Photography: PixabayWith flights from as little £120 return; escaping to Amsterdam for a long weekend suddenly doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all. With sustainable spots across the capital serving up ethical and locally-sourced products; this friendly, vibrant and chilled out city really is as ‘cool’ as they say.
CT COFFEE & COCONUTS
If in doubt, head to “Amsterdam’s sandcastle”. That’s how the saying goes, right? Housed inside an old 1920’s cinema, CT Coffee & Coconuts is a food lover’s dream! The music is loud, but you don’t have to shout to be heard. The food is fresh and sourced from local suppliers and the drinks are blitzed and muddled to order – heavy on coconut and ice. Since they’re open from dawn ‘til dusk, it wouldn’t be totally crazy if you stopped by for breakfast, lunch, and dinner too. If you’re there for breakfast you can enjoy anything from buckwheat porridge to scrambled eggs with miso on sourdough. Coconut pancakes and breakfast burritos also feature. At lunch, go for their mung bean (baked not fried!!) falafel bowl with greens, labneh and dukkah (seriously something to write home about). At dinner, enjoy taco bowls or beef tartare summer rolls washed down with their signature cocktails. Stepping out of Coffee & Coconuts can be a little disorientating. You feel as if you’ve been in a far flung Australian beach shack – what with it’s happy, chilled out vibes and honest local food. But don’t be fooled, take a look around and you’ll realise the Amsterdam city buzz is still at the heart. This one is not to be missed.
Location: Ceintuurbaan 282 – 284, 1072 GK Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Booking: Walk-in policy but they take reservations from 19:30
When you stumble across a spot with the motto “Aardewerk” (translation: Earth Works) and their slogan is ‘eat well do good’, you know they’ve got to be good. And they are. Dignita reflects everything that it is great about Amsterdam’s culture – a mixture of long communal tables (a commonplace across the city), with smaller more intimate seating. Small jars of flowers adorn each table, and swing top bottles filled with water are brought to you with little picardie glasses. The menu is short, but that’s to be expected when everything is made from scratch, right down to their coconut yogurt (a serious winner). They pride themselves in sourcing all their ingredients as ethically and locally as possible. And the best part? Dignita is part of the ‘Not For Sale’ social enterprise model which helps victims of human trafficking find new opportunities for a new future. With 100% of Dignita profits going towards ‘Not For Sale here’, you really do eat well and do good. Go for the yogurt bowl with seasonal fruit and homemade cardamom + tahini granola (it’ll trump any yogurt granola combo you’ve ever had!)
Location: Vondelpark – Koninginneweg 218h, 1075 EL, AND Hoftuin – Nieuwe Herengracht 18a, 1018 DP
Booking: Book online, big communal tables welcome meetings and parties/gatherings
Famous for it’s bright White walls and abundant salad bowls, SLA is where to go if you’re looking for wholesome bowls of goodness. Choose as much as you want, of what you want (hello minimal waste!) and sip on freshly pressed juices and smoothies. Their ingredients are all organic and the choices change every 3 months to move in sync with the seasons. Whilst they do offer meat and fish, the menu is predominantly vegetarian and all of of their sweet offerings are vegan and naturally sweetened. Choose from a protein bowl filled with quinoa, borlotti beans and broccoli, topped with a boiled egg. The popular vegan sushi bowl is brimming with red rice, edamame, pickled radish and nori. Or the hummus bowl with bulgur wheat, lentils, roasted cauliflower, avocado, and hummus (of course!). Drinks range from veggie filled green juices to vibrant berry smoothies. You can even build your own juice – just choose your 4 favourite ingredients! SLA is also the only place we found kombucha in Dam, so if you’re looking for some tummy love on your travels, you know where to head.
Location: Multiple locations across the city – find the full list here
JUICE BY NATURE
Cycling round a city can be pretty thirsty work and sometimes you want something more than a bottle of water to rehydrate. Enter Juice By Nature – serving up refreshing and simple juices packed with seasonal produce. Alongside locally roasted coffee, salad bowls, overnights oats and sweet treats, not only is Juice by Nature’s menu local and seasonal, their packaging is eco-friendly too. Offering reusable glass bottles which you can recycle in store, their food is also served in biodegradable packaging to minimise their plastic usage. Choose their Daily Fix for a veggie filled juice or their Cacao Love; a cacao, cinnamon, banana smoothie with a scoop of plant protein powder for extra goodness.
Location: Warmoesstraat 108, 1012 JJ
Amsterdam isn’t short of lifestyle stores that’s for sure. Whether a petite pop-up selling homewares and clothes, or multi storey sites; like Hutspot, selling everything from food, to jewellery and art. But when you’re looking for something a little different though, Hutspot is the way to go. They support new, up and coming brands, designers and artists; by offering them space to expose their products – meaning you’re sure to find beautiful and quirky goods. Think Dutch Hemp Tea (no, it won’t get you high!), Nut Butters with white pepper, eco-friendly and ethical leather bags, cacti galore and even new sets of wheels to get around the city. At the Van Woustraat location they have a photobooth and men’s barber downstairs, with a cafe serving light food and coffee alongside a studio for freelance workers and meetings. When we say it’s a lifestyle store, we really mean it!
Location: Multiple locations, find your closest here
With 4 locations across the capital, Delight Yoga offer a tranquil and peaceful escape from busy city life. Their studios are minimalist, light and airy, with whitewashed walls and plants in every room. There are soft sofas inviting you to relax with a cup of tea (or breakfast if you fancied) before and/or after a class. Sounds like bliss, right? And we haven’t even got round to the yoga yet. Delight offer over 300 classes every week in the 4 main styles of yoga; Ashtanga, Yin, Hatha and Vinyasa, as well as Ashtanga Mysore, Prenatal, yoga basics, and meditation. Fortunately, for those not well versed in Dutch, all their classes are taught in English so you really can take the time to connect, rather than watching everyone else to figure out what you should be doing. They say their whole heart goes into their studios, and you can tell it really does.
Location: 4 studios in total, check your closest here
Booking: You can only book online if you have a Dutch bank card, but they’ll happily take walk-ins if classes aren’t full so you can pay in person once you’re there
N.b – flights, menu offerings and locations correct at the time of publishing