I’m experiencing some mad Amsterdam withdrawals right now. I spent about ten days in the Netherlands, and every single one was amazing. Here is an extensive guide.
📍 Anne Frank House
We waited about two hours in line to get into the Anne Frank house. A word of advice: Right after you book your trip, buy these tickets. It’s one of the most popular attractions in Amsterdam, so it sells out fast. However, even if you can’t get tickets, waiting in line is definitely worth it. Seeing Anne’s room along with excerpts from her diary was so moving. The entire experience was incredible and inspiring.
This is pretty general, but important. I love bike riding anywhere, but cycling along the canals and through Vondelpark was another experience. A huge part of the Dutch culture is bicycling, so it’s the easiest way to feel like a local. Riding through the streets can seem dangerous because few bike rental shops offer helmets. If you’re worried, just ride only through the parks and among the cobblestone streets.
Speaking of Vondelpark, this place is a must-see. It is one of the most beautiful parks I have ever visited. There are ponds, geese, waterfalls, gazebos, bridges, etc. The wrought iron gates divide the hectic city and lush park. Take a picnic and sit at the edge of a pond.
📍 The Seafood Bar
I ordered lobster soup, calamari, and crab cakes which I would recommend. The wait is pretty long on weekend nights, but they will serve you drinks while you wait. I got mint tea which is served in all restaurants here. It’s basically hot water with moroccan mint leaves actually stuffed into the glass. I add a dollop of honey, and it’s delicious. This restaurant was probably the prettiest one we ate dinner at, so if you’re one for aesthetics, check this out.
📍 Black and Blue
Named the best steakhouse in town, this place is not kidding with their meat. I got the burger which was served with a salsa and relish. It also comes with a side of fries, but no ketchup. The Dutch way to devour fries is with mayonnaise. I was pretty skeptical at first, but it’s not straight-up mayonnaise. It’s more like an aioli, and it’s delicious.
This cafe was next door to the apartment we rented. My family and I would wake up, take a leisurely walk down the canal, then stop for some coffee and breakfast at Baton. All the coffees come with a slice of ginger bread on the side which I loved. My parents ordered a plate that consisted of a croissant, orange juice, coffee, and a slice of ginger bread. I got a tartine with goat cheese and apples. It was simple, yet delicious. When we revisited Batôn, I ordered the croissant, and it was one of the best croissant I’ve ever had.
📍CT Coffee and Coconuts
This place is probably the most Californian restaurant in Amsterdam. It’s trendy with its white walls and exposed brick. I had the Perfect Eggs and Noodles dish which was fantastic. Hollandaise sauce, noodles, kimchee, and poached eggs combine to make such an amazing breakfast! I also had the Royal Apple juice which is just your classic carrot, ginger, and apple juice. I loved this restaurant because the three-floor setup (it’s located in a renovated 1920’s theater!) and drink garnishing was adorable.
📍 Pancakes Amsterdam
My sister and I split a small order of the chocolate Poffertjes (small pancakes). I love Poffertjes more than normal pancakes. I can’t explain why, but they just taste better. This eatery was adorable, but we took our order to go. Pancakes Amsterdam has a restaurant right where the Anne Frank house is, so while you wait in line, snack on the Poffertjes.
📍 Frens Haringhandel
You have to get all of the authentic Dutch food when in Amsterdam, including a herring sandwich. I didn’t really love it or anything, but the sandwiches are cheap and found all over the place. The sandwich is composed of herring, onions, and pickles. Pretty simple!
This was my sister’s and my mom’s favorite breakfast joint. They have a ton of hearty food like my Eggs Royale (Eggs Benedict with salmon) and my sister’s Big Breakfast (complete with baked beans, bacon, sausage, a mushroom, and hash browns). There’s also a collection of drinks ranging from iced coffee to elderflower soda.
📍 Kantjil de Tiger
If you’re in the mood for some Indonesian food, this restaurant is great and for a fair price. The two stand-out items I ordered were Saté Ajam which was a chicken kabab with a peanut sauce and the Babi Smoor which was pork in sweet soy sauce.
I’m a huge fan of Indian food, and Shahjahan had some of the best I’ve ever had. The Garlic Chicken Tikka and Lamb Rogajosh were my favorites, but everything was delicious. The restaurant is small, cozy, and down an alleyway so it’s pretty quiet.
📍 Lavinia Good Food
This trendy restaurant was awesome. There were a ton of vegan, gluten free, and vegetarian options. The food was absolutely wonderful. My dad isn’t super big on healthy eats, but even he enjoyed it. I got the Open-faced sandwich geroosterde kip which was basically like an avocado sandwich with chicken, apples, and a delightful mayonnaise sauce. The ginger and orange lemonade and the carrot cake is delectable.
This is the perfect street if you want to go shopping. At this time in the year, almost every shop is having some major sale. A lot of the shops are also found in America like & Other Stories and Puma. However, there’s also the occasional Dutch boutique mixed in.
📍 I Love Vintage
They have some real throwback vibes in I Love Vintage. Pinup dresses and dainty skirts line the sides of the store. The employees are incredibly kind, offering you tea as you shop. Not every item in the store is vintage, some of them are only vintage-inspired. While I was there, I snagged an authentic calf-length, floral skirt that I can’t wait to style. If you’re debating whether it’s the right shop for you, you can get a dose of what they have to offer on their website.