The last stop of our Europe vacation was a layover in Amsterdam (yay for multiple country flight deals), my second visit to the city and Stephen’s first. With just a day in the city we kept our schedule light and flexible. We weren’t able to fit in a canal ride or visit the Van Gogh Museum, two of my favourite activities from my previous visit, but enjoyed walking along the canals, dutch pancakes and even a bowl of ramen.
Using points we stayed at the W Hotel, which was a great central location that allowed us to walk everywhere. The breakfast buffet at their restaurant Mr Porter was also ridiculous. A wide assortment of freshly squeezed juices, plates of cured meats, hot dishes, cooked vegetables, fresh fruit, so much cheese and a menu with made to order egg dishes. I will be missing Stephen’s platinum status on our next trip.
What We Ate
Cafe de Klos – Deemed the best ribs in Amsterdam by the Internet, Stephen and I headed to Cafe de Klos for lunch after checking into our hotel. After an almost hour wait (you had the option to wait at their sister pub down the street), we were seated at the bar with beers and menus. Unfortunately I was still feeling the after effects of food poisoning from Italy so only nibbled on a smoked rib. We ordered a French Onion Soup for me, which was cheesy and delicious but overpriced at €6.75 for the portion size. Overall, Stephen liked the ribs and the restaurant was cozy but the most memorable part of the meal was the wait.
The Pancake Bakery – Eating Dutch pancakes are a must in Amsterdam and The Pancake Bakery is a popular spot for savoury and sweet crepes. I recommend ordering one savoury and one sweet pancake to split, we opted for the bacon, ham and cheese and lemon and sugar, to get the best of both worlds. The crepes are thin but large and filling. Even though we arrived early in the day, here was a line and I find the queue moves slowly. Once we were inside, it’s easy to spot the slow turnover of tables. On a next visit, I’d be happy to venture elsewhere for my pancake fix.
Ramen-Ya – Full Review Post
Vleminckx – Belgian fries are another must eat in Amsterdam. We headed to Velminckx, a hole-in-the-wall stand, and self proclaimed best fries in the city, which the Internet agrees with. This judgement I could get behind. The thick cut fries were freshly made with a perfect crispy exterior and soft, fluffy interior. The mayo was thick and creamy. We really should have bought two cones instead of splitting one.
What We Did
Sandeman Walking Tour – Aside from wandering around the city on our own, we signed up for the free walking tour of Amsterdam with SANDEMANs (optional tips for the guide at the end of the tour). The 2.5 hour tour covered most of the inner city and was a good mix of history, fun facts, humour and information. It was a great introduction to Amsterdam with a tour guide who was super engaging and lively. After the tour ended, he stayed around to chat and give out recommendations.