Ok, so my “office” (aka the spare room in my apartment) doesn’t have air conditioning. On the plus side, I get to be a freelancer on the hottest, sunniest week we’re likely to see in Amsterdam this year. Let’s just say this is a prime opportunity to work on what I call my “Freelancer Tan”. And the good news is, it’s set to last till the weekend – which means that even if you have a real job, you can still make the most of the weather on Saturday and Sunday (or maybe even take Friday off!) and go enjoy the sun on a terrace somewhere…
Wherever you are in Amsterdam, there’s a piece of pavement with your name on it. Here are 5 of my favourite places to lunch al fresco when the weather in Amsterdam is this awesome.
Noord: Bistro Noord
Undoubtedly the most expensive on this list, I ended up at Bistro Noord kind of by accident a few weeks ago while attempting furniture shopping at Van Dijk, Neef Louis and their ilk. It was a happy accident, though, as the salade Nicoise I had was excellent. Made with fresh tuna (of course), and those gorgeously salty tiny black olives chopped up in the dressing, it was just what my body needed to tackle the dreaded shopping ahead. The bread and butter was a thing of wonder, too. I can’t attest for much more than that, but I’m planning to go back for dinner just as soon as my house-moving fund has replenished itself. And because it’s in Amsterdam Noord, it has plenty of space for outdoor seating. (Note: Bistro Noord is only open on Sunday lunchtimes from 1 pm, I later discovered…)
Until a few months ago, Hendrik used to be Café Louter – a spot I liked to meet people at for a coffee or a beer, whether indoors or out. Now, it’s been taken over and has relaunched as Hendrix, which is a clever name because it makes me want to order a gin & tonic as soon as I step foot on the terrace. They also do a nice line in wraps (I tried the shrimp and avocado one) and open-faced sandwiches (the butternut squash with ricotta and caramelised onions was tasty, too).
Zuid: Little Collins
Little Collins has long been my go-to brunch spot in de Pijp, and I’ve been meaning to try it out for dinner for yonks. And rest assured that when I do, you’ll be the first to know. Until then, however, the terrace at Little Collins remains one of my favourite places for a cheeky daytime rhubarb Bellini, excellent coffee and juices, and an amazing line in international brunch fare – from shakshuka to kedgeree to a Full English.
Oost: Pakhuis de Zwijger
Not far from my old office at MegaCorp, Pakhuis de Zwijger used to be a regular haunt for lunches with colleagues or after-work drinks. It’s got a bunch of picnic tables out the front, and serves hearty sandwiches and salads at reasonable prices. I recommend the smoked chicken or salmon club sandwich for those who are feeling particularly hungry!
Centrum: Het Houten Huisje
Another one of those happy accidents, I was out buying tiger-print leggings for hula hooping (yes, you read that right) from a shop dedicated to such things on the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal. Feeling a little peckish beforehand (do we see a shopping-induced eating pattern here?), I ducked into a small wooden hut right opposite. Het Houten Huisje serves up a decent flat white, organic drinks, and freshly toasted paninis. Vegetarians are well catered for here, with many of the fillings not involving meat or fish at all.Leave a comment...