Best Of


Cue the sound of a needle scratching the record, as a number of changes have brought the Lisbon adventure to a halt.

More details will be provided as the weeks progress, but for now I find myself in The Netherlands once again.

I looked forward to this moment for several weeks, to be both in the countryside and smaller towns, as well as in some of my favourite haunts in Amsterdam.

So an unofficial "Best Of Amsterdam" list is here. Each place will be visited again and again in the next few weeks to provide a much-needed sense of familiarity.

Cafe Festina Lente - a tiny corner pub that is always full of locals, either sitting facing the canal on a sunny day or sitting inside, in what feels like your favorite corner of an old library. Cheap drinks and good tapas-sized food.

Brood - a bread store right below Albert Cuyp street market; the brownies are amazing, the bread is amazing, and the apple crumble-type things are amazing. Amazing.

Albert Cuyp Market - a bustling street market, where underwear stalls sit next to fresh produce vendors and bike-supply hawkers. Well worth the 10-minute tram trip from Centraal Station to see and sample the foods, clothes and feel the neighboorhood vibe.

Utrechtstraat - a street a little off the tourist-beaten path but very close to the city center; great shops, coffee places, and restaurants.

Amstel River - perfect for an early-morning walk, with nice bridges to take pictures, see houseboats, and with a more open feeling than the many canals. Also good later in the day for...

...The Ysbreeker - a cafe/restaurant along the Amstel. It's nice indoors with huge ceiling; outside,on a good day,chairs and tables are set up in the grass overlooking the river.

Brouwerij t'IJ - the most awkward name you will have to pronounce (perhaps ever) - try Brow-er-eh tuh-eh - if you ask for directions, but a great, cheap, swarthy, drinking hole with lots of atmosphere and situated right under a windmill. Only open from 3pm-8pm though.

Vino di Pino - already mentioned in a previous post, this place bears mentioning again. People like Pino and places like this - great pizzas, cheap and tasty pasta, excellent specialty wines - don't exist in many place of the world anymore.


melissa said...

Sounds good to me. Enjoy.