Amsterdam Canals (Source:
Amsterdam Canals (Source:

Take it from a person who has lived in the Netherlands for three experimental years that Amsterdam is the sin city of Europe. This city is dedicated to all things your mother would not approve of: drugs, sex and more. While the most touristy activities will be pretty obvious, once you step out of the airport, I want to give you guys a more local experience. Having been here with my Dutchie friends more times than I can count, Amsterdam truly is a second home to me. My blog series, Through The Local Lens, explores the insides of different cities I have traveled to and lived in. I started off with Sydney, and here we are with Amsterdam.

With dance and music festivals occurring ever so often, King’s Day (where the whole city is, um, not sober), and the residents of Amsterdam need no reason to party. To those who are looking for a quiet holiday, or one packed with endless raving, this is the perfect getaway. Here are the top food places, bars, and clubs to explore when you’re in Amsterdam…

Food and Beverages

1. Vegan Junk Food Bar, Amsterdam Oud-West

If there’s one thing you should know about me, it is that I am a sucker for all things healthy and vegan. And this is the place to be in Amsterdam for some good, yummy food. Despite the name, this food bar has a variety of healthy vegan items on its menu. A must try is their Unicorn bread and Daddy Mc Chik’n (yummmm).

2. Pancakes Amsterdam, Amsterdam Centraal

With a menu just as appealing as its location, Pancakes Amsterdam gives you a plethora of Dutch and American pancakes to choose from! I personally absolutely love their banana, chocolate and almonds pancake.

3. Bar-B Burgers n Beer, Amsterdam Prinsengracht

A hole in the wall kinda place, close to the famous Amsterdam Prinsengracht street, is this burger place. I highly recommend going the “Create your own burger” route.

4. The Avocado Show, De Pijp

The first ever all-avocado restaurant opened up in Amsterdam, and to be quite honest, I have never had a better avo-toast than I have here. Not only is their food simply delicious, but also their presentation is flattering.


1. The Bulldog Palace, Leidseplein

Amsterdam’s first coffee shop (no, not the drinking kind), this place is buzzing with people at any time of the day and night for that matter. From drinks to umm, more, this place offers live music as well!

2. Door 74, City Centre

The first speakeasy cocktail bar of its kind in the country, Door 74 is a secret bar behind a hidden door. Try their “Treasure Beneath the Frost” cocktail!


1. Claire, Rembrandtplein

This hidden gem is not an easy one to find. Tucked in between a club and a restaurant, Claire is famous for its house and techno beats.

2. Roest

Part beach, part restaurant, and part bar and club, this unconventional place hosts a multitude of events, including a flea bazaar and a double-decker bus to chill in. Come here to experience anything and everything.

These were my tips and recommendations for visiting Amsterdam. What do you think about these places? Any that made your bucket list? Which city do you want me to cover next? Leave us your comments below!

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