Sunday, 20 May 2012

Amsterdam cafe reviews

Amsterdam
All photos © garethreid 2012
I take a trip to Amsterdam or elsewhere in Europe every now and again to see some friends I met whilst studying in Melbourne. (Of course) you will have already read my round up from our trip to Berlin last year... so may be familiar with my approach to these weekends.

In general, I try to get to know a place by perusing as many of their dining establishments as possible. And this weekend was no different. When you're getting up at 8am on a weekend away I think second breakfast is more than appropriate, don't you?

So, here's my thoughts on a few places to eat in Amsterdam:

de koffie salon, Utrechtsestraat 130, 1017 Amsterdam, Netherlands
I may have cheated a little bit when researching places for good coffee near our hostel and taken a tip from the TimeOut "Best of Amsterdam Awards 2001". You can't be too careful when researching "coffee shops" in Amsterdam though so I was happy to ask the experts on this occasion.

de koffie salon was less than 5 minutes away from our hostel so we stopped by both mornings to grab a coffee and quick snack to keep us going on the walk into town. The coffee was really tasty, and they always ask whether you want one or two shots so you can personalise depending on your taste.

The first morning I had a single shot latte and some granola with natural yoghurt which was served in a drinking glass with a long sundae spoon - nice touch.  My other half had a double shot cappuccino and ham and cheese croissant. This all came in at about €15.

The coffee and snacks were great, but my favourite thing about this place was the giant communal table at the back. Both days we stopped by the table was bustling with people grabbing breakfast and reading the paper - dogs, babies and all.

www.dekoffiesalon.nl

De Bakkerswinkel, Zeedijk 37, 1012 Amsterdam, Netherlands
I'd been to De Bakkerswinkel on a previous visit to Amsterdam and remembered really enjoying it so sought it out this time as well. They've since moved premises to a rather shady street mostly housing Chinese restaurants, making for rather a shock when you stumble upon this bakery-come-canteen where you least expect it.  

I've included the 'please wait to be seated' sign in the images above because we stood looking at it for about 20 minutes whilst doing just that. I could see they were busy, but I could also see quite a few free tables so found it extremely frustrating to be ignored for so long. Not a good start. 

Once we were finally seated the waitress was very friendly and the food was great, I guess the reason why it was so busy (dammit). My other half had a coffee which was fine, but not particularly memorable apparently, and I had a fresh orange. For (second) breakfast we both had fried eggs and bacon on sourdough which was tasty and generously proportioned. The whole meal came in at just over €20.


Footnote: I know this doesn't technically come under the 'cafe' category, but thought you might find it useful to know that we stayed at CocoMama - "Amsterdam's first boutique hostel". The staff were amazing, really welcoming and annotated our map to show us the best places to go. They have a cat. And an honesty bar where you can get a beer for €1. Nuff said. www.cocomama.nl

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