Amsterdam is one of the most popular European tourist spots – the city attracted around 20 million tourists per year pre pandemic. Famous for its art, culture, canals, and bikes on every corner I was eager to sink my teeth into everything the iconic city had to offer! So much so, my first trip to Amsterdam was a whirlwind of food and fun.
The Netherlands has a rich and multicultural history, and its capital city continues to be a melting pot of people from all over the world, offering a range of diverse cuisines for whatever you might be craving. From local delicacies to classic favourites, let me take on my whistlestop food tour of everything I ate during a weekend in Amsterdam.
Our very first stop was the Rembrandt Van Gogh Kiosk for some coffee and a waffle, the first (but not last) of trip. This kiosk was right on the Museumplein with a lovely view of the various museums and galleries that reside there. The perfect start to a day of absorbing the surrounding culture.
Hungry after a few hours in the renowned Rijksmuseum, we opted for a breezy Italian spot for lunch. One caprese pizza, a chicken tagliatelle, and two negronis later and we had powered up enough to resume our museum tour. After a long day of walking, we came to Boca’s Restaurant. This spot was still packed and buzzing when we arrived at around 8.30pm (The Dutch tend to eat early). We found ourselves a seat on the outside decking and split a tapas platter which, aside from the typical bread and aioli, featured a myriad of Spanish favourites such as patatas bravas and Manchego cheese, combined with a taste of the Netherlands. This included a herring pate and rookworst alongside grilled Padron peppers and a melt in your mouth beef carpaccio. This was well digested alongside some locally brewed beer and some cheeky Irish coffees to wash it all down afterwards.
The next morning, we made a quick breakfast stop at Hummingbird Amsterdam for some strong coffee and gorgeous vanilla and cardamom buns before heading deeper into the heart of the city across the canals. After some bridge strolling and picture taking it was time for a boat tour. Our lunch consisted of board of Dutch cheese offered to us during the tour. This included two cheeses; a Maasdaam and a Roomano accompanied by strong mustard. The perfect accompaniment to the bottomless wine bar also on board.
For dinner we settled at Turkish restaurant Ali Ocakbasi, once again opting to share a series of small plates. Among them: hummus, roasted aubergine salad and chicken shish with plenty of ekmek bread which lined our stomachs well as we ventured to see what the Dutch nightlife had to offer. One bar, a drag club, and a short wander through the infamous red-light district later and we were almost ready to turn in, but not before one last late-night waffle piled high with Nutella and strawberries.
Altogether I experienced an eclectic mix of the food Amsterdam has to offer without breaking the bank. Despite this, it feels like I have just scratched the surface in terms of the city’s true foodie potential. Watch out Amsterdam, I will be back for more – this time with plenty more stroopwafle to return home with.