Discovering Amsterdam Through Its Restaurants12>
Discovering Amsterdam: Amsterdam prides itself on having something to offer all its visitors. Its food is no exception. Whoever you are, and whatever your tastes, there is something for you.
Amsterdam’s Vondelpark is popular with locals and tourists alike. It’s a great place to spread out a picnic blanket, unpack a hamper and watch the world go by. Alternatively, there’s the Vondelpark restaurant for anything from a takeaway coffee to a three-course meal.
Stroop waffel, formed from two wafer-like waffles, sandwiched together by a syrupy filling, is a Dutch favourite. Enjoy them hot from one of the many street sellers, or try a specialist bakery, such as Lanskroon, which makes them fresh throughout the day.
Bruine cafés, which are similar to old-fashioned British pubs, owe their name to their dark wood fittings and nicotine-stained walls. Every neighbourhood has one, and they are convivial establishments that serve beer, jenever (a gin-like spirit), and sometimes wine. Most have a limited menu of light snacks, which may include traditional Dutch snacks such as hapjes and bitterballen.
The Pancake Bakery on Prinsengracht is an Amsterdam institution. Ideal if you’re travelling with kids, or if you just happen to really like pancakes, it serves them with every filling you’ve ever imagined, and plenty of more surprising ones. There are also good selections of other food, including omelettes, salad and soup. With an outdoor terrace for sunny days, and an online booking service, this makes an excellent spot for a meal.
Discovering Amsterdam: Moeders is a traditional Dutch restaurant that prides itself on being informal and cosy, whilst also offering excellent food. The menu is fairly international, catering to most tastes, but there are also several Dutch specialities. The restaurant’s main talking point is what’s on its walls: they are covered with hundreds of framed and unframed pictures of mothers. You can even bring a picture of yours and have it added to the collection.
If Michelin stars, gourmet food and sommelier-chosen wines are your thing, you are spoiled for choice. The two-starred Ciel Bleu, popular with both business people and food-lovers, has the advantage of unparalleled views across the city from its position on the 23rd floor of the Okura Hotel.
As well as a thriving Chinatown, Amsterdam is known for its Indonesian eateries. Wherever you go, rijsttafel should be your dish of choice. Meaning “rice platter”, it guarantees you lots of small dishes to share and try. Sampurna, in the centre of the city, is conveniently located for tourists, and its dishes are varied and well-priced.
The centrally-located and comfortable Amsterdam Hostel Orfeo is within easy reach of the main tourist sights, and of many of the eating establishments listed here. Its staff will also be glad to make other suggestions based on your own particular wishes.