ask Rachel about
café • breakfast and brunch • vegan • food markets • italian food • diner • wine bar
What do you do and why do you do it?
I write for my website www.boringthngs.com. Boringthngs is a website about hotspots in Amsterdam and the rest of Europe. Every month my boyfriend and I travel to a different city to visit hotels, coffee shops and restaurants. Everything we do, taste and see we capture as a photo or video. Some of them will be posted on Instagram right away to take our followers with us, others will be featured in one of our cityguides. I simply do it because I love to travel, eat and explorer.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
In the 9 Straatjes (9 streets). In this area you will find many concept stores and local brands such as Anecdote, one of my favorite clothing brands. Every month I also visit stores like Zara and Weekday.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
For some reason I'm not a fan of Amsterdam Oost. I actually don't know why. I have to see, in Amsterdam you have such a different perspective about distances. If a place is more than 20 minutes by bike, it's 'far' and I won't go. Why biking for 30 minutes if there is a bar as nice within 3 minutes?
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
On a Summer day I love to start my day with a coffee on a terrace close by home. Afterwards my boyfriend and I walk to the Pijp, which is an hour walk. We make a stopover at a bakery we recently discovered to get some almond croissants and focaccia. Going by walk is best way to discover new places and cute streets. On the bike we are always in a rush and we always take the same streets. That way you miss so much!
What restaurant in Amsterdam looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
In the area of Nieuwmarkt there is a Thai place called Bird. It's typical Thai cafeteria, exactly how you will find them in Thailand. It has only 4 tables, a kitchen of 6 square meters and tons of people cooking meals. It doesn't look fancy at all but I promise, it's the best Thai food you will get in Amsterdam.
Where can you get the best cocktail in Amsterdam? Which one do you like?
My favorite is the Dark & Stormy from Bar Mash. It's a bar in De Pijp and a great spot to have Friday night drinks.
Where would you take your partner in Amsterdam if you wanted to really pamper them?
Pesca, a fish restaurant. They have an unique concept which is every time a winner to new people. When you enter, you see their 'fishmarket' where they will tell you everything about the fish they offer that evening and their way of cooking it. You choose whatever you would like to try. Next stop is at the winebar where you can pick the wine. They will tell you what fits best with the fish you just chose. Sounds good right?
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
Stroopwafels! Make sure you eat them warm. And when Christmas is coming, try the oliebollen. It's fried dough with raisins.
What’s the one place you think is overrated in Amsterdam?
The Avocado Show. Before they opened their lunchroom in De Pijp they already had 50K followers on Instagram. We went there for lunch because it sounded promising but we were quite disappointed. Every dish has avocado as main ingredient. We ate around 600 kcal in avocados! Too much if you ask me.
What’s the one place you think is underrated in Amsterdam?
San George. It's an amazing Italian restaurant but located between hotels nearby Leidseplein, a very touristic square with bars. You barely notice it or you will think it's just another place visited by hotel guests. In reality it's a beautifully designed restaurant with delicious Italian dishes.
What are the Amsterdam spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
Amsterdam doesn't have 'must-sees'. It's more the overall vibe people should experience. Every one should visit areas like De Jordaan, typical Amsterdam with local people who grew up there. De Pijp where all the hipsters having their coffee. De 9 Straatjes, 9 little streets with concept stores and local brands.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Amsterdam. How do you spend it?
Latte Macchiato at Radijs, visiting the Noordermarket, lunch at Mook Pancakes, afternoon stroll through De Pijp, cinnamon bun with coffee at Scandinavian Embassy and dinner at Fou Fow Ramen. Hmm.. there is a lot of food involved..
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
Florence! It's relatively small with many cool coffeeshops. There are little bars where you can get a plastic cup filled with wine for 2 euro. The weather is sunny, the food is amazing. It has a place called All’antico Vinaio which sells the best sandwiches ever. You got to go!