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Amsterdam Food Guide

If you think of Amsterdam you don’t think of food. However if you try the food here in our Amsterdam food guide you might get lucky.

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Amsterdam Food Waffles

We are total foodies and our travelling has allowed our passion for food to grow considerably (not to mention our waist lines)!  We love trying new food when we visit foreign countries and always make a huge effort to eat the local cuisine. Check out some of the food we ate below in our cheap and delicious Amsterdam Food Guide.

Amsterdam Food Waffles

We had heard from a number of people that the Amsterdam food was nothing to rave about. To be honest food was not really our main interest in visiting but then again neither was an Amsterdam Peep show and we ended up enjoying that!

However we were pleasantly surprised. I think the people whom we had talked to had it wrong. Sure Holland doesn’t really have a local cuisine but once we got over this fact we realised there is still some damn good food to be had from the various Amsterdam Restaurants.

Amsterdam Food

The best meal we had was actually next door to the Red Light district in Chinatown. Crossing the canal to the east away from the neon lights your nostrils are attacked and your mouth begins salivating from the delicious smells wafting along the narrow cobbled streets.

As we walked into Bird Thai restaurant the enticing aroma hit us instantly leaving us drooling in anticipation. It was definitely up there with some of the best Thai food we have had. We went for the classic Green curry, fried rice and duck combo.

The Green curry was so flavoursome with the richness of the coconut milk blending perfectly with the traditional spices.  The duck was cooked to perfection and for the first few minutes of the meal all you could hear was the crunching of the crispy outside layer as we devoured the duck in minutes. Needless to say the fried rice was a taste explosion too!

Cheap and delicious Amsterdam food is easy to come by. With hangovers and munchies affecting your hunger it is no surprise that there are an abundance of Fast Food chains and takeaways in Amsterdam. In fact it was actually more the way that the fast food was served that surprised us as you could buy it out of massive vending machines at Febo!

Amsterdam Food Febo

Hidden workers stand behind the vending machines churning out burgers, fries and sausage rolls so all you has to do is insert a Euro and “hey presto” you have a hot meal in your hungry hands.

Then there were the frites stores which seemed to be on every corner. The first thing you noticed about these was the tantalising smell. There is nothing like the smell of chips straight out of the fryer and covered in salt to get you tummy rumbling. Served in a triangle cardboard carton and covered in mayo which meant that that you couldn’t reach the chips at the bottom without covering your greedy fingers in sauce. Just a tad annoying!

But there is nothing like hot chips to warm you up on a cold day.

Finally, while hot chocolates are not typically food I feel they still deserve a mention especially because the usually come paired with waffles! Ahhhh the perfect breakfast.

Amsterdam Hot Chocolate

We loved nipping into a cafe or bar like Cafe Bar Eddy in Amsterdam to warm ourselves up with a hot chocolate. It literally tasted like they had melted chocolate down and added cream. Heaven in a cup. And the choice of waffles was daunting as you could have whatever you wanted. Fruit, chocolate, syrups, cream or all of the above!

If you are heading here then don’t expect to find an array of traditional Amsterdam food. Instead treat yourself to a hot chocolate and waffle for breakfast, grab a quick bite from a vending machine and sample some of the different cuisines found near the Red Light District.

If you stick to this Amsterdam food guide then your taste buds will have a great holiday too!

If you have visited before then what did you think of Amsterdam food?

Adela is one half of the New Zealand Adventure Couple who have been travelling since 2009. She loves the outdoors and has a real passion for Snowboarding, Mountain Biking and Surfing (apart from being scared of sharks). She loves food and writes all our food posts. Consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. Sophie HeadingThere

    March 27, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Waffles in Amsterdam are indeed spectacular. The ones in England simply don’t match up (skimpy on the cream, a lone slice of strawberry wilting atop). Did you make it to the Pancake Bakery? 80 varieties to choose from! I made it my mission to try as many as possible.

