I think whoever invented brunch is a genius. Mixing the best parts of breakfast with the best features of lunch and combining them into one delicious meal. Getting up late on a weekend (hangovered or not), putting on some lazy clothes and starting into the day with: coffee. Oh yes, before I had my coffee you shouldn’t try to start any kind of conversation with me. Not because I’ll be mean (ok, maybe sometimes), but simply because I can’t stop thinking about that perfect drink in my hands. After coffee I am in for everything and anything. Pancakes with fried egg, maple syrup and bacon?! Oh, yes! Chicken & sweet waffles and some more sweet maple syrup on top?! Now we’re talking! Truffled eggs toast with runny egg, melted cheese and truffle oil?! Get into my belly!
Don’t get me wrong; I love a good breakfast. But before going to work I usually don’t have too much time to prepare something nice and proper. So most of the time I skip it and choose a cup of coffee instead. So the breakfasts from during the week accumulate and I simply have a big brunch on the weekend.
I also have the impression that over the last years a lot of brunch places popped up in European cities. Everyone’s crazy about avocado toast, eggs benedict, French toast, pancakes and so on.
Amsterdam is such a brunch city, too. There are plenty of places serving freshly brewed coffee, or where a hangover curing Bloody Mary is waiting for you. There is quite a number of breakfast places in Amsterdam. I therefore, happily provide you with my 5 favorite places and the dishes I recommend you to order in each of them.
1. Little Collins
Little Collins opened about 5 years ago and is since then successfully managed by Georgina. She’s a very nice and friendly Australian, happy to talk to you about coffee and food or to explain to you the different sorts of Bloody Mary they have.
The interior here is rather minimalistic with a big wooden table in the middle of the place and some single tables around. Light tiles cover the walls and dimmed light makes the place very cozy. You can also sit at the bar and watch the barkeeper preparing your anti-hangover drinks. Btw. I went for a smoky Bloody Mary, very spicy and with a piece of fried bacon on top.
What you should know is that the dishes here are real brunch dishes and are all quite heavy. Perfect for me, but if you prefer to start into the morning light, then better go to Little Collins around 1pm, when you’re really hungry.
Dishes I recommend: The ‘Secreto Iberico’. A very moist and fluffy French Toast, with a roasted apple and a braised onion on top, covered by a nice piece of tender pork and served in a sauce made from maple syrup, coffee (OMG!), Tabasco and apple juice. Believe me, this will be an explosion for your taste buds! The braised beef with beans, baked eggs, smashed avocado and sour cream was also really delicious.
I can’t decide whether it’s Little Collins or Dignita being my favorite spot. This brunch place has quite a unique and impressive concept. All profits made from the café go to an organization helping people to reintegrate into society. It’s basically a social enterprise with a special focus on food.
The place isn’t very central. To get there you can either take a bike, a tram or simply take a nice 20-minutes walk through Vondelpark or one of the nice streets next to it. Once you’ve arrived at Dignita, you enter into a spacious and light place with seatings on three different floors. I always prefer to sit upstairs and watch the buzzing business going on close to the entrance. The decoration is quite minimalistic, but still cozy with nice wooden tables, candles and interesting paintings covering the walls.
Dishes I recommend: The eggs benedict with apple cider hollandaise on a Rösti are amazing and my favourite thing to order here; the pancakes with lavender cream, seasonal fruit, maple syrup (add bacon!) are fluffy and have just about the right dose of sweetness; the toast with truffled mushrooms and a poached egg on top; the mashed avocados.
In the East of Amsterdam, you’ll find this nice spot with seating inside and outside. I didn’t see it in any city guide, nor did I find a lot of photos of it on the Internet. But just walking in and trying their food was absolutely the right decision. The staff was very nice, flexible towards my extra-wishes (‘could you add some bacon, please?’) and the atmosphere is nice and vibrant, but not too loud. Sitting outside might be nice during good weather, but it’s not one of the nicest views in Amsterdam, because you’re looking straight at a big street.
The interior is cozy and there is enough space to sit and enjoy your food, without being squeezed to close to your neighbors, what might be the case for other places.
Dishes I recommend: The avocado toast with cherry tomatoes was great. It came on a thick and crispy piece of sourdough with mashed avocado, whole cherry tomatoes and Parmesan pieces on top; the English breakfast; the French toast (also nice if you add bacon to it, I know I’m a food pervert) had just the right texture and served with seasonal fruit that’s the perfect dish for anyone with a sweet tooth.
10-16€ for a brunch dish and a coffee
4. Scandinavian Embassy
No, you’re not here to apply for Danish or Swedish citizenship. This little café in De Pijp, an area South of the city center, is located just next to a lovely little park, which I happily call my favorite one in A’dam: Sarphatipark. The interior is very Scandinavian; minimalist, light, with some nice details and giving you that cabin feeling.
The coffee comes from different roasteries with Coffee Collective from Copenhagen being one of my favorite ones. They sell delicious filter coffee and are happy to brew all their drinks the way you like it
Dishes I recommend: Do me a favor and TRY. THE. CINNAMON BUNS. They are delicious, especially if still warm and when having a coffee with them.
There are three ‘Gs’ in Amsterdam. One in de Pijp, one in the Jordaan area and one on a boat. They serve brunch on weekends and throughout the week and are happy to provide you with Mimosas, Bloody Mary and boozy milkshakes. The one in the Jordaan area isn’t too big, so make sure to reserve in advance.
The decoration is rather artsy with some funny details, as for examples the menus, which have the shape of a record. The bar looks nice as well, with some vintage details and three big chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.
Dishes I recommend: I really liked the chicken that came with the chicken&waffles dish. It was super tender, the crust wasn’t too thick and it all had just about the right spiciness. Their eggs B. are nice, too and can be ordered on waffles instead of the standard English muffin.
14-18€ for a brunch dish and a coffee