9x surprising streets in Amsterdam

Unexpected treasure troves of shops, cafés and restaurants

In ‘The Dam’ for a day? Then skip the busy centre and explore these 9 fun streets with their surprising abundance of shops, cafés and restaurants.

In ‘The Dam’ for a day? Then skip the busy centre and explore these 9 fun streets with their surprising abundance of shops, cafés and restaurants.

#1. Gerard Doustraat

With all its boutiques, the quirky Gerard Doustraat feels like a London shopping street. But did you know that in the 17th century this street was surrounded by a ditch and sawmills? Now everyone comes here to shop. At Lois (74) women score the best jeans (also in small sizes), at Living-in By Romy (72) you can buy cool pieces for your home. For sustainable clothing (such as great glitter socks) and creams you’re in the right place at Verse (84). Men will approve of the streetwear by Baskèts (96) and kids will have fun at the Kinderfeestwinkel (65) and the Kleine Parade (142), a children’s shop, café and hairdresser all in one. Are you more into food? Then treat yourself to a delicious Spanish paella from Pacomer (66). From the window next door, you can peek into the kitchen!

#2. Czaar Peterstraat

The Czaar Peterbuurt used to be known as dangerous and run-down, nowadays it’s quaint and charming and you can wander around the out-of-the-ordinary shops in peace. At Bord aan Tafel (139D), you’ll find plates with beautiful designs. Cravings? How about peanut butter with caramel and sea salt, chili pepper and lemongrass or date and cinnamon? The choice at the Peanut Butter Shop (169) is huge. Luckily, you can try all the flavours! In between or afterwards, head to Spirit (2A) for deliciously fresh vegetarian food. The back of the shop is a restaurant and the perfect place to enjoy a cup of tea, especially with the pecan-caramel cake. My favourite,... HEAVENLY!

#3. Jan Evertsenstraat

From gift shops to cafés: these hidden gems in Amsterdam-West are great places to linger. You feel happy as soon as you enter LYKKE (81) – the Danish word for happiness – if only because of the atmospheric decor with rattan chairs and art. Then there are all those things that make you smile, such as T-shirts with the Dutch slogan ‘het leven is hartstikke leuk joh’ (life is great fun dude), smiley-face pillboxes, sweet notes and funny cards. At the end of the afternoon, you can go for a drink at Bar Baarsch (91), where in summer you can relax on a colourful bench on the terrace. In winter, enjoy a fresh, warming tea from T's Teabar (89). No time? Take a pack of ginger lemon or rose jasmine tea with you to enjoy later.

#4. Bilderdijkstraat

“On Saturdays it’s like a museum here.” So says a staff member describing the shop Het Beeldstory (80), and weekdays are much the same. With a rich collection of comic books, Tintin figures, posters and T-shirts, the store is a haven for comic book fans. Another unique place to discover on the Bilderdijkstraat is COLORS (184). It stocks candles in all the colours of the rainbow, made by volunteers in the nearby workshop. Make time for a stop at the trendy neighbourhood café Karavaan (Kwakersplein 2). On the same square, adjoining the Bilderdijkstraat, is the beautiful statue De Ratelaar, an ode to rubbish collectors. There are good fashion stores here, especially for men. Source trendy sneakers, sweaters and T-shirts at the shop of Scandinavian brand ØLÅF (112-114) or Daily Paper (131). Need a proper men’s suit? Head for Pakkend (5). Vintage enthusiasts can buy exclusive brands at Trekkemaan (165-D) at reasonable prices.

#5. Kinkerstraat

The slightly narrower and always lively Kinkerstraat is a side street of the Bilderdijkstraat. Cosmopolitan locals come together for the daily shop and sip a coffee at Coffee Room (110) or the Koffiesalon (Ten Katestraat, 42). Here and there on this street, you can savour the delicious aroma of Turkish bread, chicken and spices (the Volkskruidentuin at 142-B is a must-visit). Clothes racks line the street and the shop windows beckon you inside at We Are Vintage (193). Some addresses are worth a visit for the interior alone. My favourite is the dome in Hoogstins bookshop (117), with its blue sky and black-and-white photos of the former neighbourhood on the side. The Gekaapt concept store (316) has a great atmosphere thanks partly to the many plants and the flower decorations on the ceiling – you’ll find it a breath of fresh air. The sister-store next door is specially for the kids. And with the Ten Katemarkt and a large, covered food hall around the corner, you’re sure to find something to your taste.