    • Cole

      March 28, 2012 at 3:19 PM

      Totally agree Sophie! And nope we didn’t even know about the Pancake Bakery. So gutted and wondering now if it is worth a trip back just for that haha.

  2. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    March 28, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    That vending machine fast food cracks me up. We’re heading to Amsterdam next month, so I’m glad you’re writing about it!

  3. Heather - the kiwi travel writer

    May 16, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    Yum yum .. will be in Amsterdam breifly soon .. will bookmark ttis for reference 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      May 16, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      You will love it I am sure Heather 🙂 Let us know how it goes!

  4. Sophie

    May 28, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Lots of great food finds in Amsterdam. I especially like the rijstafel, all the Indonesian food, really. And the Surinamese… one doesn’t really find that anywhere else (outside Surinam).

    • Cole Burmester

      May 28, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      Haha I love that all of your suggestions are not “traditional” but that is what Amsterdam is known for 🙂

  5. Laurence

    May 28, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Melted chocolate + cream. Where do I sign up?

  6. D.J. - The World of Deej

    May 28, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Wow…just wow:) Especially since it’s breakfast time here and you hit me with that waffle pic…

  7. Bret@ Green Global Travel

    May 28, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    I’m guessing after visiting one of Amsterdam’s famed cafes, just about any food would taste amazing! I’ve never been there, but when I was in my wild 20s one of my friends had the cojones to bring back a sampling of Amsterdam’s finest, er, “attractions.” So I sorta feel like I’ve been there by proxy…

    • Cole Burmester

      May 29, 2012 at 9:56 AM

      Hahaha too true Bret. But that’s not why we went there actually! There is no way they could bring in a sample these days.

  8. A Montrealer Abroad

    May 28, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    I’m headed to Amsterdam later this year so I’m definitely bookmarking this!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 29, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      You will love it! So many nice food places around and helps when you are “hungry”.

  9. Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad

    May 28, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Amsterdam is especially good with the desserts, I wonder why 😉

    • Cole Burmester

      May 29, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      Haha we were definitely hungry for the waffles anyway 🙂

  10. Alexandra

    May 29, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    I got such a kick out of FEBO while I was in Amsterdam but I must admit that I am shocked you had no falafels. I practically lived on them while I was in Amsterdam!

  11. Ali

    May 29, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    I’m not much of a foodie, but food is one of the great things about traveling. Those waffles look yummy!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 30, 2012 at 9:26 AM

      We basically travel for food haha. These waffles were actually too rich for me though and couldn’t handle more than about half. Didn’t stop me from eating the whole thing though 🙂

  12. avaapollo

    May 30, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Those waffles look amazing. It just so happens I’ve been craving waffles for well over a week now. Those are just too far away from me!

  13. Andrea

    May 31, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    We kind of stuck to the Asian and Indian restaurants when we were there the first few times. Last time I cooked because we rented an apartment. There’s a thriving restaurant scene there now that they just didn’t have when we first started going years and years ago. You may need to head out of the centre a little but there are some amazing trendy and ambient new cafes and restaurants. I would have never called Amsterdam a foodie town before…the tourist traps in the centre are to be avoided.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 1, 2012 at 10:51 AM

      The Asian restaurants are pretty good! We went to a great Thai and Chinese place. Totally agree that you need to avoid the touristy traps but sometimes you just get quite hungry in Amsterdam 🙂

  14. Dave

    June 1, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    Food in Amsterdam actually really surprised me. Fastfood and the “all you can eat” formula are popular for obvious reasons but it was cool to see steakhouses, seafood restaurants, mexican, sushi etc not only be affordable but turn out to actually be good.

    I’m a little jealous of the Thai food though. Didn’t spend enough time or didn’t look hard enough to find a good Thai place. Combined with the lack of waffles eating might be reason enough to go back in the future!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 1, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      All the good Thai places were just past the red light district. Definitely check it out next time! The thai that is and not the red light district 😉

  15. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    June 1, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    I have never been nor read much about the food of Amsterdam. I am certainly down for heaven in a cup though.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 2, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      It was probably only heaven because it was so damn cold outside the cafe.

