As I started to write my Amsterdam city guide, I realized the majority (if not all) of the post was about food and drink… And the more I thought about it, the more I realized we planned our trip to Amsterdam solely around these two things!
No trip to Amsterdam is complete without trying the famous Dutch apple pie or a stroopwaffel, or even a beer from a local brewery. But, did you know Amsterdam has an amazing international food scene, almost as good as New York City? That Dutch cheese will literally melt in your mouth and have you craving more? Or, that this is a city of craft beer lovers, and there is no such thing as too much beer?
If you’re planning a trip to Amsterdam, or you’re a foodie looking for a foodist city (I may have just made this term up!), this post is for you! It was hard enough writing this post without wishing I was back in Amsterdam, enjoying a glass of rosé at Pllek Beach or eating brunch at one of the best cafes in the city!
Day 1 in Amsterdam
We arrived in Amsterdam from Gent in the late afternoon, and if you’ve read my Gent post, I’m sure you already guessed Alex and I were very hungry (read: hangry) from our vegan breakfast. We checked into our hotel and immediately walked over to Kaashuis Tromp, a speciality cheese shop in the De Pijp neighborhood. I have no idea what sort of Dutch cheese we purchased, but holy cheese, it was amazing! It was so good in fact, I didn’t even have time to snap a pic! (And, in case you’re curious… I found Kaashuis Tromp in the The 500 Hidden Secrets of Amsterdam book. This travel series is now my go-to guide when traveling!)
Kaashuis Tromp in the De Pijp neighborhood — off-the-beaten path and full of yummy cheeses and breads
After exploring and working up an appetite, we met up with an old college friend at Brut De Mer, a wine bar and seafood restaurant in De Pijp. Despite being quite crowded (with locals and almost no tourists!), we enjoyed a glass of champagne before grabbing a table outside. Brut De Mar is definitely the place to be when the sun is out! We shared several appetizers and the seafood platter — all of which were delicious and fresh!
Our seafood platter at Brut De Mer
To celebrate our first night in Amsterdam (and the beautiful weather AND sun setting at 10:15pm!!!), we stopped by Eetcafe De Magere Brug for an evening spritz. The cafe is canal side — the perfect location to relax and people watch.
The view from Eetcafe De Magere Brug. There is no better way to end a long day of exploring than with an aperol spritz, watching the sunset
Day 2 in Amsterdam
After getting a much needed night’s rest, we started our first full day in Amsterdam at Coffee & Coconuts, a former cinema built in the 1920s. The cafe is funky and alive, buzzing with energy. There are three different floors with coaches, tables, and even large beanbags, and you can get anything from coffee, juice, baked goods, and breakfast. Our brunch was delicious, and I would definitely recommend eating here with any visit to Amsterdam!
Coffee & Coconuts
My breakfast — avocado toast topped with scrambled eggs!
Alex in food coma… And beware! European table service can be very slow — you will never be rushed to pay your bill, but you can also end up waiting what seems like hours to pay!
For dinner, we really struggled with deciding what type of cuisine we wanted, so we decided De Foodhallen was our best bet. De Foodhallen is the first indoor food market in the Netherlands and has several bars (wine, beer, cocktails — you name it!) and countless food stalls (everything from dim sum to bitterballen). It actually reminded me a bit of Smorgasburg in Brooklyn. After settling down with food and drinks, we stayed and listened to a local band perform. De Foodhallen may be a bit touristy, but there were quite a few locals and the food options are sure to satisfy everyone’s desires!
One of the bars in De Foodhallen
Some of our food for the night, including bitterballen, a traditional Dutch snack filled with meats and cheeses
On our way back to our hotel, we stumbled upon Cafe ‘t Smalle. This was my absolute favorite canal-side cafe to grab an evening drink. The cafe is very quaint and authentic, and there are plenty of tables outside to watch the world go by while enjoying a beer or glass of rosé.
