Stuff your face: Amsterdam

Within Europe, Paris receives a lot of attention for her culinary accomplishments. But when it comes to food tourism, Amsterdam is bringing its A-game. And for those on the hunt for (relatively) healthy local food options? Forget it! Amsterdam wins Paris hands down. We recently spent 48 hours in the city of canals. Here are some places that stood out.

  Toki Having opened its doors in August of this year, Toki has quickly established itself as a cool local eatery that knows its way around a coffee bean. The owner is Jeff Fink, an ex-adman who started work on the project five years ago. The idea came organically after realizing that whenever he travelled, he instinctively sought out welcoming places to drink, eat or relax, so why not create the same sought-out space in his home city? This is definitely a beautiful space: white and blue are the dominant colours, while marble topped tables—reminiscent of Paris’s Café Kitsuné—make for great Instagram photos. The beans are courtesy of Berlin’s Bonanza Coffee and the cakes come from local bakery Petit Gateau.

Binnen Dommersstraat 15 1013 Amsterdam Opening times: Monday - Thursday (7:30am - 7pm), Friday (7:30am - 8pm), Weekends (9am - 6pm)


  Scandinavian Embassy A huge reason why we loved Scandinavian Embassy was the combination of low key vibe and killer coffee. Located in the hip De Pijp neighbourhood, the owners are Rikard Andersson (food) and Nicolas Castagnol (coffee). The menu changes with the seasons, but the beautiful wooden surfaces and minimalistic Scandinavian design remain the same. The perfect spot for fika time. The only challenge? Choosing between the cinnamon buns and yummy cakes on offer. No trip to Amsterdam is complete without a visit to SE.

Sarphatipark 34, 1072 Amsterdam Opening times: Monday - Friday (7:30am - 7pm), Weekends (10am - 5pm)


  CT Coffee & Coconuts This gorgeous space was formerly a cinema, Ceintuur Theater, but since November 2014 it has been open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. The main idea? To create a space where quality food and cocktail makers can find an audience of discerning clients who are passionate about good food and drink. With daytime options like buckwheat porridge, coconut pancakes, fresh juice, and salads, this is a great spot if you fancy something healthy or gluten-free. If you’re heading to C&C after work, you can share a cheese board or munch on a grass-fed beef burger whilst drinking beer from local Dutch brewery, Oedipus. Or opt for a glass of adult grape juice from their diverse wine list.

Ceintuurbaan 282-284, 1072 Amsterdam Opening times: Monday - Friday (7am - 11pm), Weekends (8am - 11pm)


  George W.P.A.

What do you call a New York style brasserie serving French style food in the heart of Amsterdam? Café George. It’s style and substance all under one roof. Breakfast is served all day so you can have French toast and eggs benedict whenever you want, but pizzas, succulent oysters, or barbecue meat are on standby for those who prefer more typical lunch and dinner fare. Service is unhurried, so make sure you go here when you have some time to kill, and enjoy the photogenic marble surfaces and white decor.

Willemsparkweg 70 1071 Amsterdam Opening times: Monday - Sunday (11am - 11pm)


  Petit Gâteau We were delighted to stumble upon this cute French bakery, and even got to have a chat with one of the owners. All of their beautiful creations (éclairs, cakes, macarons, and madeleines) are prepared in-house, in full view of the customers. They can also make bigger versions of their cakes for special orders and private events. Go and enjoy a French style breakfast in their tea-room: all you have to do is decide which Gallic delicacy you’ll go for. It’s a tough life, we know.

Haarlemmerstraat 80 1013 Amsterdam Opening times: Monday - Sunday (10am - 6pm)


  The Cold Pressed Juicery The Cold Pressed Juicery wants to offer you access to healthy and nutritional food on the go. Their ingredients are organic and locally sourced, and they reuse leftover pulp (a by-product from making their juices) to put in their crackers. All juices come in two different sizes, meaning that you can enjoy them even if you’re watching your budget. Try The Reset (orange, grapefruit, cucumber, lemon, ginger, cayenne) or The Iron Man (carrot, beetroot, turmeric, lemon). If you've been overdoing it on the food tourism, why not check out their 1 day juice cleanse? It’s a quick and healthy way to get back on your A-game.

Willemsparkweg 8H 1071 Amsterdam Opening times: Monday - Friday (7:30am - 7pm), Weekends (9am - 6pm)


Louise Binns is a freelance writer who left her native U.K. for Paris in 2009. When not at her desk working on social media strategy you will find her eating and drinking her way around France, planning her next trip abroad or curled up with a good book. If you'd like to say hello, you can visit her blog - Lou in Paris - or see her Paris recommendations on Instagram.

Ineke Litjens is a freelance photographer based in the southern Netherlands. She is passionate about traveling, and wildlife and travel photography, often attempting to capture all the sights she encounters—be they historical sites, funky interiors, wild animals, or the food she gets to enjoy en route. Her favourite destinations include Tanzania, South Africa, New York, Paris (her one-time home), France, Cambodia, Argentina, New Zealand and, of course, the Netherlands. You can find more of her snapshots on Instagram.