  16. Emma

    January 1, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    I didn’t enjoy the food in Amsterdam very much. The waffles and french fries were great, but, unfortunately, I didn’t want them for every meal. I should have checked out Chinatown because that Thai restaurant sounds amazing! Maybe next time…

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:34 AM

      The food isn’t great to be honest Emma but I don’t think most people go for the food haha. But yup Chinatown was a highlight!

  17. Christine |GRRRL TRAVELER

    February 24, 2013 at 1:50 AM

    love love love the waffles. Although, I need to walk a marathon after them. They’re so decadent.

    • Cole Burmester

      February 24, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      They are so rich! Need two people to finish one.

  18. kularbmanee

    March 6, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    This article is very helpful! Awesome way to make my day better! Thank you!

    • Cole Burmester

      March 7, 2013 at 8:30 AM

      Thanks 🙂 Hope you manage to find some great food in Amsterdam!

  19. Pingback: Beers & Beans | Where to Go in Amsterdam: Snack, Sleep, Smoke and More

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Europe

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Check out our guide for the first timer in Amsterdam visiting a coffeeshop.

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How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Before getting started I just want to clarify that we are not drug users. We don’t condone using illegal drugs. And we are not telling you to go and smoke weed in Amsterdam. BUT, our goal of this travel blog is to help advise, educate and provide travel tips for ALL situations. So if you are headed to Amsterdam then we hope our guide to smoking weed in Amsterdam will help you out.

And check out this smoker friendly accommodation for your next trip.

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam Coffeeshop

When you tell people that you are visiting Amsterdam then they immediately think of one thing and one thing only. Weed. Dope. Herb. Buds. Spliff. Whacky Tobbacky. Pot. Marijuana. Cannabis. 

Call it what you will but just know that the biggest name for it is “ILLEGAL”.

Yes it is actually illegal to smoke weed in Amsterdam. But for now the Netherlands government do tolerate smoking in designated “coffeeshops”. This is slowly changing as the Government tries to moderate the tourism drug trade and in 2013 there will be new laws which we won’t go in to now as they are continuously changing.

In the meantime if you obey the rules, are not a moron and use our guide to smoking weed in Amsterdam then you are going to be fine.

Smoke weed in Amsterdam

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Don’t smoke weed in Amsterdam in public such as on the streets. There are over 300 designated coffee shops where you are tolerated to smoke weed. These places are regulated and everything is done in the open.

Don’t get confused and try to smoke in a koffiehuis (coffee house) which sells coffee and light meals or a café that is a casual restaurant and/or bar.

The coffeeshops are super easy to spot with marijuana leaves in the windows and Bob Marley paintings on the doors. Not to mention the smell wafting through the cold breeze. There will also be the usual tourists that have stupidly over-indulged and are glassy eyed.

We visited one of the five Bulldog coffeeshops when we were in Amsterdam and had no complaints. We even enjoyed a delicious hot chocolate while we were there!

Bulldog Coffeeshop in Amsterdam

Buying weed in Amsterdam

As long as you are over 18 then you will be allowed to buy up to 5 grams of weed in the regulated coffeeshops. Plus you have the added security knowing that your marijuana is not going to be laced with anything else if you are attempting to buy it off someone on the street. And who knows, they might be setting you up to get busted.

We were (and are) total amateurs and had no idea what to do once we actually stepped foot in the coffeeshop. But quickly sussed it out. There will generally be a “dealer bar” with full menu’s and everything for you to choose. So if you are an expert you will probably know what to order! Prices will of course vary by quantity (grams, bags, individual joints) and quality.

For a beginner ask lots of questions. Don’t be shy like we were. Ask the staff what they recommend and what effects each type has. They will know then that you are a newbie and will guide you. Just know that they are very accustomed to tourists who don’t know exactly how to go about the whole process.

