It’s more than a little embarrassing that the actual first time I ever went to Amsterdam was only ten days ago. I never intentionally avoided it, but I never really went for it either, however, finally everything fell into place and I had the most wonderful weekend in this unbelievably pretty city: the weather was perfect, the city was bright and clean and awaking from winter, the crowds were big and annoying, but there are ways to deal with that in NL. Food seems to be as big a topic over there as it is here in Berlin, and while I really did enjoy getting that 2,- kaassoufflé at Febo’s wall of food (you just have to try it once, or thrice), there was plenty of more elaborate stuff to munch on.
As usual, I didn’t eat everything I wanted to eat. Unfortunately, I missed out on three of four chances to have dinner (not voluntarily!), despite having great recommendations on my list like Choux, Café Modern, and Breda. Well, will have to come back and be more organised, I guess. But here’s the things I ate and would definitely eat again anytime:
Prepare to wait for your brunch table at this hyped spot that already has two locations. However, it’s worth it, and they have a pretty well working system, taking down your name and messaging you as soon as your table is ready (although it didn’t work with my German cell number, but we figured it out in the end). The menu reads amazing, so many delicious sounding egg dishes, sweets, bowls, sandwiches – deciding whether to order the soft polenta with shiitake mushroom ragu and poached eggs (which make it brunch, you know), or the banoffee porridge with salted date caramel sauce and gingernut biscuit crunch is almost impossible! Bring loads of people to be able to taste it all, is what I suggest. Pictured here are the smoky aubergine and feta pancakes with fried egg, cumin spiced chickpeas, cashews and pine nuts, yoghurt and pita crackers. The yellow beverage on the side is a hot ginger and curcuma drink with black pepper, lemon, and honey, because I was also fighting a sinusitis, as it just always seems to happen when I’m traveling to interesting food cities. The food? I loved all of it.
PS, we should’ve definitely tried their boozy milkshakes. Would come back just for those.
Eerste Jacob van Campenstraat 54, 1072 BH Amsterdam, daily 08:30–16:00
I’ve been receiving this recommendation a lot, so I was surprised to see that Holtkamp is a pretty small cake shop given its popularity. I ended up sampling “only” all the different sweet and savoury (cheese!) cookies, because we’d just stuffed ourselves at brunch, but they were a delight and I’d go back anytime to buy any of their sweet treats.
Vijzelgracht 15, 1017 HM Amsterdam, Mon–Fri 08:30–18:00, Sat 08:30–17:00
Van der Linde
One actually really, really wants to avoid this street because it’s just a pain to walk in the crowds (which, yes, are everywhere in Amsterdam, but this one was the worst), however – this small shop selling ice cream is worth the struggle, I’d say. They fold freshly whipped cream with their frozen vanilla ice cream with no artificial additives, creating a soft and creamy scoop of heaven. The buying procedure is almost foolproof: get in the line and be swept inside the narrow shop, tell them what size your scoop shall have and whether you want a cone or a cup, pay, receive ice cream, leave. There are so many people and this seems the only way to handle them (and make profit). However, you’ll have to eat it on the busy main shopping street, so maybe just close your eyes?
Nieuwendijk 183, 1012 MG Amsterdam, Mon 13:00–17:00, Tue–Thu 11:00–17:45, Fri 09:00–17:45, 09:00–17:00
When I started researching food in Amsterdam, one of the first things I learned about was the rijsttafel, an Indonesian feast literally translating to rice table, where loads and loads of small dishes are served together with white and brown and steamed rice. We went to Blauw, a restaurant on the other end of Vondel Park, that was fully booked that night (smart as I sometimes am, we pre-booked a table beginning of the week), and ordered a vegetarian and a meat version. The table they seated us on was suspiciously small, however, they managed placing all the small ceramic ships with gado gado, tempeh satay, eggs in coconut sauce, fried banana, corn cakes, veggies in peanut sauce, and much much more. We ended up finishing all of it, though. Mostly because we went easy on the rice. It really was a good meal, while some of them were a bit bland, the majority was delicious. A rijsttafel is definitely something I’d look out for on a trip to NL.
Amstelveenseweg 158-160, 1075 XN Amsterdam, Mon–Thu 18:00–22:00, Fri 18:00–22:30, Sat 17:00–22:30, Sun 17:00–22:00
After walking around for a full day, it was either this ramen place or La Perla to fill our empty stomachs, and the choice fell on a bowl full of noodles and broth. (A friend of mine tried the pizza at La Perla after we left and reported it’s amazing.) While the gyozas weren’t entirely convincing, this Shio bowl is a save bet with great chewy noodles and an intense broth.
Elandsgracht 2A, 1016 TV Amsterdam, Tue–Sun 12:00–15:00, 17:00–21:00
This café just by a busy market is serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks, but the one thing people really queue for here is the apple pie. I actually needed two attempts to get my hands on it, since the first time we went there on Saturday afternoon it was just impossibly crowded. I went again on Monday morning and snatched a table outside, right next to the window to the bakery. During the 30minutes I sat there, I saw the baker make at least 20 new pies, with dozens more lined up ready for her to assemble. Not a small affair, that pie-biz. Their pie is tall with a thick, golden crust and apples cut in big chunks. It’s a nice cake, no doubt, however, as usual with such a big hype and line, one tends to expect something mind blowing, rather than just a good cake. Just a result of the times we live in, I guess. Right after I posted this experience on Instagram stories, someone replied they had the same with Five Elephant’s cheese cake over here. Well.
Noordermarkt 43, 1015 NA Amsterdam, Mon 07:00–01:00, Tue–Thu 08:00–01:00, Fri 08:00–03:00, Sat 07:00–03:00, Sun 10:00–01:00