Going Dutch


I have been invited to visit Amsterdam later this month as part of Bloggers in Amsterdam, a special trip arranged by Blogads and the Dutch Tourism Board. In all, 25 bloggers have been selected to travel to Amsterdam throughout the month of February. I'll be joined by my wife, Danielle (we're a two-blog family), and our (blogless) baby daughter, Anya.

In exchange for the free trip, which includes gratis airfare and lodging, each of the 25 blogs will carry a month-long advertisement for Holland.com. There is no official schedule (we're free to do what we want and go where we please), nor is there any requirement that we write anything about the trip. For further information about all the details, a complete disclosure is available at the Bloggers in Amsterdam website.

We're very excited about the visit, as we've never been to Amsterdam before. If you have any suggestions for places to go and things to eat, we want your recommendations. Please chime in below in the comments about restaurants, museums, and specialty food shops, as well as tourist traps that should be avoided. We're also interested in learning about possible day trips outside of Amsterdam, including to Belgium, if it's not too far to visit for the day. We leave in two weeks!



that is just about the damned coolest blog thing i have ever heard.

i love amsterdam.

i hope you do too. WOw!

You should try catch up with Culiblog.

She has just about the coolest food blog in the world, and she is right out of Amsterdam



Great news!
In Amsterdam, some friends have a restaurant called 'Marius', located at Bareszstraat 243 (tel 020 422 7880, in the Prinseneiland district). They are great cooks, Kees and his co-cook Yolanda.

If you go to Belgium, email me for some chocolate tips....have fun!


Go to the Heineken museum. It's really campy and cheesy, but fun. Plus, you get a glass of Heineken at every leg of the tour. Fresh Heineken tastes totally different than the ones sold in the US.



I recommend dropping some acid and touring the Van Gogh Museum. I did it about 30 years ago and found it quite stimulating.


Check in with author Michelle Cunnah, currently living in Amsterdam. I imagine she'll have lots of good recommendations.

Probably the easiest way to do that and have her see it in a reasonable amount of time is to comment on her blog: http://www.literarychicks.com/.

She's a lovely, funny lady, so it would be worth the effort.


if you have time, i would highly recommend you not miss the chance to take a train to bruges. it's a spectacularly well-preserved city...


Belgium is absolutely worth a trip from Amsterdam -- as I recall, the train to Antwerp takes between 1-2 hours, which might work for a day trip but may be a bit long for traveling with a baby! The chocolate alone is worth it (Burie Chocolatier, for one: http://www.chobel.be/burie/) and most of the present day avant-garde/eccentric scene Belgium is famous for is much more evident in Antwerp than say, Brussels... Two great cafes are are Morlang (www.morlang.nl) in Amsterdam and Berlin in Antwerp, well-known and situated in the old, center section of the city.


By all means you MUST sample the fabulous Indonesia food!!! Also, make time to visit the Vincent Van Gogh museum, its such a treasure!!!


If you have time, pay a quick visit to Amsterdam's little Chinatown. Try the roasted sausage available there - I haven't found it anywhere else in Europe.


Thanks for all the tips! Keep 'em coming.


Hey guys. It so happens that I'll be at the Hotel Krasnapolsky the week of the 19th so if you want someone to drink a few beers with then why not join me.


Dont forget to try a frank while you are there. Make sure you have it with extra mustard!


When I was in Amsterdam back in 1999, we fell in love with the pancake houses. We found one in particular and just fell in love with it, going back there two times! Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of it. The pancakes there are huge and very thin. You can get fruit, ham and cheese and tons of other things on top. I enjoyed the ham and cheese. It's a simple, inexpensive, quick meal - definitely a must!!

We had a blast at a bar called The Surprise Bar. It's totally local, not too many tourists, and can be a bit hard to get into. The first night we tried to get in, we were denied since we weren't locals. The second night, we had much better luck and that night is still one of my favorites during my entire time in Europe (from what I can remember!)

If your wife enjoys jewelry, I'd suggest going to a diamond factory. You get a little lesson in diamonds (cut, clarity, color, etc) and then you can puruse the merchandise, make something or buy something.

