Lunch spots, frequented by Amsterdammers

Redactie en translation: René ter Stege
De Laatste Kruimel in central Amsterdam  Beeld Charlotte Odijk
De Laatste Kruimel in central AmsterdamBeeld Charlotte Odijk

Gebroeders Niemeijer

Baguettes, croissants, brioches, macarons, éclairs, millefeuilles, financiers: in this authentic French bakery, run by the Niemeijer brothers, the action of its professionals around the large stone oven is on permanent display. Customers often take home a freshly baked baguette or two. Regulars say: “You have the impression that you’re in France, with all those croissants and éclairs in the shop window. Maybe this is where you buy the best bread in town.”

De Laatste Kruimel

Scones, quiches, freshly made rolls, cakes and some surprises from the oven are the mainstay is this small but cosy establishment. The name means ‘the last crumb’, as customers tend not to leave anything of its specialities, vegan or otherwise, uneaten. Regulars say: “Great quiches! The staff consists exclusively of young feminist women, but that shouldn’t stop you.”

Omelegg at Nieuwebrugsteeg  Beeld Eva Plevier
Omelegg at NieuwebrugsteegBeeld Eva Plevier


The Netherland’s first omeletterie, with every variety you never knew existed. Like omelettes with dates, walnuts, honey and cinnamon. The Israeli egg dish shahshuka is also very popular. Regulars say: “Damned good, amazing what you can do with just a few eggs.”


The Kalvertoren, a shopping centre in decline, is about the last place where you’d expect to find a decent spot for lunch. But be surprised after you’ve taken the glass lift to the top floor where Blue has just undergone a complete redesign. The excellent coffee and sandwiches come with a wonderful view of the city. Regulars say: “If you expected another tourist trap, you were totally wrong. Staff were friendly, contrary to what you see in many other places.”


Poor service seems to be the norm in many Amsterdam eateries, restaurants and bars. Mappa, where staff remember you even after you’ve been away for a long time, is one of the exceptions to the rule. This Italian-Amsterdam restaurant has earned a reputation for its wide variety of hot sandwiches. Regulars say: “The piadina, a thin Italian flatbread, comes in many varieties. It’s the perfect lunch dish.”

Betty Blue in the Nieuwmarktbuurt.  Beeld Charlotte Odijk
Betty Blue in the Nieuwmarktbuurt.Beeld Charlotte Odijk

Betty Blue

For reasons unknown, tourists like to wander around the Damstraat and the Nieuwe Hoogstraat. Fortunately, they tend not to stop at Betty Blue, a lunchroom with wooden school benches in an industrial setting. Burgers and flammkuchen are among the favourites of its core clientele, living mainly in the vicinity. Regulars say: “Great pastries, and a wide choice of sandwiches in a street devoured by loveless food joints catering only to tourists.”


A bit of luck is necessary to secure a table in this tiny, often fully booked restaurant. Reservations are therefore recommended. Once inside, it is hard to choose between, among other things, the croquemonsieur with apricot and hazelnut and the Swedish polarbröd with lamb ham and soup. Lunch can last until 5 pm. Regulars say: “Lovely, cosy little restaurant, run by a fantastic couple.”

The croquemonsieur with apricot at cosy Gartine is one of the many options to choose from.  Beeld Mats van Soolingen
The croquemonsieur with apricot at cosy Gartine is one of the many options to choose from.Beeld Mats van Soolingen

The local butcher

When you are in a hurry but you do not fancy going into yet another tourist spot for a bite, a neighourhood butcher may have the answer. Many good butcher shops in the city centre sell sandwiches, like Slagerij Vet. The same goes for the cheese shops that cater mainly to the locals, such as Kaashandel Arxhoek. Their sandwiches are take out only. Regulars say: “From the outside, Arxhoek looks like another tourist trap, but they serve a wonderful ham, cheese and egg baguette.”


Avoid Latei if you’re looking for a complicated, ‘arty’ sandwich. Its down-to-earth rolls and other delights, by contrast, are served in its brightly coloured setting, where everything is for sale. Regulars say: “A quiet place, especially on the first floor, and a helpful staff help you escape from the hustle and bustle outside.”

At Latei, you can not only buy lunch, but also jewelry, furniture or design. Everything is for sale.  Beeld Charlotte Odijk
At Latei, you can not only buy lunch, but also jewelry, furniture or design. Everything is for sale.Beeld Charlotte Odijk

The Lobby

Those who beat a path to The Lobby at the Nesplein expect a seat in front of the fireplace in winter, and a spot in the sun on the square outside in summer. Its regulars sing praises to The Lobby’s eggs benedict, oysters, steak tartare and Caesar salads. Regulars say: “A hidden gem in the ever crowded centre of Amsterdam. Love their flammkuchen and their wine list.”


Organic and local products dominate the salads and sandwiches at Vinnies, like the ones with mackerel mousse, toasted pumpkin or baba ganoush with pomegranate. A full English breakfast can also be found on the menu, even a healthy variety. Cold pressed juices are on hand to wash it all down. Regulars say: “The sandwiches are tiny, but taste great. They make them look so good, that it’s almost a shame to eat them.”

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