Eating fast and on the go – Amsterdam’s ‘fast food’ favourites

Eating fast and on the go – Amsterdam’s ‘fast food’ favourites

Many short stays in

Amsterdam involve daily leisure outings, shopping, site seeing and business

meetings or presentations so there isn’t always time to have a long sit down

meal. We’ve rounded up a few of the best places to get a good meal or snack to

fill that empty hole in your stomach so that you can quickly get back to your

day.

Do you enjoy a good quickly-prepared meal? Is

the itinerary of your short stay fully booked with activities and you have no

time to spare for hours of dining? Are you mega busy and just want something on

the go? Or maybe your budget is limited but you still want a good meal at the

end of each day? We’ve listed some of Amsterdam’s ‘fast food’ favourites for

you to feast your eyes over before your leisure or business stay in the city.

We call this ‘fast food’ with the inverted

commas because it doesn’t mean unhealthy greasy fixes but food that’s prepared

quick and food that’s great for when you are on the go and don’t have a lot of

time for sit down meals. From independent cafes to chains to supermarket

sarnies, there’s something for everyone. Just because it’s fast food it doesn’t

mean it’s greasy and that you’re sacrificing quality but if grease is what you

want, especially after a night out, then go for it as there’s enough on offer,

fill a hole and regret it the next day but enjoy it in the moment!

Wok to Walk

An all-time favourite of ours and with a number

of locations around Amsterdam, Wok to Walk is an ingenious idea. The Chinese fast

food chain is a winner in Amsterdam and a great place to get lunch or dinner. Whenever

I’m in Amsterdam I somehow end up there almost every time. It is perfect for

the end of the day when you have just about had enough of outings and shopping

and cannot imagine cooking so you pick up a meal to takeaway and enjoy back at

the short stay apartment.

There is a simple and small 3-part menu: choose

your base (various rice or noodles), add ingredients (meats, vegetables) and

finish with a choice of sauce. The price depends on how many ingredients you go

for but will average around 10 euros if you go for four. These restaurants are

usually small in size with limited seating because it’s designed for taking

away. The food comes in a quirky paper box, adding great originality. If you

are eating in, some of the restaurants such as the one by Leidseplein can serve

your meal on a plate if preferred. We personally go for the box and start with

the chopsticks but because it tastes so good and we’re too hungry we end up

turning to a fork. This is good, healthy and quickly prepared food and with an

even healthier option like wholewheat noodles, wholegrain rice, tofu and a

vegetable base.

Locations: Leidsestraat 96, Reguliersbreestraat

45, Warmoesstraat 85, Kolksteeg 8.

Burger Bar

Even my 10-year-old nephew is a new-found fan

of Burger Bar! This is good quality burgers; 100% beef and grilled to your

taste. With a choice of the classic Irish Beef, the prime aged Black Angus or

the gourmet option Wagyu Beef, you can’t go wrong with a good old burger. The

English chap that works there once told us how fresh the meat is when they buy

it and stressed the difference in taste compared to the burgers at the usual

fast food chains. And the proof was in the burger as my nephew finished every

last bit of it. They also sell a chicken sandwich which is meat from a corn fed

chicken and served with a homemade lemon, honey and garlic sauce, and a Portobello

mushroom burger. The price for a burger starts at 4. 95 Euros. Burgers are

served with salad and homemade sauce but you can also add extra toppings at an

extra cost such as bacon, cheese, onions and egg. Also on the menu are their

very own homemade Belgian fries and a choice of soft drinks. The Burger Bar at

Warmoesstraat offers a bigger menu with soup, salad, grill, sandwiches and

desserts.

Locations: Kolksteeg 2,

Reguliersbreestraat 9, Warmoesstraat 21.

Vlaamse frieten (Flemish fries)

For me these just taste so much better than

normal fries. And why? Apparently because they are made from actual potatoes

and not from potatoe powder or some other substitute, and most interestingly because

they are fried twice. The raw potatoe slices are first fried at 160 degrees,

usually at the beginning of the day, cooled off, then on demand fried again at

180 degrees to make them more crispy for you to enjoy. Vlaamse frieten are

usually served in a paper cone with the sauce on top. You can’t go wrong with

fries and mayo but we recommend trying the Dutch special sauce ‘oorlog’ which

is mayo, sate sauce and fresh onions. These fries are great for on the go but

can get messy with the sauce being direct on the top so take that napkin along

with you.

Locations: There are two places that apparently

make the best – Manneken Pis at Damrak 41, and at Vleminckx Sausmeesters on

Voetboogstraat 31. I’d like to add a third best location: the Burger Bar.

Albert Heijn to go

Albert Heijn is one of the top supermarkets in

the Netherlands and it’s all over Amsterdam so you are sure to find one

somewhere near most of our short stay apartments. They also have a smaller

version called

Albert Heijn to go which

has a selection of sandwiches, drinks and freshly baked snack foods thus being

great for eating when you are in a rush to catch a train, to get to a business

conference or see the latest museum exhibitions.

Albert Heijn to go is for busy people thus located in busy areas

such as high streets and train/tram stations.

Locations include: Damrak 89, RAI

station, Nieuwendijk 182, Stationsplein 7.

