So I recently came back from an Easter weekend trip to Amsterdam, which was just so much fun. I went with Contiki – a travel agency who specialize in trips all around the world for 18-35 year-olds. I’d absolutely recommend them to anyone who is interested in travelling. They were so friendly, I felt completely safe, and they definitely helped us make the most out of the short time we had there. And you get to travel with people you’ve never met from all over the world…which is awesome!
Amsterdam is definitely a must-see city, you have to go if you’ve never been. It’s full of surprises, and you’re never really sure what you’re going to see around the next corner. You can walk around the city for hours (just make sure you don’t get hit by the bikes!), just soaking up the beauty of it all. I’m a sucker for cobbled streets and little artisan cafes, and there was certainly plenty of that to keep me happy. But whether you’re into that sort of thing, or if you’re more about crazy nightlife (the Red Light District was an interesting experience!), or you want to have a historical trip with the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum…there really is something for everyone. I’ve never travelled alone before, and I’m so glad Amsterdam was my first destination.
But anyway, seeing as this is a food blog, I thought I would blog about my top three foodie experiences I had in Amsterdam. Kicking off with a review of this delightful spot we found for lunch one day!
One of the reasons I was most excited about visiting Amsterdam was the cafe culture they have over there. As I said, I just adore cute, independent cafes – they are always such a winner for home-cooked, organic food. And amazing coffee! I did loads of research and read lots of other food blogs before I went, so I could hunt down the best places to go.
Despite that, we ended up stumbling upon Vinnie’s Cafe by chance – and I’m so glad we did. We had been wondering around the city centre trying to find a lunch spot, and the outside of Vinnies caught my eye straight away. The simple sign in the window reads “good. Home. Food.” I was sold after reading that. You cannot beat simple, honest, home-cooked food – and that’s exactly what it was.
The menu was just so up my street. After being initially distracted by the home-made spelt bread and flour-less chocolate almond brownies on display, I had to begin the task of choosing just one meal to order. It was all so seasonal, organic, fresh…the only issue I ever have with these places is I just want to order everything! After resisting the urge to order breakfast for dinner (a temptation I gave in to the following day…blog to follow!), I went for this plate of deliciousness…
So this was one of the specials – warm beluga lentil salad served with celeriac, mushrooms, hazlenuts and a poached egg (I went for some extra spinach too). This was honestly one of the best lunches out I’ve ever had. Firstly, lentils are underrated, and this definitely inspired me to start cooking with them more. They’re simple, cheap, full of goodness, and oh-so-delicious.
All of these ingredients together were just such a winning combination. The celeriac gave a really interesting, earthy depth of flavour, and the shittake mushrooms were stir-fried beautifully with ginger. And a perfectly poached egg with an oozy, runny yolk…need I say more? I feel like a good poached egg completes any meal. It’s just the best thing ever.
This is a picture of what my friend Rhiannon ordered too. Warm roasted miso eggplant and sesame seeds, served with soy flavoured Brussel sprouts and mushrooms. I had a little taste of this one…and fell back in love with aubergine!
Whether you’re a breakfast for dinner kind of person, a hearty salad lover, or you crave a delicious, satisfying sandwich with crusty home-made bread, there really is something for everyone here. Vinnie’s have three different locations in Amsterdam, and I will put a link to their website with information about how to find them at the bottom of this page. An absolute must-visit if you are ever over there. I will be returning!
Love Lucy x