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Amsterdam Tip Sheet for 2007 (Very Long)

I've spent some time compiling this list to take with my on my trip to Amsterdam this summer. It's recommendations from this board over the past year, in no particular order. Please let me know if I've missed anything important!

Amsterdam Tip Sheet
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Japanese Pancake World
http://www.japanesepancakeworld.com/
2e Egelantiersdwarsstraat 24a
Amsterdam

UrbanHunterGatherer on Apr 11, 2006: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/268086

“I highly suggest you arrange to sit at the teppan grill (kind of like the grill you find at the classic Japanese steak houses) where you can see the chef whirl his spatulas and turn basic ingredients into round wonders. For a foodie like me, the Japanese pancake education doled out by the chef/owner at the teppan grill was the culinary highlight of my visit to Amsterdam. “

My partner and I split two pancakes, which was plenty for the two of us.

We ordered an Osaka-style pancake called Shogayaki Special Osaka, which had the Osaka pancake base of batter and veggies and flavorings, but also marinated beef, spinach, and onions. The overall taste was rich and satisfying. I particularly enjoyed the strong ginger seasoning of the beef and fresh green taste of the spinach and the overall crispy texture of the pancake.

The second pancake we ordered was a Hiroshima-style cake called Butama Hiroshima, which was constructed quite differently than the Osaka cake. The actual pancake was crepe-like, and then loads of veggies were mounded on top to dizzying heights to form the basic Hiroshima pancake, but then the Butama ingredients (pork strips, cheese, and mushrooms) were added to the mix. The real mouth-dropper was when the chef skillfully flipped the pancake over in one adept move to brown the other side. You don’t see things like that in my kitchen. The first flavor that hit me from this cake was actually the fruit found in the sauce added to the outside, very tasty citrus, but as I delved deeper, the fruit tang mingled with the smoky bonito, pork, and unexpectedly appropriately placed cheese. A definite winner.

All in all Japanese Pancake World was a great value. We found the food excellent, the owners gracious, and the experience highly educational. “
RatBoy on Apr 13, 2006: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/268093
“Just got back to NY from a trip to London and Amsterdam and the best meal I had the whole week (or maybe whole year) was at Japanese Pancake House in Amsterdam. http://www.japanesepancakeworld.com/

I have searched out Okonomiyaki in LA and New York (never had it in Japan yet) and this was the best by far.
It is a small shop with an open teppan grill, and the owners/chefs were extremely nice. Its really great to have a meal cooked by someone who loves the dish. He was talking up a storm while we watched him cook, and he was telling us that pretty much everything except for the sauce and mayonaise is made from scratch.

Three of us shared 3 pancakes; a shogayaki special Osaka, a hiroshima style butatama and a negi-seafood. I liked the butatama best - but all were great.”
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Saskia's Huiskamer (Saskia’s Living Room
)http://www.huiskamerrestaurant.com/
Albert Cuypstraat 203 C huis (let op begane grond
)T 06-28629839

sixelagogo on Aug 01, 2006: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/313988

http://like-a-local.com/

Just got back from Amsterdam where my dude and I had a meal at Saskia's restaurant. 5 courses + wine for 28 euro's each was a deal, not to mention the set up. I chose this restaurant from site called "like a local" found at http://like-a-local.com/ .
Saskia's was perfect; we ate at a table literally on Albert Culpstrat (in the Pijp) with about 20 other people at a long table- It was REALLY HOT. Saskia's got room for about 24 inside, though it was too hot to eat inside. My dude and I were the only ones from the states, while 1 other couple was from Scotland- the rest were "locals".
The meal started with a phyllo pastry filled with some sort of spiced meat and topped with sesame seed; Second course, an arugula salad served with a delicious frittata; third course, cold vischysous(sp) with pieces of smoked fish; fourth course, pan seared seabass with "stump pot" (tradinal mash potoatoes with a twist- avacado in this case); fifth course, a fruit tart.
Food was amazing. As guests we were recrutied to take food to the table, refill our wine and water, and bus the dishes. It made it really fun and personal. I Definately suggest Saskia's restaurant or another like a local experience if and when you go to amsterdam.
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De Kas
http://www.restaurantdekas.nl/
Kamerlingh Onneslaan 3
1097 DE Amsterdam
T +31 (0)20 462 45 62
F +31 (0)20 462 45 63
E info@restaurantdekas.nl

gourmand_syndrome Dec 07, 2006: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/34595...

