch and 8-9 for dinner. The more toppings you want to add, the more expensive it gets, of course, yet I always enjoy a good margarita.

Photo Courtesy of De Pizzabakkers

Plantage Kerklaan 2, 1018 TA (close to Artis and the Hermitage Museum)
Sunday – Thursday 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Friday – Saturday 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm

Pizza Rimini

If you happen to be closer to the centre, Pizza Rimini can be another good option to go to. It is a pizzeria close to Leidsepeplein where you can have a pizza for 5-8 euros (as well as pasta and many other Italian options). It is a decent pizza for a decent price in the most expensive area of the city, and the staff are friendly.

Lange Leidsedwarsstraat 75, 1017 NH

New York Pizza

I have to admit that if I ever get American pizza, I would be more inclined to order Dominos. However, if you are in Amsterdam, I believe New York Pizza is one of the best option: this is the only place I know in Amsterdam where you can get pizza al tagli, only a slice of pizza for a couple of euros. I find this to be super convenient if you are busy and hungry but you don’t want to stop or if you want a snack while you are busy in the city (or if you happen to have a hangover craving past midnight).

Photo courtest of New York Pizza || Facebook profile

Spui 2, 1012 WZ Amsterdam
Sunday – Thursday 11:00 am to 12:00 am
Friday – Saturday 11:00 am to 04:00 am

Vegetarian Meals on a Budget: Amsterdam Edition

If you are a vegetarian or a vegan and till want to keep your meals on a budget, don’t worry. Dutch people are very much into eating healthy and plant-based meals, which means you will be able to find a lot of options when it comes to eating this way. There are also several vegetarian and vegan restaurants, cafes and bakeries in Amsterdam. These are the cheapest ones I would recommend:

Soup en Zo

This is the healthiest option of them all. Both for vegan and vegetarian eaters, Soup en Zo has three locations in the centre of Amsterdam. All of them, nice and well-illuminated locals where you can find freshly made soups for around 6 euros. You can also get some salads and choose from a range of 10-20 different dishes. All made with ecological and fresh ingredients, open for lunch or for an early dinner. Check out the menu.

Photo Courtesy of SoepenZo

Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 54
Van Baerlestraat 81
Jodenbreestraat 94

Monday – Friday from 11:00 am to 08:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday from 12:00pm – 07:00 pm


This international fast food chain is originally from the Netherlands. In 2018 all Amsterdam locations went vegan. They also introduced a vegan shoarma on the menu, a radical change to the typical Turkish fast food in the Netherlands. Order a pita with falafel and help yourself at the salad bar! There are many locations, you can also order online and it is a yummy option for vegetarians and vegan, still on a budget. Here you can find the MENU, from which you can choose falafel, pita bread of different types, your own salad choices and sauces for 6-8 euros.

Photo by Maoz || Facebook Profile

Muntplein 11017 CK Amsterdam
11:00 am until 01:00 am every day of the week

Leidsestraat 851017 NX Amsterdam
11:00 am until 01:00 am every day of the week

Albertcuypstraat 67, 1072 CN Amsterdam
Monday – Saturday   from 11:00 am until 11:00 pm
Sunday from 01:00 pm – 11:00 pm

MKZ Eetcafe

For a very local experience, I strongly recommend MKZ Eetcafe, a social restaurant where volunteers cook amazing and original vegan dishes every day. All the benefits from the meals go for charities and good causes and you get out of there feeling happy with a full tummy. The menu costs 5 euros and it varies every day. The only thing they offer every day is food made with love and vegan ingredients. Reservation is requires. You can find it in:

Photo by MKZ || Website

Call between 14:30 and 18:00 for the next day at 020-6790712
Eerste Schinkelstraat 14
Tuesday to Saturday from 07:00 pm until closing

Dutch Cuisine: on a Budget

My experience has taught me that many people come to Amsterdam expecting to find Dutch cuisine to try out. Believe it or not, they have a hard time and end up wondering, what is Dutch food? Well, the Dutch cuisine is not really popular and some restaurant may include one or two dishes, but definitely not enough for the whole menu. This is what I have come to know as Dutch food, and all of this, on a budget:


This is the most famous fast food chain in the Netherlands. FEBO is the famous coin machine with warm food inside, where for a euro or two you can grab burgers, kassouffle (cheese fried puffy pastries), fries, Dutch sausage (frikandel) and many more not so healthy yet yummy and cheap. Another positive side, you can always go for it after the movies, wanting a quick snack, on your way to a party or coming back. Check the many locations here:

Photo Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

Oudezijds Voorburgwal 33, 1012 EJ  (Close to Central Station)
Everyday from 12pm to 3am

 Leidsestraat 94, 1017 PE
Everyday from 11am until 3am (except Friday and Saturdays until 4am)

 Reguliersbreestraat 38, 1017 CN 
Everyday from 11am until 3am

If you want to know where all 15 of them are, check all the locations on their official website.

