The award-winning baristas at FUKU have been putting the caffeine high into BoLo since 2018. Meticulously crafted flat whites are poured with a smile at their funky location kitted out with retro vending machines and bonsai trees. Meanwhile over in De Baarsjes, Selma’s is a beautiful little Scandinavian-inspired cafe that will not only meet your hot drink needs but sell you a delicious cinnamon roll or smoked salmon sandwich on the side. And for just coffee – stellar coffee mind – then White Label Coffee on Jan Evertsenstraat brews up imported beans, which you can buy by the cup or in gorgeous bags.
Despite his experience working as a sommelier in some of Europe’s top restaurants, the owner of SOMM’s aim with this relaxed, no-nonsense wine bar is to make the finer things in life - eating and drinking well - accessible and enjoyable for all. Sample your way through the extensive list of high quality wines (orderable by the glass starting from €5), paired with a delightful small plate menu - we’re talking slow-cooked Iberico, shellfish, ceviche - and charcuterie or cheese platters. The all-day lunch on Sundays is a three-course journey of discovery - the perfect way to put that aperitivo sparkle into your afternoon.
This cheerful cafe in Erasmus Park is the beating heart of both neighbourhoods, drawing in dog-walkers, joggers and families from Bos en Lommer and De Baarsjes. People queue up for fresh juice and coffees in the morning. whilst on a sunny evening, the terrace is a great spot for an after-work glass of wine or a cold beer. Alongside refreshments, they offer a selection of home-made cakes and sandwiches (the banana bread is really special) - perfect to take away with you on a gallivant through the park. There’s a playground right next door so the cafe is particularly popular with little ones in pursuit of an ice lolly.
Besides being a multicultural venue with varied theatre performances and children’s programming, Podium Mozaiek is also a great place for lunch or a pre performance meal. The sunny terrace comes alive at weekends for the traditional Turkish brunch. You’ll need to bring a big appetite and some friends to get through the range of warm and cold mezze dishes on offer including fried peppers, freshly-baked bread, eggs, börek, cheeses and salamis all washed down with unlimited tea. Midweek, the restaurant-cafe serves home-cooked dishes with Mediterranean influences - think tagines, grilled vegetables, stewed beef, lentil soups and hearty couscous salads.
There’s nothing cosier than sharing a good Italian meal with friends over a few bottles of wine. Spaghetteria Rijpgracht does exactly what it says on the tin, offering sizable pasta portions at relatively cheap prices. The chefs change the menu daily to include six different dishes packed full of flavour and fresh produce. The large canalside terrace and big group tables make the location ideal for summer events and birthday parties. It’s never a bad idea to round off the night with that necessary limoncello shot and a slice of tiramisu.
Party-goers might still be mourning the closure of De School’s iconic nightclub in 2020, but Restaurant DS remains open for business with a changing small-plate menu that is as surprising and delicious as ever. The restaurant is located in a former workshop for training car mechanics that is now converted into a beautiful industrial space with long corridors, high ceilings and old school chairs that will take you back to your classroom years. You’ll be attended to by knowledgeable and relaxed staff who will give you sound advice on the dishes and wine pairings.
Eetwinkel Buurman & Buurman
A few years back, two bros from the hood decided there was not enough good food in Bos en Lommer, so they opened their own pizzeria on the corner of Erasmus Park. Eetwinkel Buurman & Buurman has since gained a reputation for serving up some of the best pizza in Amsterdam-West. Classic toppings are given a gourmet boost with options like parma ham with truffle tapenade, artichoke, grilled fennel and smoked mackerel doused in wasabi mayo. You can eat on the vibey canalside terrace which catches the light until late afternoon or get your order to take-away before finding a scenic spot in the park next door.
For a taste of authentic Dutch drinking culture and an excellent beer selection, head over to 't Lommertje, a cosy traditional pub known as a bruin café (brown bar) along the Bos en Lommerweg. Serving 8 draft beers and over 50 special bottled brews, this well-seasoned establishment has been a favoured neighbourhood haunt for over 20-years. Along with the slightly-sticky floors and traditional decor, reasonably priced drinks are served with a slice of warm Bos en Lommer hospitality. On a sunny evening, the terrace is frequented by a colourful mix of local personalities, AJAX supporters, students and beer-nerds on a pilgrimage.
Meneer de Wit Heeft Honger
The head chef at Meneer de Wit Heeft Honger is all about home-cooking that’s bursting with flavour and slow-cooked love. Inspired by his Moroccan roots and with a wealth of experience working in kitchens across Amsterdam and Barcelona, he combines Mediterranean spices and herbs into a colourful palette. Seasonal veg takes centre stage on the menu with sustainably-sourced meat and seafood ingredients used as an accent. Inside, the atmosphere is as welcoming and unpretentious as an Italian grandma’s kitchen - and with the chintzy tableware to match.
Sapporo Ramen SORA
Nothing feeds the soul better than a bowl of rich noodle soup on a chilly day. Sapporo Ramen SORA specialises in the delicate art of broth making with eclectic kitsch decor that will transport you straight to Japan’s colourful streets. Packed with deep and complex umami flavours, the shoyu (strong and cloudy made from pork bones) and miso (fermented soybean) ramens are the stars of the menu. These can be spiced up with toppings like bean sprouts, seaweed, roasted pork and vegetables. If that already sounds good, the selection of tasty sides like gyoza (dumplings), chicken teriyaki and panko-breaded shrimp will really get you feeling warm again.