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Inside Levain et le Vin wine bar bread bakery
Image from Alex Cheuk

Restaurants and bars in Oud-West

Oud-West is teeming with restaurants and bars for people who love to try new dishes or watch the world go by from a cosy terrace. Dotted amongst the leafy streets you’ll find a great mixture of brewpubs, casual eateries, bakeries, wine or cocktail hotspots and brunch joints. The coffee game is as strong as the flat whites, with countless speciality espresso bars and cafes around every corner. Then of course there’s De Foodhallen, a giant indoor food court packed with stalls serving delicacies from across the world with everything from tacos to dim sum.

PAMELA

Neatly located on a sun-drenched corner of the Bilderdijkkade, PAMELA describes itself as an LGBTQI+ bar and restaurant open to lovely people from all walks of life. What’s on the menu? Healthy bites at all times of day, a stand-out bottomless brunch and some exceptional cocktail concoctions. Local DJs from the community are regularly invited to spin records as the Smoky Palomas are flowing. It’s a popular spot, so do make a reservation, though sometimes it’s possible to swing by just for drinks.

Coffee hotspots

LOT61 café interior
Image from LOT61

If you like your flat whites strong and your latte art crispy executed, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the range of specialty coffee bars in the area. LOT61 brings the coffee-making expertise of Bondi Beach and Williamsburg to the mean streets of Oud-West. You’ll find their beans sold at cafes across the city but a cold-brew pilgrimage to their store on Kinkerstraat will impress even the most dedicated of coffee geeks. Monk's Coffee do their specialty roasting in an eco-conscious way, eliminating plastic waste and reusing coffee grains to make plant fertilizer and body scrubs. Pick up a cup from their cafe or have a browse through the shop to kit out your kitchen with quality beans, drip filters and aeropresses. Over on Jan Pieter Heijestraat, the baristas at Trakteren have been warming the soul of the hood with cocoa and coffee beans for over six years now. They even host espresso-tasting masterclasses so you can learn more about the origins of those delicious aromas.

Night Kitchen

Eat like you would in Tel Aviv at the newely-opened outpost of Night Kitchen on the Jan Pieter Heijestraat. That means with a large group of friends and a lively atmosphere. For the set price of 44 euros per person, your choice of delicious plates will be placed in front of you all evening. That means you can sit back and relax, keeping the conversation flowing over chinking glasses. What's on the menu? Think roasted celeriac with za'atar dressing and feta, roast lamb with tabbouleh and tzatziki or octopus with smoked spinach.

Paindemie

Corona crisis or not, Paindemie is here to stay. The deli that started as a pop-up during the pandemic serves toasted sandwiches, sandwiches and burgers, all made with pain de mie – brioche-like casino bread. In addition to a regular sandwich with ham and/or cheese, they also offer exciting options, such as a hot dog sandwich, sandwiches with black pudding and caramelized onions, and Dutch goat burgers. On the top floor, records are played, and cocktails, sake and natural wine are served.

Bar Centraal

Outside Bar Centraal wine bar
Image from Alex Cheuk

Natural wine lovers need too check out Bar Centraal on the bustling Ten Katemarkt. Its the cosy little sister restaurant to GlouGlou in De Pijp, showcasing wine made with absolutely no additives, just plain old grapes. In addition to the impressive wine list, the restaurant serves inventive small plates and snacks for lunch and dinner. And for those that just can’t part with their bottle, there's also a range of wines available for purchase.

Troost Oud-West

Brouwerij Troost brewery bar
Image from Labolleur

Experimental brewery Troost has a trio of locations across Amsterdam: the O.G. small-batch brewery housed in a spectacular former monastery in De Pijp, a cavernous space at the Westergasterrein (which is open for tours) and the cosy brew pup in Oud-West, considered to be the little sister of the three. This venue is too small for beer to be brewed on-site, but you can still enjoy freshly poured organic beers - pilsners, saisons, IPAs, tripels and you name it - from the tanks above the bar. Compliment your hop-infused palette with gourmet burgers, flammkuchen and stand-out pub grub and sample their home-distilled gins and jenever.

Five Brothers Fat

If words like serrano, padrón peppers, manchego, patatas bravas and calamari are music to your ears, then get yourself down to Five Brothers Fat, a bustling little tapas joint on De Clercqstraat. The thinking behind the restaurant was to bring the festivities and flavours of Barcelona’s Champañarias (cava bars) to Amsterdam, with a modern small-plate menu that also absorbs influences from Asia and Latin America. Prop up at the marble bar for cocktails, wine and dinner as you ogle the sizzling dishes tearing out of the beautiful open-plan kitchen.

