Amsterdam: Day 3

This is day 3 of a short trip to Amsterdam.  Check out Day 1 and Day 2 if you haven’t already.

Breakfast on day 3 was at Latei (Zeedijk 143)I think this is was uitsmijter.  fried egg on a hearty, seedy toast.  I don’t think there was ham.  the freshly-squeezed orange juice was great.

or was this the uitsmijter?  Tomato, cheese, possibly an egg on the same toast.  You can see a unremarkable croissant in the background.

The waitress was super nice but a bit slow.  we ordered a traditional dutch apple pie because we hadn’t yet:

dutch apple pie – appeltaart.

The pie was a bit doughy.  I don’t remember thinking it was all that great.  The place was pretty cool though – great people watching.  There seemed to be a lot of tourists out and we enjoyed watching the groups walk or ride by.

I still needed my coffee, so we walked towards a place that had also been mentioned on a chowhound thread, coffee connection (Nieuwezijds Kolk 33).

coffee connection: storefront

once again, a super nice girl behind the counter.  we chatted for a bit about where I was from and coffee and so on.

espresso at coffee connection

I was really hoping that the espresso would be good given how welcoming the barista was, but it was thin and tasted a little burnt.

I was a little surprised about the espresso selection in the center of town.  my only enjoyable espresso was from the stumptown pop-up shop.  There were other shops that we didn’t get to visit because they were farther off from our hotel or other destinations such as espressofabriek (Gosschalklaan 7) and brandmeester’s (Van Baerlestraat 13) .  Maybe next time.

We walked for a bit to find another place to rent bikes.

older guy with groceries

I think I took this last picture because of the guy’s bike, but I can’t really make it out anymore.  I think it reminded me of a strida.

bike parking at amsterdam centraal

The first place we checked out for a bike rental seemed a little too expensive, so we walked to amsteram centraal station to check out star bike rental (De Ruyterkade 127).  I was kind of blown away by the number of bikes in the bike parking lot.  We just aren’t used to seeing this many bikes in the states.

more bikes in the parking area

we got our rental bikes and rode to the Jordaan.  the bikes were crappy as the last ones we’d rented and slightly more expensive but still pretty cheap.

RIH sport through the window

I’d really wanted to check out the framebuilder at RIH Sport Amsterdam (Westerstraat 150) but unfortunately they were closed.  It was still fun peering in through the window.  The Jordaan was a neat neighborhood to walk and bike through.  It felt a lot more neighborhoody than other areas and seemed like a nice place to live.

A fun set of window decorations

We eventually made our way back towards the city center.  we stopped by the cracked kettle (Raamsteeg 3 to pick up some beer:

bike, with westy crate

we had joked about how it’d be cool if a bike had a westvleteren crate.   here one was..  Its tires were flat, so it was more for display than beer transport.


I wandered around a bit and took more photos.  Our weekend was coming to an end and we had to head back to the southern tip of the country for the night.  We took the train but, not knowing any dutch, did not know that the last portion of our ride was not in operation due to maintenance or construction.  Luckily, the NS train had arranged for a set of shuttle buses.  I was kind of happy to take the shuttle bus because it’d mean that we’d be able to see more of the countryside.

the bus from maastricht

All in all, it was a fun weekend.  A bit exhausting with all of the wandering around, but well worth it.

Amsterdam: Day 2

Every trip I take somehow ends up becoming a bike and coffee (and sometimes beer) tour.  We did some preliminary research on chowhound and coffeegeek for the coffee and beer and found a place for bike rentals.  Also handy was this interview of Stumptown owner Duane Sorensen by Oliver Strand of the New York Times It’s been a couple of months since our trip so my memory is a bit hazy but I’ll try to piece things back together with the help of these photos and the internets.

Die Koffie Salon Storefront

Coffee was my first priority.  We walked from our hotel to de koffie salon (Utrechtsestraat 130) based on recommendations from one of the above threads.  Patisserie Kuyt is across the street and these two were probably taking pictures of the storefront.  I did the same later, of course.

Impressive looking lever machine at Die Koffie Salon.

not as impressive-looking espresso from Die Koffie Salon

The espresso from Die Koffie Salon was pretty disappointing.  Light-bodied and not so good.  Drinkable though.  I don’t remember much else about it.  We moved on to across the street.