We recently returned from Amsterdam and experienced some incredible dining. As you keep hearing de Kas is amazing. If you would like to see some pictures of de Kas and other restaurants check out our bog, where we are posting all of our meals from that trip.
http://gourmandsyndrome.blogspot.com

Bradbury Jun 06, 2006

“De Kas is marvellous, and probably more of a cuisine "experience" than DWU, but it's not exactly cozy ... you're eating in a big glass greenhouse in a park. Which is spectacular in June but pretty much dark in January. Food's still just as good, though.”
Bradbury Jan 05, 2006: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/26740...
“De Kas is in a big, airy greenhouse in a park just outside the center of town (but directly accessible via the #9 tram). It operates on the "Chez Panisse" principle of using local organic produce/meat to offer a single four-course meal each day. (Though there are substitute courses available for those with vegetarian/allergy issues) The food is reliably great, and the setting lovely (though in January you'll miss the experience of greenhouse dining during a May sunset...)”
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Various tips: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/33426...

pjbarone Oct 15, 2006

I just came back from Amsterdam a month ago and thru the guidance of locals found some good places to eat.

You must eat at Envy. Its expensive, but if you are going to Christophe, you should be ok. Try the Bleu de Termignon and the Jamon Iberico. www.envy.nl

Another hidden Gem is Restaurant de Luwte (Leliegracht 26-28). Very nice place. outdoor tables if the weather is mild.

If you crave Spanish Tapas, head to Paso Doble (westerstraat 86) www.paso-doble.nl The tortilla, the patatas bravas, the albondigas, lamb chaps, everything was great.

A great pub around 5-8pm is De Drie Fleschjes (Gravenstraat 18). They have been there since 1650. Large casks line the wall. always a good spot to drink with the locals. Try the Corenwyn. the liverwurst is good to wash it down with.

For Chinese, Head to Nam Kee (Zeedijk 111-113). Nothing pretty, but the Bami soep, the oysters with black bean sauce, really anything you order here is excellent. I've eaten at most of the chinese on the Zeedijk, and this one is my favorite.

Tango (Warmoestraat 49) is great place for Lamb Chops. Order enough and they bring them to you on a comal. Argentenian steakhouse.

Bradbury Jan 11, 2006: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/26745...

Upscale continental/creative: De Kas, Voorbij het Einde, Balthazar's Keuken

Middle Eastern: Zina (north African), Divan (Turkish

)

Indonesian: Tempo Doeloe, Blue Pepper, Sama Sebo

Italian: Sa Seada

African game: Pygma-Lion

Seafood: Eenvistweevis, Le Pecheur

Belgian: Senz, De Brakke Grond

Soup/Salad lunch: Brasserie Joffers

Dessert menu (since you asked): College Hotel, De Witte Uyl, Dining Eleven

Chocolates to go: ArtiChoc

Beer: In 't Arendsnest, De Zotte

Chinese: Don't bother. Everyone talks about the oysters at Nam Kee, and they are pretty good, but nothing special if you've had good Chinese chow in LA, NYC, SF, etc.

Also avoid: Argentine steakhouses, most pancake places, anything on Leidseplein/Rembrandtplein/Damrak, Supperclub, Kantjil en de Tijger, and the food (as opposed to the good bar scenes) at Mansion, Vakzuid, or Strand West
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Moeders (Mother’s)
http://www.moeders.com/
Rozengracht 251. 1016 SX Amsterdam

dpastor on Sep 28, 2006: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/329572

