Where to eat in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
I’d never realised, before this trip, how close Amsterdam is to London. Heathrow to Amsterdam is just a 43-minute flight and then, because the airport is so close to the city centre, a 20-minute train ride into centre.
It was just as well it’s close because we only had 36 hours there. Here’s my whistle-stop guide to where to eat in Amsterdam.
We checked in, dropped our bags, then went straight out to explore. We, along with everyone else in Amsterdam it would seem, tried to get into Bazar – a Middle Eastern restaurant in a former church. The waiting time was over an hour so we walked along the road and found Calle Ocho; a Miami-style restaurant.
It’s a small restaurant and was full to the brim when we arrived; we were told a table would be ready imminently so we waited. No wait should ever be endured without a drink and Calle Ocho’s speciality is frozen margaritas – it’s no surprise why, the potent cocktails were far too easy to drink. Dinner in the lively restaurant was great – tacos, ceviche, salsas and quesadilla were hearty with lots of fresh and vibrant flavours.
runch, as a main meal, is only just kicking off in the Dam. This Australian café (they know how to brunch properly Down Under) has a great selection of fresh dishes with added pizzazz. The baked eggs come served with a chickpea ragout, lots of fresh labneh, cucumber and coriander – a must try. A strong bloody Mary, with a hot hot hot chilli kick, is just what you need to blow away too-many-margaritas from the night before.
Bar Brasserie OCCOI
f you’re going to brave the queue at the Anne Frank Museum, then you should reward yourself with lunch afterwards. Just a few streets away is The Dylan boutique hotel and in there is the restaurant called Bar Brasserie OCCO. We went and had fantastic cocktails to start, tapas-style starters to share and then the côte de boeuf – one of the best mains on the menu. Afterwards, you can walk it off along the Keizersgracht (Emporer’s Canal).
Hotel Du Goudfazant
This excellent place, a little way out from the city centre, is now on my top 10 favourite restaurants of all time. If you’re in Amsterdam, you have to go. Housed in a former hangar, it’s a huge industrial room with an open kitchen and an infectious energy of diners having a really good time. We had the most incredible dinner from start to finish. Beautiful, fresh snow crab served with a thick homemade mayonnaise, spring lamb with artichokes, asparagus, broad beans and new potatoes in a delicate red wine gravy and the dessert, oh the dessert, sweet pear frangipane-style cake with rosemary ice cream.
Where to stay
I’ve rented a few Airbnb apartments around the world but this one we stayed in for the duration of our visit to Amsterdam was so brilliant. A true home-away-from-home, the split level flat is in De Pijp – a leafy suburban neighbourhood that was quiet enough for a good night’s sleep but close enough to walk to all the trendy bars and restaurants in the area.