Amsterdam is a vibrant cultural city that offers a vast array of fun and exciting activities, such as the Rijks Museum, Heineken Experience or a run through Vondel Park. If those do not tickle your fancy, consider strolling through the Red Light District or jump on a boat cruise through the canals. Either way, you will certainly work up a hearty appetite. So here’s a guide on where to find some grub and satisfy that hunger.
Food Hallen is a great place to start in Amsterdam West. A former train depot that has been transformed into a trendy high-end food court. If you are not sure what to indulge in, this place is for you! It has a wide selection of food, such as instagramable hot dogs, gourmet tacos, or an iteration of the usual Dutch specialities like Bitterballen (a deep fried snack ball typically filled with meat). De Hallen also has shopping and a movie theatre if you want to walk off or veg out after your meal.
If you are salivating for typical Dutch food, the heart of Amsterdam Central is packed with worthy options. My personal favourites include The Pantry and De Blauwe Hollander Restaurant, each happens to be on the same street across from each other. Both offer traditional stamppot and go against the Dutch mold and offer great service. If you go for ambience, The Pantry has more of a rustic vintage décor inside. If deep fried food is more your style, head to Tomaz a few blocks west, they have great bites that go with your beer!
Just want sweets after all that beer? Hit up the Albert Crypt Spice Market. You won’t find many spices here though, but you will find hot of the press Dutch Poffertjes (bite-sized pastry pancakes), fresh French fries with mayo (a must in Amsterdam) and Stroopwafels (essentially a sugary syrup stuffed waffle cookie). While at the market you can also browse fresh fish from the market, sample cheese and pick up souvenirs for Mom, she’ll appreciate it.
If you’re dressed to impress and looking for something more upscale, I suggest dining at De Kas, or Bluespoon. De Kas is in a garden conservatory and may be a bit out of the way, but it’s worth it. I’ll say it again – it is worth it, simply my favourite restaurant in Amsterdam and easily in my Top 10. They use fresh ingredients form their greenhouse on site, and create organic original swoon worthy dishes. You can also reserve the chef’s table for the ultimate VIP experience. For those of who have not heard of a chef’s table, it is a dining table inside of the kitchen itself, and the chef presents each dish and describes how it was made and the ingredients, coupled with having a wine perfectly paired to the dish. Bluespoon is more centrally located and has a great view overlooking the garden of the Andaz hotel. Here they use local ingredients to create European works of art on your plate.
If you just want something fast, hop into any of the Febos; there are about 60 locations. With coins you can purchase hot foods like burgers, fries, and Dutch treats from a wall like vending machine, perfect for late night munchies. Just keep in mind when visiting Febo the food triangle; you can only have two of the following three: cheap, amazing taste or fast. Very few restaurants can conquer all three. If you know of any, let me know!
If you came to Amsterdam just for the cheese, you are in luck. The city core is filled with cheese stores that are kind enough to provide what appears to be an endless supply of cheese samples. Want to know more about cheese? Sign up for the many cheese tastings available. My favourite was Henri Willig. Pre book it, and for only 15 Euros you get lots of cheese, wine and beer. Worth the 1 hour stop for sure.
Feeling home sick? Last stop, visit Kevin Bacon Bar. Don’t be fooled by the name, they do not offer North American food options, only Thai. However their food is on budget, and on point with presentation. This goes great with their famous Gin and Tonics.
After all these stops, you should be satisfied and ready to continue your trip on a full stomach! Some honourable mentions include The Avocado Show for lunch, Vegan Junk Food Bar, Red (for their Surf & Turf) and Eddy Spaghetti.
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