Ali Ocakbasi | Amsterdam

Ali Ocakbasi Utrechtsestraat Amsterdam

I love Turkish food! I didn’t know it myself, but I am a massive fan now. I guess I’m not the only one realising this as Ali’s place is packed almost every night. I thought the menu was a little bit overwhelming so I asked one of the friendly staff to help us out. She basically took it away and arranged everything we loved from amazing hummus and baba ganoush dips with pita to the perfect selection of grilled veggies and meat, unfortunately we didn’t manage to squeeze in a dessert. Next time! Herengracht 558, hoekje Utrechtsestraat | Website | €€

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Bar Botanique | Amsterdam

Bar Botanique Amsterdam Oost

Bar Botanique – Cafe Tropique, what a name! I was immediately attracted (not only by the name but also) by the look of the place which is well.. green. Filled with plants and a different approach to interior design than most other restaurant openings nowadays. The staff told me that the restaurant is referred to as the ‘living room’ of East Amsterdam which I can completely understand. The location.. the mix of different people.. it felt very fun and lively. The menu is simple, nothing fancy (or tropical), but easy going Mediterranean comfort food. Eerste van Swindenstraat 581, Amsterdam | Website | €€

Mossel en Gin | Amsterdam

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When the weather is good and you are looking for a lively relaxed place with picnic style garden, good food and drinks, Mossel and Gin is the place to go. It’s a little gem hidden on the Westergas area. They serve mussel dishes (mossel pannetjes) in all kinds of different versions including Thai and Chilli (with chorizo) which were both great, and we loved the fries! – there are other food options available if you’re not a fan of mussels. Also the gin & tonic menu is crazy with lots of funky options. We’re a big fan! Goschalklaan 12, Amsterdam | Tel: 0031(0)20 486 5869) | Website | €€

Breda | Amsterdam

Restaurant Breda Amsterdam

Delicious food from the south of Holland (Breda!), great interior design, atmosphere and really good service. We are hooked! Elsje and I finally found a time to catch up together so we needed to find a good new spot for this. Very last minute we decided to try the new restaurant Breda as it was closeby (central Amsterdam) and the interior look and feel looked very tasteful. Apparently they are booked up for the next few weeks ahead but they had a last minute cancellation – lucky us. They let you choose between 3 types of menus: Basic, Extra and Full Monty, and don’t tell you much about the menu. The Basic already consists of 7 courses and oh my, they were so good. Our favourites: the cauliflower dish, steak with hummus and purple carrot and the rosemary ice cream with nuts and nougat for desert… Aaah! Can’t wait to go back! Singel 210 | Tram: Dam | Tel: +31 (0)20 622 52 33 | Website | €€€€

Ocha | Amsterdam

Really tasty Thai food! A very simple and tiny restaurant run by 2 Thai ladies just off the Nieuwmarkt in the city centre of Amsterdam. It’s small but there is a high turnover of people as you can’t order alcohol and the food comes when ready – so good chances of getting a table. I wouldn’t recommend going here on a first date or for a romantic night out, but it’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. It reminds me of unpretentious and really good Vietnamese places I used to go to in London. We had the spring rolls, green chicken curry and beef vegetables with oyster sauce between the 2 of us and I can’t wait to go back and taste the rest of the menu soon. Binnen Bantammerstraat 1 | Metro: Nieuwmarkt | €Ocha Thai Amsterdam

Terpentijn | Amsterdam

One of my favourites go-to’s in Amsterdam at the moment. I’m pretty sure it’s because there is a restaurant part upstairs and a really great bar area downstairs. I always love it when you find a place you can start and end at the bar, and you don’t feel you have to leave anytime soon because everyone has gone home or elsewhere. They also tend to have some some really good tunes downstairs that are perfect for Friday or Saturday nights, lots of ‘hitjes’! I must say I liked the french-asian food, especially the starters, but I wasn’t blown away by the main courses. I’m going back soon to check out their new menu (main courses and cocktails!). Rokin 103 | Tram: Spui/Rokin | Tel: +31(0)20 333 0014 | Website | €€€
Terpentijn Amsterdam Restaurant

Hoxton Hotel | Amsterdam

Hoxton Hotel Amsterdam

I’m currently hanging out at the Hoxton Hotel in Amsterdam and I feel as if I’m in NYC or London. It’s very un-dutch. After the Hoxton Hotels in Shoreditch and Holborn in London, the group has recently opened in Amsterdam on the Herengracht in the Jordaan. An amazing location and space consisting of 6(!) converted canal houses. The lobby is great for hanging out with an all day menu provided by the Soho House group. Makes me happy to know I can keep drinking Soho Mules even when I’m not in London!!! The 111 rooms look super cool with grey and dusty blue tones, and vintage leather furniture. And they also have The Apartment which they use for throwing parties and also make available to hire for parties. Herengracht 255 | Tel: +3120 888 5555 | Website | €€€

De Vergulden Eenhoorn | Amsterdam

de vergulden eenhoornA new favourite in Amsterdam East. The people behind Hanneke’s Boom turned an old farm into the perfect all day hideaway. I felt like I was in the countryside sitting at their long wooden tables overlooking their picknick field. They use locally sourced food for great home cooked dishes. From brunch, lunch, dinner to evening drinks, they’ve got you covered with a great menu and a relaxed low key vibe. Hotel rooms are coming soon too, love this place! Ringdijk 58 | Tel: +31(0)20-2149333 | Website | €€

Rijsel | Amsterdam

Rijsel amsterdam

Rijsel Rotisserie is good!! The food, the friendly waiters, good vibes. It’s a little out of the way in a residential street in Amsterdam Oost and based in an old school building with a retro interior. The menu changes all the time, but you can always expect simple and delicious French/Belgian dishes. We went for oysters and the poussin (Rijsel’s poussin was named the ‘best chicken in town’ by Johannes van Dam!) which comes with baked potatoes and a really nice salad. I also really liked the Huzarensalade, a must. The place feels authentic and works for everyone and all occasions. One thing I didn’t like was the bright lighting as I prefer more dimmed lights in the evening. Make sure to book a table, they are always packed. Closed on Saturday and Sunday. Marcusstraat 52B | Tel: +31-20-4632142 | Website | €€

CT Coffee & Coconuts | Amsterdam

CT Coffee and coconuts - Amsterdam - lunch
Now that I’m spending some time in Amsterdam as part of my maternity leave I finally have time to check out what’s new and fun in one of my favourite cities. CT’s is situated in an old twenties style cinema building so think extreme high ceilings, various floors and open plan everything.. A unique space. They did a really good job in making it feel relaxed with a natural look while still keeping it buzzing. Love the black & white photographs on the walls. Probably one of the reasons why it feels good is because it’s almost always busy – be prepared to wait in line for a table on the weekends. On the menu are fresh juices, smoothies, herbal teas, granola, coconut pancakes ( made from almond flour), different salads, a selection of bites and they do dinner too, all very delicious. Ceintuurbaan 282 | Tel: +31203541104 | Website | ££