Flo’s Appetizing

Flo's Appetizing flos bagel bakery
Image from Acronym Amsterdam

Anybody who has spent time in Montreal or New York will understand what a real bagel should be, i.e. nothing like those squidgy supermarket monstrosities you’ll find over here in Europe. Flo’s Appetizing on Jan Pieter Heijestraat is doing everything right: old-school recipes, new innovations, cream cheese, capers, salmon, BLTs and daily specials which normally involve some delicious smoked meats. You’ll always find a throng of North Americans in the line waiting to get a bite to go with a hot coffee and a wad of napkins. 

Staring at Jacob

Famed for its chicken and buttermilk waffles and dirty bloody mary pitchers, this cheerful breakfast joint is one of the founding fathers of American-style brunch in Amsterdam. The menu at Staring at Jacob is packed with options for carnivores and vegans alike including those who want a green bowl with a health-conscious twist and those ready to consume all manner of maple syrup-doused sins. The cafe has a cosy international vibe, fabulous cocktails and is perfect for groups.

Gertrude

At bar-restaurant Gertude, Chef Amadou Dia serves simple dishes with heart-warming seasonal flavors. The menu encompasses small bites like bread and olives with anchovies or charcuterie that pair perfectly with an aperitif, followed by small plates that are perfect for sharing - think miso-glazed aubergine, daily fish dishes, handmade ravioli or a rack of lamb. Follow this with a cheese plate courtesy of Fromagerie Kef, and you’ll really be experiencing the best of Amsterdam’s culinary scene. The chintzy antique decor and laid back vibe will make you feel right at home.  

Levain et le vin

Outside Levain et le Vin wine bar bread bakery
Image from Alex Cheuk

Levain et le vin is a sourdough bakery and natural wine shop where pastries and breads are baked fresh every day. Swing by for picnic essentials - a delicious bottle and a stand-out loaf - to make your venture into Vondelpark all the more luxurious, or simply stop in for a coffee and a small bite from the changing menu. Anyone who wants to get their dough on, should sign up for one of their baking workshops and courses. 

nNea Pizza

The prize-winning dough masters at nNea honour the authentic pizza heritage of Naples, constantly reinvent recipes with contemporary twists and top-notch seasonal ingredients. Don’t even think about asking the chef to substitute an ingredient; every fluffy crust is loaded up with meticulously well-balanced flavours and centuries of baking know-how behind it. Dishes are lovingly paired with bottles from the fertile vineyards of Campania, Italy’s oldest wine region.

De Foodhallen

Inside Kanarie Club at De Hallen Bellamyplein
Image from Koen Smilde

All housed in a converted tram depot that’s had something of a face-lift, De Hallen comprises not just a great range of artisanal shops but a hip industrial-chic hotel, and De Filmhallen, the largest independent cinema in the Netherlands. Lets not forget to mention the giant indoor food court, De Foodhallen, packed with dozens of pop-up eateries for dim sum, fried chicken, pho, tacos and pretty much everything else that’s ever been accredited tasty in between. This cultural complex also hides several lively spots like De Kanarie Club, a concept bar and workspace that’s perfect for those clocking-off work, early-evening drinks. 

Het Blauwe Theehuis

'T Blauwe Theehuis exterior and terrace
Image from Janneke Nooij

Parked slap bang in the middle of Vondelpark, Het Blauwe Theehuis is a striking modernist pavilion that resembles something like a giant teacup crossed with a spaceship. Surrounded by a large terrace, the café is popular with locals keen to catch the sun as they sip on a latte. Outdoor heaters make it a great spot in winter, DJs spin laidback music on Sundays, and in the summer it's the perfect spot to watch the passing throng. It’s also run by the Brouwerij ’t IJ Brewery, so there’s a fantastic selection of local beers to sample.

Mr Gyoza

Handmade dumplings and signature cocktails define this new spot on the Eerste Helmersstraat. Mr Gyoza puts a creative spin on the Japanese dumpling, including the beet juice-dyed pink gyoza filled with pulled chicken and homemade kimchi, and there’s fish and vegan options too. Expect cocktails with Asian twists, flames and smoke bubbles. All the action is at the bar, where chefs and the bartender interact with dumpling-loving guests.