Sorry it’s taken me so long to get this Amsterdam trip report up on the blog, but I’ve decided to do things a bit different than a day-by-day breakdown this time and that, my friends, actually requires a little more work than just saying, “we did this, and then we did this, and then this happened, and then we saw that, etc., etc.” Today’s post is going to focus on eating and drinking our way through Amsterdam in three days. After the wonderful food tour we did in Venice, we hoped to replicate that in Amsterdam but unfortunately the large majority of tours were already booked, required a larger group, or looked really sketch. In the end, we took note of a couple of places we wanted to hit up while there and winged the rest. Right away we realized that our days were going to be spent eating a lot of cheese and drinking a lot of beer. Now, if you know anything about us, you know this equates to a pretty good time as far as we are concerned.
From the moment we checked into our hotel and got our bearings, we set out walking. I can’t begin to tell you how much walking we did every day. (Okay, I can … about 12km/day which, considering I brought a new pair of shoes and a pair of Converse I don’t often wear that often was a bit of a challenge.) We didn’t really have any set restaurants on our itinerary, but we knew there were local foods we wanted to try so when we saw them, we stopped in. This included raw herring, gouda (my favorite!), beer (oh, the wonderful, lovely beer), stroopwafel, bitterballen, poffertjes, pancakes, and seafood. By the time we were done, I’d gained four pounds! As much as I love sushi, I wasn’t fully on board with the raw herring, and I was surprised by how good the coffee was in most of the places we stopped in to. One of my favorite meals, surprisingly, was the salad I had of dutch bufalo mozzarella at the Rijksmuseum. It was one of the best caprese salads I’ve had in years (not cheap though). The bitterballen were interesting and I can see how they make an awesome snack for people who’ve been drinking, but I burned my mouth every time I ate them so I wasn’t exactly a pro.
We were excited when we were walking around and saw Gollem, a pub Alan’s former co-worker had told him he’d spent a lot of time in back when he lived in Amsterdam, was near our hotel. And by near our hotel, I mean right around the corner. It had an amazing beer selection and we ended up closing out two of our nights there.
Rather than taking a guided boat tour of the canals, we rented our own boat at a place way out in Timbuktu and decided we’d make a sunset dinner of our cruise with some food and drinks. We had planned to go to a grocery store, but when we asked a waitress at an Irish pub where we stopped in to watch half of the first Ireland vs. South Africa rugby match where a market was, she sent us to a huge outdoor market that ended up being on the way to where we picked up the boat, so that worked out really well. We tried all manner of tasty treats and even managed to pick up some cheese and bread for the longest boat ride of our life (more on that later).
We only did one major meal and what a major meal it was. We couldn’t figure out what to eat or where so I pulled up my trusty Yelp app and looked at the restaurants near our hotel. There was a highly rated seafood place really close by so we made reservations and ate ourselves absolutely silly. When I tell you we ordered the largest tower of seafood two people ever ate, I am not even joking. The couple sitting next to us kept staring at us in awe. It was actually rather uncomfortable.
I was really surprised by how much I liked the food in Amsterdam given that I did a piss poor job of planning. Usually when that happens, you wind up with some stinkers and aside from some incredibly bad service our first night, everything else fell right into place. I’ve put together this handy dandy map that lays out all the places we ate in case that’s something you’re interested in.
If you have any specific questions about the places we hit up or want any recommendations, feel free to drop me a line.