Amsterdam: Eat and drink well in Amsterdam
With its multi-cultural background, there is plenty of food choice, too.
Raw herring (haring) is traditionally eaten by throwing your head back and lowering the fish into your mouth. If you don’t fancy that, opt for chopped pieces or a sandwich (broodje). Bitterballen are filled with a minced beef mixture – team with beer, and get the best at Grandcafé Luxembourg. De Ballenbar at De Foodhalle offers the widest selection, while Hoftuin and Cafe de Ceuvel are among those with a vegetarian option. Kroket is a bigger version of the bitterbal. The popular sausage Rookworst, also made of ground meat, is easily available at butchers and other shops, with Slagerij Vet in De Wallen producing possibly the tastiest, and HEMA selling a range of related merchandise.
For a sweet tooth
Waffles have gone international now, but stroopwaffel with syrup first emerged from Gouda in the eighteenth century. Find them at markets everywhere, or try potertjes, small pancakes traditionally served with sugar and butter, and sold at street stalls when days are colder.
Unlike British or American apple pie, Appeltart has a cake-type base with a lattice covering and a cinnamon-flavoured apple filling. Shoppers at the Noodermakt farmers’ market on Saturdays swear by the versions on sale at Café Winkel 43 or Papeneiland. Other sweet delights are the Christmas treat of chocoladeletter (letters of chocolate candy) and drop (licorice).
Where to go
Eat and drink well: Eetbar Wilde Zwijnen is attached to a restaurant, serving smaller portions of the main menu, where you’ll find both local and international cuisine, with delicious desert cheese. Café Sonneveld offers Dutch/Indonesian dishes such as kipsaté (grilled meat in a sauce).
For food on the go, try the chain Falafelbars Maoz at any of the main tourist spots, for falafels and unlimited salad. If you hanker after a freshly-made smoothie or fruit juice, head for SLA, Juice & Salad, Venkel or Dr Blend.
Something for everyone
Vegetarians and vegans will find something for them in most places, but it’s nice to have more than an obligatory alternative. Restaurant De Bolhoed in the city centre provides a relaxed atmosphere with sandwiches, salads, soups and meals, accompanied by alcoholic or hot drinks. De Waaghals serves seasonal and organic produce at a reasonable price, while Alchemist Garden is a raw food establishment.
Eat and drink well: You can eat in or take out at DopHert Vegan Foods & Goods, or at the Vegabond Vegafood deli, situated by a pretty canal. Olive and Cookie’s slow food is influenced by Istrian cuisine, while Le Sud sticks to Mediterranean and Middle Eastern salads (some with fish). Serve yourself at MKZ, located in a legalised squat, or at the collective-run De Peper.
Choose centrally-situated, comfortable and reasonably-priced accommodation such as Hostel Uptown to stay within easy reach of a good choice of bars and restaurants.