First-timer in Amsterdam / Berlin / Prague / Warsaw this Summer
- adelly Jul 9, 2010 03:48 PM
My husband and I will be going to the above locations in the summer. We are in our early 30s and live in Los Angeles. Looking for resto recs that are:
- cheap or mid-range (nothing over $100/person per meal)
- modern (as opposed to traditional)
- suitable to my dietary restriction (I'm a pescetarian)
- preferably something hip or of-the-moment
- preferably small plates or lighter fare
- near or easy to get to from our hotels (Hilton Amsterdam, K&K Central Prague, Intercontinental Warsaw and Adina Checkpoint Charlie Berlin)
Warsaw is negligible as we are only there overnight, but I'm having trouble with Berlin and Prague, as the recs I read seem to be meat-heavy. If there are websites you could recommend for currently popular restaurants in these areas, that would be much appreciated, too.
I would recommend Gespot on Prinsengracht 422. It attracts a crowd of young professionals and serves a menu of light, Asian-style dishes. If you're up for it, at weekends a DJ also plays in the basement bar until the wee hours.
Bridges in the Grand Hotel is a new fish restaurant. It's quite upmarket, but you should still be able to eat here within your budget. It's the kind of splurge place you might want to keep for your last night. Their tagline is ‘Dutch fish with a French twist’, so this could also be an opportunity to try some local fare.
Also quite new is Pompstation. It is located in a beautiful former water pumping building in an up and coming area of Amsterdam towards the east, so has bags of character. They pride themselves on the quality of their meat, but there's definitely fish-only and vegetarian dishes to choose from. They also have a good selection of wines and charge a fixed markup on each bottle, regardless of the original price. In other words, the more expensive wine, the better deal it is, relatively speaking.
I admit that none of these suggestions are on your doorstep, but distance is relative and Amsterdam is small it shouldn't take you long to get to any of them. Bridges is near the Dam/Rokin and Gespot is behind Leidseplein, two places you are likely to visit or pass through anyway.
Have a great stay!
I recently went back to Gespot and they now have a new chef and menu. It used to be light, pan-Asian dishes, as I mentioned in my original post above, but is now chunkier and unfortunately less refined Italian fare.
The canal-side terrace is still lovely, but I wouldn't return for the food...
I was in Prague just a few weeks ago and had an absolutely fantastic time! You'll fall in love with the city!
I also stayed at K&K Central Hotel...great pick! Only minutes from the Old Town and the Buffet Breakfast is awesome! Bohemian Sekt included! :-D
As for restaurants, I absolutely recommend Kampapark which is right on the river near the Charles Bridge (Castle side). It's modern, hip and the food is very good and the lunch menu is great value! I had a delicious Grilled Ocean Trout with Zucchini Linguine. We also went to the restaurant next to it, Hergetova Cihelna which is also next to the river with an unbeatable view of the bridge and the Old Town. Lots of seafood there. I highly recommend the prawns! Both restaurants are owned by the same company and their website is: www.kampapark.com
On a side note, if you guys are up for some partying...THE place to go in Prague is Karlovy Laznov: five floors of pure awesomeness!
As a fish and vegetable eater you must go to Cookies Cream in Berlin. www.cookiescream.com It's über-cool and it serves up creative and modern vegetarian dishes. Three courses cost €32...bargain! Make a reservation!
You can find reviews and photos of the restaurants in Berlin and Prague (in progress) on my blog. I'll even put some photos up of the K&K Hotel for you ;-) www.theyoungfoodie.blogspot.com
Let me know if you have any other questions....
Whatever impression you may have of Berlin restaurants, there is really no need to go to a specifically vegetarian place, as most (if not all) restaurants worth their reputation have a great selection of vegetarian and pescatarian dishes.
That said, I have heard good things about Cookies, too - but the hype factor is high, and I haven't been. So I can't really comment on it.
You can check out my blog http://bitchinberlin.wordpress.com for further recs, though the majority of posts are written in German.
I would recommend V Zatisi in Prague - 1170czk (~$60) for the degustation menu which is quite good - and you can design your own menu based off of you restrictions. The pairing is an additional 770czk and presents some nice examples of Moravian wines.
However, I would starve - or at least survive off of beer and sausages and then splurge on a night at La Degustation Boheme Bourgeoise - One of the best meals of my life! http://www.ladegustation.cz/en/
All of Prague is walkable if you're a "city person"... have fun, it's gorgeous!
Thanks for the tips everyone! @eatamsterdam - i am so sorry i was just able to read your post now, the day that we left amsterdam! thanks for the advice, though, and i'll make sure to keep these in mind for our next trip. now in prague for 4 nights then 1 night in warsaw and 3 in berlin, so these tips will come in handy. i've also heard good things about cookies so i will try to snag a res! thanks again!