After breakfast, we went for a walk along Stadhouderskade St until the Heineken Experience, about 10 minutes. Since it opened at 11AM and it was still 10AM, we took a look at the Albert Cuyp Street Market which is right next to Heineken. We bought some mini strawberries for 1€ – they were mini for me, but apparently that’s what real strawberries are like! – and they were perfect! Juicy and very flavorful. We also got a bag of pecans, since they’re really hard to find here in Spain and I’d wanted to try baking a Chocolate Espresso Pecan Pie for ages.
We ended up not going inside the Heineken experience because we thought it was really expensive (15€/person, but only a year or two earlier it had only been about 4€/person!) and went for some coffee to a charming coffee place a block down, The Coffee Company. It had free wifi (they gave you the access code at the register when you paid for your drink) which is always welcome.
After looking for restaurants in Amsterdam (thanks to the free wifi) we walked back to the Dam, stopping by at the Flower Market, which was full of people as usual, but at least I was able to buy a cute magnet. When we got to the Dam we went inside the department store De Bijenkorf to use the restroom but it turned out they also charged you 0,50€, even if you bought something… we did find a small Apple Store inside it though, so that’s another go place to look for restaurants or simply check your e-mail.
We walked through the Red Light District and Chinatown, I wanted to buy something in the Chinese supermarkets to make Chinese food at home. But I wasn’t sure of what I should buy and we got hungry, so we went to eat lunch, a couple of sandwiches we made from what we had bought the previous day. After lunch I checked out some clothing stores looking for a T-shirt or something, but I didn’t find anything, so we took a long walk back to our hotel and rested for a while before going to dinner. The idea was to have dinner at Singel 404, but it was closed when we got there (it only offered lunches, and closed around 5:30-6PM) so we went to Zotte instead, next to Leidseplein, and had lamb and a vegetarian lasagna, both of which were very tasty.
The next day we went to visit Edam and Monnickendam, two towns about 20 minutes away from Amsterdam. First we went to visit a Gouda cheese factory near Volendam (Alida Hoeve), where they show you how they make the Gouda, and then they give tasting samples. They also have a small store where we bought the ones we liked best. Right next to the cheese factory there’s a factory where they make the typical wooden shoes which is also worth visiting. Then we walked around Monnickendam, a small fishing town which is beautiful.
When we came back to Amsterdam we (finally) ate at Singel 404, a place that basically offers sandwiches and paninis, but not the typical ones: I had one with chicken, avocado and a greek yogurt and basil sauce that was amazing (and I don’t even like avocadoes that much). A lot of the locals were having sandwiches on pita bread and hot paninis.
After lunch we went back to the Albert Cuyp Street Market area, because we’d liked it a lot. On our way back to Leidseplain we found a huge store with every single kitchen gadget and utensil you can imagine, Duikelman. Seriously, it had everything. And well priced, too.
And that’s it for today! Before signing off I’ll tell about an amazing webpage if you’re looking for places to eat while in Amsterdam: Amsterdam Foodie. Besides having reviews of tons of restaurants, it offers an interactive map of Amsterdam where you can look for places to eat by price range and/or quality. That’s the way I found Zotte and Singel 404, I searched for 4* and 5* restaurants at a low price and these showed up within walking distance! (among others). Oh how I wish a page like this existed for every city I’ve visited…