“We tried Mothers - mentioned frequently on this board - and it was fantastic. We were the only tourists, everyone else were young Dutch couples happily eating the sampler main course. The lobster soup was better than soups at more expensive restaurants and Mother's salad with cured beef - which was a soft, luscious tasty breasola-type meat. Too jet lagged for the sampler meal, I got the hotpot - which had great gravy with mashed potatoes and vegetables (that day it was mashed endives, which were really good) and ok sausage and meat. My husband got some vegetarian option - skip it. Next to us, I saw couples tuck into plates with hotpot and side plates of braised beef, red cabbage and a type of meat hash. How I envied them. No more pancakes for dessert (as recommended on this board) but a very good apple pie. Mothers is near the chic Jordaan section but far enough away not to be too touristy.”

dpastor Oct 12, 2006: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/32957...

“I ate at Mothers last night on this boards recommendation. Atmosphere was super cute, charming, it was busy but intimate and very cosy. Wait staff adorable. Everything was great . . . but the food.

The crayfish (which the enlgish menu calls lobster) soup was very good. Everything else was basically enormous portions of very heavy, dutch standards . . . felt more like something you would get at a cafeteria than a restaurant. If you want a large portion of meat and with potatoes and cabbage and gravy than I suppose it is okay, but i think you might fare better at one of the cute places we passed on the walk from the dam to Jordaan, serving things like escargot, oysters . . . other tasty treats…

Yes, perhaps I should have been more explicit. Mothers restaurant is for people who like lots and lots of meat. Even their salad has meat in it, and quite good too. The vegetarian dishes were forgettable. It's for people who want the old-fashioned Dutch food.”
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Eetsalon Van Dobben
Korte Reguliersdwarsstraat 5-9 bij het Amsterdamse Rembrandtplein
http://www.vandobben.com/

dpastor on Sep 28, 2006: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/329572

Von Dobbin serves the ultimate Dutch croquet - it is on Cort Reguliersdwarstraat with is near the Rembrantsplein, and is off Reguliersdwarstaat- a bit hard to find. Get there before noon if you can, it gets very busy. You order croquets, which come right from the kitchen, hot and crusty on the outside, molten on the inside. We got ossenworst (ox pate?) and roast beef sandwichs, as for the hard bread. Many people got the hot pork sandwich topped by a thick gravy. No tables, just stools.
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Restaurant de Witte Uyl
http://www.witteuyl.com/
Frans Halsstraat 26
1072 BR Amsterdam
tel. +31 (0)20 6 700 458

fatboy44 Jun 01, 2006: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/26841...

"De Witte Uyl" is a great cozy "gezellig as the Dutch call it" restaurant with some good competent cooking. Great for an anniversary. We ate there a few month ago on a trip to Amsterdam and truly enjoyed the place.

Bradbury Jun 02, 2006

“I'll second the recommendation for De Witte Uyl. Great food and gezellig atmosphere, and Annemieke is the hostess-with-the-mostest ... get her talking and she won't lead you wrong.”

Bradbury Jan 05, 2006: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/26740...

“De Witte Uyl is in De Pijp, between Museumplein and Marie Heinekenplein and next door to an impossibly cool art gallery/custom bike shop (how Dutch is THAT?) It's much more gezellig than De Kas, with muted colors, warm light/candles, and "centerpieces" that are really vintage cognac selections. There's a seasonal menu from which you select two (equally-sized) courses, some wonderful desserts, and a small but very well-selected wine list. The proprietor, Annemieke, will make you feel like regulars on your first visit, and like family on your second.”
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Malaysia Restaurant Nyonya
Koveniersburgwal 38,
tel. 4222447
Opposite the Korenbloemen.

cytrey on Apr 29, 2006: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/268207

I just tried this new Malaysian place in the center of Amsterdam, Nonya (same name as the one in NYC), at 38 Kloveniersburgwal, near the Niewemarkt. It was unbelievably authentic and tasty. The laksa noodle soup was huge, full of prawns and other meats, and the soup base was just spicy enough with coconut milk. The Hainanese chicken rice was made the right way, with the rice cooked fresh everyday in chicken broth (I asked the chef about it). They even have a house special nasi goreng that I had never tasted before, and the chef was not too keen to divulge the secret recipe for it either. Just wanted to share this great find with anyone in Amsterdam or just passing through--especially since I find that the Indonesian food here is not all that terrific for a place that is famous for it.
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Other Indonesian: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/26781...

