Ah, Amsterdam, you beautiful city.
I hope you all enjoyed part one of the Amsterdam Edit and all the fun and food it had to offer! If that wasn’t enough then fear not, there is always more, and here I am as promised with part two…
– VLEMINKX –
Vleminkx is definitely the best place to get proper chips in Amsterdam. They’re actually famous for their range of sauces (including oorlog, which is satay, mayonnaise and onion mixed), which are delicious, but their chips are just so perfectly fried. They’re freshly cooked throughout the day, so your portion will be hot and crisp on the outside and super fluffy on the inside. They’re perfect in every way, shape and form. Definitely get the satay sauce, it’s like eating chips dipped in melty peanut butter. Heavenly.
Voetboogstraat 33, 1012 XK, Amsterdam
– VAN GOGH MUSEUM –
Van Gogh was an incredible artist and this museum displays so many wonderful pieces of his work. However, it’s not just a gallery of paintings. We see the paintings at each stage of his life, and we get an insight into how he was as a person too. We also see letters to and from his loved ones and get to learn about the relationships he had with people. It’s an extremely interesting museum and I would highly recommend a visit here.
Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam
– TONY’S CHOCOLONELY –
Tony’s make some fantastic chocolate bars that are available to buy throughout the city. However, they also have a store of their own which allows you to taste all of the flavours they have to offer. This is great for people like me who have difficulty deciding which bars to buy! The entire of one wall is covered with machines holding bars of each flavour of chocolate. All you have to do is pull the lever and little tasters of chocolate fall down into the space at the bottom. If you decide that it’s the flavour for you, just grab a bar straight from the machine! It’s all very Willy Wonka-esque. All the packaging is brightly coloured and fun, but the store also teaches us about the serious message behind the bars. They strive to make cocoa production slave-free (both children and adults) around the world. All of their chocolate is made slave-free, but they want all chocolate around the world to be made that way. My recommendation would definitely be the caramel or the almond and sea salt. They are all so delicious though, it’s hard to decide!
Pazzanistraat 1, 1014 DB Amsterdam
– LA PERLA –
La Perla is an Italian restaurant and pizza place in the Jordaan neighbourhood. I’ve never eaten in the actual restaurant here, but I have had their pizzas a couple of times, and they are to die for. They’re made fresh in the large wood fired pizza oven, while you wait, and come to you hot and fresh with delicious toppings (some cooked with the pizza and some put on fresh at the end). They don’t take orders by phone as they try to encourage you to eat the pizza straight out of the oven and it’s so worth it. I’d go for the Stracchino e Bufala or the Prosciutto San Daniele; both are excellent.
Tweede Tuindwarsstraat 14 & 53, 1015 RZ Amsterdam
– CAFE HEUVEL –
Cafe Heuvel is a small traditional style pub, not far from the museum area, that has space for you to sit outside with a cold beer and watch the world go by next to the canal. It has the nicest atmosphere. On a warm sunny day it’s the perfect place to take a break from the museums or all the walking, just to rest your feet, have a drink and people watch.
Prinsengracht 568, 1017 KR Amsterdam
– JUFFROUW SPLINTER –
Juffrouw Splinter is one of those stores that’s just jam packed with all kinds of bits and bobs and trinkets. You could spend such a long time in here just browsing everything they have to offer. There’s old fashioned toys, knitted Miffys (only one of the best children’s characters), doorknobs, candle holders, picnic supplies, reusable bags and vintage style tea sets. Just so much homeware and tons of things you never knew you needed, but now you definitely do! I really loved spending time looking through all of the shelves and baskets for new and interesting things. It’s like a treasure trove in there!
Prinsengracht 230, 1016 HE Amsterdam
– Ô MAI –
We found Ô Mai by chance one day, while we were looking for somewhere ‘fresh’ to eat. We’d spent so much time eating waffles and cheese, that we wanted something involving fresh veggies! Ô Mai is a Vietnamese restaurant serving up some of the most delicious food. Everything was full of flavour and very generous in portion size. The summer rolls were super fresh and came with a selection of dipping sauces and the vermicelli noodle salad was incredible, with a selection of toppings including crumbled peanuts and spring roll pieces. The toppings came separately to the salad, so you could mix in as much or as little as you liked. It was honestly the most refreshing meal on a really hot day. I highly recommend this delightful spot.
