If you find yourself with 24 hours to kill in Amsterdam, you’re in luck. The central part of the city is only 30 minutes from the airport, making it easy to cover a lot of delicious ground in this charming city. Amsterdam is easily conquered by foot, which will work up that appetite in no time. Wondering where you should eat in between seeing the sites? Amsterdam has something to whet every type of palate.
Breakfast: Pancakes! Amsterdam
First thing to do after you get off the plane? Head straight to Pancakes! Amsterdam for gloriously fluffy pancakes and carb load for the day ahead. Don’t be intimidated by the line—it moves quickly and you’ll be seated in the quaint loft-style restaurant before you know it. These pancakes are as big as your head and can be done up savory with toppings like smoked salmon and crème fraiche or sweet with bananas and chocolate. Make room for the Dutch classic poffertjes, mini puffed-up pancakes fried in butter and dusted with powdered sugar. Feel awake yet?
Mid-Morning Snack: Foodhallen
Food halls... all of the cool cities are doing them and Amsterdam is no exception. Head west of downtown and stroll along Amsterdam’s funky canals taking time to notice the unique houseboats. Ideal for people who can’t commit to just one treat, or who need lots of options, Foodhallen offers food stalls with varying cuisines and dishes. For a light snack, stick to Jabugo Bar, where you can grab a paper cone filled with just Jamon Iberico imported from Spain. Foodhallen also houses clothing and art shops, too making for some good morning browsing.
Lunch: Restaurant De Kas
Restaurant De Kas sits on the outskirts of town in a residential area, but it’s only a quick Uber ride away and totally worth it. How often can you dine inside a restored municipal greenhouse? With on-site gardens providing ample produce, De Kas makes good on the phrase “farm to table.” At lunch, you’ll have the opportunity to sample their small plates and entrees from the prix fixe menu. Each dish is simple, yet vibrant and presented beautifully, incorporating their home-grown produce and locally sourced meat and seafood. By the end of the meal, you’ll be full, but you may have a hard time pulling yourself away from this sunny gem.
Afternoon Pick Me Up: ‘t Blauwe Theehuis
Stretch your legs after lunch by taking a walk around Vondelpark, with an entrance conveniently located by Amsterdam’s renowned Museum Square. In the middle of the park, you’ll find t’ Blauwe Theehuis, or, the Blue Teahouse. Built in the 1930s this darling café is shaped like a flying saucer and offers ample outdoor seating on their multi-level patio. Although called a teahouse, you can order espresso beverages to pick you up out of that afternoon slump.
Sweet Treat: Pompadour
After all this walking you deserve to treat yourself to something sweet. Swing by Pompadour, a confectionery sweet dreams are made of. Truffles, chocolates, marzipans, cakes…anything your sugar tooth desires can be found here. More than just a shop, though, Pompadour has a plush café for you to rest your feet while you indulge.
Dinner: van Kerkwijk
Tucked behind bustling Dam Square, off a little alleyway, you’ll find the cozy restaurant van Kerkwijk serving up modern Dutch fare at an incredibly reasonable price. The tables are close together, the bathrooms are in the cellar and you can’t make a reservation. Have no fear, though, and belly up to the bar where you’ll find a nice selection of beer and wine. Once you’re seated you’ll discover the coolest thing about this joint: there’s no menu. The waiter will recite a list of options, rather impressively, considering the offerings change nightly. Trust your instinct and pick the dishes that sound most pleasing to you – if the buzz of happy patrons in the restaurant tells you anything it’s that you won’t be disappointed. The one must have that’s always available? Their French fries with traditional mayo dipping sauce.
After Dinner Drinks: The Lobby
Just a few steps away from the humble van Kerkwijk is the swanky, yet somewhat hipster, The Lobby. The restaurant is aptly named—you’ll find it on the main level of the Hotel V Nesplein. Its proximity to theaters and music venues makes it an ideal stopover after dinner, but you’ll stay for the well-curated menu of cocktails. Gin & Tonics are the “thing” in Amsterdam right now and The Lobby ensures you won’t miss out with a variety of gin and tonic pairings like grapefruit and elderflower. A G&T at the Lobby makes for the perfect end to your delicious day in Amsterdam.