As you’ll know from my Amsterdam city guide, as well as chilling the hell out, wandering the canals and just floating around where the wind took me, I also got stuck into some absolutely perfect food. Much like any other large European city, there is such a huge range of places to eat and drink that it can be difficult to know where to turn.
Added to this, it’s very easy to make a food mistake.
Much like how I feel when I see tourists head to Garfunkel’s in Leicester Square, I can see that there would be some terrible tourist traps in the centre of Amsterdam, that there is no need for you to fall in to. So, grab my foodies guide (and Sophie’s too!), your google maps and your tastebuds and enjoy some of the best food we found in the Dutch capital.
Every day should begin with brunch, am I right? It’s my absolute favourite meal of the day, and Amsterdam does good brunch. Here are my top three recommendations for incredible mid-morning food – head to these places for all your brunch dreams to come true:
The Avocado Show
I spotted The Avocado Show in an article in the Easy Jet magazine on my way home from Naples, and as soon as I landed I hurriedly text Beverley and Sophie to get it added to our agenda.The Avocado Show is Europe’s first avocado restaurant which only opened this year, and is located in my favourite neighbourhood of De Pijp.
The food was, predictably, amazing. We got stuck into nachos, the prettiest avo on toast I’ve ever seen and an amazing avocado and quinoa salad with a giant burrata perched on top. The flat whites were good and plentiful, the atmosphere was buzzy and whilst a bit of a gimmick, it was all delicious.
You will find huge queues and no booking system, so arrive early to avoid disappointment. You can put your name down and go off for a coffee too.Don't read this is you are hungry - it's a foodies guide to Amsterdam!Click To Tweet
Bakers + Roasters
Bakers + Roasters is a little Kiwi/Brazilian cafe with a huge brunch and breakfast menu including eggs, avocado, pancakes and a scrumptious vegetarian breakfast that is not to be missed. I ate that and it came served with BREAKFAST POTATOES. That should basically always be a thing.
They do an excellent range of coffees and juices too, and the service was extremely friendly. As it is quite small, you may have to wait – but they take your phone number and give you a text when they are ready. You can grab a takeaway flat white and hang by the canal whilst you wait.
Coffee + Coconuts
Coffee + Coconuts is probably the most instagrammable cafe I’ve ever been to, and I have worked in Shoreditch. They should probably open there to be honest as they would go down a storm, and I’d get to visit every week. This was a really spacious cafe over three floors, with light natural wood, a huge open frontage and lots of foliage.
The menu had all the usual brunch menu items with the addition of gorgeous cold brewed coffee and a refreshing watermelon juice. I went for a classic smoked salmon and egg on sour dough toast, whilst Sophie tried their breakfast burrito – have it on good authority that the burrito is delicious.
Our brunch strategy was also a sneaky money-saving strategy, as we were so full we didn’t need to eat anything else until dinner. There are so many options in Amsterdam at every price range so it’s well worth doing some research first, but here’s where we ended up (spoiler: these were extremely tasty options).
Another European city, another food hall. It’s a tough job, but somebody has got to try all the food markets and rank them in order. Luckily Food Hallen was one of the best. It’s an incredible covered market based near Amsterdam Oud-West with food stands, bars and communal seating.
As you may have noticed from my other city guides, this sort of place is becoming pretty common in European cities, and Food Hallen was up there in terms of quality and vibe. They had an amazing gin bar, and on the Friday night the DJ was smashing out 90s RnB classics like it was no big deal. A must visit.
I grabbed a fancy hot-dog and some taqueiros, and washed it down with a couple of incredible artisan gin + tonics – but you could have had Thai, Mexican, dim-sum, burgers, cured meat, fish or pizza, and the main bar was fully stocked with wine, spirits and craft beer.
Little Thai Prince
I actually always struggled to find decent Thai food, and so when Beverley suggested Thai for our Saturday night dinner I was all the way enthused. Beverley’s excellent suggestion took me about as close to the Red Light District as I was going to be at Little Thai Prince, and it was nice to be in amongst one of the busier areas of town.
We feasted on some excellent Thai food which was exactly what the doctor ordered – I had a rather predictable Pad Thai (sorry, I’m so basic!) and Sophie had a chicken and rice dish that was so yummy, I had food envy for the whole meal. We also grabbed some spring rolls and fish cakes for starters which were absolutely needed – especially after all the beer and cocktails we’d spent two days consuming.
The restaurant was small, but authentic. You may have to queue, but it’s worth it.
Drinks + Snacks
Obviously I couldn’t go to Amsterdam without sampling the beer culture and without getting on board with some sweet treats. I barely even scratched the sides of what was on offer in 3 days, but here is what I got around to trying.
The SkyLounge is located right at the top of the DoubleTree Hilton, and this rooftop bar is a great place for amazing cocktails, but mainly the incredible view. If you head over in golden hour you get rewarded with beautiful views across the entire city (and you’re more likely to be able to grab a seat outside). Cocktails are expensive, but one lasts for a really long time.
In spring they have outdoor heaters, as well as these amazing cushions which heat up when you sit on them. Yep, I’ve been scouring Google to buy my own. I had a Purple Sunset (which was based on gin, violet liqueur and cinnamon syrup – dreamy) and Sophie + Beverley had tiki cocktails called Sky Tai (which included lots of rum and fresh fruit).
Cafe de Prins
Cafe de Prins was so good we visited twice! Right alongside the canal, you could hang here with a cold beer and watch the world go by for an entire afternoon and not feel like you’d wasted any time. I have it on good authority (Beverley), that the bitterballen here is really good, but we didn’t get to try it this time.
Sticky Fingers is basically a bloggers delight. Pretty coffee, pink tiles and sweet treats – a travel bloggers dream right? Located near the Vondelpark, we headed here after getting caught in a rainstorm of epic proportions to dry off and indulge our sweet tooth. If you like banoffee pie, definitely visit if you’re in the Vondelpark area.
All the food is organic, homemade and delicious with extremely friendly service. I could see myself spending Sunday afternoons with coffee and the papers, and perhaps heading home with a big box of their popcorn (from their vintage popcorn machine!).
In the heart of Amsterdam’s central district you’ll find lots of places to grab a waffle or a crepe. We happened upon the exquisitely tiny Ijs Bakery when we realised the cookie bakery Van Stepele had sold out (next time!).
They did every sort of pastry and muffin you could imagine, but we grabbed insanely chocolate covered waffles, laden with fruit and oreos and sauces. Sometimes you just need a sugar hit. And a good lie down afterwards.
Did I expect to go home with such a satisfied stomach? No, no I did not. Amsterdam is genuinely a foodies paradise and in just three days we’ve barely seen the best. Whether it’s canal side dining, cocktails with a view or just a hearty, coffee filled brunch Amsterdam has it all. Top it off with a waffle or two, and I can’t imagine a better city for eating!
Want more? Here’s my chilled out city guide to Amsterdam.