Buurtboerderij Ons Genoegen

Buurtboerderij Ons Genoegen is the closest to Dutch cuisine one can get. It is a little farm located in Westernpark where you can do many activities but also join their lovely wooden restaurant for lunch or dinner. During lunch time you can have a typical Dutch sandwich for less than 5 euros and you can reserve dinner (HERE) for 11 euros, 6,50 if you have the Stadpas. Plus, on Friday night and Sunday midday you will enjoy from some live music.

Photo Courtesy of Buurtboerderij Ons Genoegen

Dinner from 18:30 onwards, from Tuesday until Sunday
Spaarndammerdijk 319, 1014 AA


Skek  is a small cafe where they offer a 30% discounts to students everyday, an amazing deal considering their menu is above average for a normal café in the centre. It is a place run by students who embrace slow cooking (and at times slow service). You can expect juicy big burgers and seasonal Dutch plates (Stampot, for instance). You can count on live music nights, a decent local beer menu, and the old brown café vibe. If you want to experience the local life from up close, menus cost 13 euros (plus you can get your discount).

Zeedijk 4-8
Sunday – Thursday until 1 am
Friday & Saturday from noon until 3 am

Vlaams Friethuis

Coming to Amsterdam, you need to get some fries. It may not be your full meal but it is a great snack at any time of the day. Both the Belgians and Dutch, know how to make proper fries, and there are many stands where you can buy just that (adding a lot of yummy toppings on top of it). From Central Station to any local market, the most famous one is Vlaamse Friethuis. Expect to pay 2 to 5 euros for your yummy, local-made treat and also a lot of queuing, this is a landscape of the Dutch capital.

Photo Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

Voetboogstraat 33, close to Damsquare
Open every day from 11am until 07:00pm, one more hour on Fridays.

Herring Stands

They are all over the city, including by the Flower Market. You will be able to try the typical Dutch haring, fresh and yummy for a couple of euros, also sandwiches and other goodies.

  • Stubbe’s Haring (in Singel, close to Central Station)
  • Frens Haringhandel (in Koningsplein, close to the Flower Market)
  • Herring Stall Jonk (in Spui, also close to the Flower Market)

Extra Meals, also On a Budget

I need to make an honorary mention to other, maybe not so popular stores, that also have food on a budget, some yummy treats and great deals. Also I am gonna add some tips, so if you want to keep reading, let’s get into it:

  1. Tap water in Amsterdam is great: I have never in my life drank tap water until I moved to the Netherlands. It is great, it is tasteless and you can always ask for it in restaurants. Drinks in this country are expensive, so taking with you your water bottle and asking for a refill or asking for a refill on your coffee mug, or even just asking for a glass of tap water with your meal, will help you save some money.
  2. IKEA: it is a little far away from the city, but if you feel like going for a ride or happen to be close to Amsterdam Zuid, IKEA has some great deals, a yummy menu, refill drinks, free coffee with the family card and hot dogs for over a euro. Breakfast are also super cheap!
  3. HEMA: this retailer is mostly known because of its stationary and house decorations, yet it does have a restaurant and cafe inside all of them. They make yummy and cheap hot dogs and deals with drinks, you can have a proper warm meal, soup, bread, sandwiches and more, for less than 5 euros. All Dutch recipes. Check it out if you happen to run into a HEMA.
  4. Burger King and McDonalds: I don’t consider them being the cheapest option for a meal in Amsterdam, and it is something you can find everywhere in the world. But yes, they exist and in Burger King you can get the King Deal for less than 5 euros (burger of your choice, double patty, fries and drink) and in McDonalds you have the euro deals, which may work well as a snack.
  5. Aria Irish Pub: I need to make an honorary mention to those of you who have missed meat in the reviews. Of course, eating meat is more expensive, specially in a place like Amsterdam. I have experience eating a great set of ribs and burgers at this pub, also Irish stew and other yummy dishes, on a budget, for 10-15 euros, but a good size.

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