foodies heaven in Amsterdam: 3 festivals this May

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Taste of Amsterdam

The first of the 3 Food Festivals this May in Amsterdam is the Food Film Festival, offering much more than just films about food. What about these workshops: learn how to make a mean Swedish smörrebröd with Rikard Andersson, cook a perfect egg with Michelin star chef Chris Naylor and hear from Ben Reade, the Nordic Food Lab’s culinary R&D man, why we could soon all be eating insects. In addition to that there are events, discussions, a food market, parties, and of course a restaurant.
Food Film Festival from May 9 to 11 2014, at the Westergasfabriek.

The following weekend Taste of Amsterdam in the Amstelpark is the place to be for the culinary foodies. It’s the most sophisticated (or shoold I say posh?) of the 3 festivals. If you like to try the signature dishes from Dutch top restaurants and top chefs, attend workshops and demonstrations, visit the fine food exhibition and the farmers market, or visit Boom Chicago’s Comic show about wine tasting: be there.
Taste of Amsterdam: May 15 to 18, 2014, at the Amstelpark, entrance € 9,50.

The final Festival is: Rollende Keukens. It’s like a huge pick-nick, with the advantage of not having to bring your own food. It has a bohemian feel and this one is great for kids too. Whatever you like, you can get it, from snacks and finger food to exquisite luxury food and everything in between, all for a reasonable prices so you can try several dishes. All food will be cooked in kitchens on wheels. They are an exhibition in itself, these mobile kitchens and food trucks.
Music and other entertainment is programmed all day and movies (about food) at night.
Rollende Keukens, from May 28 to June 1, 2014 at the Westergasfabriek, entrance: free.

best burger in Amsterdam

De Biertuin Amsterdam

De Biertuin Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s main local newspaper ‘Het Parool’, recently tried and tested over 30 hamburgers in restaurants in Amsterdam. You would expect the best hamburger to be found in a specialized hamburger restaurant, but it was served in ‘De Biertuin‘ (the Beer Garden).
De Biertuin is a cafe/restaurant that has more than 40 beers on the menu, many of them authentic special beers from the Netherlands and Belgium and 13 of them are on tap. And they have a large terrace/garden (heated in winter) stuffed with long tables where you can sit-drink-eat. (That’s what the name comes from.) The hamburger they serve is one of the 6 dishes on the diner-menu. They also serve lunch, snacks, etc.
While being very popular already, the number 1 rated burger will make De Biertuin even more famous. So if you plan to visit, be prepared for a nice, crowded, party-like atmosphere.

How to get there:
Take tram 9 – the tram stop: ‘Eerste van Swindenstraat’ is very close to De Biertuin

Amsterdam beach life

image panorama 2

Blijburg city beach Amsterdam

Blijburg is the largest and most beachlike city beach in Amsterdam. It has a sandy beach with a great view on the IJsselmeer lake. You can actually swim here, unlike many other city beaches in Amsterdam. It has a bohemian vibe, especially in the evening when the camp fire is lit. The beach bar and restaurant Blijburg is definitely worth a visit. They serve good food and often programme live music, DJ’s and other activities.

Amsterdam has other city beaches and of course the real beach at the coast: Zandvoort. This is traditionally the beach that most Amsterdam people go to, it takes only 25 minutes by train. It has endless sandy beaches and many trendy beach bars and restaurants. So if the weather is really sunny and you have the time, consider a day or just an evening at the coast.

unique summer festival in Amsterdam

Photo: Villa d’Arte

It’s one of a kind: de Parade. When this travelling festival builds up its tents, gipsy carts and other mobile stuff, a special world is created. Filled with performances, dance, music, comedy and anything in between from beautiful to weird.
It has an atmosphere of circus, mardi grass but also medieval, fairy like and yet very trendy. It is hard to describe, that’s why you should go there check it out yourself.
Probably you will not visit a performance at all and just sit at one of the many terraces of the restaurants and café’s. There you can get almost anything from cocktails to sustainable tab water and from pancakes to sophisticated dishes.
While sitting there, watching everything and everyone at the festival, you will be seeing (and be a part of) a theatre play in itself.

De Parade
Martin Luther Kingpark (Amsteldijk)
1079 LM Amsterdam
August 10 – 26, 2012
15.00 – 01.00/02.00 hours
Entrance Festival Terrain: € 7,-
Prices for performances: see website

Amsterdam’s newest and largest water side terrace

The Harbour Club opened just a few months ago and it’s quite popular at the moment. Understandable: the large terrace is a great place to enjoy the sun and the water views. Inside it’s impressive too; the 2200 square meters former wine terminal is turned into a very chic space containing restaurants, bar and club. Not the usual Amsterdam crowd is dominating, many people from outside the city can be found here as well. Probably because the club is car and boat friendly, from which the first is unique in Amsterdam.

amsterdam city beaches

Strand Zuid AmsterdamThere are 5 of them in Amsterdam and their number is growing, like their popularity: city beaches. To get there you don’t have to travel far, there’s always one in the neighbourhood.
Just to be clear, these are no ‘real’ beaches. There is sand and water indeed, but there’s no real see or ocean; just a fresh water pond or lake.
But still it is great to be at one of these city beaches on a sunny day, or even better: a warm summer night.

  1. Roest, Czaar Peterstraat 213, 1018 PL Amsterdam, 020-3080283
  2. Strand Noord/Pllek, 200 meters from NDSM ferry, 06-49386 338
  3. Blijburg aan zee, Muiderlaan 101, 1087 VA Amsterdam, 020-4160330
  4. Strand Zuid, Europaplein 22, 1078 GZ Amsterdam, 020-6392589
  5. Strand West, Stavangerweg 900, 1013 AX Amsterdam, 020-6826310

 

sunny terraces by the water in Amsterdam

view from Zouthaven

Finally the sun is shining and immediately the terraces in Amsterdam are crowded. To help you find a nice sunny spot, here’s a list of my favourite terraces which are, as an extra, located by the water:

IJ-kantine, you can easily spent a whole day here, enjoying the marvelous view on the Amsterdam IJ (the central Amsterdam lake). Just take the ferry behind the Central Station.  Ondinaweg 15-17, 020-6337162

Zouthaven, formerly known as Star Ferry, great view on the IJ river from the east side this time, so lots of evening sun.
Piet Heinkade 1, 020-7882090

Gent aan de Schinkel, nice big terrace.
Theophile de Bockstraat 1, 020-3882851

Café van Zuijlen, on a canal bridge, from breakfast to late night drinks, a good place to be.
Torensteeg 4-8, 020-6391055

Het Terras van De l’Europe, It’s new and it’s chique. Only for lunch and diner, after reservation.
Nieuwe Doelenstraat 2-14, 020-5311777

Paerz, Nice place to be, alongside the old warehouses, with exotic animal sounds coming from the zoo.
Entrepotdok 64, 020-6232206

Hannekes Boom, different, alternative café restaurant on a magnificent location.
Dijksgracht 4, 020-4199820

possibly Amsterdam’s most expressive building

Photo by Rene den Engelsman

It opens April 5, but Amsterdam’s new film institute Eye is worth noticing. It hosts cinemas, a museum, and a restaurant/cafe. We are very interested in the terrace: with a view on the river IJ and lots of sun: it could become a great place. Anyway, the architecture by Vienna based Delugan Meissl Associated Architects is breathtaking. Easily accessible by ferry, from Central Station. Eye is on IJ promenade 1