Explore, Amsterdam. — Part 4

Day Four — City Day

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We decided to get brunch somewhere close and not walk as much after three intense days of walking. We found a great spot to eat but made a few mistakes.

  1. A 40 minute walk is NOT close.
  2. It is NOT a good idea when you’re all starving.
  3. Have a reservation if you go to Bakers and Roasters because it’s awesome and will be packed.

In the end, we did walk a ton more than planned this day but had a blast.

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Briefly,

  • Bunch at Bakers and Roasters. — MUST.
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    Brunch was a party here. Balloons everywhere.

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    Spinach Florentine on Gluten-Free Bread
  • Found the outside of the Heineken Experience. There was a line and it cost a bunch of money. No gluten-free options. — DON’T.
  • Took pictures by the Rijkmuseum. — DON’T just take pictures. Plan ahead and schedule a ticket to see the inside while you’re there.IMG_3094
  • Toured the House of Bols — SKIP. Whatever you read about this being great is false. Very odd and unimpressive, but at least you get a cocktail.IMG_3116
  • Foodhallen. — GO! A foodie and gluten-free MUST. That pretzel hotdog bun was gf.
  • Thankfully, we stumbled on TRIPEL to avoid rain and found the best (coziest) place of the trip. — MUST. That gluten free beer topped the charts.IMG_0587IMG_3154


Day Five — Let there be REST.

This day we refused to set alarms and would not go anywhere over 1000 meters.

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12:16 — We grabbed breakfast to go from Beans and Bagels and ate it on our roof top. I highly recommend this. I’m not sure about their cross contamination as the location was small, but both Helen and I were fine. They freshly bake a gluten-free bagel each time you come in, and the extra wait (10 minutes) is worth it.  This chain is everywhere and won high marks from everyone in our group. I had the lox and chive cream cheese bagel. YUM!

1:14 — Walked to the canal behind us to find a small bit of sun and have a beer. Proflookal Arendsnes had one gluten-free beer by Bavaria though said they were out of their second by Jopen. After the options at Tripel and Wildeman, the Bavaria did not compare. The bar was neat though and there was an extensive list of other beers.

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2:26 — Staying close, we walked the canals near the Jordaan and stumbled on a bar named Cafe Het Papeneiland. It was a corner, canal spot with almost floor to ceiling paned glass windows filling the bar with light. All the other walls and the ceiling were covered in dark old wood which was smattered with old antiques and Dutch blue and white ceramics.  We sat down on a bench covered in warm plaid blankets by a wood burning stove. We didn’t want to leave, so there were two rounds, but were floored by the large tab. I’d go here, but only for one.

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3:39 — Walked barely a block, when we found ourselves on a lovely church courtyard. Did I mention I love what you find when you wander?! We sat down to eat O’Noordwest. We all ordered open-faced sandwiches. Without any planning, we found a place with gluten-free bread! The food was great, but the bread was out of this world. We were lucky enough to learn that the bakery that MAKES it was around the corner. After lunch, Helen grabbed a loaf from the bakery called Delicious Food Health Store.

6:19 — Stopped for a drink behind the ever impressive bar at the Dante. On the way there, we toured The Dylan, an amazing boutique hotel, bar, and Michelin star restaurant. Go for a drink by the warm fire or in the sunny courtyard, but better yet just walk the beautiful grounds and be aware of the large drink prices before ordering.

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7:00 — Indonesian Food at Kantjil & de Tijger — recommended by Alfred and Bourdain. And it was just as good as everyone said it would be. Not extensive-gluten free options, but I ended the night well fed and happy.  The meal was very affordable as well!

8:15 — Post-dinner drinks at a Ketel 1 Genever pop-up cocktail bar. It was awesome and located in a restaurant across from dinner.  It was old and dark. My favorite on cold days. If there is any chance it is still there, go!

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Day Six — Last Day

11:00 — Started gloomy and cold. We had brunch at Gs. They have two locations and a brunch boat. The brunch boat was a fixed rate at $40, and we didn’t want to lock into a price so we went to the small but unique Jordaan location. Make a reservation since it’s small! Decent gluten-free options. But no gluten-free bread and eggs benny is not the same on spinach 😦

1:00 — Most of the group retreated for naps while Kyle and I visited the Royal Palace. Do this for sure! Kyle and I are not art museum folks. We have tried! But we love learning the history of an area. We thought this visit was great.

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4:30 — Met the group again for one last boat tour. It was gorgeous and the sun peeked out for us. It was a perfect last moment, but a sad reminder that we were in our last moments.

Our return to Amsterdam reminded me of every reason I loved it the first time through.

Amsterdam is beautiful —  from the winding canals to the progressive, accepting vibe of the people — it’s a place that I could call home. A place I wish I could call home.

While walking to our apartment for the week, there was a bridge that Alfred, our host, showed us. He said the quote written underneath would make sense for me. It read, “Returning is not the same as remaining.”

This quote resonates with me completely. Returning to Amsterdam was amazing, but from the moment I stepped out of the train station, I was dreading the moment that I’d have to get back on the train and return to the airport. Maybe someday, I can go and stay…

Until then, I hope I’ve thoroughly documented my gluten-free finds so others can enjoy Amsterdam like I did 🙂

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