Dating from 1937 and designed by brothers HAJ Baanders and J Baanders, the 'Blue Tea House' is a glorious example of functionalist architecture. Resembling a flying saucer – which looks like it has carefully negotiated the trees to land in the middle of the Vondelpark – this café somehow feels like one of the city's best-kept secrets, even though people flock to the terraces here in droves when the sun is shining. Simple sandwiches and soup are served for lunch, while heartier fare such as lasagne and curry find their way onto the tiny dinner menu. Cakes, apple tart and other snacks are usually available most of the day.
Mention of this delightful establishment is enough to make mouths water, thanks to its repertoire of incredible baked goods. Fresh scones (served with clotted cream), wonderful pain au chocolat, and big, crusty loaves of bread tempt with their aromas alone, as do fragrant coffees and teas. Other options throughout the day include quiche, soups, tarts, light sandwiches, breakfast fare, salads and the like. Service is attentive and helpful, and everything you order is certain to be fresh and well-prepared. Additional locations can be found at Roelofhartstraat 68 (+31 20 662 3594) and on the grounds of the Westergasfabriek at Regulateurshuis 1 (+31 20 688 0632).
This deli itself isn't much to look at, and it seats only a handful of diners, but the pleasure of the authentic Greek cuisine more than compensates for the lackluster decor. Besides, most folks do take-out anyway, and the place is well-equipped for to-go orders. The range of Greek specialties is familiar, from spanakopita and dolmades to moussaka and souvlaki. The quality of ingredients and preparation, however, far surpass what can usually be found. Take advantage of the kitchen's skill, and make sure not to forget the baklava!
If your idea of breakfast demands a little something sweet (in the European tradition), you'd do well to visit this quaint patisserie. Within its walls, you'll discover a wealth of treats, including cakes, tortes, turnovers, croissants and even ice cream. All of the goods are homemade, and they frequently feature a few things you didn't even know you'd find so tempting. Great for a morning pick-me-up or anytime during the day.
You will find many appetizing goodies at Goodies. Whether you stop by for lunch or dinner, one look at the menu will make your mouth water. Goodies serves a variety of delicious, cost effective dishes. Plus, all the ingredients are fresh and organic. The lunch menu features sandwiches and bagels, such as the BLT sandwich variations or the grilled mushroom, pepper, eggplant, zucchini and hummus sandwich. The dinner menu boasts tapas dishes, perfect for sharing, as well as pasta and salads. The seafood ravioli with shrimp bisque and rucola for 14.25 EUR and the rigatoni with mushroom sauce, wild spinach and garlic for 14.75 EUR are just two of the choices. For the non-meat eater, there are several vegetarian options available. If you still have room at the end, order a slice of homemade cake. Looking to quench your thirst? Sit on the terrace and order a fruit shake.
Latei is truly a one-of-a-kind place where customers can have lunch and shop at the same time. Everything (well, everything with a price tag that is) is for sale: furniture, wallpaper, lighting fixtures, olive oil, etc. The café definitely boasts a unique collection of quirky items. If you have come for the lunch part, though, you'll find fresh, biological food, as the menu changes seasonly, and great coffee. Options include soups and sandwiches. You can always just order a slice of homemade apple pie. The place is small, so you may have to wait for a seat. However, you can always share a table with someone. Latei and its funky atmosphere promise a memorable experience.
Recommended for Cafés because: Latei is certainly a café full of character. Almost everything is for sale, and the food is biological.
Local Expert tip: Meet someone new. Offer to share a table.
A favorite of tourists and a fun, all-around restaurant, Pancake Bakery occupies a canal house that once belonged to the Dutch East India Company. Today, the cozy place pulls in droves of folks, who tackle generous offerings of sweet and savory pancake dishes. Depending on your taste, you can sample selections with ham-and-cheese, Indonesian chicken, fruit, ice cream, and honey or syrup. Order several and let your group try them all; you'll likely find it hard to finish one by yourself. Outdoor dining and a kid-friendly atmosphere increase the appeal.
Once a city gate, this now-restaurant is an awesome mix of 15th-century architecture and 21st-century adaptation. The interior maintains a medieval charm, complete with enormous, candle-studded chandeliers; outside, terrace tables invite folks to while away sunny afternoons on the Nieuwmarkt square. Along with sandwiches and salads, the menu offers grilled spring chicken, pan-fried Norwegian salmon, grilled beef tournedos, a variety of pastas and risottos, and a children's menu. High Tea is also served between 2pm and 4:30pm (reserve at least two days ahead). Ideal for people-watching and experiencing city history.
Café de Jaren, located near Muntplein, is perfect for any occasion, any time of day. Start your morning on Café de Jaren's beautiful terrace overlooking the Amstel River and sip on a cup of coffee or read the newspaper. Stop by later in the day for lunch, high tea or dinner, and you'll find Café de Jaren offers a variety of quality dishes with many options for vegetarians. The fresh salad buffet is extremely popular. The bright and spacious restaurant overlooking the water has many seats, some tucked away with more privacy, and gives you the chance to unwind and enjoy.
Local Expert tip: Cafe de Jaren has both a beautiful terrace and balcony that overlooks the Amstel River