As the capitol of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is the place to be for the hip and happening on food stores and restaurants. A lot of new concepts have their first locations in Amsterdam before they spread to the rest of the country. Even though Rotterdam as a big city offers a lot on the food area, you can’t really compare it to Amsterdam.That’s why I decided to go and visit some of the food hotspots in Amsterdam. I took the train to Amsterdam Central station and ventured out from there.
My first stop was the Marks & Spencer on the Kalverstraat. I heard so much about their food department, that I wanted to go and see this myself. It is actually like a regular supermarket, but with a different supply than let’s say, Albert Heijn. It is true that they sell the typical English food. I saw a lot of marmelades, teas, and specific english sweets. On the other hand, they have the things you expect in a supermarket, but from another brand than is usually sold in our typical Dutch supermarkets. The department I found most interesting was the department with baked goods. I saw the typical scones, pancakes, cakes, and cupcakes, all pre-packaged and ready for you to take home. The English Muffins were on my ‘Food I’d like to try list, so I just had to buy them! The next day I made the Egg McMuffin lookalikes and they were so yummy! After the Marks & Spencer, I walked around in the Kalverstraat a bit, but there were not much food related stores around anymore. I took the tram to go to the Albert Cuypmarkt, one of the largest markets in the Netherlands.
While I was in the tram I passed a lot of restaurants, lunchrooms and coffee places, so I decided to get back there after I visited the market. The Albert Cuypmarkt is unique in its way that it is there every single day, whereas other markets are usually only once or twice a week. Maybe I’m a bit spoiled or something, because Rotterdam has a great market at the Blaak as well, but the Albert Cuypmarkt didn’t impress me a lot. I saw the things I expected, but nothing special or anything I hadn’t seen before. A lot of clothes and a lot of stands with a little bit of everything. As far as food stands, I think Rotterdam might even have more to offer, to be honest. The only things I really liked were a chocolate stand, a superfood stand and the ‘Poffertjes’ stand. Needless to say, I didn’t spend too long here, so I walked back to one of the coffee places I saw while on the tram.
The place was called: ‘De taart van m’n tante‘ (Cake from my aunt in English). It looked fabulous and very inviting from the outside: a lot of coloured chairs and tables, a lot of plants and flowers and a lot of decorations. As I walked in, there were no other customers inside, just one person sitting on the terrace. I looked around a bit, because there was so much to see: birdcages, fake cakes on the table, a globe, many photos on the wall and a lot of bright colours around. What was a bit weird to me was that they have their office in the customers area. So one of the employees was working on the computer as I was in there. Neither she or the other employee approached me as I was walking around. To me, it seems normal you ask a customer if you can help them when they walk through your coffee place for 5 minutes, but they apparently didn’t think so. Not too customer friendly in my opinion. Because the cakes in their display looked so mouthwatering, I still decided to have my coffee break with some pecan pie there. I ordered a ‘koffie verkeerd’, coffee with a lot of milk to go with the pie. The coffee was quite small and not really hot. I think they put cold milk in it, because I could drink it right away. The pecan pie was served warm, just like it would come straight from the oven, with some whipped cream and cherry sauce. The pie truely was a pecan pie: it was loaded with them! Because of that, it was quite heavy on the stomach, but since I hadn’t had anything since 6.30 in the morning, that was ok by me. The taste was amazing and not too sweet! The crust of the pie was very dissapointing to me. It was soft and soggy, declaring to me that this pie didn’t come straight from the oven, like the warmth suggested, but it came either from the microwave or it had been prepared poorly.
Then I left to go on my walk along all the things I passed in the tram. On the same street, there were a lot of bakeries and deli’s. It was so nice to just watch what they had to sell, because they all had their own specialities. On the walk, I also passed some of the canals of Amsterdam and I was enjoying the view over them. Another lunchroom I passed was one I had read about on other foodblogs before: Juice & Salad Café at the Vijzelstraat. They have the best salads, juices and sandwiches and you can both eat-in or opt for take-away. The funny thing here is that I didn’t order a juice or a salad, but a sandwich. All of their salads, juices and sandwiches are named after the continents and I chose their Australian sandwich of whole wheat, organic bread with roast beef, cheese, mustard, balsamic vinaigrette and beets. I love beets and never thought of having them on a sandwich, so that is why I chose this one. As you can see, this looks like a proper sandwich, a healthy and decent lunch. I loved the beets on it, as they added a sweet contrast to the mustard. The bread was very firm, but not dry at all. The way they serve it is really neat as well, instead of a plate, you get a ‘broodplankje’ (no idea what this is called in English). If you want to take it along, they pack it in a cardboard box for you. Juice & Salad also sell healthy and organic snacks in their store, like bars, chocolate and crackers. After my sandwich, I took the tram again to go to another food hotspot: the Haarlemmerstraat.
A lot of delicacy stores are located in the Haarlemmerstraat, so just walking around is a pleasure to the eye already. I passed macaron stores, Petit Gateau, a portuguese deli and whatnot. One store I wanted to visit was Dille & Kamille. They have all the supplies you could want for baking and cooking and a lot of items to style your home as well. This is a wonderfull store to roam through and to get inspired! I loved all the specific baking shapes, cookie cutters, dish towels and cookbooks they have. Many items are on my Christmas and birthday wishlists now! After this I decided to walk along to Stach Food. What I had heard about Stach, was that they sell fresh, organic products and fresh take-away meals. Their location in de Haarlemmerstraat is quite small, and so is their supply. I have to say, their price range is a bit on the high range. It did all look very fresh and tasty indeed, but I unfortunately couldn’t bring anything home with me as I couldn’t keep the food cool on my trip back home. Opposite Stach is Marqt, an organic supermarket. I went to check it out as well, because I wanted to see if it was like the Marqt we have in Rotterdam. Marqt sells a lot more than Stach, they are more suited for doing all of your groceries if you would want to go all organic. Prices are a bit lower than at Stachs’. I bought a Coconut Crush Smoothie from The Fruit Lab because I was so thirsty by then and a bag of Artisani dried strawberries. The smoothie was nice and refreshing. After this, I started the walk back to the station, as it was almost time for me to head back. On my way back, I suddenly noticed a Chocolateria, called Jordino. They sell the most amazing chocolate, icecream and macarons in all the flavors I could imagine! Of course, I couldn’t leave without taking two macarons with me: a coconut mango and a raspberry macaron. They were both the best macarons I have tried so far. Very fresh, with the most delicious filling inside, mmm!
After this I took the train home again. I had a wonderful day in Amsterdam and I have seen many interesting food places there. I’m pretty sure I have only seen the top of the iceberg on food hotspots in Amsterdam, so it is highly likely there will be a sequel to this post some day in the future.