Destination: The Netherlands: Amsterdam
'T Blauwe Theehuis
A local favorite, especially when it gets warm, the ultracute Blue Teahouse is located in the center of Vondelpark, the city’s leafy retreat, in a blue-painted, multitiered structure that dates to the 1930s and resembles a Hollywood spaceship. It’s the kind of low-key garden café where you can spend hours nursing a coffee or fresh-squeezed juice as you watch the people and day drift by. Especially on weekends, the Blauwe Theehuis draws a party crowd at night, when there’s a live DJ and dancing upstairs.
Buffet van Odette
Overlooking the Herengracht, this is a nice place for breakfast or lunch if you’re touring the pretty Jordaan district and the Anne Frank Huis in the canal belt. The menu, written on a blackboard, is seasonal. Breakfast is simple: croissants from the local Pâtisserie Pompadour and frothy cappuccino. For lunch, this is a good place to try Dutch dishes like smoked mackerel and mushrooms on toast with melted truffle cheese. With only a few tables, Van Odette gets crowded, so try to come early. Open 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., weekdays; 10:00 a.m. -5:30p.m. weekends; closed Tuesday.
This split-level breakfast and lunch spot, in a pretty house with a painted façade, is popular for its hearty brunches. Says Indagare Insider Albert Laverge: “Excellent omelets and the only place in Amsterdam that can properly cook extracrispy bacon.” Come early or be prepared to wait; the space is small. Closed Monday.
For those who want to grab a delicious soup or sandwich to-go, Lombardo’s is the best take-away shop on the street with delicious baked goods and catering. A blackboard outside the shop announces the daily specials.
When you ask locals what qualifies as typical Dutch food, pancakes top the list, along with fried croquettes and Gouda, making it a miracle that more Amsterdammers are not overweight—must be all that biking. You can sample the delicacy all over town, but this little café in the canal belt has a welcoming staff and sweet Dutch décor. Don’t expect an American pancake: the Dutch version is more like a French crepe, and toppings run the gamut from the expected (banana, cinnamon, Nutella) to the flamboyant (endive, raspberry sauce, smoked salmon). This is a good place for a snack when you’re visiting the sights of the canal belt, including the Anne Frank Huis and the Nine Little Streets, especially if you’re with kids.
The Ladurée of Amsterdam, this beautiful pâtisserie has 18th-century wood-paneled interiors that were imported from Antwerp. It sells the city’s most delicious French baked goods—croissants, pains aux chocolat, pretty pastries—and sandwiches perfect for takeout. There’s a so-called tearoom on the premises, but truly it’s just a few tables standing on an elevated platform in the middle of the small shop, so it’s not exactly the place to settle in for a leisurely coffee, or tea, break. The original location is at Huidenstraat 12, near the Dylan hotel. Closed Monday.
This sliver of a dining room overlooking the canals is a great place for lunch, when it offers a huge sandwich selection, or an afternoon smoothie break. It draws lots of students, especially on the weekends, so the atmosphere is buzzy and fun.
A contemporary bistro under the arches of the Spiegelstraat arcade, Spelt is a nice simple place for a quick sit-down meal.
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