Amsterdam, Beyond the Red Lights

Amsterdam, Beyond the Red Lights

by Nicha Jones

Amsterdam is one of my top 3 favorite cities in the world and I find myself returning almost every other year, partly due to my close friends who reside there. The city itself gets overlooked because of the weed tourism and Red Light District, but it’s so much more than that. I always describe it as the European response to California due to the colorful laid back-ness it seems to embody. People there are racially diverse as well as dynamic and there always seems to be something going on, whether you are visiting during the Summer or Winter ( or any other season in between).

Two things I love to do the most there is eat and shop, which is why I've rounded up a few of my favorite spots for your perusing pleasure.


Things I Like, Things I Love
Eerste Constantijn Huygensstraat 25-27, 1054 BP

This store embodies everything I love-casual, modern pieces that don’t cost an arm or leg to purchase. Brands like Cheap Monday are sprinkled into their own in house designs. They also have minimal home decor pieces that range from succulent plants to ceramic dish ware.


Jutland & Riska
Haarlemmerdijk 143, 1013 KG

If thrifting is the name of your game, then this place is really lovely for that! They carry a wide and colorful assortment of vintage and 2nd hand clothing that can easily be introduced to anyone’s closet!


Yam Yam
Frederik Hendrikstraat 88-90, 1052 HZ 

I fantasize about their truffle pizza on a reg basis and always make it a point to drag my friends here when I’m visiting. It’s a quaint, unpretentious pizza place that gets popular on weekends. This truly is a place where people living in the neighborhood dine at when they need a cheesy fix.


Bellamyplein 51, 1053 AT

When my tummy starts to rumble, this is the first place I think of to satisfy my hunger. They offer a wide variety of food from Bahn Mi sandwiches to the traditional Bitten Balls. They also have DJ’s come in for events on certain days of the week, usually weekends. It’s always a lively place, bustling with locals and tourists alike. An added plus is that it’s central to all the things you may want to see on your trip as well!

Lot Sixty-One
Kinkerstraat 112, 1053 ED 

If you are a real coffee snob, this is the place for you! It’s small and intimate, but don’t let that sway you from popping in for a caffeine fix! They are one of the best in the city and lucky for you-it’s relatively unassuming!


Marnixstraat 246, 1016 TL

This is the jam if you’re looking to enjoy some good beer while mingling with locals. It’s right on the water, so during the Spring and Summer, it’s nice to watch everyone cruise by in their boats. They serve food here too, but they are more well known for the beer on tap.

Cafe Amoi
Kinkerstraat 53AIII, 1053 DE 

This Indonesian joint does their South East Asian food so good that it doesn’t even seem like you’re eating food in a different country. The dishes are presented beautifully and look like exotic pieces of art. We went here for my friends birthday party and it was really ideal for a large group.


Hannekes Boom
Dijksgracht 4, 1019 BS

This beer garden is right along the water, with spectacular views. It gets really crowded on a nice sunny day and can get a bit rowdy, but if you are in a partying mood, this is the place for you! The crowd largely consists of locals with some international tourists scattered in.