"Amsterdam may be small in size, but its presence cannot be denied; the city is powerful, an explosion of sorts. Just walking the street you're bombarded by the ringing of bicycle bells, the overflowing buckets of bright flowers, the rich scent of freshly ground coffee or the sweet smell of traditional Dutch apple pie... Amsterdam is rich." And I can think of no better local to show us around Amsterdam, Margot van der Krogt @maeandmany is the founder of the amazing project, The Makers Amsterdam. "I take photographs of the city’s makers, interview them about their passions and hope to inspire others. I'm also the host of the Amsterdam chapter of CreativeMornings @amsterdam_cm, a breakfast lecture series for creative types." On top of all of that, Margot's feed is about as lovely as they come.
Good morning! @maeandmany here and I’m looking forward to sharing my beloved city with you this week. First up is the Brouwersgracht, an oasis of calm nestled between the city's famous canal belt. Just a few minutes walk from Amsterdam Central Station, this canal is the perfect place for a summer picnic. Pick up some delicious picnic goods along the shopping street Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk, where you’ll find local food chain @marqt.amsterdam, specialty goods store @stach_food, healthy foods and delicious coffee @vinnies_amsterdam, and Petit Gateau for a little something sweet.
Amsterdam’s maker culture really is something else. From coffee roasters to illustrators, woodworkers to florists, granola bakers to bicycle tinkerers, the makers have incredible stories that serve as inspiration for all. Take Kamiel and Martijn Blom (@blomandblom), two brothers who share a passion for forgotten items from forgotten places. They collect, restore and redesign industrial lighting and furniture to give them a new life. Their beautiful showroom and workspace can be found in the north of Amsterdam, just a short ferry and bicycle ride from Amsterdam Central Station.
(at Blom & Blom)
Amsterdam's small but vibrant specialty coffee scene has grown significantly in the past few years. One of my favorites is Scandinavian Embassy (@scandinavianembassy), a beautiful and simplistic coffee bar and brunch spot in De Pijp. I can recommend their flat whites, cinnamon rolls and poached eggs on rye bread!
A few other favorite coffee places:
(at Scandinavian Embassy)
Originally founded in 1638 as a herb garden for the city’s doctors and pharmacists, the Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam (@hortusamsterdam) is one of the world's oldest botanical gardens (and most beautiful too!) The desert greenhouse is my favorite, especially in the cold winter months. The gardens are a lovely, peaceful refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city.
You'll find Amsterdam-based deli concept @stach_food scattered throughout the city; this one's nestled between galleries and antique shops on the Nieuwe Spiegelstraat near Museumplein. If you're up for a typical Dutch lunch, grab a sandwich to go; my favorite (and not so Dutch) is the carpaccio with truffle mayo! Also love the elderflower cordial from Belvior Fruit Farms for summer cocktails and local Brouwerij 't IJ beers. And there's plenty of salads, snacks and sweets for all to enjoy.
Hello, summer heat! Makes me think of this cactus display @gekaaptamsterdam, a pop-up concept store on the Bilderdijkstraat in Amsterdam West. The shop is packed with products by 16 independent brands, like Dutch clothing brands @studiojux and @geitenwollenshirts, handbags @omybagamsterdam, and homewares @janenjacob and @doinggoods. Don't miss these other gems in the area: plant store and café @wildernisamsterdam, coffee bars @berryamsterdam and @lotsixtyonecoffee, brunch spot @thebreakfastclub, and concept store @localgoodsstore at De Hallen.
Based on an old Dutch recipe, Amsterdam-based ice cream chain IJScuypje serves scoops of Dutch ice cream in unique flavors like Yogurt and the famous Speculoos. Oh, and their sorbert flavors aren't bad either. Don't be surprised if you have to wait in line on a warm summer evening.
A real hidden gem: the Vuurtoreneiland (literally, Lighthouse Island). You can have dinner on this protected island during the summer months at a restaurant that preserves the island's unique characteristics: small scale and of the highest quality. Here, you'll "eat in and from nature." Really an incredible experience.
Escape the summer heat (and the crowds!) with a walk through the @rijksmuseum gardens, complete with fountains, lounge chairs and a sculpture exhibition of Spanish artist Joan Miró (on display until October 11th). The gardens are free to the public from 9am to 6pm. And of course, after its extensive 10-year restoration, Amsterdam's national museum of art and history is worth a visit too.
Every Saturday morning, stands pop up on the Noordermarkt near Amsterdam Central Station. The square turns into an organic farmer's market, boasting fresh, tasty and healthy produce like natural cheeses, biological eggs, fresh fish, bread, honey, herbs, spices, nuts, mushrooms, fruits, flowers and more. A delight for all. And if you're still hungry after visiting the market, stop by Cafe Winkel on the corner of the Noordermarkt for a slice of Amsterdam's best apple pie. Ask for a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy!
From a stand at London's Maltby Street Market to an Amsterdam bicycle delivery service, Sir Hummus (@sirhummus) founders Guy and Dori Wozes and Lior Benador perfected their hummus recipe along the way. For more than a year now, they've been making batches of fresh hummus (and selling out almost daily!) in their permanent residence in Amsterdam's neighborhood de Pijp. Head over for a bite of the most delicious hummus you've ever tasted! Other favorites in the area: coffee at @scandinavianembassy, healthy salads and juices @ilovesla and coconut pancakes @coffeecoconuts.
(at Sir Hummus)
One of my favorite shops in the center of Amsterdam is @renahearhear, owned by a good friend of mine, Rena Noordermeer. Her tiny two-story shop is packed with handmade ceramics and weavings, jewelry and wall hangings. But you'll also find local and international products including @hyshil and @oakandfir_photography prints, @bagguand @herschelsupply bags, @redcapcards, @snug homewares and much more - the perfect gifts for friends and family. Oh and don't miss one of Amsterdam's most famous bakeries, Lanskroon, right next door!
(at Hear Hear)
Cookie-cutter houses on the Damrak in the Center of Amsterdam - that's a wrap! Hope you enjoyed this tour of several of my favorite places in Amsterdam and that I've inspired you to come visit. For more, follow along @maeandmany. Thanks @withthelocals for having me!