Food and Drinks. Places to eat and drink in Amsterdam.
There are 1000's of places to eat and drink in Amsterdam but getting something good to eat is another thing. A lot of tourist places do not care what they serve up as they know they will not be seeing you again so why bother to much.
The service in Amsterdam is dire, even getting a menu in most places takes forever and after the wait
the food served it not up to much.
I have been served up all sorts of shit in my six years living here in Amsterdam. A few I remember with horror still to this day. A places called Katz (Now under new management) on Jodenbreestraat just off Nieuwmarkt was the place I adopted for my daily breakfast of scrambled eggs on my arrival in Amsterdam. I am a creature of habit and once I find somewhere I go every day. Well one day I arrived to find the waiter is now the chef/cook. I order my scrambled eggs as usual but to my horror I see the x-waiter now cook take up two hard boiled eggs from the counter and proceed to
chop them up and cook them for me. When they arrived they were unreal looking slimy pieces of while and yellow rubber floating on the plate in a sea of grease. I places my napkin over it, paid and left. The next day the very same thing happened to me, after I complained I was informed "We have no eggs". (Their is a large supermarket just a few doors down from them). I never returned and it closed down soon after.
Dutch breakfast comprises bread with slices of Dutch old and young cheeses and cold meats, appelstroop (syrup made with apple juice), hagelslag (multicoloured chocolate bits ) or a combination of any of these. Dutch like their coffee strong and their tea weak and drunk without milk or sugar.
Amsterdam has now a lot of places catering for the huge tourist trade so their are many places now doing all day English breakfasts but most are fairly shit but we have found several OK places to try
Blomenmarkt (flower market) has several places to try for breakfast, one as you enter the market from the "De Munt" end and one half way down called "Brasil" This place gives you a 50/50 chance of a good breakfast or lunch as their are two cooks, one bad and one good , further down near the end of the market is an Italian cafe which also does good food. Sorry forget the name.
There are 100 if not 1000's of lunch cafes, as they do not really do breakfast they make up for it at lunch. Again it's rolls, sandwiches or Soup (specially in winter) erwtensoep (Pea Soup), a thick soup made of peas with chunks of smoked sausage or the famous Amsterdam Uitsmijter, several fried eggs with toast and maybe a bit of meat as well.
Dinner being the mail meal of the day is usually eaten early evening. Dutch food tends to be on the heavy side. A Dutch traditional dish is the stamppot (mashing pot), made up of boiled potatoes with cabbage mashed up with fried bacon and served with smoked sausage. Potatoes form part of the Dutch staple diet and are served in many different ways a real favourite are frites (french fries / chips), served with mayonnaise (not tomato sauce) are an national institution.
Other Dutch favourite include raw herring (usually eaten whole with chopped onions), You can find stands selling herring all over the city. Bitterballen (deep fried meatballs) and Stroopwafels ( waffles sandwiched together with a cinnamon-spiced syrup are sold in most bakeries but are best eaten hot from a street stall which pop up from time to time.
Amsterdam has a lot of Indonesian restaurants, thanks to their Dutch colonial links of the past, and is considered part of the national cuisine. Try the Rijsttafel, a colorful array of 20 spicy treats, including sates, which are served with rice of your choice..
Drinking in Amsterdam is an old tradition and the locals have, over the centuries invented an extensive vocabulary for ordering a beer or the local favourite Genever (Dutch gin). Borrel is the most common word for a glass of Genever and just as the English order (on the rocks, neat, straight) the Dutch have their own ways of ordering ,recht op en neer (straight up and down) or Kamelenrug(camel's back) are saying used to order a glass of Genever.
Beer, The Dutch serve their beer with a head half the size of the glass, all head no beer, and always served in a small glass unless you request a large one. Unlike most other countries where the standard is a pint of beer.
With over one thousand restaurants finding something to eat in Amsterdam is not difficult. Diners can choose from nearly every cuisine from around the world, everything from French to Russian, Turkish to Italian and everything in between and new places are opening all the time.
When the Dutch eat out, they tend to abandon the local cuisine and eat something a bit different, so not surprisingly you may find it hard to sample Dutch cuisine but there are a few places.
Haesje Claes, at Spuistraat 273-275 or the very famous D'Vijff Vlieghen (The five flies) across the road at Spuistraat 294-302 (tel: (020) 624 8369) are two of the more famous ones and both offer good Dutch meals.
Also a national favourite are pancakes and there are several places which are famous for them. The Pancake Bakery (The most famous in Amsterdam) serve up a huge range of pancakes with every topping up can possibly imagine (I got a burnt pancake on my last visit so not a 100%) located at Prinsengracht 191 (tel: (020) 625 1333). other place is Carousel with many of the trappings of a unfinished merry-go-round is located near the Heineken brewery.
Amsterdam also has a few ***** places. The Excelsior, located in the Hotel de l'Europe at Nieuwe Doelenstraat 2-8 (tel: (020) 531 1777), which has gained a Michelin star for its cuisine. Another popular restaurant is the Café Americain, in the Hotel Americain at Leidsekade 97 (tel: (020) 624 5322), which serves a wonderful Sunday brunch in their famous Art Nouveau surroundings.
Vegetarians are not so well catered for as most Dutch are meat eaters, three veggie restaurants we know of that you could try are the De Bolhoed Restaurant at Prinsengracht 60 (Jordaan) (tel: (020) 626 1803), De Waaghals at Nes 102 (tel: (020) 679 9609). and the Green Planet, Vegetarian food for everybody!
A couple of restaurants that are a little different are 1e Klas (First Class), in the former first-class waiting room of Central Station (Now a 1st class restaurant) located at platform 2b (tel: (020) 625 0131) and De Waag, Nieuwmarkt (tel: (020) 557 9844), which is located in an amazing medieval weighing House but now an amazing restaurant (Not cheap). Totally lit by 100's of candles daily.
The centre of Amsterdam boosts the most restaurants, but there are also local small neighborhood restaurants a little further out of the city which serve high-quality food.
Dutch eat early, so restaurants close earlier than in most other countries, kitchens close between 9.30pm and 11pm. Credit cards are not as popular here as in most cities but are becoming more so, always check that they accept them before ordering.