The view from Cafe ‘t Smalle — next time, I would skip the food and go straight for the rosé
Day 3 in Amsterdam
Our third day in Amsterdam, we had early morning tickets to the Anne Frank House, so we grabbed a quick bite to eat at Kessens, a cozy cafe with simple breakfast options. There was nothing particularly special about Kessens, but it had great reviews on Yelp and was perfectly located across the canal from the Anne Frank House.
Breakfast at Kessens
After touring the Anne Frank House, we were ready for an afternoon snack — so we headed to Winkel 43 to sample the famous Dutch apple pie! Winkel 43 is no secret, and while the cafe is bustling with tourists from every corner of the world, it’s worth the stop.
One of the best apple pies I’ve ever tasted!
By dinnertime, we were ready to experience the ethnic cuisine of Amsterdam, so we headed to Hummus Bistro D&A. This Mediterranean restaurant is located in the Jordaan district, away from the tourist crowds, and despite having more than 175 5-star reviews on Yelp, we were the only Americans! The restaurant was filled with young locals meeting up with friends for dinner. We couldn’t decide what we wanted to eat (I think there’s a running theme here!), so we ordered “a bit of this, a bit of that”. Our waitress indicated this was the perfect amount of food for two, but oh my, we could have fed an army. We sampled everything from pita and hummus to shakshuka, to roasted eggplant and falafel. Next time I’m in Amsterdam, I’ll be heading back to Hummus Bistro D&A for another feast!
A bit of this, a bit of that. One of our best dinners in Amsterdam!
Not yet ready to call it a night, we wandered down Tweede Anjeliersdwarsstraat — what I would consider to be the most beautiful street in all of Amsterdam! Largely devoid of cars, but full of bikes and people out with friends and family, the street was bursting with life and energy. Restaurants with open windows, cafes with outdoor seating, and endless cheersings of drinks, we decided we had to soak in the atmosphere. We grabbed a table outside at La Oliva and had the most perfect evening in Amsterdam.
Exploring Tweede Anjeliersdwarsstraat before sunset
Tweede Anjeliersdwarsstraat after sunset
Day 4 in Amsterdam
Our last day in Amsterdam, we were still full from the night before, so we grabbed a quick breakfast at Back to Black, a local coffee shop near the museum quarter. There are so many good coffee houses in Amsterdam — I really wish we had had all the time in the world to visit them all! Another one of our favorite coffee houses was CoffeeConcepts in the Vondelbuurt district.
Back to Black
A much needed afternoon pick-me-up at CoffeeConcepts
That afternoon, we headed to NDSM, a former shipyard turned into an arts district and area to hang out, eat and explore! We grabbed a couple drinks at Pllek, a bar and restaurant on the beach of NDSM, and soaked up the sun before heading to Oedipus Brewery.
NDSM — more on this later in my Amsterdam city guide!
Pllek — the perfect bar and restaurant for a warm, sunny day!
The best travel buddy out there 🙂
If you were to tell me the canals of Amsterdam were full of beer, I would believe you immediately. This is a city of craft beer lovers, and for that very reason, Alex and I fit in perfectly. In the 500 Hidden Secrets of Amsterdam book, I read about Oedipus, a small craft brewery in an artsy, industrial space offering 12 rotating draft beers. The brewery itself is located outside of the city center — you can take a free ferry from Amsterdam Centraal and then walk about 15 minutes before arriving. The beers were so refreshing, the food was delicious, and the space was alive with energy. If you love craft beers, make the trip out to visit the brewery! You won’t regret it!
Delicious IPAs at Oedipus Brewery
If you’re a craft beer lover, any trip to Amsterdam is incomplete without a stop at Oedipus Brewery!
Well, there you have it — my favorite places to eat and drink while in Amsterdam! If you’ve visited Amsterdam before, what are your favorites to grab coffee, eat dinner, or an evening drink? I already cannot wait to go back and visit! Be on the lookout for my Amsterdam city guide!