Dining in Amsterdam is Addictive
Dining out anywhere, be it dining in Amsterdam or any other city, doesn’t necessarily have to be a white linen tablecloth and fine china sort of affair. It can be food on the go that you grab and take with you or it can be light fare in a casual restaurant. While there are plenty of articles online about all kinds of dining in Amsterdam, this isn’t one of them. Whether you’ve overindulged yourself at a coffeeshop, pub, or bar, you might need some quick, yet tasty and satisfying food. Just like your other vices, I’m here to tell you that you can add casual dining in Amsterdam to your new list of addictions.
Chips: First let’s talk about chips. Americans know this convenient comfort food as French fries, but here in Amsterdam they’re chips and they’re damn good. I’m going to try to control myself, but I honestly believe that chips are the world’s best street food. These aren’t your run of the mill fast food French fries that are soggy, limp, and greasy. No, these are crispy chunks of potato that are fresh and hot from the fryer with no trace of grease on them that pair perfectly with one of the many available sauces offered. Two of my favorites chip shops in Amsterdam are Manneken Pis and Chipsy King.
Manneken Pis tends to be the fan favorite where you can almost always expect long lines for their hot, crisp, and delicious chips. Choose from the Schanulleke (small) for €2,75, Urbanus (medium) for €3,75, or Obelix (large) for €4,75. I hadn’t eaten dinner and chose the Obelix. What I received was an enormous (I mean ENORMOUS) family sized portion of chips. I was almost ashamed as I walked down the street gorging myself on deliciously cooked chips smothered in curry sauce, which is extra but well worth the added expense. Considering I never came up for air to see if people were staring at me, I couldn’t have been that embarrassed.
While people tend to talk about Manneken Pis, my personal favorite chip shop in Amsterdam is Chipsy King. I visited the shop on Damstraat, one of the three shops they have in Amsterdam. Hot fresh chips and assorted sauces equal a late night indulgence extraordinaire without the long lines although the lines are a great place to chat with other hungry locals and tourists. I personally loved encouraging others to try the hot dog/chip combo. I eagerly grabbed my cone of chips smothered in curry and didn’t look up until I was finished. Can you see that chips have a way of distracting me.
On a side note I learned that Chipsy King had a food truck in NYC and was so excited that I immediately contacted Danielle. We’re going to be in NYC this summer and I imagined days filled with Chipsy King goodness. But I think they’ve closed as they haven’t updated their site, FaceBook, or Twitter for a few months. So sad.
While there may be little to no nutrition in these chips or other fast food, indulging every so often won’t break your caloric bank if you balance your meals out with healthy options.
Chipsy King Regular: €3,50 plus €0,60 for curry sauce
Mannekin Pis Obelix: €4,75 plus €0,75 for sauce
Address: Damstraat 8, 1012 JM Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone:+31 6 24435003
Address: Damrak 41, 1012 LK Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone:+31 346 562 040
As a proud New Yorker, there are some things that are so New York that I would never consider eating them elsewhere like bagels or pizza. On our first day together, we went out searching for dining in Amsterdam and came upon Pastabar on Damrak near Centraal Station. Reluctantly, I ordered a Margherita pizza (tomato and mozzarella pizza) and thought it would probably taste like microwave pizza, but was I ever wrong. While not a New York pizza, I have to say the pizza was really good. First it was as big as my head and second it had all the components of a great pizza pie. It was hot, crisp, and had tons of ooey, gooey cheese. Those things all work well for me. At only €4,95, this huge pizza can easily feed two people and still leave money left over for a beer (or two).
On the day we were leaving, we stopped in again and I wanted something sweet so I had the Dutch Apple Cake, which was the perfect size and not too big or overly sweet. Whether you want pizza, pasta, a panini, or dessert, this casual eatery has something for everyone. You can expect this place to be packed almost always and sometimes you have to track down a server, but for the price, it’s a good bet for a quick meal.
Margherita pizza: €4,95
Dutch apple cake: €4,75
Address: Damrak 19, Amsterdam, Nederland, Netherlands
Phone:+31 20 626 1576
As you can see I wasn’t choosing the most healthy options for dining in Amsterdam, which is why I was excited to find Juice to Boost, a cold pressed juice shop with cold pressed juices, booster shots, coffee, and more.