I know this sounds totally tourist-y, but I definitely recommend the Anne Frank House. It was pretty cool to see everything there, the stairwell and bookcase you've heard about your entire life. Very chilling. Also - and I'm not sure if this is possible out of Amsterdam - take a day trip to one of the concentration camps. We visited Dachau in Germany it was one of the most amazing things I've done and seen. Like I said, I'm not sure if there are any camps in Holland open still like Dachau, but if it interests you, I'd look into it.

The van Gogh museum and Rijksmuseum, pretty obvious if you're into art.

Since you're going in the winter, you won't be able to take me up on this next suggestion, but for anyone else travelig to Amsterdam during warmer weather, a great way to see the city, especially on a gorgeous, sunny day is to take a canal tour. And make sure to get a boat with an open, outdoor area in the rear. It was much nicer (and easier to see things) if you're sitting outdoors, then actually inside the boat with a glass ceiling.


josh, my friend yolanda from cp has a sweet little restaurant called marius (i saw that someone else told you about it above) with another cp alum, kees (pronounced "case"). there's a mini-review of it at http://www.expatsonline.nl/content/pages/8/58/default.asp. marius is the third marcel pagnol film (the other two are called fanny and cesar, and panisse was one of the main characters) that alice so loves. try to make it to the first seating at the restaurant, where kees and yolanda sometimes sit and eat with the customers.

if you see yolanda, tell her i miss her and i can't wait to see her in march!


p.s. i also know that she is consulting on an amsterdam version of jamie oliver's london restaurant "fifteen," so if that is up and running it might be worth checking out.


Josh.......Gotta get over to Belgium for the waffle thing.. for sure!

And don't forget Copenhagen... is just a a day trip away.. (I went to school there for Danish pastry making...Why? I don't know.....) but I do know it's a great place...

CHECK THIS OUT: French Fry's are dispensed from a vending machines.. check it out!

And.... people leave their kids in buggies outside when they grocery shop........????
Can't wait to hear all about this trip...!

gg in San Francisco


I grew up in Amsterdam, and still go back twice a year. I never miss the Indonesian at Tempo Doeloe in Utrechtse Straat. It's pretty spicy but very very well prepared. Skip the tourist Indonesian places where everything is brown blah! For jenever tasting and a trip back in time visit the Wijnand Fockink Proeflokaal, it is in an alley next to Hotel Krasnapolsky. In fact, it is one of a series of old bars that are worth visiting. Most herring stands are fine, many of my friends love the one in front of the Rijksmuseum (canal side, not Museum square side). There is an organic food market in the Jordaan area, I believe it is on Saturdays. And Restaurant De Kas in the east of the city grows most of it's own produce next to the restaurant, and has great food. Have fun!


I live in Amsterdam myself and I would definitely recommend going to the Albert Cuyp Market. It's a daily market in a very nice part of town (just outside the city-centre) with fruit & veg, flowers and clothing. It's a great opportunity to see what the different immigrant cultures have brought to Holland in fruit & vegetables and taste some if too! There are lots of exotic food shops around (toko's) and great little places to eat some roti or bakabana! Make sure to get a Surinam breadroll at Tjin's :) And do try a huge fresh and warm 'stroopwafel' halfway down the market and a large ghurkin called 'zure bom' (which means as much as 'sour bomb' ;) )
Looking forward to your stories!


When I was in Amsterdam, lo those many years ago, I went on an advocaat pub crawl. I guess I could take it then, but it was fun.

Also, Antwerp has a wild game restaurant with all manner of same to indulge in. Haven't gone but it seems interesting.


I was lucky enough to marry a Dutch woman a few months ago, so not only do I have a beautiful bride, but I get to visit my most favorite city in the world very often!

My favorite restaurant in the Dam is Cafe Bern on New Markt. Not trip is complete unless I get their Steak Pesto.

I second the Indonesian at Tempo Doeloe. It's the real deal.

Do go to the Albert Cuyp Market. There you will find (in my opinion) the best herring, look for the stand made entirely out of shiney wood. Also, some of the best deals on cheese can be found here. I dream about the 4-year old Gouda.

Also, spend an afternoon sitting in a cafe with a good book and sit close to the window. A favorite of mine is Vergulde Gaper (sp?) in the Jordaan on the corner of Prinsengracht and Prinsenstratt.

Have fun, rent a bike, and stay away from the taxis!



I hope you're not already there:
visit Maastricht/Southern Limburg.
Roman town, bourgeois atmosphere, great food!


