eat-a-city, Uncategorized


I could literally talk about Amsterdam forever…and since it’s part of the eat-a-city series, I’m going to! When I originally thought of this series, my idea was more “city in a grocery bag.” But since a lot of the places I’ve travelled to were very short visits, I decided to do more of a food diary…though A’dam is kind of an exception considering I lived, grocery shopped and cooked there.

This blog post is a love letter of sorts to Albert Heijn, the most perfect grocery store in all the world. One of the best parts of living in Amsterdam was the incredibly cheap groceries–they were cheap by American suburban standards, and prices were drastically lower compared to Gristedes/Morton Williams/Fine Fare/every subpar supermarket in NYC. I’m talking loaves of bread for 65 cents, Dutch cheese for a dollar, and insanely delicious salads for $4…granted, the groceries were priced in euros, but the conversion rate was very close to 1:1 when I was there.


One of my favorite products at AH was the guacamole kits they had in their produce section–it cost just under $3 for two avocados, a lime, a tomato, a chili pepper, garlic, and shallots, a.k.a. everything you need to make your own guac. For perspective, I paid $2.29 for a single avocado at the Tribeca Whole Foods yesterday.

Two very typical Dutch treats that I came to love were stroopwafels and hagelslag. Stroopwafels are wafer-thin waffle cookies sandwiched with a sticky, caramel-like syrup. You could buy a package of 12 for around $1 at the store, but lots of street vendors sell homemade ones the size of your face, hot off the griddle. Hagelslag are like quality chocolate sprinkles–sprinkled on buttered bread is a standard breakfast item in this beautiful country.


One of my favorite things to eat in Amsterdam was a veggie burger from a little restaurant called Burgerlijk. Wandering around in a hungry daze, I stumbled upon this gem when my friends were visiting over their spring break. I can be particular about veggie burgers…and I’m not sure what this one was made of, but it was incredible. Like, I think about it way too much. The whole thing is super customizable–lots of different cheeses, toppings, and sauces, and their fries are also incredible. I took my meat-eating parents here when they came to visit, and they were impressed with the regular beef burgers.


I also went to another incredible restaurant when my folks were in town (read: free dinner) called De Vergulden Eenhorn. It’s on the outskirts of the city in a restored farmhouse–honestly as “me” as it gets–and they have just a handful of items on their menu, all of which are exceptional. I always think it’s better for a restaurant to have four entrees that they do really well, rather than ten that are just ok. We went twice because it was so damn good, and I had cauliflower soup, barley risotto, and sea bass. The restaurant makes their own bread, aioli, and hummus, which were also delicious.

found my favorite restaurant. #amsterdam #succulents #local #farmtotable

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What are your favorite Amsterdam eats?


three days later//three things discovered

I arrived in Amsterdam three days ago, though jet lag has blurred all of them into a single never-ending group orientation. I am studying at the University of Amsterdam through a program called CIEE, along with a 86 other American students. We stayed at a hostel on the city’s outskirts for the first two nights, and moved into our dormitories today. I use the term “dormitory” loosely because it is nothing like the dorms of my American college experience (an enormous bedroom, non-uptight RAs, no security, and most importantly, an incredible view).


Anyway, I wanted to share three things I have noticed since my arrival in Amsterdam.

1. Environmental responsibility. Bicycle is the most popular form of transportation, and I am hoping to purchase my own bike in the next week or two. Public transport is also readily available, and many people have cars, but the number of people riding bikes at all hours of the day is incredible. Amazingly, Amsterdam is one of the cleanest cities I have ever visited. Unlike the garbage-lined streets of my beloved New York, Amsterdam is comparatively spotless. Additionally, plastic is not as popular as in the U.S. At the supermarket, you have to request a plastic bag, and it is preferred that you bring your own reusable shopping tote. If you do take a plastic bag, you’re expected to continue reusing it each time you go grocery shopping. For packaging, glass is much more widely used than plastic. I’m especially excited to save all of my glass bottles to use as flower vases around my apartment.

FullSizeRender-3 2. Frequency of hostile resting face (aka “bitch face,” a trait from which I suffer). The Dutch keep to themselves; they are uninterested in large tour groups, stare angrily at you if you walk in the bike lane, and are unenthusiastic small talkers. I enjoy this aspect of life in Amsterdam because at times, I do prefer to do things by myself, whether it’s grocery shopping or visiting a museum. I like the sense of independence that is prevalent in this city.


*resting bitch face not present in this photo

3. Hagelslag. So far, this is the only Dutch word I have learned. Hagelslag are chocolate sprinkles, and look very similar to the tasteless American sprinkles (or “jimmies” to New Englanders like myself), but are a hundred times more delicious. A popular Dutch breakfast is bread and butter, topped with hagelslag. We had dinner on a pancake boat, and ate pancakes topped with hagelslag. I had pudding for dessert last night, and there was hagelslag sprinkled on top. What a wonderful place.

photo by Robyn Lee

photo by Robyn Lee