When people go to Amsterdam, they’re often looking for two things. But now, they’ll be looking for three. The latter being the newly opened MADE.COM showroom, close to the Vondelpark. But don’t let us monopolise your weekend break too much. Read on to see what other temptations the city has to offer, as recommended by our fave Dutch bloggers Maartje a.k.a. Bart from bartsboekje.com.
Once you’ve looked around the MADE showroom and feasted your eyes, pop over to their downstairs neighbours, the lovely coffee roasters from Lot61, and Bubblekid the barbers (who – get this – work without mirrors).
After your coffee and trim, you’ll need a hearty breakfast before you cycle along the canals, wander through the streets and visit museums. So make sure you stop off at:
- The Breakfast Club
The story behind the Amsterdam Breakfast Club is that the owners, a group of young friends, couldn’t find anywhere in the city to have a proper all-day breakfast. Apart from Bakers & Roasters (more on them in a sec) and a few good hotels, the options were limited. So they opened an eatery themselves. The Breakfast Club is opposite the immensely popular Foodhallen. It became such a success that in a few weeks they’ll be opening their second location on Haarlemmerplein, next to the favourite take-away restaurant DIS (don’t miss their grilled chicken with homemade cinnamon apple sauce).
2. Bakers & Roasters
Bakers & Roasters is run by Australians and their menu offers delicious options from eggs to pies and cakes. There’s one location in the Pijp district and one in a quieter part of town, on the Entrepotdok.
Bonus: The Hoxton hotel recently opened in Amsterdam. The food is lovely, and their breakfast of avocado, poached eggs and small red peppers is the stuff of legend.
This brightly coloured café is just off the ‘logical’ walking route in the Pijp, which makes it quite easy to pass by without noticing. It’s the perfect spot for a Moroccan-ish lunch. The ‘ish’ refers to owner Ab’s clever adaptation of the traditional dishes to western tastes. Additionally, Nina – Ab’s partner in crime – has great taste in jewellery, vintage and lovely gifts for kids which, lucky for us, are sold at Ninour.
The ladies and gents at BAK serve a fabulous vega-lunch and have a good eye (and nose) for the best wines. It’s close to the IJ river and not far from the lovely Jordaan neighbourhood. The Jordaan has a lovely food and vintage market on Saturdays – called Noordermarkt – where you’ll also find some lovely bars and cafés. It might become a little crowded during the weekend (but in a cosy way), but do go here for a nice coffee and Amsterdam’s most famous appeltaart (apple pie, at café De Winkel).
Bonus: it opened just last year and it became a hit with the hipsters, but they are onto something. C.T. Coffee & Coconuts serves great food and their employees are super friendly.
5. Restaurant C
The ‘C’ stands for the number of degrees celsius during the cooking process, which may sound little ominous but truth told, it’s exactly this what makes it such a fine result. The steak tartare and salmon are must-haves.
6. De Biertuin
‘The Beer Garden’ in East Amsterdam is a favourite for locals looking for a proper meal. It has a great atmosphere in winter, and lovely terrace vibe during summer. Their menu offers some lovely food options (burger, chicken, sausage and amazing fries), along with a long list of Dutch and Belgian beers. It’s the perfect place to stop by if you’ve visited the Tropenmuseum (Ethnographic museum in a beautiful historic building), which is just down the road.
Bonus: Anyone who goes to Rijsel will count it as one of their new faves. The food is amazing and the atmosphere is lovely and laid-back. It’s a little tricky to get a table though, it’s usually full months in advance. Other good options are Choux, or Plato Loco, Brut de Mer, and Graceland. Or THT. That should do for your weekend trip.
7. Bar Basquiat
This is one of the bars opened by three wise men from the East recently (three guys who opened a lot of new coffee places and bars in Amsterdam East, and some in West). It has to be said, the acoustics aren’t amazing, but the menu is good and it’s the perfect spot for a drink, should you be in the area. Also, the prices are very budget-friendly. After this, head towards Beukenplein for more options (such as Bar Bukowski).
8. Bar Spek
This bar in the West is one of these places where you’ll find people having a drink outside until the small hours of the morning. On top of this, their pizzas are amazing – so once you arrive here, you won’t easily find a reason to leave.
Bonus: Panache in West is one of the prettiest bars in the city and they don’t only serve beers, but also cocktails in a pitcher. A lovely place to stop by and it’s very close to the Foodhallen.
9. Art Deli
In Rokin, in the very heart of town, there’s a wonderful old building where Art Deli is hidden. A café / lunchroom / shop / art gallery. They often have interesting exhibitions, openings and other events, and even when nothing is on the agenda, it’s an inspiring place to stop by.
This photography museum in a very modern renovated building on the Keizersgracht is a great spot for inspiration. Not only thanks to their exhibitions, but also their events and their lovely bookshop (with their own amazing magazine).
11. Tuschinksi theatre
Maybe going to the cinema isn’t exactly high on the agenda when you’re visiting another city, but Tuschinski would be worth a visit even if it’s only to see the entrance hall downstairs. It’s one of the oldest cinemas in Europe and its architecture is a pretty mix of Art Nouveau, Judendstil and Amsterdam School.
This city has beaches. Yes really. And Blijburg is located near one of them. It’s probably one of the most down-to-earth places in town, where kids, dogs, hipsters and grandmothers all find their place, while in the meantime lovely bands are playing in the background. And all this with amazing views of the sunset by the water.
You’ll only find locals in this old warehouse building, since it’s maybe not the easiest place to find, but very much worth the effort. It’s basically a café / bar / party and events space / gallery. Enjoy a drink at the waterside or in their supermarket-style bar.
Bonus: Take a comfy seat at The Lobby, the bar / restaurant of Hotel V Nesplein, for all three meals if you can. It’s lovely. Also if you’re not actually staying in the hotel. Pop by departmentstore De Bijenkorf while you’re there. Also keep an eye on restaurant Razmataz in the West, with a lovely menu and many food-related events on during the weekends.
Oh yes, and did we mention, MADE’s newest showroom is open? 7 days a week, on Overtoom 141, Amsterdam.