AMSTERDAM

Let’s start with the infamous Amsterdam cafe’s: There are about 729373 adorable cafe’s in this city. I found two noteworthy ones based on environment, friendliness of baristas, and overall ambience.

THE BEST OF THE BEST CAFE’S #1: Filter OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Why: Ok so this adorable, health conscious and kinda-hipster cafe was attached to my hostel, Ecomama (although completely separate from each other). I had a special experience with this place. Like every true traveler experiences, I woke up one morning with the curse of traveler’s stomach. I was doubled over in pain, and couldn’t fathom eating a thing (WEIRD, I know.) I finally dragged myself to eat something at this little cafe conveniently attached to my hostel, and the barista’s literally treated me like I was their sick daughter. They made me special ginger and mint tea that cures the stomach, and this incredible berry-healing smoothie with added flax seeds and other magical secret healing health ingredients of which they refused to tell me (and they didn’t charge me the normal added price of the health boosts!). Within an hour, I kid you not, I was up and ready to conquer Amsterdam. I continued to go back to the cafe every morning, and was equally a overjoyed with all of their delicious, gourmet, made-right-there foods.

What to order: Try their sandwich on freshly baked raisin bread, with Old Amsterdam cheese, cherry tomatoes, arugula, and cranberry dijon mustard. Mmmmmm.

Price: 2-6 € for just about anything

Find it: Valkenburgerstraat 124

THE BEST OF THE BEST CAFE’S #2: Le CaféierOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Why: This bare and simplistically decorated cafe does NOT have bare and simplistic food. Or coffee. I strolled into this cafe looking for “the one” to write about. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much, but much I got. Their cappuccino was one of the best I have had in Europe. And their sandwich. I learned that their grilled veggie sandwich is actually award winning and was featured in the Amsterdam news. So I obvviiiiously had to try it. And I sure as hell was not let down… Grilled veggies with paprika, gorgonzola, homemade basil pesto, and arugula on crusty outside/fluffy inside whole wheat bread? Yes please. Oh, and the barista’s are absolute sweethearts.

What to order: I got a soy cappuccino, and it was bomb. If you’re into that kinda thing. If coffee isn’t for you, get their Vitamin smoothie, with carrot, ginger and appleAnd of course, the grilled veggie sandwich.

Price: 3€ for just about anything

Find it:Rozengracht 144 (Jordaan Neighborhood)

BANGIN SOUP N’ SALAD: Soup en ZoOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Why: Sometimes when you’re far, far away from home, you just need a little bit of comfort food. And what better comfort food, then a warm, cozy, DELICIOUS bowl of soup? This place is the spot. Made with all fresh and natural ingredients, their soups are the real deal. And their salads. And their sandwiches. The minute you walk in and see some of their salads and baked goods on display, you can tell everything is of the finest, healthy ingredients. And their are many vegan options too! When I found this place, I was still getting over my stomach virus. So, the wonderful Soup en Zo lady got out her ingredient book, and read to me every ingredient in every homemade soup, and together we picked the best one. Now that’s customer service! Not only did I get to pick the perfect soup for my condition, but I learned the ingredients that goes into everything. As pure as pure can get.

What to order: Thai pumpkin soup with curry and coco leaves

Price: 5-7 €, 5.20 for a bowl of soup

Find it: 2 locations. Spiegelstraat 54 and Jodenbreestraat 94. I went to the Spiegelstraat shop.

BEST CHEAP DINNER/ LUNCH SPOT: Pasta PastaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Why: A big a$$, delicious bowl of pasta, completely customized to your liking. You pick the type of pasta, type of sauce, cheese, and any fresh add-ons you want. And you simply cannot beat the price in very expensive Amsterdam. The beauty of this place is you still get the feel of a real restaurant because of the trendy/ sleek decor and the fact that they bring your dish to your table, but you order at the register. Make sure you order your pasta with a big tall glass of beer, as it is the obvious thing to do according to all the young locals eating beside you.

Recommended Dish: Pasta (you choose your fave) with the rosa cream sauce, fresh balls of mozzarella, bacon, spinach and mushrooms.

Price: 5.95 for a big bowl of pasta. Additional 75 cents for some add ons.

Find it: Warmoesstraat 49 (Centrum)

THE BEST LOCAL PATISSERIE (BAKERY): Patisserie KuytOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Why: This is where the locals get their apple pie. And any other apple products. Or any dutch pastry for that matter. This place is always packed, so much so that you need to take a number to be served (but don’t worry, the wait won’t be long!) They are known for their Appelschnitt. It’s like a caramelized nut and apple bar. And it is freakin’ to-die-for.

What to order: Appleschnitt. Duh.

Price: 2 € for a single pastry

Find it: Utrechtsestraat 109/111

BEST APPLE PIE: Cafe WesterOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Why: Like mom used to make. Oh wait, she still does! One of the manager’s Mother’s brings in X number of pies every morning, freshly baked with love from her home oven. You can taste the sweet, yet tart loooove in every bite. The homemade whipped cream tops off the pie, making it oh-so-perfect.  Truly, The perfect dutch euphoria of a Apple pie-goodness. BE AWARE: Get there early! Preferably before 1 PM. These pies sell out fast, and mama ain’t makin’ more until the morning.

Price: 3€

Find it: Nieuwe Leliestraat 2 (Jordaan Neighborhood)

THE BEER SPOT: Brouwerij’t IJOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Why: This is the Amsterdam classic brewery, considered the best beer in all of Holland by many Dutch. It is located next to the notorious De Gooyer windmill, with the perfect outdoor patio to sit outside, sip on your nice cold beer, and watch the windmill spin round and round (if you have nothing better to do, that is). The current brewery is a former bath house that was transformed in 1985, in response to a bunch of angry Dutch people complaining that the Netherlands doesn’t have any good beer. Well, good beer they got. But I’ll let you guys determine that 😉

My Fave Beer: They have 8 standard signature beer’s, but my fave was the dark brown/red Natte (6.5% alc).

Price: 2.30 € -2.90 €

Find it: Funenkade 7

THE CLASSIC DUTCH FOOD you should know about

Broodjes Kip. Classic Surinamese street sandwich with glazed barbecued chicken, lettuce, and shredded carrots. 2.50 € from the Albert Kuyp market.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pickled Herring with onions (it’s actually really, really good). Also, 2.50€ from the Albert Kuyp Market.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bitterballen A typical Dutch bar snack, consisting of a creamy beef mixture, fried into a ball of crunchy goodness. Usually accompanied with a nice big glass of beer. I got mine from Kingfisher, but they can be found in most bars. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Oliebol. Fried dough rolled around in confectioners sugar. Like the dutch zeppoli. What could be bad? Get there from any street vendor around the city. They are most typical in winter. NOTE** fancy bakery’s have them too, but they are best from da streets. Represent. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 Dutch Cheese. Yes please. So after much cheesy research, I HIGHLY recommend going to the cheese museum to try out all the cheeses. You can go to the little overpriced stores, but the owners only let you try X amount of cheeses before they get sick of you. LOL. Normally I think these museums are far overrate and cliché (like the Amsterdam Heineken beer experience…not worth it), but this is not the case here. The cheese museum has samples EVERYWHERE. You can go crazy, and not feel guilty about not buying anything. And you can even learn something, too! The classic Old Amsterdam is my personal fave.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Have you tried out any of these places? Share yo’ foodsperience and tell us what you thought!

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