Natura Artis Magistra — The Zoo — Part 2

Day Two — Zoo

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11:00 — Everyday should start with brunch. Especially when you’re on vacation. Vinnie’s was just the ticket for the start of day two.

There are multiple locations around town. The one we selected was full inside so we dined al fresco. It wasn’t our best idea as it was pretty chilly and windy. But a packed restaurant is a good sign. The breakfast was so good that it was worth the chills and we talked about the meal for the rest of our trip. They have great gluten-free options, including amazing bread and baked goods. Also, their bacon was by far the best of the trip.

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3:27 — We made it to Bar Lengendijk, next to the Windmill Brewery, to eat lunch and reflect on our zoo visit. Lunch was amazing. No gluten-free bread, but yet again, an amazing bunless burger with frites. Warning. I don’t risk much, but I do risk the shared frier for the occasional fry. Please double check before ordering! But, go here, if you go to the Windmill Brewery!

But more importantly, over lunch, we reflected on our zoo experience. We all walked away impressed. Every part of the zoo from the natural settings, impeccable design, and animal variety is well done. It might be a bit of a walk from the city center, the ticket price might seem hefty, but we felt it was worth all of it. Save at least two hours for a good visit, but definitely, go to the zoo!!!

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Clearly, I’m in awe.

4:34 — After lunch, we hopped over to the Windmill Brewery — Brouwerij ‘t IJ.  While they don’t offer gluten-free options on their menu, they kindly opened a bottle of wine for me and Helen. Cheers! The regular beer reviews from my travel companions were slightly underwhelming though. Warning: It’s a long walk out from the Centrum; definitely attach it with a visit to the zoo. Another reason to go: This place was recommended by AFAR as one of 13 Bars in Strange Places.

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5:45 — Finally made our first stop at In de Wildeman. Helen and I were excited by four, yes, FOUR, beer choices. She selected the Brewdog Vagabond Pale Ale, and I went with Mongozo Buckwheat. Both of us were incredibly happy. The rest of the group wasn’t disappointed either. They all tried a few they enjoyed, but their overall favorite was the Elvis Juice from Brewdog. We discovered this bar on our first trip after A. Bourdain recommended it to us  — he never lets us down 🙂 You must go to In de Wildeman!

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Enjoying every sip with my gluten-free partner in crime!

7:30 — We realized we were starving, and we quickly learned a lesson. We needed a restaurant that could seat six (which was often tricky there), had gluten-free options, and would be accepting of a group after a few afternoon drinks. This resulted in six hangry adults who needed to make too many decisions. And landed us at an Italian place again. This would be the last time we didn’t plan ahead a meal… In a city this big, with this many great restaurants, don’t go to Italian twice and plan ahead for gluten-free meals!

It was time for bed…

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Part 3: Our visit to see the tulips and gluten-free Dutch pancakes!

Disclaimer: I’m so lucky to have the travel pals that I do and some of these pictures may be theirs!

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