Patisserie Kuyt storefront

Patisserie Kuyt was a treat.  We ended up getting a variety of sweets, including the famed Appeltaart.

Bike rentals were from Dam Bike (New 26).  Cheap bike rentals, pretty crappy bikes.  But most bikes in Amsterdam were crappy.  We had some brake and wheel-truing problems, but hey, we didn’t expect much.  Another factor in choosing this bike rental place: we didn’t have to ride the super touristy orange bikes.  We were still touristy of course.

Nespresso storefront

I stopped in here to see if there were any Nestle-fueled single serve espresso innovations.  I didn’t see any, but I did see some (apparently top secret) designer Nespresso machines.  There were patterns screen printed on some of the plastic panels.  They kicked me out of the store for taking photos.  First time for a coffee shop – in the past it’s usually been for taking pictures in churches.

Lots of orange going on – we were nearing the quarterfinals of the the world cup.

women walking along albert cuypmarkt

After hanging out for a bit in Vondelpark, our next stop was Stumptown Amsterdam.  The market was super crowded and the actual store front was obscured by tents.  Lots of semi-crappy stuff but it was all interesting nonetheless.

an overexposed view of stumptown amsterdam

stumptown amsterdam: cupping station

Stumptown Amsterdam had a similar feel to other Stumptown locations but also had a more boutique-y feel to it.  The barista was a bay area guy (if I remember correctly) and it sounded like a pretty sweet gig to be working at that pop-up coffee spot with an apartment paid for by the Stumptown folks.

stumptown espresso

The espresso was predictably good, of course.


Dinner was at Bazar (Albert Cuypstraat 182).  We got some sort of kebab platter and though I was stuffed afterwards, I was intrigued by their mint syrup + ice cream + fruit dessert combination.

dessert at Bazar.

Canteloupe, honeydew, apple, grape, ice cream, whipped cream, mint syrup, pineapple, and strawberry.  The mint syrup was too sweet for my tastes but it was an interesting combination made a bit refreshing by the mint.

Albert Cuypstraat, post market

The market had shut down and the cleaning crews were tidying the street as we walked out of Bazar.

Albert Cuypstraat, post market

biercafe gollem

A recommended beer place, Cafe Gollem (Raamsteeg 4),  was nearby, so we sat down and had a beer.  Good selection with a very low-key vibe.  The only thing that sucked was a woman sat down next to us and started smoking.  The breeze was blowing all of her smoke right at my face.  She must have had about 3 cigarettes while we had about 2 beers.

biercafe gollem – at the bar

We left Cafe Gollem to return our bikes to Dam Bike and then walked home.

dam square at night

kind of a sweet bike design.

It doesn’t look very practical but it’s kind of cool how the rack is integrated and how there’s tons of standover clearance.  The decal says “Nationale Postcode Loterij”  Not sure why they’ve branded a bike with their decals or who the manufacturer is though.

the intercontinental amstel amsterdam hotel

The last shot of the night was of the fancy-looking InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam Hotel (Amstel Hotel).  FIVE STARS PLUS!


I went to Amsterdam earlier this year.

Photos from a weekend in Amsterdam:

I stayed at Hotel Arena.  Its most recent incarnation is a swanky-looking modern hotel.  Glass bathroom doors, a lofted bed.. The building was built as an orphanage with a chapel in 1890, and then was converted into a home for the elderly in 1950.  It became a youth hostel in 1982 and then somehow became privatized and then underwent a drastic transformation in the last couple of years.  The hotel is sort of on the outskirts of the Centrum but it’s only a 10-20 minute walk or so to most areas.. and of course even quicker by bike.

Here are a few of the other things we saw on our first evening.  It was near the solstice and daylight lingered to a ridiculous hour.  I think it was about 11:00pm when dusk started to settle in.

Kitty, on a dumpster covered with somehow color-coordinated tags and paint.

I don’t remember where this was taken, but I am guessing it was on Weesperstraat.

stickers on a red door.

Probably still along Weeperstraat.

And of course there were bikes.  This may have been along Sarphatistraat, but I just don’t remember anymore.  We heard a guy get hit by a car near this intersection the next night – scary, but he walked away and the car drove away and that was that.

More photos from the Netherlands and Belgium to come, eventually.