What we found out is that it is actually perfectly fine for you to visit other coffeeshops and smoke weed that you have already purchased somewhere else. However, it is considered rude not to at least buy a hot chocolate or coffee if you do this. Coffeeshops do also have some of the best coffee in Amsterdam.

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Don’t be an idiot

Number 1 rule: Don’t smoke too much weed in Amsterdam! Even if you are a pot loving hippie from a commune you are probably going to find the marijuana really strong in Amsterdam. Just take it slow.

If you are enjoying a drink as well then again take it easy with the booze. All the coffeshops won’t sell you beer as well as cannabis.

EAT! Don’t go drinking and smoking on an empty stomach as cannabis lowers your blood sugar level and this can turn a fun day into a disaster if you haven’t eaten recently. Check out our Amsterdam Food Guide for some quick eating tips here.

A final word of warning, please watch out for the spacecake! Eating cannabis will knock you on your ass and is much stronger than when smoked.

Finally, enjoy yourselves and for goodness sake obey the rules, laws and customs while you are smoking weed in Amsterdam.

If you have an addiction to drugs then reach out and seek some help.

Check out these Weed Products for your next travel adventure.

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Europe

Four Jandals Visits an Amsterdam Peep Show

Have you ever wanted to visit an Amsterdam peep show? We had the chance to go and embraced it with open arms. Check out our experience here

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Amsterdam peep show Sex Palace

An Amsterdam peep show is a must, just like visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Okay slightly different. But you have got to go!

And if you have ever wanted to visit Amsterdam then more than likely you are going to be interested in checking out a peep show in the red light district. It might be worthwhile checking out this Amsterdam’s Red Light District – The ultimate guide.

Amsterdam Moulin Rouge Red Light District

There is something about the red light district that draws the punters and tourists alike in. Maybe it is the bright red neon lights that illuminate the darkened alleyways that pull them in like moths to a flame. Or the bars and coffee shops that let a certain smell waft lazily across the glistening canals.

Or maybe it is just the fact that sex really does sell.

When we visited Amsterdam with a couple of friends we actually spent what I now consider an embarrassingly long time in that same area. The fact is that we seriously could not get enough.

Not like that of course!

We just couldn’t believe that everyone is so open and carefree about what is for all intents and purposes, window shopping for sex. The number of guys knocking on windows and being ushered behind the curtains of every room were staggering.

However, we were not enticed ourselves to fork over $50 euros but were intrigued enough to want to check out an Amsterdam peep show. I just want to clarify here that it was actually Adela that was the most keen. I just didn’t want to let her down so went along with it…

Amsterdam Red Light District

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shaynekaye/4792525797

Visiting the Amsterdam peep show

Much to our surprise, there is only one Amsterdam peep show left in the whole city back in 2012!

The very originally named “Sex Palace” is situated on the banks of one of the main canals in the heart of the red light district on Oudezijds Achterburgwal street. Walking under the neon flashing lights into the entrance way your senses are assaulted by sights, sounds and disturbingly smell.

All around the walls are posters and screens showing ladies in various states of undress and positions. A white board lists the movies that you can rent out for your viewing pleasure in one of the many private booths. But we were only there for one thing:

The circular structure sitting slightly to the left of the entrance with a dozen small doors along it’s walls. 

Each of those small doors lead into equally small rooms no larger than a traditional UK phone box. A small covered viewing window blocks your view forward.

The money box clinging to the wall to operate the viewing window only accepts coins. But don’t worry if you only have notes as they handily have a large coin machine dishing out $2 euro coins for ease of watching.

Once you close the door and chuck in your money, the viewing window pops open for 2 minutes and allows you to view the large, slowly-rotating stage on which a scantily-dressed woman displays herself. With her flexibility she could have represented any country in the upcoming Olympics!

Amsterdam peep show Sex Palace

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattmangum/2301545978

I was cracking up laughing the entire time I was in there because you can actually just make out the rest of the “audience” in the opposite booths. I even got a little wave and smile as the girl slowly revolved past my window.

