Discover the Top 5 Places to Enjoy an Indonesian Rijsttafel in Amsterdam

Indonesian food is tremendously popular in the Netherlands, and you’ll find many great Indonesian restaurants throughout the country. One of the most popular dishes in these restaurants is the Indonesian rijsttafel (literally, rice table), which is inspired by the traditional Indonesian dish Nasi Padang: rice accompanied by a variety of meats and vegetables.

What exactly is a rijsttafel?

The rijsttafel is a versatile meal (or should we say feast) that usually consists of many small, shareable Indonesian dishes, all served with different types of rice. A good rijsttafel is highly flavorful and certainly very filling. It is usually served for two or more people.

If you’re dining on your own, or if your dinner companions don’t want to order a rijsttafel, you can opt for a Nasi Campur instead. This meal for one comprises a selection of your choice of Indonesian dishes, all served on a single plate, and is comparable to a small rijsttafel. Nasi Campur is available at most Indonesian restaurants in Amsterdam.

Nasi Campur
Nasi Campur

Because a rijsttafel includes so many different dishes, there is always something for everyone to enjoy. Flavors include sweet, sour, salty, and spicy. And you can also choose a vegetarian option if you prefer, since most restaurants now also offer a full vegetarian rice table. Because flour is hardly used in Indonesian cuisine, this outing is also suitable for people with celiac disease.

Why is the rijsttafel so popular in Amsterdam and the Netherlands?

Well, it started with the Dutch colonists in Indonesia, who were impressed by Nasi Padang. They used this local dish as inspiration to find a way to enjoy as many different Indonesian dishes as possible in one sitting.

Thanks to the shared history between the two countries (the Dutch colonized Indonesia for almost 350 years), Indonesian food remains highly popular in the Netherlands. With the rijsttafel, however, the Dutch have added their own unique twist to Indonesian food, and this meal is now regarded as a true part of Dutch food culture.

Where can you find the best Indonesian rijsttafel in Amsterdam?

Because there are so many places serving Indonesian food in Amsterdam, it can be challenging to choose the right place. If you want to enjoy great food and a cozy atmosphere, and you also want to avoid the tourist traps, then we recommend that you check out the Indonesian rijsttafel at one (or more!) of the following restaurants. Just make sure that you show up hungry!

  1. Restaurant Blauw
  2. Restaurant Jun
  3. Restaurant Max
  4. Aneka Rasa
  5. Made’s Warung

Can you enjoy the Indonesian rijsttafel as part of a food tour?

Of course! If you’d prefer to experience the Indonesian rice table as part of a food tour with a local food tour guide, then we have some great options for you:

  • The Indonesian Walking Dinner Private Tour: On this tour, you get to enjoy a full Indonesian rice table for dinner, while also getting to try Dutch drinks and snacks in traditional Dutch establishments on your way to the Indonesian restaurant. Your private guide will also answer all your questions and tell you about the history of Amsterdam, the food, and the role of Indonesian food in Dutch culture.
  • The Grand Dutch Food and History Tour: On this tour, one of the stops includes a mini rice table, which gives you the opportunity to sample this delicious meal even if you don’t have a lot of time to spend in Amsterdam. This is a great option if you want to try a whole variety of Dutch foods while also seeing a part of the city and learning about the culture and history of Amsterdam. On Saturdays, this tour also stops at Sate Charly at the Lindengracht market for traditional Indonesian chicken satay served with peanut sauce, ketjap, lonton rice, atjar (pickled vegetables), sambal and kroepoek.

Find out more about these tours here: