Looking for all the latest openings this July? Karin's monthly roundup of cool new bars, restaurants and shops is always packed with Amsterdam's most exciting new additions and seasonal menus. Interested in a broader list of places to eat and drink? Explore our comprehensive coverage of bars and restaurants in Amsterdam.
Lunch among the stars at Ciel Bleu
Amsterdam’s famous fine dining doyenne has finally opened its doors for lunch. On Saturdays, from noon, the two-Michelin-star stalwart now offers full tasting menus in its beautiful “Blue Sky” dining room on the Okura Amsterdam Hotel’s 23rd floor. With city views as far as the eye can see, seamless service, faultless food and wonderful wine pairings that come with a story, it’s a true Amsterdam bucket list experience (or the ultimate staycation activity). Perfectly prepared lobster, perched in a pool of clear tomato bouillon with tender-crisp summer veg, sprightly drops of lovage oil and punchy cayenne pepper paired with a gorgeous glass of Domaine des Sénéchaux Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2018, was just one of many delights we recently sampled as part of a tasting menu (from €195). Highly recommended for a blow-out feast. Reservations required.
Ciel Bleu | cielbleu.nl | Ferdinand Bolstraat 333
Invest in the best Dutch summer beauty brands
For broad-spectrum SPF 20 protection against UVA, UVB, air pollution and ageing blue light, Amsterdam-based beauty brand Loïs Lee now offers a junk-free solution with its new Screen Sun Screen (€65), which uses “high-tech non-nano zink oxide” for a healthy glow that won’t leave a white cast. And, for a natural sun-free tan that won’t make you look like That Guy, nothing trumps the all-natural vegan tanning mousse with hyaluronic acid (€39.95) by Dutch tanning cosmetics specialist Marc Inbane, winner of the Best Self-Tanner Body Award at the international Beauty Shortlist Awards 2020.
Indulge in authentic Basque cuisine at Sagardi
Sitting pretty on scenic Singel canal, this Basque-owned pinxtos bar and eatery serves deeply flavourful regional specialities with perfect Basque beer, wine and cider pairings. Try the delicate white tuna belly, Getaria anchovies and spring onions on toasted bread (€16) paired with Itsas Mendi 7, a crisp eight-month aged white blend of native Basque grapes and Riesling or the slow-aged, well-marbled Txuleton Rubia Gallega steak (from €7.50 per 100 g), liberally salted, cooked on an angled grill and served in rich ruby slices with sweet piquillo peppers and an elegant woody red by Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero. With ingredients and wines sourced from over 250 caserios (small-scale Basque producers), this is as authentic as it gets.
Restaurant Sagardi | sagardi.nl | Spuistraat 304
Shop stylish men’s summer fashion at MR MARVIS
Some of Amsterdam’s chicest shorts, swim trunks and chinos can be found at this Dutch menswear brand’s new Jordaan flagship store. Designed in Amsterdam and handmade in Portugal, MR MARVIS is making a name for its considered details such as hidden pockets and partially elasticized waistbands for better fit.
MR MARVIS | mrmarvis.com | Oude Looiersstraat 44
Enjoy IJ-popping views at VESSEL BAY
Boasting the largest IJ-facing terrace in town, with sun loungers, table-side fireplaces and bar tables, and an awesome maritime-influenced interior, Hotel BOAT &CO Amsterdam scores some serious style points. In the hull of the hotel, chef Ricardo van Ede’s love for “food that puts a smile on your face” translates into crowd-pleasing dishes such as pickled tomato salad with Dutch buffalo mozzarella (€12), flammkuchen with asparagus, courgette and Pecorino (€9), and grilled grey mullet with a green herb dressing (€18). Free parking for the first two hours means you won’t have to break a sweat cycling all the way out to Amsterdam’s flashiest new neighbourhood. Reservations required.