HEMA café

This one is great for a quick and cheap

brekkie, affordable readymade lunch and snacks during your leisure or business

short stay in Amsterdam. HEMA is a small department store in the Netherlands

selling clothing for adults and children, food, household products and yummy

cakes! They also have their own café which makes a great fix, especially for

lunch. When the store opens at 9 AM the café runs a special breakfast offer for

1 Euro until 10 AM with which you get a cup of coffee or tea, a croissant and

an egg and bacon sandwich. The menu throughout the day includes soups, various

sandwiches and fresh pastry along with hot and cold drinks. In the winter

months they offer a Dutch favourite, a soup called erwtensoup, which is a pea soup

with pork sausage pieces. Towards the end of the day there is another special 1

Euro offer from 4 PM – 6PM giving you a cup of coffee or tea with a select

pastry.

Locations include: Nieuwendijk

174, Kalverstraat 212, Ferdinand Bolstraat 93, Reguliersbreestraat 20 and

Jodenbreestraat 11.

La Place

A favourite amongst everyone, La Place is the

place to get great food at reasonable prices and with quick service. Set out

like a market it offers a big menu of food that you can enjoy at any time of

the day. La Place makes tasty fresh pizza’s costing around 6 or 7 Euros for a

whole pizza. Succulent steaks and burgers are made to order too and can be

bought as a meal with fries and salad. There is a wide choice of sandwiches on

offer along with desserts, pastries and salads. Furthermore there is a Chinese

wok section where you can choose the raw ingredients which are made right

before your eyes. As well as selling good food, the La Place restaurants in

Amsterdam also look very nice too. The restaurant on the top floor of the

public library near Amsterdam Central Station has an outside seating area from which

you have a view of Amsterdam from height; a great sight considering that the

city is so flat and there aren’t very many places you can have such a great

view from height.

Locations: Amsterdam Public Library,

Oosterdokseiland 143; De Bijenkorf, Dam Square 1; V & D, Kalverstraat

201-203; Gelderlandplein 62 near our apartments in the Buitenveldert-West

district.

Renzo’s

A friend of mine once introduced me to this

charming Italian deli. It is located in the Museum Quarter close to out

apartments in the Old South and around Museum Square and Vondelpark. On the

ground floor you can order some delicious antipasti and mouth-watering

sandwiches. The menu includes pasta, meat, vegetables, risotto and desserts. It

took a while to decide what to go for but in the end we all went for a

selection of the antipasti, warmed and eaten on the upper floor. The upstairs

seating is very quirky with a low-level ceiling, red walls, a red wooden floor,

wooden benches and soft cushions. It was a sunny day so we enjoyed a drink

outside after we finished our lunch. There are also items to purchase and take

back to the apartment with you.

Location: Van Baerlestraat 67

Bagels & Beans

A great alternative to a regular sandwich,

Bagels & Beans is a crowd puller with its wide selection of bagels with all

types of toppings. This quirky company started in the Pijp area and now there

are many all over Amsterdam so there’s bound to be one somewhere near many of

our apartments such as near the Albert Cuyp Market, Amsterdam Old West, Westerpark,

Artis Zoo, Leidseplein and close to Dam Square. First you choose you bagel out

of the seven types available including plain, whole wheat, sesame and tomatoe, or

you could even choose a gluten free option. Next go for a filling such as a

simple one like salmon with cheese or pastrami, or you could try something a

little more exciting like smoked chicken with avocado or Carpaccio with nuts

and rocket. There are also warm options such as a BLT bagel, a tuna melt or

goat’s cheese with honey, walnuts and thyme. Sweet teeth are also catered to

with a choice of banana with maple syrup and cinnamon, strawberry jam with

butter or chocolate sprinkles and butter. There are also set menu breakfast

options and a bagel tappas for two people. Included on the menu are great choices

of teas and fresh juices.

Locations: There are eighteen in

Amsterdam including at Ferdinand Bolstraat 70, Keizersgracht 504,

Raadhuisstraat 18, Parnassausweg 218, Roetersstraat 2a, Spaarndammerstraat 149

and Van Baerlestraat 40.

Pancake Bakery

Oh, heaven! Pancake Bakery, located near the

Anne Frank House and our apartments in the Jordaan district, is a fantastic

place for all ages serving a big menu of pancakes to suit all tastes. Inside

there are many tables that you can have an enjoyable lunch, dinner or snack on.

The restaurant is set within an old warehouse which was originally owned by the

Dutch East India Company and so the interior has a great nostalgic atmosphere. There

are fourty traditional pancakes which will cost between 6 and 10 Euros and

include ham and cheese, chicken and tomatoe, cheese and tomatoe, banana and

nuttela or lemon and sugar. Eighteen pancakes sit on the specials menu and include:

banana with chocolate and cream; honey with nuts, mandarins and whipped cream;

and ham, cheese and pineapple. The international pancakes menu includes

eighteen options: Greek, Mexican, Thai, Hungarian and Brazilian. Also on the

menu are giant omelettes, children’s pancakes, starters, side dishes and poffertjes

which are like tiny little pancakes and one of the favourite Dutch snacks.

Location: Prinsengracht 191

Maoz

This is the perfect little place to get a

vegetarian favourite food to take away, a falafel. With four locations in

Amsterdam this is fast becoming one of the most popular quick fixes at any time

of the day. The biggest hit is a freshly baked pita pocket filled with hot

falafel balls, hummus, eggplants, salad and sauce with a side of Belgian fries

or sweet patatoe fries. Or you can choose different fillings such as feta

cheese, avocado and hardboiled egg. There is also a falafel salad box option to

replace the pita bread for those looking for a lower-calorie intake or maybe

prefer a salad on a warm day.

Locations: Muntplein 1, Leidsestraat 85, Van Woustraat

15, Damrak 40.