Pick up a hot drink from De Koffie Salon West, then head into the leafy streets of the pretty Helmersbuurt neighbourhood for a tranquil afternoon stroll. Lunchroom Wilhemina offers a tasty spread of broodjes and fresh juices to go. The reuben sandwich (pastrami, grilled cheese and coleslaw or vegan) is out of this world. Over the canal, The Koos J.F. Arens Gardens is a serene spot to watch the world go by as you eat.Kinkerbuurt
Arguably Australians do coffee best and Aussie-owned café and roastery LOT 61 will sort you out with an expertly-poured caffeine fix. Head down to Flo's Appetizing on Jan Pieter Heijestraat for a fresh handmade bagel packed with salmon, bacon, smoked brisket or another decadent weekly special. You’ll need both hands and some spare napkins to eat one of these, so take your haul to Ten Kateplein where you’ll find many scenic spots soak up the bustling neighbourhood vibes.Da Costa Buurt
Begin your break at Kazik, a cute little cafe selling zapiekankas (traditional Polish sandwiches) alongside a selection of soups, vegan pastries and handmade gifts. Monk's Coffee Roasters is just up the road where you can take a trip around the world with beans from Brazil, Congo, Ethiopia, Guatemala or Peru. Find a quiet spot in the Bilderdijk Park or watch the locals playing pingpong at Da Costaplein.
Bos en LommerErasmus Park
If you’re serious about your coffee and you like it strong, superbly roasted and served with a cheery smile, Friedhats FUKU Café has got you covered. Grab a takeaway brew then head down to Terrasmus for a hot tosti (the gluten-free caramel shortcake is also brilliant). After a circuit around Erasmus Park, the benches by the Wil de Graaffbrug provide an ideal spot to watch the mountain of dogs enjoying afternoon playtime.Honorable mentions:
De BaarsjesJan van Evertsenstraat
Start at Nordic cafe Selma’s for a gorgeous flat white or fresh mint tea and definitely grab a cinnamon bun for later. Pop next door to Ela! - a Greek deli selling gyros pitas, salads and dips where you’ll surely find something delicious to fill you up. A short walk away, the square opposite the Jeruzalemkerk provides the perfect location to sit down and eat. As you munch on tzatziki, try to figure out the symbolism of the church’s whacky red brick architecture - an iconic example of the Amsterdam School style.Honorable mentions:
If you can’t handle another sandwich, Deli-caat has a changing menu of nutritious curries, bowls and salads. And for those who can’t get enough sandwiches, pop into Broodjes Dan for a cheap and simple fix and find a spot along the Admiralengracht boardwalk.Rembrandtpark
Coffee connoisseurs will do well at White Label Coffee and you can even pick up some fresh beans to have at home. Head down to Rembrandt Park for a bracing circuit around one of the city’s most beautiful parks then grab a slice of lasagne or apple pie with saffron from Huiskamer van Rembrandt to energise your route home. This walk is slightly longer than your average 30-minute break but you’ll be able to get half of your steps in for the day and return to your desk feeling fresh and invigorated.
South African barbeque joint Braai serves tasty lunch options including classic toasties and veggie wraps. Or why not go all in with a juicy burger for a mid-week treat? Head into Westerpark where you’ll find De Bakkerswinkel, a little hole in the wall, serving fresh coffees, teas and croissants. There are ample waterside spots in the park where you can watch the ducks ganging up on the swans.Centrale Markt
De Buurman is the place to get a tasty Egyptian falafel wrap packed with crispy salad and doused in mouth-watering home-made hummus. Around the corner you can pick up a piping hot drink and a slice of appeltaart from Back to Black West. There’s a cute little bench by the canal at Buyskade with views over to the historic Molen de Otter (Otter Windmill), which was built in 1631 we’ll have you know!Spaarndammerbuurt
Neighbourhood staple Bar Mick will sort you out with a ginger tea or Bocca coffee along with fresh pastries and hot tostis. Across the road, Cafe De Walvis remains open for take-away broodjes and gazpacho soup which you can round off with a slice of homemade cheesecake. From there, you’ll find some scenic canalside seating by the Haarlemmerpoort - the perfect place to watch commuters whizz by on their bikes.
Start at Şerifoğlu Café & Patisserie for a strong Turkish coffee and try not to spend too long staring at the rows of glistening baklavas. Then, head down to Hotel Buiten (open Wednesday to Sunday) for a take-away sandwich, soup or risotto that will surely add some much-needed flavour to the end of your week. Grab a bench at the Sloterplas Strand to watch the swans and dream of summers gone by.