Top Wine Bars and Sweets to Eat in Amsterdam
Once arriving in 'Bicycle City', I mapped out the must-visit wine bars, along with where to go to gets my hands on the famous Dutch sweets. I find that the most enjoyable way to experience a culture is by indulging in their delicacies.. okay, so visiting historical sites is also beneficial, but that's for someone else to share because my plate is full of wine and desserts!
First Stop: Bubbles & Wines
My eyes immediately halted when I came across a bar named “Bubbles & Wines” and then Champagne thoughts came straight to my mind. (That kind of sounded like a rap lyric.. move over, Kanye). In that moment, it was clear I had to scope it out! This wine bar is located on a narrow, quaint street, which added to its charm. When walking through the doorway, the atmosphere had a modern, chill- out kind of feel making it an ideal spot for a date or cozy catch-up with friends. Their bubbles and wines offering did not disappoint with their list of over 50 wines by the glass. I suggest leaving room to nibble on their Gourmet Bites to give your taste buds quite the experience!
Second Stop: Albert Cuyp Market
Besides being the largest day market in Europe, you’ll also want to make your way down to Albert Cuyp Market to experience Netherland's most scrumptious treats. Quick tip: I highly recommend you heading out the door with an empty stomach to ensure you can fill it with these sweet treats.
There's plenty to see as you stroll along the over 200 stands, but what's worth a stop in your tracks is the aroma of the carmel filled Stroopwafels. Upon first sniff, I abruptly stopped my husband from taking one more step so that I could get my hands on one! We were at the Echte Hollandsche Stroopwafels ('Real Dutch Homemade Stroopwafels') stand, which lived up to its name. However, I should note that there's also 'The Original Stroopwafel' stand a bit further along so the choice is yours.. Real vs Original. As for my Stroopwafel experience, I wasn't expecting it to be the size of my head, but after I finished, there wasn't even the tiniest crumb left!
From that stand, we ventured over to The Dutch Cookieman to get my personal Dutch favorite, Oliebollen. These fried dough balls covered in powered sugar, aka The Dutch Donut, may make a mess, but it's worth the clean up.. trust me. While I have your trust, it's my duty to inform you that these are seasonal, around Christmas and New Years, so plan accordingly. *insert fist pump here*.
Poffertjes ("Little Dutch Pancakes") was the final sweet stand before I rolled back to the hotel. Warning: be patient because there will likely be a wait as the Dutch lady pours the batter and bakes these yummies in real time. If you are feeling dangerous like us, you can opt to have Nutella draped on top of these puffy pancakes (Go big or go home, right?!).
Third Stop: Wester Wijnfabriek
Fail. Originally, I had the Wester Wijnfabriek on my list of wine bar must-visits, but when we arrived there was a sign saying it was closed for a private event.. *gasp!*. However, I still mention it because it was highly recommended by my Dutch friend, and when we popped our heads in to have a quick peek, it had the ideal rustic atmosphere that us wine lovers crave. (Photo of the outside listed below). We didn't let this unfortunate happening stop us from finding a nearby spot to enjoy a glass of wine before venturing to our next wine destination.
So, with just a two minute walk, we were relieved to find ourselves at Bar Kantoor. While it's not designated as a wine bar, they had plenty of wines to choose from so we happily sat down and enjoyed a glass of sparkling to lift our spirits. While sitting there and admiring the cool decor, I noticed the fish tank across the bar, so naturally, I brought my glass and camera along to check it out. This lemons into lemonade moment made for a great photo op so cheers to that!
Last Stop: Shiraz
Being this was just a two day trip to Amsterdam, our time was limited so I kept this list short and sweet (literally). That being said, we had enough time for one more wine bar so the pressure was on to choose wisely. Apparently, I did just that because when entering Shiraz, it was packed with wine lovers. Wine bottles lined the walls, dim lighting hung from above and candle-lit tables cozily filled the space making for the perfect spot to warm up on cold winter night. We, luckily, were able to grab the last two open seats at the bar and make our way through the wine list.. Proost (Cheers in Dutch)!