Looking for all the latest openings this October? 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.
Sate those comfort food cravings at home
Amsterdam restaurants have crowned the gourmet sandwich and its gloriously carb-studded cousins as the stars of (semi)lockdown. Easy to pick up and enjoy on a park bench or at home, our favourites include a terrific takeaway toastie with cime di rapa, aged goat’s cheese and fermented chilli (€9) at Little Collins De Pijp, a sinfully stacked crispy fried chicken burger to go (€12) at 4850 and a decadent delivery French toast with ooey-gooey salted caramel sauce (€6.50) at the wittily-named Paindemie. Meanwhile, you can find Amsterdam’s best artisan pizza – fresh or frozen for pick-up or delivery – at nNea (from €7.50) and Euro Pizza Restaurant (from €3.50 a slice). Alternatively, soothe yourself with takeaway Tuscan classics from Jordaan stalwart Caffè Toscanini or indulge in Italian goodness at home thanks to the free delivery service of Trattoria Graziella a Casa. If it’s protein and not carbs you crave, look no further than Rijsel, the enduringly popular French-Flemish outfit, for the perfect pick-up rotisserie chicken (€16.50).
Stay safe and cosy with local brands
Expand your local lingo while lounging in comfy organic cotton tees, hoodies and tops (from €34.95) with cute Dutch slogans such as kus (kiss), knuffel (cuddle) and boks (box) by just-launched Amsterdam label Afdeling Contact. If walking is the new going out, local accessory brand BARTS Amsterdam’s new autumn/winter 20/21 collection (pictured) will keep the whole family stylishly snug outdoors. Think felt fedoras or chunky cable knit headbands for her, plaid scarves and Fair Isle beanies for him, and puppet gloves and faux fur earmuffs for the little ones (from €19.99). You can also up the feelgood ante of your couch cuddling sesh with the latest range of beautiful handmade blankets (from €79.95) by Return to Sender, a Dutch brand that helps women in developing countries through fair and sustainable trade.
Create your very own couch café
Now that many of the city’s best beer cafes have temporarily transformed into beer shops, you won’t have to miss out on having your favourite biertje during (semi-)lockdown. Pick up some loaded fries (from €7.50) and a personalised beer pack to enjoy at home from Gollem’s Proeflokaal. Or head to one of the city’s newest brewpubs, Two Chefs Bar, which had to shut its doors shortly after opening in March but now offers craft beer and cheese pairing boxes (from €34). Not a brew fan? Stay warm and toasty with cocktails from scenester fave Super Lyan’s new takeaway and delivery service, which launches this month. Try the rich beeswax old fashioned with flamed orange or the autumn-ready turbo cider (pictured, price tbc), with Johnnie Walker Black, Brut Cider vermouth and a splash of soda. For a timeless classic, order a classic Negroni, Moscow mule, old fashioned or a daiquiri (all €12.50) from Flying Dutchmen Cocktails via Uber Eats.
Spoil yourself (not the planet) with sustainable coffee and cookies
Caffeine connoisseurs will be delighted to hear that Amsterdam-based Moyee Coffee – which claims to offer the world’s first FairChain coffee – has brought its radically good specialty beans to Albert Heijn supermarkets (€8.49). Do keep an eye out when you’re shopping for essentials. While you’re at it, why not swap out your usual cookies for something more sustainable? Donny Craves offers a low-impact alternative with its 100% plant-based, American-style cookies in three flavours: apple pie, chocolate chip and, our favourite, pecan caramel sea salt (€1.75 at Albert Heijn to Go).
Indulge in a fine dining feast at home
With fine dining home deliveries, there’s no reason to postpone celebrations just because the city’s top restaurants are closed. The most famous option may be the RIJKS takeaway menu box (€55), which kicked off the trend during the first lockdown. With a little virtual help from chef Joris Bijdendijk, you can recreate RIJKS’ four-course menu – including their signature beet millefeuille – in your kitchen. Bas van Kranen of Bord’Eau brings the fine dining experience to you courtesy of his pick-up Bord’Eau à la Maison concept (€39.95), which includes a recipe card and instruction video to help you put the finishing touches on the three-course feast. But why bother cooking when you can have a chef do it for you? Dennis Huwaë of Daalder at Home will recreate an evening in his restaurant with a five-course tasting menu (€59 p.p.), which comes with an instruction video or, if you’re lucky, one of the chefs (pictured). Lovers off all things hops take note: with Bar Alt at Home, your three course delivery menu box (€35), which requires only a little work to finish up, comes with an optional beer pairing (€20 for two).
Get a head-start on your holiday shopping at Babassu
With its curated collection of international cosmetics brands, Babassu is the discerning gift-giver’s one-stop-shop, and its newest products were chosen with the holidays in mind. Make every day of the festive season beautiful with Compagnie de Provence’s advent calendar, which contains 24 fragrant French beauty treats (€66, pictured). Transform bath time with shower oils from Aromatherapy Associates (€33) which cleanse and moisturise while soothing the mind. Give the gift of a skin detox with the new purifying clay mask (€18) by Benamor. Infused with rose extract, it’s the latest addition to the Lisbon-based brand’s Crème de Rosto range. Or discover the new French-Emirati fragrance brand FO’AH, a unisex range of date palm-inspired perfumes in gorgeous geometric bottles (€135). And don’t forget to treat yourself to something from the holistic American brand Perricone MD: there’s a calming CBD-infused range (from €39), a concentrated glow-boosting vitamin C serum (€157.50), and the latest formulation of the best-selling cold plasma neck treatment (€165).
#supportyourlocals by shopping at out-of-action restaurants
Another solution restauranteurs have employed during the (semi)lockdown is to turn unused seating into shopping space. You’ll find all your favourite French gourmet groceries (think freshly made pates, rillettes and conserves) at Épicerie Jean & Marie, which is next to the eponymous bistro. At BAKino, a portmanteau of the restaurant BAK and Bambino Bar, there’s a selection of gourmet goodies to go, from fresh focaccia and ossobuco to treacle tart. Also worth a visit is Alba’s Deli & Natural Wine Shop, which has soups, burgers, sauces, spreads, chutneys and dozens of natural wines in addition to sublime sourdough bread and pastries from Le Vin et Levain. Or explore the new grocery counter at Buffet van Odette, which is stocked with fresh fish from Urk and sticky toffee cake in addition to organic vegetables, eggs and cheese from Lindenhoff farm in Baambrugge, a favourite of the city’s top chefs.
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.