Amsterdam is the perfect city for a weekend break. It has all the convenience of a city, all the quirks of a European town and is small enough to get around by foot (or bike).
In late February Becky took a snowy trip to check out what the Dam has to offer. After a quick one hour flight (and fairly cheap) you’re in the city. One quick train into the centre and your holiday is underway.
Previously Amsterdam hasn’t really been on the foodie map, with people associating the city with heavy stews and starch, and whilst there is certainly a place in our hearts for heavy comfort food we can’t live off red meats, carbs and gravy – if only.
There’s a lot of great food to be discovered in the city, but with only three days we sadly couldn’t eat everything. However, we certainly gave it a good shot and here are some of our favourites.
Stroopwafle at Albert Cuyp Market.
Made fresh that day these traditional Dutch treats are so delicious. Hot syrup is sandwiched between fresh thin waffles. Yes, you will make a mess and get syrup on your face. It is 100% worth it. We went for the classic but if you’re in need of extra sugary goodness they will also dip the waffle in melted dark chocolate.
Herring at Frens Haringhande
Herring may not be appealing to everyone, but this tasty little snack is a perfect pick me up when you’re exploring the city. Frens Haringhande is a small shack near the beautiful flower market selling an array of tasty seafood. The business has been around since the 70s and was started by Chris Fren who’s family worked in the herring industry previously. The herring is served with onions and pickles either on bread or just as is.
Hot dogs and meatballs at Foodhallen
De Hallen is lined with around 20 street food vendors serving up a huge range of food from Vietnamese, to tacos, ramen and more traditional Dutch dishes. We tried two stands Bulls and Dogs and X.
Bulls and Dogs is a hot dog stand that has been safely making a name for itself in the Amsterdam food scene. The sausages are made by a local butcher from Amsterdam and served in a crunchy German pretzel bun. We went all out and topped our dog with truffles and wild mushrooms. Delicious.
Our second treat was The Rough Kitchen where we had what can only be described as a pig in blanket ball. Yes, they are as good as that sounds. Delicious pork meatballs, wrapped in smokey bacon. What more could you want?
Croquettes at Febo
The FEBO vending machines are located all around the city and they are quite frankly one of the most delicious novelties. For less than 2 euros you can get delicious hot krokets and they are surprisingly delicious. I’m not ashamed to say that we visited more than once during the trip.
The Seafood Bar
I think the name says everything. When we saw this restaurant we knew we had to make a visit during our trip and it was certainly worth it. Fons de Visscher was a respected fishmonger for already 27 years in Helmond; a city in Brabant, when he decided to start a new venture. Driven by his passion for fish and great wines, Fons created The Seafood Bar. The first Seafood Bar opened its doors in 2012.
The Seafood Bar is a modern restaurant and offers an array of the freshest fish and other seafood. Think marble columns and platters of Gills Gals dreamy food. We ordered the combination platter, a mix of fresh seafood and a mix from the grill. It included lobster tails, oyster, crab, winkles, clams, mackerel and more. This is one of the most delicious meals out I’ve ever had. It pains me to think that I have to travel to Amsterdam to eat this again. Then again it is only an hour…
I am not exaggerating when I say this is the best apple pie I have EVER eaten. I’d heard about Winkel 43 before arriving but in all the holiday excitement we didn’t manage to get to the cafe at any point. However, we weren’t leaving without trying this pie. Queue a mad pre-flight dash for some takeaway apple pie and some serious jealous looks in the airport.
Moeders (Dutch for “mothers”) is a restaurant on Rozensgracht, on the cusp of the popular Jordaan area, in Amsterdam’s western central suburbs. It opened in 1990 when it asked for all the diners to bring a set of cutlery, plates and glasses each. They still have these pieces in their restaurant and as such nothing matches. This is just the start of the lovely quirks in this restaurant.
The restaurant is named Moeders after the women who cover its walls. The restaurant states that to them “all mothers are heroines”, so much so that if you bring a photo of your mother they will add it to their walls. All this aside it also serves delicious traditional Dutch meals such as stamppot – mashed potato and sauerkraut served with sausage and red cabbage, and suddervlees a traditional Dutch beef stew.
This restaurant is a must visit in Amsterdam, the food is authentic and delicious and the environment feels like your tucking into dinner at your mum’s house. Make sure you get a reservation.
I can’t recommend Amsterdam enough for a weekend break and now with the Eurostar running trains over there, there really isn’t an excuse. Get on your bike and eat your way through the Dam.