When looking for a steak in Amsterdam, you’ll find that the city is full of overpriced and overhyped steakhouses. Most of these are tourists traps, and you probably won’t see a single local eating in them. However, among Amsterdam’s many steakhouses there are still a few jewels. One of these, Steakhouse Piet de Leeuw, is an unpretentious breath of fresh air among Amsterdam’s restaurants… and is as famous among the locals as the man who opened the restaurant in 1949.
Piet de Leeuwe was a famous European pool champion from Holland, and his restaurant has been an Amsterdam landmark since the day it opened. Now run by de Leeuwe’s grandson, Luuk, Steakhouse Piet de Leeuw was one of the first “brown cafe” restuarants to open in Amsterdam. The term “brown cafe” refers to old train station waiting rooms… modern brown cafes are small, dark, and cozy— perfect for getting out of that cold Dutch weather.
While many of Amsterdam’s brown cafes tend to be a little shabby, Steakhouse Piet de Leeuw is not. It has lots of ambiance (the interiors still date from the early 1950s), great table settings, and a traditional Dutch kitchen. Frequented mostly by locals and regulars, Piet de Leewe hasn’t made too many changes to the menu since 1949. You can still find the dishes Piet de Leeuw was famous for, such as beefsteak (a simple but very juicy steak served with bread), pickled herring, and crispy fried sole.
Since taking over the restaurant from his grandfather, the current owner has made some small additions to Steakhouse Piet de Leeuw’s famous menu— you can now find more modern dishes, such as sweetbreads and fried mussels. Still, the most popular item on the menu is the steak that made Piet de Leeuw famous— large, juicy, cooked to order, and served with a very generous side of fried potatoes, it’s probably the best steak you’ll have in Amsterdam. And it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.