I was recently asked to write an article for a food industry magazine about food courts in the Netherlands, so inevitably that necessitated a couple of “research trips” here in Amsterdam. As far as I know, there are three indoor food courts in the Dutch capital, the most famous of which being of course the Foodhallen. But the other two – both very different, but both filling a niche – are equally worth a visit. So
Foodhallen: most likely to spot tourists
I’ve written about Amsterdam’s Foodhallen in the past, so I won’t go into great detail here except to say that this iconic food court is housed in a disused, converted tram depot – which certainly lends it a very Amsterdam ambience. It’s packed in the evening and on weekends, so I’d advise stopping by for lunch if you’re not keen on crowds. Some of my favourite food stands include Fento for fantastically healthy Mexican-inspired street food (and amazing cornbread!), Taqueria Lima West for (no prizes for guessing) tacos, and Renato’s for excellent Italian antipasti and pizza.
Visit the Foodhallen at Bellamyplein 51 (Oud-West), or see foodhallen.nl for more information.
Market 33: most likely to spot city slickers
Right in the heart of Amsterdam’s business district, the Zuidas, you’ll find split-level food court Market 33 – replete with lots of men in suits and banking types. (As well as the rest of us.) When I visited, I was interested to see a familiar face from Pho & Yummie – the sushi and Vietnamese restaurant that used to be in the Spaarndammerbuurt until recently. It seems the owners have instead started two new ventures at Market 33: Oishii Sushi, serving sushi, salads and more; and Hello Vietnam, serving pho, summer rolls and various noodle and rice dishes. I tried the gyoza, which were as crispy and tasty as I remember them from their previous location. Market 33 also has a well-stocked bar, so it’s a good spot for a drink and a snack after work. (Note that the food court is not open on weekends.)
Visit Market 33 at Claude Debussylaan 33 (Zuidas), or see market33.nl for more information.
World of Food: most likely to spot people from the world over
A little further out of town, in Amsterdam Zuidoost, you’ll reach the aptly named World of Food. Featuring stands selling street food from all over the globe, this is the place to come if you want to try a range of different cuisines – or if you’re with a group who can’t decide what they want to eat. Plus, most of the food on offer is extremely reasonable: you can easily score a satisfying meal for around the €5 mark. When I visited, I tried a dish of spicy chicken, yams and veggies from African food stand Monrovia, as well as a “Johnnycake” stuffed with salt cod from Yvette’s Kitchen. Both delicious – and deliciously good value!
Visit World of Food at Develstein 100 (Zuidoost), or see worldoffoodamsterdam.nl for more information.