i have a thing for amsterdam. i could write you a whole list why i fell in love with this city the first time i visited about 10 years ago (the list would include HEMA, bijenkorf, fries, canals...). i even decided to take a year off from work and move to amsterdam. the thought of going to the flowermarket & eat a piece of applecake at villa zeezicht every day was just too tempting. so i packed my bags and moved to the jordaan area of amsterdam for a while.

with the applecake you got one of the most important amsterdam foods you have to try. there is many who serve it - but the one at villa zeezicht (for adress, see below) and at the bakkerswinkel is hard to beat. make sure you order a decent scoop of whipped cream with it - the sour apples and the sweet cream are a perfect match!

below you will find just some of the "must-see-must-do" adresses for a trip to amsterdam. and since you cant eat all day i included some shopping, too. which i guess you dont mind...

delicious! goats cheese salad at 't tuinfeest

warm summer nights are best enjoyed in a cute little restaurant like 't tuinfeest (geldersekade 109) in the newmarket area. they make a wonderful warm goats cheese salad, serve a delicious steak and a cheese fondue, too if you are in the mood. it's a wonderful spot to see the world go by and the sun dissapear behind the breathtaking skyline of the buzy red-light district.
and the best thing about this restaurant is, that it's just around the corner from the italian ijssalon tofani (kloveniersburgwal 16)! this family run business has been serving its homemade icecreams for ages and it's just such a wonderful old-fashioned place to be. they sell their icecream by the scoop - if you are as crazy as we are, you order the big bowl with a capacity of 20 scoops. dont miss it - and if you are lucky my friend bob will be there, too and strike a pose for you (you might have to buy him some icecream in return...)

lovely bob - striking a pose with icecream

the area of the newmarket & zeedijk is also home to one of the best thai-places in the city: snackbar bird (zeedijk 77). it's a tiny little restaurant and you will have to squeeze yourself in with loads of other (mostly fun people) but it's definitely worth it. they make amazing fishcakes and their red curry with tofu and bamboo sprouts is hard to beat. another plus: it's dead cheap!

i would start a fight for this: roastbeefsandwich @ puccini

a nice walk along the canals away is a place you MUST NOT miss when in amsterdam. it's the cafe that serves the best roastbeefsandwich in the whole wide world: cafe puccini staalstraat 12. their roastbeef sandwich is made with herb mayonnaise, fresh salad, egg and tomato and is so good, i usually have seconds. if you are not into roastbeefsandwiches: they have other sandwiches such as salmon (yum!) or salads like goats cheese (heaven!) or their signature-dish: the puccini salad with roasted pine nuts, loads of herbs and smoked turkey (impossible to resist!). it's always busy - but try to get the red sofa in the back - you get the best views from there!
and just in case you haven't ordered one of their sinful chocolate tarts for dessert, just two doors down from cafe puccini is chocholate heaven puccini bonboni (staalstraat 17). fresh, handmade pralines in a plethora of shapes and styles -- pure, milk, white - are laid out on a long, open table. you better go there with a low sugar level as you will buy loads of these lemongrass / cranberry / cinnamon / ... chocolates. they also sell the darkest cocoa powder on the planet, so make sure you buy a pack. it will be like gold for your homebaked brownies.

chocaholic anyone? - cinnamon chocolates at puccini

if you are into noodles, dont miss wagamama at max euweplein 10. they are such friendly people who serve good food (the cha han with miso soup is hard to beat!). they close at 10, so dont go too late.
if you feel like indonesian food, head over to the flowermarket, where you will find indonesian restaurant sanapurna. they serve wonderful rice with meat and yummy sauces and everything (quite spicy, too!)
one thing you will find everywhere are fries. but there is only one place where you will get the best fries in the whole city of amsterdam. the "vlaamse frittenhuis" i am talking about is located in a tiny street (voetboogstraat - a side street of kalverstraat) and you will see people queue from far. but it's worth the wait. the fries are crunchy and the mayonnaise on top just heaven!

make sure your fries are covered with mayonnaise

villa zeezicht (toorensteg 4) is the place to go for a warm piece of applecake fresh out of the oven! it's one of the best in town - you might want to order a second slice... oh it's just so good! the cafe is very romantic and has an old fashioned feel - whenever the sun is out you can sit on the bridge over the canal and enjoy your zeezicht-salad and salmon sandwich. dont miss!

