After our whirlwind trip to Austria, I turned around and hopped on a plane to Amsterdam to meet Ashley for the weekend. And now I have a new city crush—Amsterdam is intoxicating and it has nothing to do with the city’s notorious drug inclinations. Every corner we turned around was picture perfect, with beautiful bridges, canals, windmills, bikes, and gabled houses everywhere. With the seemingly unending supply of cute cafés and shops, plus a very sunny weekend, I couldn’t help but imagine that our next move might be there. It helped that I was armed with some wonderful recommendations, only a few of which I was able to check off in my quick visit.
Back in Berlin we’ve had a unseasonably warm week, and so I am content with simply planning my next trip to Amsterdam, just an hours flight away! In the meantime, I have these scrumptious memories to keep me happy, and recommend to you.
- I imagined we’d find fluffy Dutch waffles in the Netherlands capital, but the thing to eat here is pancakes, cooked thin like crêpes. Try out Pancakes! for a cute café with a mix of traditional and funky toppings. Japanese Pancake World was also recommended for its Asian take.
- Also don’t leave the city without a stroopwafel, two thin and warm waffles sandwiched with gooey caramel or honey. The tea room Lanskroon is in the heart of the very cool Jordaan neighborhood, and does a crispy cookie-like stroopwafel that is delicious. It’s also right around the corner from Van Stapele, a tiny shop that only sells one type of cookie, a sort of Oreo, super-soft chocolate with white chocolate stuffed inside.
- Pompadour is known as having some of the best chocolate in the city and that’s no lie. The place is a bit old school and stuffy but hold your own and tell the attendant just what you want. The deep dark caramel, soft mint, and raspberry marzipan were top picks.
- Both locations of Hartog’s Volkoren are a bit off-the-beaten-path, but the shop is packed for a reason. The whole wheat bread is incredible and don’t forget to pick up a speculaas, a deliciously spiced almond meal cookie.
- Indonesia was a Dutch colony, and Amsterdam has a nice representation of their cuisine. Sampurna came highly recommended and offered a reasonably priced and expansive traditional tasting menu that left me feeling completely satisfied.
- Another reason why I’m so smitten with Amsterdam is the fact that you can drink great beer there, like La Chouffe, for cheap (3€). Brouwerij ‘t IJ is a cool brewery, right on a canal, where you can get a beer flight for 8€. They also have small snacks like sausages and cheese.
- For a great cheese tasting, head to the adorable Fromagerie Abraham Kef, where there is plenty of stinky Dutch and French cheese, and also a great selection of wine. The shop is only open Wednesday through Sunday, and with just a few tables, reservations are suggested.
- On Monday morning, we strolled through the Noordermarkt. On one end you’ll find a mish mash of sellers hawking fabrics by the yard, discount shoes and clothing, and off brand products, but on the other end is a more traditional flea market, with vintage and used clothes, jewelry, and furniture, as well as handcrafted goods that are all fun to search through.