Bradbury Mar 03, 2006

“Other Indonesian options include:

Blue Pepper (Indo-moderne, pricier but probably worth it

)

Desa (very authentic, great value but a bit further from center)

Tujuh Maret (much more casual, maybe better for lunch)

Sama Sebo (near museums, a bit touristy but still quite good)

Under no circumstances should you go to Kantjil en de Tijger, no matter how many tourist guidebooks they buy advertising in ...”
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Cheap Eats: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/26750...

Bradbury Jan 20, 2006

“A few suggestions for those visiting this fair city on a tight budget (with a slight geographic bias toward my neighborhood, around the Museumplein and Vondelpark):

Tootsie - for the best club sandwich I've had anywhere in Europe

Riaz - for Surinamese rotis

Beyrouth - great, cheap, filling Lebanese

Tujuh Maret - next door to Tempo Doeloe, much cheaper and more informal, just walk in and sit down for yummy, reasonably-priced Indonesian

De Zotte - for 80+ Belgian ales and whatever their menu special is (they have a surprisingly good cook

)

Cafe De Koe - for your cholesterol fix

't Smalle - no gourmet experience, but one of the best brown cafes, in the prettiest setting

Narbonne - weird but good mix of North African (great lamb specials), Mexican and Catalonian. Tasty and modestly priced, with two features rare in Amsterdam: huge portions and friendly waitresses

Kanis en Meiland - a pun on its location (KNSM Island), wonderful funky cafe with great soups and sandwiches, locals love it because of a) great waterfront scene b) tourists can't find it c) near some primo haute-design shopping”

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  1. Hi m - I hope you enjoy your trip to Amsterdam. The most important thing to remember about food in Amsterdam is: it is generally not very good. Have you ever heard of a Dutch restaurant? I live here and peruse chowhound to remind me of what good food is like!

    I haven't been to most of the restaurants in the posts. After having been to a sample of 10-15 and been uniformly disappointed with the food (bad) and service (worse), one simply stops trying. My advice is to go ethnic - either Chinese or Middle Eastern (but not Indian!). One of the posts slags Chinese but I find it compares well with that in the Chicago Chinatown. Maybe nothing special but edible.

    Yes, edible is the criterion I'm using. I cannot overstate: I have had more inedible restaurant meals here in 7 months than in my prior 39 years.

    3 Replies
    1. re: borisdad

      Have a great time, it's a fun city. I was there in September and have to say that no matter how many restaurants you compile in a list, if you think you're going to be impressed with food in A'dam, you're sadly mistaken. It is definitely a melting pot, represented by lots of cultures. Unfortunately what that means for the restaurants is that you'll find lots of variety, but few real bright-spots. Service is exceedingly slow, so be prepared (I can't stress this enough). Your latte, toasted white bread with ham and tomatoes for "breakfast" (~10-11am) may take an hour at an outdoor cafe. We stayed around the Rembrandtplein and had lots of choice in the square (recommended). Enjoy!

      1. re: azhotdish

        I;ve actually been there before, although it WAS about 4 years ago. I thought the ethnic food there was excellent. esp the Indonesian.

        1. re: mgarland

          Yes, there is a lot of Indonesian and even Surinamese, but I didn't find any that particularly wowed me. Definitely interesting to try though if it doesn't exist in your city.

    2. There's a good Indian place called Dosa on the Overtoom. It's south indian so they have dosas in addition to the usual chicken tikka masala stuff. Actually, their CTM is pretty good, and so is the veggie korma, saag paneer, etc. If you are stuck in leidesplein, I would recommend sauntering over to this place rather than being gouged by any of the nasty restaurants in the side streets of the plein itself. Cafe de Koe is good in that area too, but often full I have found.
      Beyrouth's mezze platter is one of my favorite meals in the whole world. A great place for a gluttonous feast.