The Amsterdam peep show was a little bit creepy. But even though we were there late on a Saturday night the booths were doing a roaring trade. Obviously nearly everyone else, from the hens parties to the couples, were there for the same reason as us. To check out one or two rounds before heading back into the night giggling like school girls at a sleepover at what we had just done.

The shifty eyed single men on the other hand skulked away to their respective viewing windows again and again with pockets full of coins.

If you ever get the chance then we actually do highly recommend taking the plunge and visiting an Amsterdam peep show. Just make sure that you are always respectful of the women in the shows and the ones on the streets!

Have you ever been to an Amsterdam Peep Show or Sex show? Tell us about your experience below.

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Europe

5 European Cities to Visit in the Dead of Winter

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As one of the most polarizing seasons, winter could be termed as both a blessing and a curse by those who like making the most out of nature.

After all, while it brings about the opportunity to build snowmen and to ski on magnificent ice slopes, it also brings a chill to the bone and a desire to never get away from the fireplace.

Don’t forget about the hot chocolate either.

That is why, when it comes to vacationing in winter, it gets quite difficult to choose from a location – especially when the destination is as diverse in climate as Europe. Do you select a place that’s sunny and warm? Or somewhere that lets you enjoy the ice and cold in the best ways possible?

To make that decision easier for you, here are 5 European cities that you could visit in the dead of winter, with the assurance that you would come out of the vacation phase with a smile on your face.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a city that is synonymous with sunshine, warmth, and some of the world’s most breathtaking architecture.

The temperature rarely drops below 45 degrees even in the coldest months of the year. While the sunshine remains present amidst the rainy days. This means that you can enjoy the best effects of winter without having to endure the worst of them.

If you happen to be a fan of football, then these effects can be increased by several times. This beautiful city is home to one of the greatest football clubs of all time and with Barcelona FC in contention for a championship virtually every year, odds are you’ll be walking out with a smile on your face after watching a win. Not a bad way to take a break from the beach!

Athens, Greece

While you wouldn’t be able to go to Mount Olympus’ mythical version in this day and age, you can still experience Greece’s magnificence through the beautiful city of Athens.

Like Barcelona, Athens also sees rare drops in temperature while being consistent around 45 degrees throughout the heaviest months in winter. With the architecture that you can experience under the sun, this weather can actually be ideal for an exploratory walk.

And if you are a fan of Greek food, then checking out local restaurants for authentic dishes would only add to the overall experience of your trip.

Venice, Italy

Since Italy is full of some of the most breathtaking architecture in the world, it would be quite debatable to say that Venice is the crown jewel of the country in terms of structural beauty.

But it is.

From the way that the city has been designed to the manner that the buildings have been developed, Venice remains a breathtaking sight for anyone who visits it.

That remains true even in the months of winter, where the does drop to around 30 degrees, but still provides the tourists and inhabitants with a way to enjoy the magnificent sights under the sun.

Zugspitze, Germany

Germany is considered to be one of the coldest countries in Europe, but it is a good thing for those who enjoy a bit of snow during their travels.

And for those who do, there are perhaps not many places that are as marvelous as Zugspitze in terms of a memorable winter experience.

With snow covered mountains and a temperature that dances around -14 degrees in winter, you can enjoy an array of winter sports such as skiing, sledding, and snowboarding to your heart’s desire. If you are one to enjoy snow and everything good there is about the season of winter, then Zugspitze is the place to go.

Marseilles, France

While Paris gets quite cold in winter without the weather enhancing any effects of life within the city, Marseille seems to be quite the opposite. The city is as lively in the winter as it is during its busiest days in summer, with plenty to do in adjacent areas.

You may visit the many architectural sites and tourist attractions in Marseilles itself, but you can add to that experience when you choose to visit the Christmas markets in Aix en Provence or Avignon.

With that, the many warm and steamy French soups and bouillon based dishes that you can enjoy in Marseilles only add to the trip. This means that by the time you are done with your visit to Marseilles, you are bound to be fed well, have some goods in your shopping bags, and some memorable pictures in your phone to boot.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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