It’s here: Amsterdam Uncovered. Our latest book, published in collaboration with Terra, highlights all the greatness our city has to offer. With over 80 people working on it, we obviously have many different tastes and opinions about our favorite city. We asked five contributors to share their personal absolute favorites with us.
Jonah Freud from de Kookboekhandel on her favorite place to eat (and what to eat there)
From the wonderful list that is compiled in this book, my current favorite is Cafe Caron. I know I’ll get a delicious plate with food, and I really like the French atmosphere they’ve created. Alain Caron loves chicken, so that’s what I’ll order there. Always order the chef’s own favorite food!
Unfortunately Kaagman & Kortekaas didn’t make the book, but they should have. It’s one of the best places to eat in Amsterdam besides my own home. I’m one of those culinary journalists who prefers to eat at home. It’s the only place I’m 100% sure of what I’m going to eat. When I do leave the house to eat, I love to have breakfast on Cradam’s sunny terrace. What’s great about Cradam is that if you want, you could simply order a sandwich with chocolate sprinkles there. They also have excellent Fruits de Mer. After Cradam I would walk to Toscanini for the pasta of the day as lunch. For dinner I would go to Rijks, a place where you feel completely indulged. And maybe, if I find a spare moment to visit Eiburgh snacks, I can’t skip a good old patatje. They have the best fries in Amsterdam!
Since the start of this decade, Amsterdam has become a city with so much culinary quality that you could easily compile a much longer list than the one that ended up in the book. I’ve been moving around in Amsterdam’s culinary scene for a very long time, and what’s being offered in our city now is something we could never have imagined twenty years ago.
Eddie Stok on his favorite place to read (and what to read there)
Of the many excellent places that Amsterdam offers for an afternoon of reading, only one can be called my absolute favorite: The Jetty on the Sloterplas.
All the places I selected qualify for a number of superlatives, from ‘most comfortable’ to ‘most unique’ to ‘most farm-like’, all of which are, naturally, crucial for literary consumption. And given that most of the places I’ve selected are closed for almost half of the year or highly dependent on the whims of weather, it can hardly be a question of timelessness or permanence. And, finally, though convenience is greatly valued, the best things in life are at least a little bit difficult to reach, and all the more rewarding for it.
Since this spot is quite off-grid, far away from restaurants and cafés, The jetty at Sloterplas is perfect for a solo binge reading session. My advice is to go there around 2PM on a non-holiday weekday in May or June. Preferably in warm, dry, half-cloudy weather with a light breeze. It’s advisable to bring some food and drinks from home. And a good book, of course. Any book will do, but my personal choice would be Andrew Caldecott’s Rotherweird. A historical novel, fantasy romp, mystery caper, a caricature of English country life and science-fiction epic rolled into one. A perfectly unlikely book for an unlikely perfect day.
Bionda Sno on her favorite artist in Amsterdam (and what song to listen to)
Amsterdam is a city full of talent, and everyone has a different story. The three music artists I interviewed for the book, Rimon, Jarreau Vandal, and Faberyayo, all have their very own sound and way of making music. And it’s beautiful to see that Amsterdam played a large role in that.
Sadly, I’ve never fully witnessed a real concert of these great artists. I’ve only seen Rimon perform on Appelsap, but it was too crowded and loud, so it wasn’t the right setting at that time. It would be lovely to see her in a more intimate setting, and to have the focus on the music and her performance. The night before I interviewed Jarreau Vandal for this story, I saw him do a DJ set at Silencio during Paris Fashion Week. Not a concert, but a great way to experience his energy, knowledge and skills when it comes to moving a crowd with music. He’s really international, but always represents Amsterdam. That’s such a nice thing to see. Wherever he goes, he knows how to hype up a crowd, and he does it cross-generational. He can easily play the newest trap song and mix it with a Marvin Gaye classic. He’s a real entertainer.
All three of them have so much talent. You have Rimon’s amazing voice, Jarreau’s energy and musicality, and Yayo’s intelligence that flows through his lyrics. They all have different qualities, but that makes them typically Amsterdam. Amsterdam is a diverse city, and they represent that diversity to the fullest. You can see that they all rep Amsterdam internationally as well. Even in the clothes they’re wearing. Maybe that’s also the beauty of Amsterdam in general. It’s such a small city, but I feel like everyone is supporting each other. All of these artists are part of a larger support system. And I think it definitely helps them to put Amsterdam on the map.
Roel Ruijs on his favorite store in Amsterdam (and what to buy there)
When walking through the shopping streets of Amsterdam, one usually only notices the big shopping windows from the international retailers. In my search for unique storefronts, I found that Amsterdam actually has a beautiful mix of new and old, big and small, simple and flamboyant. Rokin is a street that has all of that, and my favorite store at Rokin is definitely Schmidt Optiek at number 72. It has been there since 1866, and you can definitely see that in the beautiful storefront.
Schmidt Optiek sells luxurious eyewear. Prince Bernhard, the husband of former Dutch Queen Juliana, used to be one of their regular customers. The interior is still original and old-fashioned, but when the stores closes, a raw graffiti piece protects it from the city’s crooks during after hours.
Amsterdam has a lot of these beautiful old stores, but what I noticed when making this series was that Amsterdam has much more diversity than you’d expect. The old Albert Cuyp market reveals a lot of new buildings when the market stalls are gone, Aurora has this very “unique” storefront underneath this shabby old, typically Amsterdam, building. The foodstores on the Zeedijk show the Chinese influence on the neighborhood, not only on the products they sell, but also the buildings they’re sold in. Then again, some stores are beautiful in their simplicity. A good shop window draws attention to products, but when you zoom out a bit, you’ll find the real treasures.
Sharon Jane Dompig about her favorite movie theater (and what to see there)
Wednesday is usually my inspiration day. That’s the day I allow myself to go to a museum or movie. To me, going to the movies allows me to escape reality. You’re basically entering a different world, and it’s such a nice feeling to leave a movie theater inspired and energized.
For Amsterdam Uncovered I visited four unique movie theaters in Amsterdam that can definitely do that: Eye, Tuschinski, The Movies, and FC HYENA. Each and every one of them has unique characteristics in terms of architecture, history, and location.
Since we’re going towards the winter, my favorite movie theater right now is The Movies. It’s cosy and intimate and it has an authentic old Amsterdam vibe. It’s the oldest existing movie theater of the city, and you can see it in its antique interior in the entry and the cinemas. It really feels as if you’re going back in time, and I love nostalgia. That’s why I would recommend seeing Amazing Grace there right now. I love documentaries, and this one is really special because it features never seen before footage from her recordings in Los Angeles in 1972. She’s an absolute legend, and LA is one of my favorite places in the world. To see it at one of my favorite movie theaters in Amsterdam, can only make it better. I’m already excited!
‘These and many more stories in our newest book: Amsterdam Uncovered’
‘These and many more stories in our newest book: Amsterdam Uncovered’
Amsterdam Uncovered, a collection of places, people and pictures curated by MENDO. A portrait of a metropolitan village, compiled by a group of tastemakers, talented photographers and artists who contribute to this city’s appeal.
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