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 to eat.
The lovely little shopping streets that criss-cross over Amsterdam’s finest canals are packed with some of our favourite stores. 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 haven’t covered every single restaurant and cafe, and the truth is hotspots come and go so regularly, that there’s always a risk you’ll find one of these places has moved on. Don’t feel pressure to join the crazy queues for the latest TikTok must-do’s (currently Chun for over-hyped Korean sandwiches and Fabel Friet for fries) rather settle down somewhere less hectic and enjoy a leisurely lunch. Here are 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 100k 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.
bakkerij (and restaurant) wolf
Bakkerij Wolf is based on the Wolvenstraat and was opened by the head baker at the lovely Morgen en Mees. The takeaway bakery has delicious treats and the restaurant (which was being renovated on our most recent visit) offers light and fresh food in a lovely setting. It will be interesting to see what they do with the restaurant which was already rather lovely but you can be sure there will be some special baked items along with some fabulous desserts.
Proeflokaal a. van wees
A proeflokaal is a tasting room that forms part of a winery or brewery, and this spot along the stunning Herengracht canal matches a picture perfect terrace with the chance to get acquainted with Amsterdam’s traditional ‘genevers’. Food-wise you’ll find Dutch snack specialities. Order a borrel plank to taste a range of these treats including cubes of cheese, krokets and Dutch sausage. If you’re after something more substantial why not try traditional smoked eel; steak tartare made from local ossenworst; Dutch cheese fondue, pea soup or Dutch/Indo Satè. If all that sounds a little too… Dutch, you can always stick to easy options like burgers and club sandwiches.
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.
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 surprisingly large supermarket Jumbo on Wolvenstraat 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.