Going through the earlier suggestions I must say I would recommend a canal tour, even if it is winter: seeing Amsterdam from the water is always special, even when you're Dutch! I also second Tempo Doeloe. A very good Spanish restaurant is La Paella in the Warmoesstraat, in fact in the red-light district. I also recommend going to Haarlem: it's a small and very nice town 15 minutes from Amsterdam by train. Haarlem has lots of nice restaurants and I can highly recommend 'Het Specktakel' in the Spekstraat (in the centre). You pay 27,50 euro for a three course meal and they have very unusual dishes like:
- Tasmanian orange cured salmon
- New Zealand tea smoked deer carpaccio
- Barossa kangaroo
- Japanese claypot barramundi

If you need to look up an address, this is a very useful website, every small alleyway can be found here: www. mappy.com.


For a canal boat tour that is not so touristy try the St Nicholas Boat Club. The boats are smaller and can go where the larger tour boats cannot. Go to Boom Chicago Bar on Leidsplein (trust me, you'll see it), there is a sign up book by the bar for the tours. This was a highlight of our trip.

Two great restaurant review sites for Amsterdam:

We had a delicious not too expensive Italian meal at Casa Di David on the Singel canal. Try to snag an upstairs table on the window overlooking the canal.


I went to Amsterdam in October 2002 with my then 12-year-old daughter so our trip was a bit child-oriented (yes, even in Amsterdam). As someone else mentioned, the best thing to see in Amsterdam is the Anne Frank House. We also enjoyed the Van Gogh museum which has a nice cafe for lunch and Rembrandt's house. BUT our favorite site was Madurodam which is outside of Amsterdam in Schevenigen (take the train to Den Haag and then a tram to Schevenigen afterward take a tram to Delft to see Oudekerk and Het Prinsenhof and a nice bistro dinner before heading back to Amsterdam). Madurodam has hundreds of famous and typical Dutch buildings such as Schipol airport, Westerkerk, UN Peace Palace in miniature. This is entirely outdoors so it might be too cold in February.

On the food front, coming from a Dutch family, I would say that traditional Dutch food (e.g., cabbage mashed with potatoes) isn't for everyone (though pea soup on a winter's day would hit the spot). However, do not miss the Dutch bakeries. In particular, buy Bankat (sometimes called Almond Letter) which is a flaky pastry filled with almond paste. Dutch cheese is also good. I would also highly recommend Arirang Korean Restaurant at Marnixstraat 198, tel: 0202 620 09 62. One of the best and most expensive (e.g., kalbi for 23 euro) Korean restaurants that I've ever eaten at. My daughter and I also loved eating fries in a paper cone for breakfast while on the run.

It seemed to me that most of the hideously touristy shops that carried fake Delft wooden shoes and statues of kissing Dutch boys and girls were concentrated around Dam.

From Centraal Station you can take a train to most of Europe. In the 4 days we were there we took trains to The Hague, Delft, Rotterdam, Utrecht, and Wageningen.


Hi! I live in up North in Holland but go to Amsterdam frequently. The atmosphere is just electric there! Try out the pancake houses, the Indonesian restaurants and avoid the 'coffeeshops' (unless you guys smoke pot?). I saw the details for the trip and that's really cool! As you have free access, do visit the wonderful museums!


Amsterdam is a blast -have been there in the 80's, 90's and most recently 2000.
Visit the museums; might have to do half days with child in tow but the works are sensational
check out the Indonesian and SE Asian cuisine

Heinekin brewery is kitch but a fun, cheap tour with a good brew at the end. Tastes completely different than the US sold product.

Warm enough for a bike ride? Take a bike ride outside Amsterdam to the country so you can see the real Holland (bikes can be rented in center of town; Holland is bike-friendly, mostly flat and paths everywhere)

Watch out for pick pockets - stow valuables in hard-to-reach places and keep monies in a couple of spots. I've travelled throughout Europe and it's the only place I was mugged on a crowded tram car mid-afternoon/rush.

Have a great time.


hi josh,
i'm not sure if you are in amsterdam yet, but sharon and dave told me about your site, so i was checking it out...i was there last year at this time and loved it! for great italian, try Vasso. excellent food and wine.
address: roenboomsteeg 10-14
and even though it's kind of cold, it's totally worth taking the canal boat tours. it's a great way to see the city which is beautiful.
it's my favorite city besides florence...have a great time.


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