I stepped inside Juice to Boost and immediately felt better, if that’s even possible. I even convinced Danielle to try some and she chose a booster shot. I’m not sure if she’ll make juicing part of her everyday life, but at least she can say she’s tried it. I had the Daily Super Green with romaine, spinach, cucumber, celery, lemon, apple, parsley, and ginger and it was an intense green pick me up that was quick, easy, and affordable. Even if you plan on eating junk and drinking, squeeze in a little healthy food here and there. You can thank me later for that juicy tidbit. (Get it? Juicy?)
Daily Super Green 300ml: €3,70
Juice to Boost
Address: Reguliersdwarsstraat 121, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone:+31 20 370 8401
Located across the street from the Rembrandt House Museum sits the Orff Café, a café that beckoned me to grab a chair, sit down, and take in Amsterdam behind a huge cup of coffee. On our first morning in Amsterdam, Danielle and I went out for a late breakfast and ended up at the Orff Café. Breakfast, lunch, brunch — it’s all the same as long as I can get a strong and delicious cup of coffee. I nearly pleaded with the server for a large cappuccino and it more than did the job.
But we were also hungry so we both ordered a cheese tosti, a toasted sandwich. Think of it like a sandwich you’d put in one of those sandwich toaster contraptions that you close vs. a grilled cheese because the sandwich gets toasted, the cheese gets melty, but it’s not grilled, yet still yummy and satisfying. I didn’t quite get the little cup of ketchup that went with it, but it was there if you wanted to dunk your sandwich I guess. I was happy to sit with my friend, drink my coffee, and watch the world go by while dining in Amsterdam. That is, until the caffeine kicked in and we could get up and out to explore more of the city.
While there was nothing in particular on the menu that would make Anthony Bourdain drool over in excitement, Orff Café is the perfect spot in Amsterdam to people watch while you grab a coffee and a quick meal.
Address: Jodenbreestraat 3, 1011 NG Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone:+31 20 330 0162
After drinking our juice from Juice to Boost one morning, we wanted a traditional sit down breakfast and since we had read about the Lunchroom Downtown, we knew this was where we had to go. We weren’t going to be able to make it to Pannenkoekenhuis Upstairs, a traditional old school pancake place that was on my list of spots to hit for dining in Amsterdam, so I was hoping to still be able to dive into a tasty pancake here.
Lunchroom Downtown is located in the oldest building on Reguliersdwarsstraat dating back to 1642, which was also the city’s first openly gay café since 1970.
The Lunchroom Downtown menu runs the gamut from lunch and dinner items like burgers, salads, tostis, and quiche, as well as breakfast favorites like the English or American breakfast, omelets, and of course, pannenkoeken (pancakes). I chose the appel pannenkoek (apple pancake), which is a Dutch style of pancake that can be up to a foot in diameter and much thinner than the American pancake. You can eat them like I did with a fork and knife or roll them up and eat them by hand. Any way you eat them, I couldn’t leave Amsterdam without trying one and I’m glad I did. It was thin, light, and the apples were a tasty addition. Paired with my appel pannenkoek was a hot and delicious cappuccino. Nothing is better than a good cup of coffee in this world.
Danielle being the Brit that she is, dove into her tasty English breakfast of eggs, bacon, beans, sausage, tomato, toast, butter, and jam. We ate like there was no tomorrow and needless to say, we were full after that meal.
One interesting fact to note was that our server was not only the server, but the cook and the owner. I felt doted on and liked how small and intimate this restaurant was, even though it’s only a casual dining restaurant.
Apple pancake €6,95
English breakfast €8,95
Address: Reguliersdwarsstraat 31, 1017 BJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone:+31 20 789 0554
Great food when you travel doesn’t have to be fancy. I love eating what the locals eat and if that’s street food, then that’s what I want. If that’s my addiction, then so be it.
What’s your choice when you travel? Do you prefer fine dining or casual, food on the go, street food kind of food? Have you ever found dining in Amsterdam to be addictive?