Sadly, going out for food is quite expensive here. I'm really missing the student pubs we had back home, where you could get a cheap meal for under 5€, whereas here even a simple portion of Spaghetti with Pesto will easily cost you 15€.
Fortunately, there are at least *some* exceptions, that will at least give you a good value for money and I've sacrificed a lot of my personal time to research the best places for going out here :) Will try to update this post from time to time, as I discover new places.
Mexican food in 3 locations in Amsterdam (I recommend the Jordaan branch), best Margaritas, good food although portions could be slightly bigger.
Best. Pizza. Ever. 14€ per pizza, which seems to be the usual price for Amsterdam, seems very steep, but here it's definitely worth it. If I had to live on their Pizza Boscaiola for the rest of my life, I really wouldn't mind. Mostly takeout, with some small tables in the back, where you can have Antipasti or Tiramisu with your pizza. I've never been to the second location in Oud-West though, which is more of a restaurant.
De Twee Grieken
Small greek restaurant with reasonable prices. I don't think I've ever had any better calamari rings. 13-20€.
All-you-can-eat Sushi chain with several locations in Amsterdam (I prefer the one on Leidseplein). Good selection, slightly limited for lunch. 20-30€ for all you can eat, depending on the day and time.
Small vietnamese eatery with soups and snacks, prices around 10-12€.
Le Fou Fouw Ramen Bar
Same thing in japanese: Noodle soups and gyoza, 10-15€ per bowl of soup that will get you very full.
Kantijl & De Tijger
Indonesian food, slightly touristy, but quite okay.
Literary café with some games, jazz on sundays and canal-side terrace in summer. Seasonal menu with really good food, reasonably priced.
Here someone took the now so hip concept of food truck roundups, put it into a former tram depot and created Amsterdam's first indoor food market with everything ranging from indian barbecue, oysters, Pizza, Quinoa Sushi, up to Bitterballen. I like the concept of being able to sample a lot of different food in one night, but when I was there in the evenings I always found it a little annoying how crowded it was: Once everybody had decided what they wanted to eat, you had to queue at the different stalls, then somehow find a place to sit and in the end one of us would always be finished eating before the others had even gotten their food. Nevertheless, the place is rather unusual and deserves a recommendation. And if you go during the day, it's not that crowded either.
Belgian beer cafe, with a very wide selection of beers and 2-for-1 meals on Mondays and Tuesdays. The food is mostly classic bar food, e.g. meat & something fried, some pasta, but quite good. Also, one of the few places here that serve Club Mate!
Large selection of mostly american craft beers, if you're into that sort of stuff.
Proeflokaal Wijnand Fockinck
Distillery with a tiny bar where you can sample all of their liquors and jenevers, only open between 15.00h-21.00h. In a small side street of Dam Square.
Meat & Burgers:Burger Bar
Small snack bar with the best burgers in Amsterdam - you get to choose between irish beef, black angus or kobe. 8-13€
Ellis Gourmet Burgers
Burger restaurant with excellent burgers on decent bread (I really don't like the typical mushy burger buns). Also serve salmon and veggie burgers. 10-15€
Steaks, Ribs & Burger restaurant with an eerie decor. Good value for money.
Small local breweries:De Bekeerde Suster
Good for large groups, good changing menu, try the homemade Nachos.
2 Locations in Westerpark & dePijp, also serves Flammkuchen&Burgers.
Brouwerij De Prael
Their brewery tour is definitely a more unique option than touring the Heineken brewery, that's so popular with tourists. Sadly I haven't been there yet myself, but all my friends are raving about it. And the beer, which you can sample in the Proeflokaal next to the brewery (next to a windmill, so it really is hard to miss), is really good!
Café 't Schuim
Ranges somewhere between café, bar and nightclub with and very varying crowd
Bar in one of the squats (probably even the only one that's left?) on Spuistraat. Cheap drinks, *very* alternative crowd, often bands are playing or art performances are happening. Punk nights, queer nights, and vegan nights. Better check the agenda before you go, or be adventurous and drop in spontaneously (I could tell you stories...)
Rock/Metal bar with a pool table, pinball machine and a nice canalside garden. Occasional live bands.
De Nieuwe Anita
Former squat bar, excellent cocktails. Sometimes live bands, theme nights or movie nights. Cozy interior and very diverse crowd.
Small metal bar with concerts on fridays.
Mostly for warm weather:Waterkant
The Waterkant is hidden unterneath a parking garage next to the Elandsgracht bus station. It does not have that many tables but you can always just grab a beer at the bar and sit down somewhere on the pier (or bring your own drinks - nobody really minds as the quay technically isn't part of the bar). It usually has sun until rather late in the evening, so it's also crowded during the week and many people arrive in boats to refill on booze there or to pick up their friends. Food is surinamese and asian inspired. 8-15€.
Built from old shipping containers, with the most comfortable bean bags and canvas chairs on its little beach overlooking the IJ river. Child-friendly, yoga lessons on the weekend and mostly organic food.
Some 100 meters away from Pllek in Noord as well, located in an old greenhouse with a green garden and many comfortable seating options around.
City beach with a volleyball court and a children's playground. When it's warm, swing into the canal on a rope or get open-air bbq. On the weekend evening-events such as nightmarkets in the neighboring factory building.
Beer garden surrounded by water, with a nice view over the Oosterdok.
Brunch & Breakfast:Dragon's Delight
British-influenced Brunch, Lunch and High Tea. I love their cupcakes and fresh scones! Very friendly service, sadly it's a bit off my usual routes, otherwise I would be there more often. Very reasonable prices!
Bagels & Beans
As the name indicated: popular chain for coffee and bagels. I quite like their bagel tapas, good for breakfast.
Located in a former casino in the red light district, very beautiful interior.
Ever since we moved into our appartment, I've wanted to go to this little restaurant around the corner, 1.5 years later we finally made it there. And I was not disappointed: delicious food, impeccable service and a very relaxed atmosphere. Every week a different menu is offered, starters and dessert are fixed, for the main course there's usually a choice between meat and fish. 32,50€ for 3 courses. Reservation recommended.
Luxurious cocktail place with the interior of a british gentlemen's club (except that women are allowed as well :)). You can't just come in, but have to ring the door bell, to make sure that the bar never gets too crowded. Extremely friendly staff, delicious champagne cocktails and a large selection of Single Malts and basically all other liquors you might fancy.