VESSEL BAY | vesselamsterdam.nl | Revaeiland 500
Unleash your Natural Beauty at NatureSkins Spa
Specialising in vegan and all-natural skin treatments, this new city spa and natural beauty shop, which recently opened on Rozengracht is highly recommended for fans of clean beauty and green cosmetics, with names such as Absolution, Dr Baumann, Nuori and Naif gracing the racks. Get yourself summer-ready with the salon’s seasonal “Summer Deal’’ (€87 for a 75 min treatment including a deep-cleansing facial, massage, brow shaping, and pedicure).
NatureSkins Spa | natureskins.nl | Rozengracht 72H
Drink canal-side cocktails at Lotti’s Café, Bar & Grill
With a new head chef, an updated food & drinks menu and post-corona permission to use the Herengracht-facing pavement as a temporary terrace (until the end of October), there are plenty of reasons to (re)visit this hipster favourite at The Hoxton Hotel Amsterdam. Once painfully trendy, Lotti’s has mellowed into an easy-going and inclusive hangout, where the cocktails are on point; the nutty Bulletproof (with bourbon, vermouth, and artichoke and orange bitters, €12) or smoky Red Bandana (with mezcal, passionfruit liqueur, lime, smoked agave, walnut bitters and cayenne, €14) get full marks from us - and the burger actually lives up to its exalted price (€18.50).
Lotti’s Café, Bar & Grill | thehoxton.com | Herengracht 255
Get a taste of healthy new Dutch drinks
The recently launched Dutch soft drink brand Soof Sparkling offers a “natural, simple and junk-free” way to quench your thirst this summer, with grown-up flavours (think rose, pear and cardamom, or blackcurrant, lavender and apple) made using sparkling water, fruit, herbs and flowers. In equally refreshing news, the popular local kombucha brand YAYA Kombucha now offers its raw, organic, naturally fermented drink in cans, including the new hit flavour “yuzu” Look out for both brands at health food stores and terraces near you.
Say salute to the day at La Lotteria
From the authentic Italian family recipes and local, seasonal ingredients used in the kitchen to the charmingly warm service, this casual neighbourhood restaurant is oh so inviting. The menu features traditional Italian classics, and at the Aperitivo every Wednesday, (free) Italian bites are served with your choice of wine, beer, or (Italian) cocktail.
La Lotteria | lalotteria.nl | Beethovenstraat 200
Feed your inner carnivore at Mr. Meat Steakhouse
Amsterdam’s newest steakhouse is serious about its meat, with dry-ageing cabinets, in-house butcher and a talented grill-master. Try the classic steak tartare with capers and quail egg (€11.50), oregano-crusted lamb loin (€24) or classic Côte de Boeuf (€27.50). Tip: if you love a good umami bomb, do order the grilled oyster mushrooms and truffle fries on the side.
Mr. Meat | mrmeatsteakhouse.com | Haarlemmerstraat 18
Luxuriate in the scent of summer
Get your hands on Paula’s Ibiza, a playful summer limited-edition fragrance with bohemian floral notes (€78.50) by Loewe, or an exclusive new non-binary eau de toilette by Escentric Molecules, Molecule 05 (from €65), which evokes the scent of an isle in the Med – both are now available at De Bijenkorf. The just-released Collection Azur by niche perfume house BDK Parfums (€150, now available via Retreat.nl was also inspired by the citrusy and salty aromas of the Mediterranean.
Fill em’ up on free pancakes at The Pancake Bakery
The relative quiet in Amsterdam means there’s no time like the present to rediscover those local gems that would normally be quite crowded this time of the year. We’re thinking of places like The Pancake Bakery, which celebrates its 40th anniversary with a special family deal: every second kid gets a free pancake, until August only.
The Pancake Bakery | pancake.nl | Prinsengracht 193
Looking for up-to-the-minute eating, drinking and shopping recommendations? Follow Karin on Instagram where you’ll find her checking out the latest restaurants, bars and shops, and returning to old favourites.