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The most beautiful terraces by the water in Amsterdam

In summer it can be very hot in Amsterdam; this week it will be >35° C (>85° F). What is a better place to cool down then at a terrace by the water with a refreshing drink in your hand? So here is a list of my favorite, most beautiful terraces by the water in Amsterdam. 

#1 Mediamatic

Mediamatic has one of my favorite waterfront terraces in the city centre; I just love sitting in their giant greenhouse by the water. In summer they open  the sliding windows, so that you can catch a nice breeze from the water. They also have outdoor seating. This is where I had my second date with the love of my life. So every now and then we like to come back here to enjoy a glass of wine, each other’s company and the splendid view. Good to know: Mediamatic has its own aquaponics greenhouse, a sustainable urban agriculture system, where they cultivate vegetables/herbs and fish. Address: Dijkgracht 6 (map). 


#2 Edel in Between

Edel in Between is literally an in-between restaurant in West. Lokaal Edel, the former restaurant at this location, was recently taken over by new owners. In fall 2019, Edel in Between will be turned into a casual fine dining restaurant. In the meantime, this place offers a brasserie-style menu and has one of the most beautiful terraces by the water in Amsterdam. I had dinner at Edel in Between  at the end of June 2019 and was pleasantly surprised with the scallop and the celeriac lasagna! The bench to the far right in the picture below is my and my boyfriend’s favorite spot for a late-afternoon glass of wine. Address: Postjesweg 1 (map). 

Edel in Between

#3 Riva

There aren’t many places in Amsterdam where you can sit closer to the water than at Riva; built on a boat, this restaurant in East floats on the river Amstel! I had dinner here on a hot hot summer night and ordered starters only. I can highly recommend the kingfish ceviche, grilled beef with chimichurry and the gazpacho. I topped it off with the lemon meringue pie with a glass of sweet dessert wine. Although this place feels a bit classic, the hundreds of small pleasure boats passing by makes this one of my favorite terraces by the water in Amsterdam. Address: Amstelboulevard 1 (map). 


#4 Pllek

Pllek is one of my favorite restaurants in Amsterdam Noord (North). Pllek is  by the river IJ and offers one of the few urban beaches in town. I like to take my friends from abroad here for lunch and often crash here after festivals or after visiting the flea market IJ-hallen (click here to read my blog post on the largest flea market in Europe: de IJ-hallen). It’s location by the river gives you a sweeping panoramic view. Take a close look at Pllek’s ‘architecture’, it is made of shipping containers cut open! Address: T.T. Neveritaweg 59, just take the free ferry from Central Station to NDSM-werf (map). 


#5 Café Restaurant Amsterdam

Café-Restaurant Amsterdam is my family restaurant, because of the numerous family dinners we’ve had here. Café Restaurant Amsterdam is located in the former engine room of the 19th century Pumping Station responsible for the supply of fresh drinking water to the Amsterdammers. It’s industrial look adds to the laid-back atmosphere of this place. Their menu is fingerlicking good: my dad’s all time favorite here is the fruits-de-mer plateau, my sister the Gambas with aïoli, and I lost count of the number of Colonels (lemon sorbet with vodka) I drank here. Address: Watertorenplein 6 (map). 

Café Restaurant Amsterdam

#6 Café de Sluyswacht

Café de Sluyswacht, in the city centre, is the former home of the sluice master which was built in the late 17th century. Rembrandt used to live opposite the Sluyswacht in the house with the red shutters (nowadays the Rembrandt museum). It is very close to the final stop of the Comedy Walks, so that makes it a perfect place for a drink afterwards. The place has two terraces, but I only like to sit at the one at the back because it gives you a fabulous view over one of the canals of Amsterdam: de Oudeschans. It is also fun to see the small pleasure boats pass  through the sluice. Address: Jodenbreestraat 1 (map). 

