Earlier this week I told you all about what to do in Amsterdam. Today I will share where to eat, drink and shop.
Where to Drink in Amsterdam
I know I live in the land of great coffee, but I have always really liked coffee in Amsterdam. One cultural difference I noticed was the very leisurely pace at which coffee is made, delivered and consumed.So so very different from the caffeinated zoom that I used to in Rome.
Ferdinand Bolstraat 113
This Brazillian themed coffee shop offered the stylish Chemex pour over so we tested our first coffee of the day patience and were rewarded with a smooth rich brew.
Ferdinand Bolstraat 151-153
The line up of brightly colored chairs outside makes this spot very inviting even on a gray morning. Inside you will find a serious Italian coffee machine and pile of fragrant pastries.
1e Sweelinckstraat 19-F
This cute spot with a sunny Aussie vibe serves flat whites and long blacks. Sit outside on a peaceful street just around the corner from the Albert Cuyp Market and slake your thirst from with a glass of cold cucumber water from the large chilled decanter inside. The food looks great too. I spied a salad on the counter as we were leaving that I am still thinking about.
Gin and Tonics
Gin is the spirit of choice in Amsterdam. I asked for a bourbon cocktail at every place we stopped and only one even had bourbon on their shelves! Genever, the Dutch national juniper berry based liquor (and their version of gin)has a strong hold here.
I was happy to adapt to the local culture as that meant lots of gin & tonics next to pretty canals and charming streets in cool cafes.
This spot in the charming area known as the De 9 Straatjes has everything a great cafe should have; Terrific playlist, strong wifi, cozy decor and lots of seating. Oh and a crisp hendricks and cucumber gin & tonic.
Heregracht Restaurant and Bar
This clean lined space on the elegant Heregracht cafe (and very near the FIOS bench) served up cold white wine, gin and tonics and excellent piping hot bitterballen.
Dante Kitchen & Bar
We were here for the canal view and to revive ourselves after a long day of museum going, cocktail dress shopping and general exploring all of which involved kilometers and kilometers of walking. This pretty place, with comfortable benches and goblets of gin certainly hit the spot.
1e van der Helststraat 62a
This was our first cocktail spot and before I understood that the dutch are not great bourbon lovers. The very accommodating staff here happily googled an old fashioned recipe and I must say did a very good job.
Wijn Bar Boelen & Bolen
Eerste van der Helststraat 50
Wijn Bar Boelen & Bolen
Eerste van der Helststraat 50
Ferdinand Bolstraat 180
Ferdinand Bolstraat 180
Not a cocktail girl? Try Wijn Boelen & Boelen bar in De Pijp for a diverse and interesting wine selection with enthusiastic and knowledgeable sommeliers or nearby de Gamberius for a great beer selection.
Where to Eat in Amsterdam
Daniël Stalpertstraat 103
Two different strangers stopping their bikes and telling you go inside you while you are perusing the menu is probably a good sign this is a good place. I am glad we listened. We were greeted with glasses of bubbly and delicate amuse bouche almost as soon as we sat down. We ordered chargrilled rib eye served with a melty parmesan filled baked onion and roasted duck breast both of which were beautiful presented and moaningly delicious.
Warung Spang Makandra
Gerard Doustraat 39
After learning about(and having a small taste of this bold cuisine)the history between the Netherlands and Suriname on our food tour, we wanted to explore further the tastes of which neither of us knew very much about. We tried this very simple spot where we were met with a Sunday evening crowd waiting for tables and takeout on the sidewalk. Soon seated we asked some advice from the waiters and neighboring tables and we were happily digging into our plates of flavorful rice, noodles, beef curry and crisp vegetables.
The Fat Dog
My traveling pal is not a foodie. She was happy to tag along and indulge a bit, but Michelin stars and fine dining are not her thing. Fat Dog ticked all kinds of boxes. 1) It was practically next to our hotel, nice after a long day of Amsterdam exploring. 2) At the creative helm of Fat Dog is the superstar chef Ron Blaaw. 3) The menu is hot dogs, champagne and beer. The cheeky humor and fantastic traditional and thai inspired dogs were happily enjoyed extras.
Eerste van der Helstraat, 80
Looking for a healthy start to our last day in Amsterdam we found the Yogurt Barn right next to the pretty Sarphatipark. Pick your yoghurt and load it up with figs, chia seeds, and berries and feel quite virtuous until you have another stroopwaafel.
Craving something crunchy and green after a day spent snacking, the Eating Amsterdam Food Tour team steered us to SLA (which means salad in Dutch) I was almost overcome by the vast variety of choice but decided against one of the signature salads and created my own concoction; Roasted brussel sprouts, creamy avocado, cilantro, tamarind and ginger dressing, I piled it all on.
We snagged a slopey table at this popup restaurant on the banks of the swanky Prinsengracht and ordered thai spiced butternut soup and mackerel topped brown bread and spent a good part of the sunny Sunday afternoon watching the cheery boat traffic below.
Where to Shop in Amsterdam
The American Book Center
English is everywhere in Amsterdam. Did you know no films are dubbed there? Imagine! We didn't get a chance to see a movie, but we did go book shopping. It was difficult to leave this light filled, multistoried shop without a stack of new books. Only low cost airline excess baggage fees kept us in line.
Albert Cyup Market
This lively street market runs for blocks. You can browse for silk scarves made from vintage saris, eat a stroopwafel made right in front of you with molten syrup sandwiched between two warm crisp wafers. Estelle went back twice to Jan de Grote Kleinvakman Fournituren for all sorts ribbons, buttons, colorful binding tapes and brightly embroidered patches. It was kind of a no calorie candy shop for my not quite a foodie traveling pal.
De 9 Straatjes
Picturesque streets filled with charming shops and beautiful people are what De 9 Straatjes are all about. The nine connected streets are perfect for leisurely wandering. We shopped for colorful Mad Men-esque dresses at Wow To Go, resisted Frida Kahlo kitsch from MeCHICas and I stocked up on tiny fish encased in acrylic and hammered tin ornaments in the eclectic De Weldaad.
Amsterdam Cheese Company
The whole cheese thing in Amsterdam is kind of overwhelming. Head straight to the Amsterdam Cheese Company where you can taste everything, lots of the products are small enough for a carry on and do not need refrigerating. They even tuck a few sheets of special paper to store your cheese once you get back home.
When one of my brothers was studying in Holland he would visit Rome with a suitcase filled dutch treats; stroopwafel, hagelslag, gouda and craft beer. Most of his treasures were purchased at the ubiquitous grocery store Albert Heijn. He created life long cravings for Dutch childhood food. My idea of a good time when I travel is browsing food markets and grocery stores. My small suitcase had just enough room for one box of hagelslag that I plan to sprinkle over a slice of Neapolitan sourdough bread slathered with French salted butter.
Short on time? De Bijenkorf probably has everything you are looking for under one roof. This elegant department store in the historic Dam square has mini shops for names like COS, Bobbi Brown and a great shoe section. The kitchen and decor section is also perfectly edited.
This discount chain is also owned by De Bijenkorf and is a homesick expat Target lovers dream come true.