      And, relatively unknown is a Japanese Eethuis called "Zen Delicatessen" on Frans Halsstraat, but this place has irregular hours and is only open until 8pm. Wonderful homestyle dishes though.

      And...do not miss the Garnalen (shrimp) kroket at Bakkerij Holtkamp on the Vijzelstraat. Delicious and uniquely Dutch.

      My favorite surinam place is Warung Marlon. Their Saoto soup is an msg-heavy delight. Closed tuesdays.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bolletje

        I may try Dosa as I just got a menu in the mail and am desperate for Indian. The reason why I specifically warn against it is that I've had two very bad experiences with it. The first place, don't remember the name but it was on Albert Cuyp (but not Balti House,) was inedible. All the food was very sweet and bland. The dal makhani was extremely sweet and tasted like it was made with a healthy portion of coconut milk.

        The second, Neetu Da Dhaba, was not much better. Again most dishes were overly sweet. The chicken vindaloo (very tomato-y) and naan, especially together, tasted oddly familiar, like pizza. Sure enough, upon examination I found the tell-tale flecks of oregano in both. Yuck.

      2. I know the place that you're talking about on Albert Cuypstraat and I agree that it's not very good, neither is Balti House although a lot of Dutch people like it. Your Neetu da Dhaba story is so gross! Most of the Indian food in Amsterdam is a travesty, and Dosa is probably only good in comparison but I like it and they deliver all over the city. We used to get it delivered all the way to dam square and it was even still hot! I would recommend the delivery over eating in the restaurant because the decor in there is awful and it has that problem of most Amsterdam restaurants: It is soooo tedious, you can almost never grab a quick bite because the service is so slow. They are nice enough but I hate sitting in such an ugly restaurant for so long.
        Another good Indian place is Shiva on the reguliersdwarsstraat, although it is a bit overpriced. It's problably the best Indian in town and actually a decent environment to eat in as well.

        And...if you are craving dim sum, that place next to the buddhist temple on the Zeedijk, Hoi Tin, has really interesting stuff from 11-4 or 5 every day. No carts, but I love ordering dim sum off the menu. Some of the stuff is really bad, and their translations are crazy so I will recommend a few things I always get: gebakken fan ko (a sort of uber-fried shrimp dumpling that is also a bit sweet it's unbelievably yummy); something called gebakken naald rijst sticks, which is a lovely stir fried fat noodle with shrimp and roast pork; Wo Thep (a doughy pot-sticker); #244 on the menu (a meat and shiitake mushroom spring roll wrapped in bamboo skin and covered in garlic sauce); gestoomed panekoekjes met garnaalen (rice noodle rolls with shrimp) and they have good sticky rice, decent har gow and shumai...oh, and don't get the stuffed mushrooms or peppers, they are gross and covered in a viscous sauce.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bolletje

          I've been to Hoi Tin for dinner and it was really good. Another place I like is called something like Mandarin Chinese Restaurant on Warmoesstratt (sp?) Nothing special but good dumplings and chinese broccoli.

          Chinese is probably the best food I've had in Amsterdam and my family and I are going for dim sum tomorrow, on your suggestion!

        2. Awesome! Hoi Tin seems to be less appreciated than it deserves but I always saw a lot of Chinese people dining there and they sell Chinese pastries as well. Definitely got the gebakken Fan Ko and let me know what you think. The dim sum experience there can be hit and miss because you can't see what you're getting and those wonky translations don't help in either English or Dutch...good luck. :)

          I think I know the place you're talking about on Warmoesstraat. I've never been there but I heard it's pretty good and inexpensive.

          1. I'll be in Amsterdam in January on my way to Dubai. I have a 6 hour layover on the way there, 12 hours on the way back. I need suggestions for a cafe for breakfast and a latte, and a nice pub with a good beer selection. Lunch will most likely be take-out/ street food. Any comments on tours would be appreciated as well. I'm adventurous and usually shun touristy stuff, but with only a few hours, it might be the way to go.

            1. I'm looking for decent BREAD in Amsterdam - Bakken met Passie is the only place that springs to mind. All the bread is so soft (as compared not only with French or Belgian but also with German bread).