#6. Javastraat

The Javastraat in the heart of Amsterdam-East is a place you keep coming back to, to discover new hotspots and sample the lively multicultural atmosphere. Highly recommended is the cosy Java Bookshop (145). The friendly owners Sanne, Sharon and Lisa are happy to help you find a book that’s a perfect fit. Bar Basquiat (88-90) and the Walter Woodbury Bar (42) are popular spots for a drink with the locals. After shopping, there are great restaurants to choose from – perhaps you’ll go for seafood bar Fyrre (40) or Italian pizza at La Fucina (99)? Prefer to be more involved with your food? Then head to the Couscous Bar (30) – where you can choose your toppings yourself and reflect on this fun street with its global flavours.

#7. Eerste Van der Helststraat

If the weather is good, first walk to the beautiful Sarphatipark, then head for this little street where you immediately experience the atmosphere of the Albert Cuyp market. From the corner of your eye you can already see the beautiful stalls piled with oranges and fish. Satisfy your appetite with typical French delicacies from My Little Patisserie (63). You don’t want to miss the eclair. Wasserette (27) is the place not for laundry, as the name suggests, but to enjoy a hearty and delicious breakfast or lunch. Try the French toast, eggs benedict or homemade shrimp croquettes. But beware: you may have to wait a while! For shopping, the cute concept store Cottoncake (76) and specialist knife store Firma Moes (67) are highlights. On the extension of the Eerste Van der Helststraat you’ll find a cosy Scandinavian coffee and tea place: Scandinavian Embassy (Sarphatipark 34). It’s known for its flower tea. Striking detail: on almost every street corner in the area you can see a plaque explaining who the street is named after.

#8. De Clercqstraat

De Clercqstraat is the place to be for lively cafés, restaurants and colourful shops! Want something unique to wear? The clothes at T.I.T.S. (This Is The Shit) (78) are a feast for the eyes (and body). In this long street you’ll find greenery in the broadest sense of the word. For plants from large to small, CuKi (62) has it all, and at Flowers & Powers (24) you can admire unusual flowers with feathers. But there’s more… When you pass the door, you immediately smell the heavenly scent of Vegabond (48), which makes you dive in immediately for fantastic vegetarian food. In between, take a look at the beautiful houses on Da Costakade and warm up at the CoffeeRoastery (27), where you can also work. Fancy doing something else? It’s wonderful to spend your day off at Hendrix (82), which is named after guitar icon Jimi. And at the friendly games café Spelletjescafé 2 Klaveren (136) you can spend a whole afternoon or evening playing board games.

#9. Jan Pieter Heijestraat

Fancy a stroll? Then head for the Jan Pieter Heijestraat. There are boutiques everywhere. Clothing store Johnny at the Spot (94) has something for everyone and OBJET (100) is the place to go for modern women’s fashion and gifts. A zebra statue, lots of gold and walls with bright colours and dots: that’s Dolores Del Dia Vintage (91). It looks like a gallery, there’s so much to admire. Café Cómodo (110) always hits the spot: during the day with its toasted sandwiches, in the evening with its drinks. Holy Ravioli (88) has 15 types of ravioli, which you can eat in or take away. It’s hard to choose… But we can tell you that the one with minced veal, sage, red onion and anchovy butter is worth a try!

Rosa Lee Szarzynski

Written by: Rosa Lee Szarzynski

Rosa Lee Szarzynski is dol op cultuur. Jarenlang vormde haar website Cultypleasure haar lust en haar leven. Een blog vol cultuur, van de tofste exposities tot interviews met jong talent. Het enthousiasme spat van de artikelen af, waardoor je zin krijgt om ze te lezen! Tegenwoordig zet ze haar speurneus op het gebied van culturele activiteiten in voor nsfavourites. Volg Rosa Lee haar account @expojunkie op Instagram voor leuke exclusieve tips. Geen expositie gaat meer aan je voorbij.

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