The best thing about our trip was that Kevin planned all of it, and I just had to show up.
We didn’t know much about Amsterdam before we arrived in the city, so we started off our first full day with a food tour. I’d never been on a food tour before, but I definitely recommend it. We learned a lot from our guide, Esther, about the city’s history and food culture, and the route she took us on helped to give us a good foundation for how to navigate our way around the city for the rest of our trip.
The tour we went on was run by a company called Hungry Birds. It’s owned and operated by 3 young Dutch women who love food and love their city. They offer a variety of tour packages, and we opted for the day time experience.
So, what’s a food tour? How does it work? It’s pretty much what it sounds like. We met up with Esther and 8 other tourists, and then we walked around the city to a variety of pre-selected locations, stopping at each one for a bite to eat. The tour is curated to show you the range of food culture in Amsterdam, and at each location we learned the significance of that spot and how it relates to Dutch culture. We also met many local business owner-operators and tried many authentic local spots and foods that we would not have found on our own. After all that eating and walking, we all grabbed a drink in a bar and received more recommendations from Esther for other places to try.
So where did we go? Photos are below to show it all!
starting off our morning walk with some coffees, walking through a local market
charging stations for electric cars are everywhere!
look how pretty this place is!
President Adams used to live here!
we never once got over how pleasant these canals and pathways are. many more photos to come of scenes like this.
Stop 1 – a local Toko, aka a Dutch grocery store that specializes in Indonesian and other South East Asian cuisines
At the toko
so so so so good
Heading to the first ever Febo location in Amsterdam
Spend coins, get food.
Stopping off at a yogourt bar!
Another Toko in the area; this one is renowned for its sandwich bar, where it sells Surinamese sandwiches,
Went inside Tjin’s to check out their international selections, and I found this Max Verstappen Red Bull can!
Our Surinamese sandwiches. So delicious
Entering the Albert Cuyp Marketing in Amsterdam, where our next few stops took place
Traditional cod fish. Deliciously fried with sauces.
We really ate it!
Better than I’d expected, but still definitely an acquired taste.
This vendor has been in the market for generations, making traditional poffertjes
Poffertjes are a traditional Dutch batter treat. Resembling small, fluffy pancakes, they are made with yeast and buckwheat flour.
Tradtionally they’re served with powdered sugar, and they are delicious!
had to stop and check out the cat supplies
And now onto another family business that makes desserts – stroopwafels!!
A stroopwafel is a waffle made from two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel-like syrup filling in the middle. They are wildly good.
After all that dessert, we needed some espresso.
And we got it, inside this lovely Moroccan restaurant!
Continuing our stroll through the market
Our last market stop was this Indonesian restaurant – another family-run, community-building business.
Delicious spicy soup!
This is a statue of a Dutch singer who was famous in Dutch Bars
After leaving the market, we went to a traditional Dutch Brown Bar and drank Jenever
Brown bars take their name from the warm tints of the dark, wooden interior with smoke-stained walls and old simple furniture, as well as soft, cozy lighting.
A common drink is Jenever, the juniper-flavored national and traditional liquor of the Netherlands and Belgium, from which gin evolved.
o locals, the brown bar is almost an extension of their living room: this is where you go for a cup of coffee in the daytime or for a drink after work, let their hair down, catch up with friends and neighbours, and just unwind. In fact, all the chairs face inwards, to encourage opennenss and conversation
On the walk to our next snack, we stopped in to visit this Art Deco Theatre. They still play films here!
Our next stop was Dutch Delicacy, a place inspired by “Eataly”. It’s part grocery store, part deli, part trendy shop. We tried the cheeses, which were amazing!
Around the corner from Dutch Delicacy is a bakery that only sells this one cookie. There is always a lineup, but Esther picked some up for us, and we snacked on them at the Dutch Delicacy
Our final ‘official’ stop was this ice cream shop, which was wonderful.
And then we relaxed with Esther in another Brown Bar as we reflected on the day. Thanks to Esther for the great recommendations she gave us for the rest of our trip!
And we spent the rest of the day exploring
Walking through the red light district