The best ice cream in Amsterdam is a hotly contested title. And I’m delighted to say I’ve done a ton of research over the years on your behalf to draw my conclusion!
It may partly be for sentimental reasons but my number one recommendation is Pisa. This hugely popular semi-permanent (Summer only) structure in a rather uninspiring location by the convention centre has been selling outstanding homemade Italian gelato to Amsterdam’s finest since 1935. On Summer afternoons and evenings you’ll find yourself queueing alongside Amsterdammers, eager kids, friendly dogs and upmarket post-dinner refugees from Vis Aan De Schelde over the road. The Caramel Yoghurt is amazing but if you’re feeling fruity give the Pink Grapefruit a go or if you’re feeling very brave (and very Dutch) try the liquorice “drop” flavour. I’ve been coming here since my very trip to Amsterdam and these days our boys love it as much as we do. You don’t come for the view – there really isn’t a lovely spot to to sit and enjoy the fabulous flavours but part of the fun is standing around with all the other locals in the know for real home-made Italian ice cream.
Banketbakkerij van de Linde
In at number two for something entirely different is Banketbakkerij van de Linde. The ice cream here comes in only one flavour – vanilla, and the texture is best described as “Mr Whippy” – a kind of aerated fresh whipped-cream soft-ice for which they’ve become infamous. This is in another totally unlovely area – this time at the heart of Amsterdam’s most touristy shopping street – but don’t let that and the guidebook fame it has generated put you off. Yes there are often long queues outside but grab your scoop in a cone, cup (literally a plastic drinking cup!) or between a biscuit sandwich and tuck in. It can only be described as like eating cool whipped cream and you’ll find it totally moreish.
Ijscupje now has branches right around the city. A brand I once thought of as rather safe and predictable has really upped its game of late and I have to admit the (always natural) flavours at some of the bigger branches are fab. We had a particularly good experience at the large branch in the Westerpark which had lots of very Dutch ice creams including Speculaas and Stroopwafel as well as flavours of other typical Dutch biscuits and drinks alongside chocolate sorbet, apple pie and lots of my favourite yoghurt-based ice creams.
If those three don’t float your boat, there are a range of other ice cream parlours that regularly come highly recommended so give one of the following a try:
- Monte Pelmo – Old school Italian in the Jordaan. An old Amsterdammer fave
- Ijsmanschap – Instagrammable popsicles that definitely aren’t just for kids
- Venetzië – Pisa’s number one rival is just footsteps up the road – many say this is the finest in the area. Why not try both and draw your own conclusion.
- Van Soest – Master chocolatier Van Soest goes icy in the Summer. Grab lemon-basil, ricotta-fig or yoghurt-limoncello.
And that’s not all, with new places popping up and melting the competition on a daily basis, hurry up Summer – I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!