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Mar 13, 2010 07:40 AM

4 Days in Amsterdam w/ food obsessed family

My wife and I will be staying near Brouwersgraacht and Prinsersgraacht at the end of March with three children. The adults are looking forward to a couple of quiet dinners at de Kas and Marius, but we need to keep the kinder happy. We tend to organize our family vacations around food, and find that it is a terrific way to explore a city with children - the treats tend to distract them from how much they are walking...

I have spent a fair amount of time on this board, as well as the very informative sites dutchgrub and spottedbylocals and have determined that the following should make for good destinations:

Cakes: Patisserie Kuyt
Stroopwaafels: Lanskroon
Cheese: de Kaaskamer
French Fries: Yleminckx
Sandwiches: Broodje Bert, Small world, Singel 404

Am I missing anything in those categories?

Categories that I would like more guidance on are

Pancakes: Is Amsterdam Pancakes! the best?

Indonesian: I still have fond memories of rijstafel at Sama Sebo as a backpacker 30 years ago, and would love to share the feast with our kids. But I'm confused as to where to go...Looking for good food, comfortable surroundings, not touristy and not too crazily expensive. Tempe Deloe? Restaurant Blauw? Or should I leave the past alone?

Coffee: Real coffee, not coffehouse "coffee"...Good places to buy beans (we're staying in a flat and will be able to brew our own) or expressos, preferably near where we are staying.

Eet cafe: Cafe de Reiger sounds great for dinner with the kids. Is that a good choice, or do you have another favourite?

Herring: More fond memories, stoked by the delicious imports we get each June from the North Sea here in NYC. Any particular stall we should track down? Is there a particularly good shop to buy herring?

Bread: Fournil de Sebastien sounds delicious, but a bit far from where we are staying. Any recommendations closer by?

Icecream: Always good for a pickmeup when the nth museum of the day proves a bit daunting...Any recommendations?

Thanks so much for any advice you can offer us - and for all the excellent info we've already gleaned. And any tips for things to do w/ our children (ages 17,14, and 9) in town beyond the welltrodden highlights would be greatly appreciated. And I promise to post when we get back!

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  1. First off, don't miss the chocolates at Bomboni Chocolates. There are two locations, and it's among the best chocolate I've ever tasted. One piece will keep the kids happy.

    A Dutch friend took me to a herring stall right around the corner from the Anne Frank house. It's in front of the church - towards the canal. I had a great sandwich and enjoyed that a lot.

    At the top of the new library building (near the Central rail station) there is a great view below and also a very nice, and not too expensive, cafe. I think the kids would enjoy that and the library will remind them about books. :-)

    All the bakeries in Amsterdam have wonderful breads and cakes. They are everywhere!

    If you want an unusual dinner, check out De Witte Uyl. We loved our dinner there a few years ago. Samo Sebo is still in good form.

    Do not miss the museum to the Resistance workers of WWII. Every person on earth should see how brave these Dutch were trying to save not only Jews but others, too. It's across from the zoo and easy to reach by tram. No one leaves with a dry eye.

    Enjoy the trip...

    Another Fresser

    2 Replies
    1. re: zuriga1

      The Resistance Museum is a great idea! We'll definitely check it out. The library sounds like a good excursion too. And chocolates...Exactly the feedback I was hoping for. Thanks much.

      1. I just happened to hit some of the spots you mentioned in your post:

        Vleminckx - Waited in line for these but aside from the variety of sauce combinations, I was disappointed in the fries. They were too well done with hard bits. Actually, I preferred the ones I had at the Albert Cuypmarkt, fries were a bit thicker, crispy, not overdone, and just the right golden colour.

        Amsterdam Pancakes! - Great savoury and sweet pancakes. Had an apple pancake, sugar profitjes and a very good espresso macchiato. Pretty small place, try to get there when it's off-hours or you may be waiting outside for a table.

        de Kaaskamer: Picked up a chunk of Bleu de Wolvega cheese, a chorizo sausage and an Italian negroni cacciatore sausage.

        Puccini Bomboni chocolates: Went to the location on Staalstraat and bought 7 chocolates (med size box) and it cost about $15 euro. Ginger, plum, nutmeg, thyme, tamarind, calvados, and cranberry. I would say the price isn't that bad, averages about $2 / per chocolate and they are pretty large.

        Cafe de Reiger: Excellent dinner tonight, smoked duck breast salad and a wonderful piece of perfectly cooked halibut with roasted fennel and thick cuts of potato. The meat dishes looked great but I wanted something lighter tonight.

        A friend suggested to I go to Hartenkaas for sandwiches but they were closed when I got there. So I don't know how good it is, but the combinations looked great.

        Since most these spots close by 5:00 or 6:00, I couldn't make it out to them after work last week and I just had this weekend to try a lot of them.

        Also did some noshing while strolling through the Albert Cuypmarkt yesterday.
        - Freshly made stroopwafel 1 euro
        - Freshly made waffles with melted white and dark chocolate (you can choose whatever chocolate combination you want or you can also have jam and whipped cream) 2.50 euros.
        - Kibbeling - deep fried battered chunks of cod 3 euros?
        - Fries at the chip truck at the end of the street (where the Maoz falafel shop is) 2.5 euros

        1 Reply
        1. re: Degustation

          After reading your reply, I really must get back to Amsterdam and soon! And I had forgotten the Puccini before the Bomboni! Thanks for that.

        2. For really good pancakes and a nice excursion, definitely check out the Pannenkoeken Boot.
          They have all you can eat pancakes with a toppings bar.

          The best coffee in Amsterdam (according to a recent survey) is at De Koffie Salon on the Utrechtsestraat.

          There is another location near the Overtoom, but I liked the atmosphere at the main one better. They also have nice croissants and nice looking chocolates from a beautiful shop across the street.

          1. I would second the recommendation for a walking lunch in Albert Cuypmarkt. The fresh stroopwafels from the stand there are to die for. There's also many little fish stores that sell nieuwe herring. Since the fish isn't prepared so much as it's just given as-is with some onions, so long as there is a steady supply of customers in the store, the fish will probably be just fine. Raw herring is DELICIOUS.

            Also, this place is near the Heineken Museum (and so not too far from the Cuypmarkt) is absolutely charming. Your kids will love it, although it does get a bit crowded around brunch on Sundays: Taart van m'n Tante

            1. Also, depending on how 'authentic' you want to get, Amsterdam is also famous for its squat restaurants: places run by legal squatter communities (it sounds weird but they're all lovingly tended). They all serve a set menu of vegan food for extremely low prices. They range from the extremely cheap and anarchic (Molli) to the very artsy and gourmet (De Peper). Your teenagers especially might think they're really cool (along with all the literature on sticking it to the man :)