Café de Sluyswacht

#7 tHuis aan de Amstel

tHuis aan de Amstel is a typical hidden gem that only locals know about. tHuis means home and it used to be the director’s residency of the former gas factory in the South of Amsterdam, de Zuidergasfabriek (the Southern gas factory). It was built in the early 20th century. The terrace is surrounded by a lovely flower garden overlooking the river Amstel. It is one of my boyfriend’s favorite spots for lunch as most products are locally produced and the food is home-made. I have only been here once for a late night tea, but I plan to come back many more times. Address: Korte Ouderkerkerdijk 45 (map). 

tHuis aan de Amstel

#8 Pacific

As long as I remember, Pacific has been a hotspot in the Westerpark. The large sunny terrace by the water is always packed, but as people come and go, you will always be able to find a nice spot. We used to go here specifically for their signature dish: French fries rendang (or in Dutch: Patatje rendang). Rendang is a famous Indonesian some sort of a beef curry very rich in flavor (bit spicy). Unfortunately they took it off their new menu so last time we ordered the yummy waffle fries with kimchi and pulled jackfruit instead. Could you do me a favor? Please keep asking for the french fries rendang until they put it back on the menu. Address: Polonceaukade 23 inside Westerpark (map). 

Pacific Amsterdam

#9 De Waterkant

This place in the centre is all about Latin-American vibes: the food, the music and the set up. Although it is located behind a car parking tower, it has the feel of a caribbean restaurant on the beach. De Waterkant is so popular with young locals that it is often hard to find a spot. But no worries, you can sit on the quay wall, enjoy your drink and watch the small boats pass by. The menu is based on the Suriname kitchen, so roti (I had a delicious chicken roti) and banana burgers are no strangers. Vegetarian, vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free and halal, it is all possible! Address: Marnixstraat 246 (map). 

De Waterkant

#10 Hanneke’s Boom

Hanneke’s Boom (in English: Hanneke’s tree) is another hotspot nearby the centre of Amsterdam and often packed with people. Very popular with locals! You can order your food and drinks at the bar and take it to your favorite spot by the water. If you are on a pleasure boat out on the water this is a great place to dock your boat and have a drink and some food. They serve lunch and dinner here, but I have only been here for lunch and late night drinks. It is a lovely place for drinks at night when all the lights are on (open till 1am and till 3am on Friday and Saturday). Address: Dijksgracht 4 (map). 

Hanneke’s Boom

#11 Roest

The name roest means rust, the reddish-brown flaky coating on metal. So quite appropriate for a place in a former industrial area in East that once used to be a gas factory. Nowadays Roest Amsterdam is an escape from the city inside the city. Amsterdam Roest is a hotspot particularly in summer as it is one of the few places in Amsterdam with an urban beach. I ended up here after visiting the awesome exhibition ‘Rembrandt 360‘ next door. Go for the atmosphere, a drink and perhaps a snack, but don’t expect too much from the food. By the way, it is self-service. Address: Jacob Bontiusplaats 1 (map). 


#12 Café de Jaren

Café de Jaren has one of the most beautiful waterfront terraces in the city’s centre. It is literally on the canal, right in front of the Halvemaansbrug (Half-moon bridge) where the boats come in from the river Amstel. Rain or shine, this is one of my favorite places to go. It is a very popular spot with locals, but also expats and tourists have found this jewel, so you may not always find a table by the water. I have taken several of my guests from abroad to this place for coffee, lunch and/or just drinks. They serve a vegetarian version (filled with oyster mushrooms) of the famous Dutch kroket (a breadcrumbed fried beef-ragout roll). Address: Nieuwe Doelenstraat 20 (map).

Café de Jaren

#13 Hotel Buiten

Hotel Buiten (English: Hotel Outside) may not have picked the most flashy name yet it is the place to be for lunch, drinks or dinner on a (urban) beach in Amsterdam. It is located at the Sloterplas that has become increasingly popular as a hangout for water sport enthusiasts. (think of swimming, canoeing, windsurfing and stand-up paddling) and sunbathers. Hotel Buiten has a lovely terrace with a view to the gorgeous Sloterplas. During July’s heatwave I had dinner here with my sister and a close friend. I ordered the delicious Imam Bayildi with labneh from goat milk and pomegranate. Address: Th. J. Lammerslaan 3 (map). 

Hotel Buiten

About the author: Laura Danielle is a co-founder of Comedy Walks: stand-up comedy shows with the city as a stage, or, if you like, city tours with a professional stand-up comedian as a guide. We currently run Comedy Walks in Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Utrecht. By far the most fun way to explore a city! All information in the blog posts is based on personal experiences and commission free (“I rather drink coffee with inspiring entrepreneurs than compete with them for 20 cents commission for our customers’ coffee” – Laura Danielle).