If you’re shopping in the Negen Straatjes or Nine Little Streets (and chances are you will be!) you’ll probably want to stop somewhere for lunch.
The lovely little shopping streets that criss-cross over Amsterdam’s finest canals are packed with some of our favourite stores including Dutch fashion megabrand Scotch and Soda, Marc’s favourites – Vans, Carhartt and vintage boutique Zipper and the lovely concept store “Things I Like, Things I Love”. In between there are no end of eateries beckoning you in for a quick snack, or a lengthy lunch over a good glass of wine. Plan carefully, and choose well and you’ll find that the 9 streets are as much about great dining as they are about great shopping.
There are so many places to eat on these canal corners that that we’ve not covered every single restaurant and cafe, but rather given you some highlights to consider:
Pluk is as good as any other place to start. What began as a modest little concept store and cafe in Berenstraat now has over 60k followers on Instagram and has expanded to a second branch just a street away in Reestraat. Aside from cute crockery, notebooks, nicknacks and iphone covers, you’ll find a bleached wood herringbone floor, huge windows and white walls and a vast marble counter groaning with cakes and fruit. Upstairs, overlooking the photogenic ground floor is a small cafe serving poke bowls, salads, soups and sandwiches as well as a selection of homemade cakes and fresh pressed juices. Whilst this isn’t a gourmet food, its a popular place to rest weary legs, put down the shopping bags and Instagram your lunch. No bookings.
For a similar menu but a little less of an Instagram-chasing scene, check out Ree7 on Reestraat. We love the seasonally painted windows, the tiny tables outside, the wonderful flowers and best of all the gorgeous window display of freshly baked treats. With candles in Winter and blossoms and buds in Spring, this little spot feels more gezellig than Pluk and is a lovely place to stop. Food-wise, once again we’re talking soups, salads, sandwiches and cakes (although I was slightly disappointed to see they recently introduced selfie-chasing freakshakes) and friendly staff keen to make you feel welcome.
Casper Reinders is a bit of a legend on the Amsterdam food and bar scene and it feels like he opens a new dining destination every week. Owner of the ever popular Jimmy Woo nightclub, the enduring and beautiful Lion Noir restaurant and a selection of hip eateries, his latest venture is a set of three cafe’s under the Libertine brand. The bistros are small, intimate and dark (think moody marble and charcoal interiors) with open kitchens and brick ovens and are inspired by New York no-reservation hang-outs. Libertine Cafe on Wolvenstraat has a loose Italian theme – pasta, pizette and risottos (a little like London’s Polpo) and is an easy place to stop by for eggs en cocotte for breakfast or a glass of wine at just about any time of day.
Libertine Comptoir de Cuisine
The latest branch of Libertine which opened earlier this year was Libertine Comptoir de Cuisine just down the road on Berenstraat. Here the theme is loosely French but basically expect “everything on French Toast”. Whether you’re after sweet or savoury (eggs benny, steak tartare, lobster or nutella-banana!) you’ll find it here. Its top of the list for my next Amsterdam visit.
If you looking for a more spacious room, or somewhere to meet work colleagues its hard to go wrong with Lotti’s at The Hoxon Hotel on the Herengracht canal. The restaurant is run in partnership with Soho House and the menu is packed with crowd-pleasing International brasserie faves including all-day breakfast, steaks and burgers as well as Dutch snacks like bitterballen. As its in a hotel its not a particularly local scene but its an easy place to hang out and buzzing from morning to night.
Another hotel restaurant, this time a little smarter, is Jansz in the wonderful Pulitzer Hotel on Reestraat. We’ve been for their lovely Family Sunday’s but the restaurant is a 7 day a week operation serving quality food in one of Amsterdam’s most gorgeous hotels. Stop by for oysters, salads or steak tartare and maybe a decadent dessert. In a nice touch, kids are well catered for with a great children’s menu.
If you’re not after a full meal, but rather a coffee and cake, Pompadour on Huidenstraat is a must-visit. This patisserie, chocolaterie and tearoom harks back to the middle-European cafe’s of old and serves some of the best cakes to be found in the city, to say nothing of their moorish Valrhona truffles. Try a real Dutch Apple Pie or Marc’s favourite chocolate cake layered with chocolate mousse and a side of their legendary hot chocolates. Diet be damned.
If you’re with the kids (or even if you’re not) and you haven’t yet had a real Dutch pancake, check out the imaginatively named Pancakes Amsterdam on Berenstraat (anyone who knows anything about search engine optimisation will appreciate that these guys knew what they were doing when it came to naming!) Go for a trad Dutch pancake of the sweet or savoury variety or a pile of poffertjes dusted in icing for a true local treat.
If you’re craving a killer burger, there’s only one place to go in the 9 Streets and that’s Burgerlijk on Runstraat. This tiny little operation serves up some seriously killer buns. Choose from beef, chicken, fish or veggie options and then go crazy with cheese, toppings and sauces (chorizo and truffle-mayo!) and a side of chips. Burgers like they should be…
Snacks, coffee or sandwiches
If you’re too busy shopping to stop for lunch but want to grab a coffee or something to go, the 9 Streets won’t let you down. Wander into the fabulous Marqt on Wolvenstraat which is The Netherlands’ version of Fresh and Wild and pick up something to take away, or pop into Dutch coffee chain Coffee Company on Berenstraat – far nicer than Starbucks (a brand you’ll be hard pushed to find in The Netherlands). A couple of steps further away on Raadhuisstraat you’ll find Bagels and Beans which is another Dutch coffee and snack chain hugely popular with locals.
Not enough choice? You’ve got to be kidding me. Well, wander a road or so further out and you’ll find a branch of the City’s much loved burger joint The Butcher. Heading towards the Anne Frank House? Sit on the divine little floating terrace at Cafe t’Smalle, one of the most picturesque spots in the city, or stroll a little deeper into town for one of favourite Amsterdam lunches at Gartine (though be sure you’ve booked). Failing that, do as the locals do and simply stop by a herring stall for a “broodje haring met uitjes en zuur” – a herring in a roll with onions and pickles. You won’t be disappointed.