In the past 15 years I’ve probably been to Amsterdam about 15-20 times. The Netherlands is an easy country for North Americans to feel at ease. Compared to its neighboring European countries, the fashion requirements are more relaxed, the Dutch speak a little louder; master the English language a little better and restaurants have more flexible hours (open for dinner at 5 pm) and often times serve more casual cuisine- so, it’s a bit like home. I’ve always been surprised at how Amsterdam receives such little recognition for its food. The expansive history of trading and colonization by the Dutch has contributed to the worldly flavors around town- Surinamese and Indonesian being among the most prominent. Beyond these ethnic influences you’ll find a health conscious crowd developing where cold pressed juice bars are rapidly popping up and organic, local and vegetarian options are trending in the hip neighborhoods. Another welcomed delight is the rise of artisanal coffee cafes; taking pride in roasting, brewing and serving the perfect cup of joe.
The 4 weeks I spent in Amsterdam gave me time to check out serveral different neighborhoods and restaurants. The Pijp was one of my favorite areas. I’ve listed a few of the highlights that are MUST GO restaurants and cafes if you travel to Amsterdam. *You’ll have to excuse the photography as most pics where taken on my iPhone 🙁
Restaurant Blauw: Amsteelveensweg 158-160, Amsterdam
Good Indonesian restaurant. If you ask for the ‘risjsttafel’ you can try a variety of dishes and flavors for those less familiar with ordering Indonesian.
Betty’s: Rijnstraat 75, Amsterdam
Creative and delicious vegetarian food . It’s wise to get a reservation online as this place books up quickly. The proud restaurant owner usually serves and explains the food and wine. He choses all dishes and ingredients with purpose.
Waaghals: Frans Halsstraat 29, Amsterdam
This is another vegetarian restaurant located in the Pijp neighborhood. The cuisine isn’t as imaginative as Betty’s but the food bursts with flavor and the ambiance offers a warm almost hippie-like feel. Open for dinner only.
Nghia N Nghia: Rozengracht 106, Amsterdam
Vietnamese street food serving noodle dishes and pho. Open for lunch and dinner
The Butcher: Albert Cuypstraat 129, Amsterdam
If you’re needing a little Vitamin B12 and craving red meat this is the place for a ‘lekker’ burger. In the evenings they have a speak-easy cocktail bar in the back. We didn’t have a chance to check it out though.
Brouwerij Troost: Cornelis Troostplein 21, Amsterdam (another Pijp favorite)
If you’re looking to pair a burger with a microbrew this is worth checking out. The vegetarian burger is also delicious.
The Fat Dog: Ruysdaelkade 251, Amsterdam
This gourmet hot dog restaurant is the work of Michelin-starred restaurant Ron Blauw. The menu also includes a selection of cocktails, beer and wine.
Screaming Beans: Hartenstraat 12, Amsterdam
This coffee roaster is located in the 9 straatjes. It’s a great spot to caffinate and refuel after shopping on the famous 9 street boutiques.
Scandinavian Embassy: Sarphatipark 34, Amsterdam
Their commitment to coffee excellence and setting of ‘food meets fashion’ makes you feel as if you are living through a Portlandia episode. They rejected my ordering an Americano and encouraged an ‘exceptionally crafted brewed coffee made by experts’. I was so thrown off by rejection and big words that I accepted the proposal and enjoyed my brewed masterpiece. The breakfast options are simple but tasty. My husband had oatmeal over goats milk yogurt and I had my poached eggs and salmon. Yum!