Utrechtsestraat 12, 1017 VN Amsterdam
– VONDELPARK –
Vondelpark is a lovely place to take a wander, especially on a Sunday when they have live music on for free at the open air theatre. There are little ponds and lakes dotted throughout the park and it makes for a wonderful place to just sit and relax, walk the dog or even have a picnic. Some people bike and rollerblade through on a day out and others take a stroll on their lunch break. There are a number of food and drink spots around the park, so you’ll have some refreshments at hand of you need them. I definitely recommend a trip down here, even if it’s just for an hour or so between museums, as it’s not far to walk!
– PAPENEILAND –
Cafe Papeneiland is a traditional little pub in the Jordaan district, right on the edge of the canal. It’s a lovely spot to sit outside and have a drink, but what I loved was their apple pie. Yes. I know. More apple pie. It was scrumptious. They’re not far from Winkel 43, so you should definitely do a double feature and try both. I’m positive you won’t regret it!
Prinsengracht 2, 1015 DV Amsterdam
– BROUWERIJ ‘T IJ –
Brouwerij ‘t IJ is probably one of the most well known breweries in Amsterdam (outside of world famous Heineken). Their original brewery is housed next to a windmill, which is just wonderful, and although you can buy their beer all over the city (including bottled in supermarkets), nothing beats sitting in the taproom and enjoying each of the beers they have to offer on tap. It’s a gorgeous place to either sit inside alongside the tanks, and maybe take a tour, or outside when it’s sunny to enjoy a glass of cold beer at your leisure. I absolutely recommend going with at least 3 of you and work your way through the menu sharing small glasses of each of their brews. They also have small plates on offer, including raw local sausage and cheeses. A must do.
Funenkade 7, 1018 AL Amsterdam (bar and first brewery)
– VAN STAPELE –
Van Stapele have only one thing on offer; the best cookies in Amsterdam (maybe the world). They’re dark chocolate with a ball of melted white chocolate inside. Either eat it fresh when you purchase, or follow their instructions to warm them up at home. Eating them warm is the best way, because the chocolate in the centre needs to be melty to really have the full experience. They may sound very simple, but they are honestly some of the best cookies I have ever eaten, and the permanent queue completely supports my opinion! I really, really want one right now.
Heisteeg 4, 1012 WC Amsterdam
– CAFE LOETJE –
Cafe Loetje is where you need to go for lunch if you’re visiting the museums or Albert Cuyp market, as it’s right between the two. I would make a special trip, honestly, as I loved the food so much. The steak is incredible, the chips are delicious, but the kroketten are really the stars of the show for me. If you want to try the dutch croquette, normally filled with beef and gravy blended together, then you have to come here. They sell kroketten all over town in the fast food vending machines, but these are in a whole other league. Eat it on top of doorstop thick white bread and a squeeze of mustard. Just sublime. But beware, they’re always piping hot and the filling is like molten lava, so break it open and wait a minute if you can!
Johannes Vermeerstraat 52, 1071 DT Amsterdam
– THE PANCAKE BAKERY –
The Pancake Bakery is where it’s at if a plate of tiny mini pancakes is what you’re after. Poffertjes are a Dutch specialty and normally come with a sprinkling of icing sugar snow on top or perhaps smothered with Nutella. The poffertjes here were definitely the best I tried during my trips, but I’m always on the hunt for new places to try these babies. Being bite sized, they’re perfect for sharing (or not), as opposed to larger pancakes which need to be sliced up. So if hunger strikes your group mid morning or mid afternoon, pop into the Pancake Bakery and order a plate or two of poffertjes and you’ll be set until your next meal!
Prinsengracht 191, 1015 DS Amsterdam
– MOCO MUSEUM –
Moco is a museum in a large house located next to the Van Gogh museum. It’s Amsterdam’s modern art museum and at the moment holds a huge selection of Banksy’s work (on loan from collectors), alongside a few other artists. Until January 2019 the museum will be displaying Banksy’s pieces, an exhibition from the so-called “Banksy of Iran” brothers Icy and Sot, and there’s one room dedicated to Roy Lichtenstein (the famous pop artist). After this, I can’t say what will take over these spaces, or if some pieces will stay on longer. The garden outside the museum also displays many different sculptures from a variety of artists. Among the famous Banksy works on display are the Girl with Balloon and Flower Thrower. There’s also a sculpture of Mickey Mouse having been eaten by a snake…..
