Amsterdam is a city I’ve wanted to go to for so long, and one thing or another’s always got in the way. So we ended up going in December on a very last min, spur of the moment trip.
We stayed in the ClinkNOORD hostel, a quick (free) ferry ride across the water from Centraal station. It’s clean, funky and super convenient for a quick trip – our double private room was basic, but everything we needed as a base for exploring the city.
They also offer really great breakfasts, and have a pretty cool bar. We’ll definitely be staying at ClinkNOORD again for our next Amsterdam trip.
As for the rest of our trip, it was very very cold, icy and snowy – but there’s so much to do, see, explore around Amsterdam that it didn’t stop us at all.
My favourite Amsterdam highlights include (and yes, they’re mostly food related):
The Foodhallen is an indoor food market inside a renovated tram depot. With lofty ceilings, over 20 food stalls serving cuisines from all over and a really chilled out vibe, it was definitely worth trekking to the other side of the city for. We tried out some bitterballen, beers, and gyozas.
Foodhallen – Bellamyplein 51, 1053 AT Amsterdam
Not exactly an authentic Amsterdam experience, however BeerTemple is an American beer bar with 35 draft beers and around another 200 in bottles and cans – they also do a great cheese board if you’re feeling peckish while sampling the beers.
BeerTemple – Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 250, 1012 RR Amsterdam
Kantjil & de Tijger
We had dinner at Kantjil & de Tiger based on a recommendation from one of Tom’s friends. It’s a wonderful Indonesian restaurant, and as soon as you walk in you’re hit by the most incredible smell.
Luckily we were able to get a table for two without booking ahead – but for larger groups it’s probably worth making a reservation.
I went for the Nasi Goreng Rames – spicy stir fried rice with rendang (curry), satay skewers, fried vegetable and an assortment of other delicious bits. Probably one of the best meals we had in Amsterdam, and for €17 was pretty good value.
Kantjil & de Tijger – Spuistraat 291/293, 1012 VS Amsterdam
We can’t go anywhere without trying to find the best burgers, and The Butcher, Amsterdam did not disappoint. It’s a very casual, diner, eat in or takeaway place: ideal for a quick, amazing dinner.
I kept it simple and had The Butcher with Cheese: Prime Aberdeen Angus beef, lettuce, tomato, grilled onion, gherkin, Dutch Edam cheese and The Butcher sauce. It was absolutely perfect, and they also do some incredibly indulgent milkshakes, if you feel like being a bit extra gluttonous.
The Butchers – Paleisstraat 14 1012 RB Amsterdam
We did one of the free (pay what you want at the end) walking tours around Amsterdam. It’s a great way to find out some of the history of the city, see the sights, and discover some local hidden gems like Cafe Sonneveld.
Our tour finished outside the Cafe Sonneveld, and the guide recommended it as a good place to try out traditional dutch food.
I had Stamppot with meatball, and Tom had it with sausage. It was a delicious, warm and filling meal – just right for the end of a pretty chilly December walking tour. If you want to sample local food in Amsterdam, then Cafe Sonneveld is definitely worth a visit!
Cafe Sonneveld – Egelantiersgracht 72-74 , 1015 RM Amsterdam