              MGarland - thanks for your list! My only quibble is that I would have liked a few more prices, but I suppose I can check those on other sites. I have a very limited budget (research) when in Amsterdam.

              2 Replies
              1. re: lagatta

                There's a great bakery at the far end of Albert Cuyp and at least on on Utrechtstraat. I tend to eat Albert Heijn brown bread with seeds most of the time. Toasts really well.

                1. re: lagatta

                  the best bread in amsterdam, bar none, is from La Fournil on Stadionsweg... up near the Olympic Stadium. we ride there every couple of days to get our supply. i've eaten amazing bread from many countries... but this place has got to be up there with the best ones i've visited anywhere in france... and we go to france once or twice a year!

                  http://www.leforum.nl/phpBB/viewtopic...

                2. Cheap and delish Thai: The Bird on Zeedijk. Don't go to the resto across (same owners), but the hole in the wall -- very nice food for a budget.

                  Best chocolate hands down: Puccini Bomboni (http://www.puccinibomboni.com/) on Singelgracht.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: linguafood

                    The chocolate is better than at Arti Choc? I'm going in a week so am finding all these postings very useful! Thanks.

                    1. re: zuriga1

                      You know what? I've never been to or heard of Arti Choc. But I am willing to bet that Puccini Bomboni is better. Because it is the best chocolate I have ever had in my life.

                      But.... here's an idea (since you really can never have *too* much chocolate '-) --- why not try both and report back?

                      1. re: linguafood

                        Believe me, at my age there IS such a thing as too much chocolate. I rarely ate it at all till I moved to England. Now I'm a goner. I will definitely try to get to both shops for comparison and report back.

                        Art Choc is at Koninginneweg 141
                        www.artichoc.nl

                        1. re: zuriga1

                          Wow! I just checked out that link... looks & sounds fantastic. Guess I will have to stop by that store next time in the 'dam -- hoping to make it there sometime this summer.

                          1. re: linguafood

                            I'll try to report back on where we had three dinners. This is for business so we can choose things we might not on our own. I found an extraordinary-sounding fish place near the RAI, and I'll try to book that one night. Any favorites you can recommend?

                            1. re: zuriga1

                              Zuriga, I'm not nearly as well-informed about high-end dining in Amsterdam as some other people on this board here. To be honest, I don't travel to Amsterdam for the food. I do know a reliably good Thai place, find many of the Chinese restos in the red light district acceptable, and *love* the brew pub De Beiaard in the Spui.

                              1. re: linguafood

                                I never used to go anywhere for the food! Life's changed the past few years and my culinary interests with it. Aside from planned dinners, I'll probably just have lunch wherever I end up. Btw.. my maps are ready for the chocolate shops! Is your Thai place in the Jordaan? I did read about one there that sounded good.

                                1. re: zuriga1

                                  The Thai place is at Zeedijk 77 = Red Light District / Chinatown

                                  Here's a link: http://www.thai-bird.nl. Do NOT go to the restaurant, but the snackbar. It's nothing fancy, but I've never been disappointed. It falls into the 'hole-in-the-wall' category & it can get pretty crowded. So nothing for large groups.

                  2. Just got back from Amsterdam, and had a wonderful time, but not because of the food! That said, I had some memorable meals. Moeders is fantastic, but I would recommend getting what they call the rijstafel, which is really just a selection of their greatest hits: braised beef with rhubarb compote and applesauce, sausages with sauerkraut/mashed potatoes, red cabbage. Really, really good and satisfying.
                    Also loved Restaurant As, which is in an outlying suburb, but easy to get to on the 5 tram. Very arty, hip restaurant where there is a set menu and that's it. The food and wine are all organic, you sit at long, rough-hewn tables and the food is very good--much more "foodie" (in the Alice Waters sense) than any of the other food I had in Amsterdam. Also loved the cafe Spanjer & van Twist, which is around the corner from the Anne Frank House on the canal. Ate dinner and lunch there and both times very satisfying and very pretty.