The Food of Amsterdam
When you are thinking of cuisines around the world, Dutch is typically not one of the first ones that comes to mind. You are never sitting around thinking about what to eat for the night and all of a sudden exclaim, "You know what, forget Chinese, we are getting Dutch tonight." That being said, Amsterdam has plenty of options for even the foodiest of foodies.
Traditional Dutch Food: Traditional Dutch food is predominately seafood and farm based. Meals tend to be light and fresh. One of the few things I did not get was a fish sandwich from a cart on the road even though it is highly recommended...it was mostly because I was too full each time we went by one. Below are a few recommendations for some traditional restaurants:
Breakfast Food: If the Dutch did a horrible job at lunch and dinner, it would still be worth going to Amsterdam for their breakfast, they just know what they are doing when it comes to the first meal of the day. Whether it is a fresh croissant from the bakery on the street corner or a charming little sit down, you will not be disappointed.
|Samantha and I eating our first meal in Spiu Square.|
|Gouda cheese is also a staple part of Dutch cuisine.|
- Hemelse Modor: Located east of the Red Light District on the water, Hemelse Modor is a quaint local favorite that serves fresh veggies and fish. A reservation is most likely needed as we had one on a Friday night and saw no open tables when we arrived. We really enjoyed the food and our waiter, however it felt as if he was the only one serving the restaurant. That is very common all throughout Europe so sit back and enjoy the meal as it will take a while.
|Fish of the day.|
|Samantha eating her entree at Hemelse Modor.|
- De Kas: We did not eat at De Kas but this was a highly recommended restaurant. With that in mind, we tried to make a reservation when we first got to Amsterdam but were unsuccessful. Apparently, the restaurant is a large green house and most of the food that is served is grown inside. I know it was not close to the city center so you had to take public transportation to get there.
Indonesian Food: There is a major influence of Indonesian food in Amsterdam given the former Dutch colonization of the country. We had it for dinner on our first night and it was delicious.
- Blue Pepper: Blue Pepper was a recommendation from Lonely Planet and it did not disappoint. While they have an a la carte menu, patrons go for the Rijsttafel (Indonesian for "Rice Table" but basically a traditional Indonesian family style meal). For 75 euros, you get a 15 course meal that takes your taste buds on a fantastic ride through Indonesian cuisine.
|One of our 15 courses at Blue Pepper.|
|Eating the main course at Blue pepper.|
- Pancakes!: A trip to Amsterdam is not complete without having pancakes at least once and if it is only going to be once, Pancakes! is the place to go. About a three minute walk south of the Anne Frank House, Pancakes! is a small little sit-down with room for about 15 - 20 people. They have both American and Dutch pancakes and my recommendation would be to get both (as long as you are splitting it with someone).
|The American Pancake, and yes that is bacon on it.|
|A savory dutch pancake with brie and ham.|
- Gartine: If you are going to eat anywhere in Amsterdam, Gartine is the place. Located in a small alley way right off Spiu Square, the 8 (or so) table eatery is a perfect place to get a fresh, appetizing lunch or breakfast. Samantha and I tried to eat here for our first meal for lunch, however Gartine was packed and we had to make a reservation for Saturday morning. This ended up working perfectly because the breakfast was out of this world. The husband and wife team cook up everything in the tiny kitchen right in front of you and the food ranges from fresh home made jam and croissants to scrambled eggs with fresh veggies. It is a must go but you will most likely need a reservation.
|We started our meal with a fresh croissant with home made|
jam and butter.
|We then split french toast.|
|My main course was salmon eggs benedict.|
|Samantha had scrambled eggs with fresh veggies.|
Bakeries: Lastly, just like other great European cities, Amsterdam has plenty of bakeries. Muffins, cookies, stoopwafles, donuts and the list goes on and on. You can't really go wrong when stepping into a bakery, we must have gone to 15 - 20 of them so that being said, I have no specific recommendations other than to try a bunch.
|Muffins on muffins on muffins.|
|How we usually started our day.|
|Our casual 1:30 snack.|
|Waffle with Nutella is a must.|
Beer: While Belgium is more known for their beer, Amsterdam does not disappoint. There is a wide array of options at most cafes from a fresh Heineken from their most famous brewery to local ale's you may only be able to find in a specific cafe.
|Grolsch in Spiu Square brews up three beers you can only have there.|