So much food and drink, so little stomach space. A whole host of bars, foodie shops and restaurants have opened in Amsterdam in recent weeks. Here's a roundup.
Bar Oldenhof in Amsterdam's Jordaan is apparently the first crowd-funded bar in the Netherlands. You kind of have to visit just for the backstory. And when you do, order the bar's signature drink The Hoff, a heady mix of Ketel One vodka, cointreau, fresh lemon juice, vanilla syrup and a dash of bitters.
Mata Hari is located in a former casino in Amsterdam's Red Light District. But don't let the seedy-sounding setting deter you. The restaurant and bar offers a narrow canal-side terrace and a wonderfully unexpected retro interior.
Service can be scatty, but the menu is filled with equally unexpected combinations and ingredients - and the kitchen actually delivers on them. Dishes include salad with buffalo mozzarella from Groningen (who knew?), linguine with asparagus, pecorino and roasted hazelnuts (small portions are under €10); and a superb Moroccan-inspired chocolate tart with date, coffee and cardemom sauce.
Chocoholics can check in at Hotel Chocolat, the first branch of the British chocolatier outside the UK. Upstairs is a hidden café where you can choose to have your coffee made with a base of ground cocoa beans.
If you have a bitter palate, the result is extraordinary: almost vegetal in taste, with the consistency of melted chocolate and the kick of caffeine.
As the name suggests, The Butcher on Albert Cuyp is all about meaty goodness, in this case stuffed into burgers. The menu includes The Daddy (250g of Aberdeen Angus beef topped with Edam cheese), the Silence of the Lamb and, for pescatarians, the Codfather.
A Table is a new French epicerie (deli) in Amsterdam West. The quiches and desserts are particularly good, or try the lunch formules, fixed menus for between €6.50 and €12. I love the logo of the baguette-wielding chef.
The Film Museum has reopened as EYE Film Institute. It has a new location too. Formerly in a grand old building in Amsterdam's Vondelpark, EYE now dominates the skyline on the northern bank of the IJ behind Central Station.
What hasn't changed is the film museum's popular terrace, the new one overlooking the water at the front of the angular, futuristic structure. Skip the food, which is little more than eetcafe fare with restaurant prices, order a drink and revel in the views.
The Seafood Bar serves everything from fancy salmon with lemongrass beurre blanc to fish and chips and down-home Dutch snacks such as lekkerbek and kibbeling.
Then there’s the IJs Bike, an old-fashioned ice cream trike peddled around Amsterdam’s parks and squares by Brit Kirk Lewis. Find out where the IJs Bike is on Twitter. Now, if only there was a summer to go with it…
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