Honthorststraat 20, 1071 DE Amsterdam
– MONTE PELMO –
Monte Pelmo serves up some delicious ice cream, including an absolutely delightful blood orange flavour. It’s a small shop in the Jordaan district and it’s perfectly located for a dessert stop after pizza from La Perla just up the street, or for an afternoon treat after exploring the gorgeous neighbourhood around it. I love how they put a mini cone on top of your scoop for decoration, even though you have a regular size one below. Double cone, who’s complaining?!
2e Anjeliersdwarsstraat 17, 1015 NS Amsterdam
– MUSEUM VROLIK –
This is an odd one, but bare with me. If you’re into zoology, medical science, biology and/or abnormal specimens from the 18th & 19th century, then you’ll enjoy this. The Vrolik Museum is home to the collection of Gerardus Vrolik (a very important Dutch scientist) and later that of his son Willem, both professors in anatomy. The latter was also a professor of physiology and zoology and this collection definitely represents all three areas. There is a vast collection of animal specimens and skeletons of animals and humans, with the latter being displayed in both a normal and abnormal state (due to disease or defects). There is then a huge collection of foetuses in jars that showcase a number of problems or birth defects that can occur. There are also a ton of cross sections of many different parts of the human body, including the brain, and a look at the system of arteries and veins that run through us too. It is fascinating, if not super spooky when you’re in there all alone.
Meibergdreef 15, 1105 AZ Amsterdam
– CAFE VAN ZUYLEN –
Cafe Van Zuylen is not necessarily the best bar in Amsterdam, but it’s an interesting location to sit for a beer on a sunny day. I don’t mean the crammed together selection of tables they have on the canalside, but the benches that run around the sides of the building. I can’t explain why, but every time I walked past the bar, I wanted to grab a seat in the window seats and enjoy a cold drink. There was just something so inviting about it, so on our last day we did just that. It’s the perfect spot to people watch and I’ve even watched music on the bridge in front of it, which made for a fabulous atmosphere. It’s more expensive than other places, but for a quick drink and to soak up the busy atmosphere of the area, I think it’s worth it.
Torensteeg 4-8, 1012 TH Amsterdam
– KO –
Ko is a concept store located in the Nine Streets, a collection of small streets that are home to a selection of shops, boutiques, cafes and more. I was sucked into Ko by the amazing Miffy toys in the window (of which I just had to buy one for my baby cousin for his first birthday), but I then found that the whole shop was filled with wonderful items. From gorgeous raincoats and jelly shoes for children, to sunglasses, jewellery, accessories and decor for those who were a little more grown up! They have two stores next door to each other, with one having more children’s items and the other more directed at adults. There were quite a few things that I wanted to pack into my ever more weighty hand luggage, but I restricted myself once more to the gift for my cousin and sadly that was all. I will definitely be back here on my next trip to see what else they have in store!
Wolvenstraat 9, 1016 EM Amsterdam
– LINDENGRACHTMARKT –
Lindengracht market takes place in the street parallel to Noordermarkt so you can easily hop between the two on a Saturday. Lindengracht market has a different variety of stalls (jewellery, dried fruit & nuts etc) so it’s definitely worth checking them both out. The stall I liked most was the discounted cheese stall, obviously! They sold cuts of good quality cheeses of different flavours (try the ginger…) for only around 2 euros.
Lindengracht, 1015 JX Amsterdam
– DAMRAK GIN CRUISE –
The Friendship gin cruise is a great way to explore the city’s canals. There are many companies that offer tours of the city by boat, but my friend who lives there said that this was the best she’d used. We had a fabulous time. The guides are knowledgeable, funny and interesting and while you’re cruising around and learning about Amsterdam’s history, you can sip on a gin and tonic made with the sponsor Damrak Gin (a local Dutch gin). There are other drinks on offer (including soft drinks), but with the gin you get a discount (and it’s a substantial glass!). Regardless of gin, this a fabulous cruise to take around the canals, and we learned a lot of information about the city. I highly recommend!
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 230, Amsterdam
And that brings us to the end of part 2. I very much hope there will be many more parts to come, but I’ll need to visit a few more times before then. I guess that gives me a very good excuse to go back! Not that I need one.
Let me know in the comments if you have any recommendations for Amsterdam that I haven’t included here or in the first part. I’m always on the lookout for new places to visit!