Updated: Jul 1
If you are ever in Amsterdam, you must go to these three places. And if you ever venture North of Amsterdam, I have a recommendation for you too. But first, Amsterdam, like any good meal, let’s start with dessert. Stroopwafels are a staple dessert in Dutch culture, so it’s a must during a visit. I went to van Wonderen, and I will be going back. When I first walked into this shop, I was overwhelmed by the large selection of choices. I couldn’t believe that they had a selection of nine options ranging from Oreos to white chocolate? But I chose Kleskop, a typical Dutch cookie made of peanuts and caramel. Of the three sizes, I got a large, but it was honestly too sweet as I don’t have an infinite love for the sugary. But, next time I go, I’ll be getting two mediums. On Kleskop and one Crunch Hazelnut because they look divine. And I might even grab some prepackaged ones to go.
Snack Time! Voted No. 1 Holland Fries, I had to go to Manneken Pis. And, I wish I went every day. Before June, my last visit to Amsterdam was over a decade ago, and the thing I remember most was the friet, or as you know them, fries. I drooled over the bucket of salty fries as I observed the worker toss them, scoop them into a funnel size, and squirt whichever of the 24 sauces were chosen. And while you pay for the individual sauce, it's a fries shop, so I’m not too peeved about it, especially since I have fallen in love with garlic sauce. (Garlic sauce is absolutely lovely and should be more prevalent in the states, I highly recommend it.) Mannekenpis was a 10/10 and is a can’t miss. I will search for a similar shop in NYC; I can’t go without these for another decade. I’ll keep you posted.
This upcoming paragraph will be repetitive if you are up to date on my burger blog as I talk about Burger Bar. For those of you who haven’t read about it, enjoy. I know, I did.
With The Netherlands being so close to England, I was unsure of the quality of the burger. But I dared to try new things. I ventured off to Burger Bar after researching some burger places, and one website ranked the burgers 8th in Europe. The words “8th best in Europe” rang over and over, so Burger Bar dangerously challenged me to a duel of the taste buds. I got the classic: cheddar cheese, onions, tomatoes, pickles, and bacon. I believe the classic burgers should not include bacon, but I digress. I told the lady that I couldn’t eat cheese and asked if I could replace it with avocado free of charge. It was. So caught up in my lie that I forgot to remove the bacon. When I first received the burger, I knew that it would be spectacular, and it was. The bacon was a low point because it wasn’t as good as American bacon. I wouldn’t say I like two different types of meat in the same bite. So, I ate the bacon and started chopping. I rate the burger 8/10; it was cooked beautifully and tasted delicious. But as they purposely added bacon, and the last few bites of the burger resulted in a poor burger-to-bun ratio, I had to take off some points. Plus, nothing is perfect. The fries, on the other hand, were 9/10. The only reason they lose a point is that you have to pay for ketchup and different sauces. I find that despicable and a pure example of capitalism. But hey, it’s not too bad because depending on your burger, it can come with fries, and mine did, so I’ll take the ketchup, please. I’ll definitely be going back, and good thing I don’t live in Amsterdam, or I’d be a regular.
Lastly, if you are ever around Volendam, you must go to Havenrestaurant De Lunch. Now, I don’t suggest the town of Volendam if you are on a short trip as there aren’t many tourist attractions, but that gives it a semi-authentic Dutch experience. And with limited time, I wanted a little more touristy bits and bobs, but the food at De Lunch was definitely worth the trip. Arriving here in my first hours in Holland, I didn’t know what to expect. But I was happily surprised. The shrimp was delightful; I almost inhaled the meal in a matter of moments. But with self-control, I held myself at bay. The fries were spectacular, but assuming that the sauce on the side was mayo, I didn’t try it. But looking back, I realized it was the holy grail: garlic sauce. The fries were a 9/10, and they have a walk-through stand for the fries and some options to take away. So if you ever want to explore more of The Netherlands, I suggest a quick 30-minute trip up north and get the scrumptious garlic shrimp.