London has Borough Market, San Francisco has the Ferry Building and now Amsterdam has its very own foodie mecca by way of Foodhallen. Located in a tram shed converted into a cool cultural complex in the hip Oud-West part of town, Foodhallen is an indoor food market and much, much more.
It’s a fantastic place to come and explore and has completely re-energised the Oud West inspiring a range of other eateries and concept stores to move into the surrounding area.
As well as the Foodhallen, the extraordinary De Hallen complex includes a hotel, a stunning movie theatre, a range of restaurants, shops, even a Denim Academy and it’s a great place to explore for a couple of hours
The complex is super-busy in the evenings when bingo nights, jazz nights and pub quizzes are organised. By day there’s still a vibrant scene but at least in Foodhallen the queues for food are slightly shorter.
And what great food it is. Amsterdam’s burger-darling The Butcher is here, along with the amazing Viet View and gorgeous Petit Gateau for desserts. Tables are communal, ensuring even the fickle are fully satisfied, able to dart from vendor to vendor for starters, mains and deserts.
In breaking news: two brand new foodlets (is that a word??) have opened at Foodhallen. The global craze for bao buns has hit the Dam with the launch of the fabulously named “Baowowwow” serving buns and ramen (expect queues). This enticing eatery is joined by a vendor offering another food-mania du jour – the egg waffle courtesy of I Scream Waffle. If you don’t know what an egg waffle is, get ready – from the streets of Hong Kong, via New York and LA comes a crispy, bubblicious, soft on the inside waffle filled with ice cream, sauce and toppings. Now you know. Instafood is here to stay.
At the back of Foodhallen is an extraordinary space called The Kanarie Club. A huge new restaurant and bar where you’re actively encouraged to hang out all day. Describing itself as delivering “next generation hospitality” you’re invited to eat, drink, work and dance within its towering walls. Park yourself at a workstation to catch up on business, grab yourself a nook and relax with a drink, entertain your little Westsiders with a surprisingly good kids’ menu, or head upstairs for cocktails and settle into the “swimming pool” that’s been converted into a sunken bar.
The De Hallen complex and surrounding streets are a definite hotspot and a brilliant base from which to explore the “up-and-come” West side of town.