cozy & romantic - outside "villa zeezicht"

de bakkerswinkel (warmoesstraat 69) is the cutest cafe ever. a former roasting house - now the probably busiest cafe in town. they serve a good breakfast with homemade jam, a decent afternoon tea with scones and clotted cream, salads and tiny but good sandwiches. the thing i love most about the bakkerswinkel is just next to the door - their buffet of homemade cakes and jam! dont miss their applecake - it comes straight out of the oven. closed on mondays and -hell!-busy on weekends. try to make it there on a weekday.

scones and clotted cream at bakkerswinkel

if you are looking for decent icecream and a little something sweet during your shopping trip along the 9 straatjes, head over to pastry shop lanskroon (corner of singel and roskampstraat, close to the spui). they make this awesome raspberrytart that i am sure you would want some, too.

pastries and homemade icecream at lanskroon

time for shopping - it's best to start your day at around 10ish at my girls BLOND's shop at singel 369. they paint the most beautiful designs on teapots, cups, plates and bowls. lotsa cute designs, polkadots, pinks and greens. robbie williams has got one of their teapots, kylie and jamie oliver, too. (right, tina turner is the one i forgot to mention). janneke and femque are two lovely girls that started their business a while back in a tiny little shop without central heating. i love thinking back, how we met: it was winter and we were all freezing and wearing moon-boots! their new shop is at the beautiful canal single (they will move in late summer of 2007, so check back with their website to find out where they are at). send them my love when you visit - you will see they are loooovely!

lovely janneke from BLOND at work - isnt she adorable?

well - sometimes jannekes and femques shop BLOND is almost sold out. sometimes a little swiss lady comes along and buys and packs up all their lovely paintings and bowls and plates. (that would be me). fortunately they also sell their adorable stuff at deparmentstore BIJENKORF (dam square) and at V&D (kalventooren shopping centre). you will find oven gloves, little plates to die for, a tapas set, cakestands and cute little cakeforks in their kitchen deparment. pack an extra bag. you will buy loads...

from teapots to teacups - BLOND's designs

there is really one thing you must not miss when in amsterdam - it's HEMA. if you havent seen HEMA, then it's as if you have been to paris but havent seen the eiffel tower. HEMA is a must. HEMA has got all the stuff you want and need. beautiful kitchen towells, well designed garden furniture and loads of bric a brac for the house and garden. there is two HEMAS in the city centre. the one at kalvertooren shopping centre (just around the corner from the flower market) is my HEMA. shopping heaven. dont miss!

fields of flowers @ flowermarket

speaking of the flowermarket: it's the place to meet hordes of tourists, so you wanna go pretty early in the morning or later in the day at around 5 - 5.30ish. great place to buy an amarillys-bulp you can grow back home - and maybe you are like me and wont be able to resist those big bunches of lillies and roses for just 15 euros.

the 9 small street (9 straatjes) are located between singel and prinsengracht and are just lovely to walk around as you will discover all kinds of antique & second hand shops, little cafes and all kinds of cute boutiques. it will take you about an afternoon to visit all the streets - a day if you intend on ordering coffee & cake in the various cafes you will discover on your way.

bike @ singel canal

another street i enjoy walking along is the haarlemerstraat. it's very close to the main station and the perfect starting point if you plan to explore the jordaan (former jewish part of the city). the haarlemerstraat is home to loads of little bric a brac stores such as het grote avontuur(haarlemerstraat 25). they have got the most beautiful chinese fabrics and little bits and pieces with polkadots and cute stripes and stars on it. if you have a thing for cute cups, too then this is where you will feel like home.

also not to miss is the raadhuisstraat, which starts at dam square and leads into the rozengracht. it's home to 3 of my favourite places. kitsch kitchen (rozengracht 8-12)is heaven for girls like me. loads of stuff made of plastic (but cute) - some cute china decorations & plates and cups and pots and really a place to discover loads of cute things.

a little further down the street you will find a wonderful turkish bakery & snack shop - mercan pastanesi at rozengracht 148. they make this wicked turkish pizza - i cant walk past without ordering one.

a little snack will do you good, since you are about to enter design temple NOLITA (rozengracht 196). they sell loads of wonderful dutch and swedish design for the kitchen / garden / living room and have the cutest things for dogs, too. if you have a thing for tord boontje you will find his tablestory collection and some of his lamps there. and if you love lamps - this shop will make you ship big, big boxes of lampshades back home. they come in all kinds of coulours and the most beautiful designs. i did it - i am sure you can, too!
another shop that's very good for cute things & glitzy stuff you might not need but cant live without is CHRISTIAN DOM (spuistraat 281). this shop is often mistaken as a disco - because you will hear kylies voice from far... oh those ladies will make your shopping trip a glamorous adventure.