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I went to Amsterdam for the first time for New Year’s Eve 2017. The weather was less than ideal, so we spent a lot of time eating and drinking. We didn’t go to Amsterdam because of the food, but it was a lovely surprise. I’ve been to typical ‘foodie cities’ in France, Italy and Germany, and none of them compared to Amsterdam.
There’s something almost Scandinavian about the look of many restaurants (and shops). Many of the restaurants we were drawn to were very design-focused and you could see a lot of effort had gone into the interiors.
It wasn’t a case of style over substance, though, every meal we had was amazing (particularly our breakfasts), so I thought I’d share some of my favourites with you.
A little tip before I begin; we stayed in the De Pijp area of Amsterdam and we were spoilt for good restaurant choices. There were more chains in the central areas, so don’t be afraid to venture out a little bit for some great food.
At SEVEN @7
This deli is the perfect breakfast spot if you find yourself in the De Pijp area of Amsterdam. One reason to visit this area is that there’s another famous ‘I Amsterdam’ sign that isn’t completely overrun by tourists.
The menu features classic breakfast dishes – and plenty of healthy and vegan options. I’ve noticed they don’t have the English versions of the menus online, but they do provide them in the restaurant. I had the Bali Coco Bowl and it was delicious.
The restaurant’s website seems to allude to the fact it specialises in Acai bowls; they have three. It was my first Acai bowl and I was pleasantly surprised.
We were attracted to the restaurant because of its design. It had, what I would describe as, classic Amsterdam interiors; booths, bikes, incredible art and a slightly rustic feel.
We went to C for New Year’s Eve and opted for the 5-course tasting menu. Two of our party also went for the wine pairing that went with each course, which worked out to be great value for money.
Booking anywhere on New Year’s Eve is always a bit of a risk, particularly when you’re not familiar with the country. I also felt a bit of apprehension about the fact that everywhere else, bar C, seemed to be fully booked.
We decided to scope it out on our walk back to the Hotel, just to be sure. It’s in the student quarters of Amsterdam and it’s on a very busy main road. This, paired with the Student Hotel towering above it, doesn’t make it look particularly special.
Looks can be deceiving. We had an absolutely delicious meal. C stands for Celsius and they offer a range of different temperatures of food. I found this such an innovative way to split up the menu. As I said, we had the tasting menu, but the normal one is here.
Coffee & Coconuts
Coffee & Coconuts was a great find and was another breakfast location for us. This is an extremely cool restaurant; it’s built in a former cinema, which was originally built in the 20s. If I lived in Amsterdam, this is the type of place I’d go to work. It’s a huge space, meaning you never feel as though you’re on top of each other, even though it was buzzing when we were in there.
I also loved that this place had coconut milk as an option. I know it’s finally becoming more popular, but I’ve loved coconut milk for years and it’s quite a rare treat.
For breakfast, I had the coconut pancakes and they were unbelievable. Made with almond and buckwheat flour, they tasted like fluffy little heaven clouds. I’d really recommend them. We ordered two of them and also two of the breakfast burritos, which the boys polished off so they must’ve been pretty good! You can view the full menu here.
This unassuming restaurant is in the heart of Amsterdam, but you could easily miss it. There’s just a single door from the street and you go straight upstairs into an intimate setting.
The food and wine were lovely. I had a tortello, but I can’t see it on the menu, which can be found here. The quality of food was very good and the price does reflect this. We had one course only; if you were to have a primi piatti and a secondi piatti each, you’d slowly start to see the bill creeping up. Personally, though, I was full after the main dish.
If you’re looking for a really special experience – and you’re not too worried about the price – this is a great Italian restaurant, and one of the best Amsterdam has to offer (according to TripAdvisor and numerous other outlets). I would, however, say the service let the restaurant down a little bit. There was nothing I could quite put my finger on, but it wasn’t quite as out-of-this-world friendly as the other restaurants we came across in Amsterdam.
We were recommended to Loetje by a member of staff at the Hotel Okura. When we arrived, it was packed out and we had to wait about 45 minutes for a table – which we were more than happy to do. I’m always filled with confidence when a restaurant is full up with locals rather than tourists.
The restaurant is famous for its steaks, so we all decided to have one of those. The steak, plus the sides were great. The wine was also very good. Loetje has a few (I believe) restaurants in Amsterdam, but we were to the one near our Hotel on Scheldestraat. There’s also one of the river at Amsterdam Central station if you’re staying right in the centre.
…And finally! The SkyLounge has panoramic views of the city and is great for a drink. When we went in there it was packed – so much so we found ourselves sitting outside (and it was very cold!) so, if you do decide to go, I’d recommend getting there early.
Like all SkyLounge bars around the world, it’s not cheap. Cocktails come in at about €16 each, but it’s fine for a treat. It was lovely to see Amsterdam from so many different angles and it’s a nice thing to do to finish off your evening in style.
Where have you been?
Let me know in the comments if you have any recommendations to add, I’m sure people would be delighted to hear them.