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Amsterdam, Blog, Eat, Healthy, The Netherlands

Benji’s, Amsterdam East

April 17, 2017
Benji's, Amsterdam

Instagram has its uses, one of which is spotting good brunch places.  I’ve seen photos of the very pretty Benji’s come past quite a few times, so I decided to grab my chance and go and check it out myself.

Benji’s is in East Amsterdam on the Wibautstraat, very close to one of my favourite Amsterdam hotels the Volkshotel (it’s worth also having a drink on their roof terrace).  It’s not the most central of places (i.e you will need a bike to get here) but it’s worth the ride.  There have been quite a few cool openings on this street, like the Breakfast Club and roof terrace NEST, but Benji’s is the place that was top of my list.

Benji’s is very aesthetically pleasing, with huge ceiling to floor windows, and countless plants hanging from the ceiling and plant pots in every corner.  It feels a little like you’ve walked into a trendy greenhouse.

Benji's, AmsterdamBenji's, AmsterdamBenji's, Amsterdam

The guests here are as cool as the place itself, with bloggers typing away on their MacBooks and groups of gossiping friends sipping flat whites.  The staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful. All day breakfast/brunch/lunch is their thing, and their food has a definite health focus.  They are known for their yoghurt ‘bowls’ like the ‘Love Bowl’ I had (soy yoghurt, chia, berries and coconut) but they also offer incredible salads (Mol had the burrata salad) and great toasties.

Benji's, AmsterdamBenji's, AmsterdamBenji's, Amsterdam

The vibe is super laid back here, and very easy going, which makes it the perfect place to wake up.  I loved the coffee here too, which gives you that extra kick ready for a day of exploring Amsterdam.

Benji's, Amsterdam

Benji’s

Wibautstraat 196

1091 Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Blog, Eat, Healthy

Pluk, Amsterdam – for the perfect healthy brunch

September 26, 2015
Pluk, Amsterdam

Pluk is one of those places which draws you in off the street.  A place so photogenic it will send the most expert of Instagrammers into a tizzy.  It looks good from every angle, with huge windows allowing lots of light in, bright white walls, vases spilling with beautiful flowers, and huge crates and baskets laden with fruit and vegetables.  It’s feminine and pretty, and makes you want to recreate the whole place at home.  It is exactly my kind of place, and possibly – dare I say it – one of my favourite cafes in Amsterdam.

Pluk, Amsterdam

So what is it?  It’s the place to come for a healthy brunch, but it’s also ideal for a take away sandwich, salad, coffee or juice (they have so many options).  Having been going through a health craze for close to two years, I’ve visited as many healthy cafes and restaurants in London as possible, and have always thought Amsterdam was fairly disappointing on that front.  But slowly but surely the health craze has reached Amsterdam, which is now reflected in the cafes, juice bars and restaurants which have opened in the past few year or two.  I love places like Lavinia’s, Dr Blend, Vinnie’s Deli and now Pluk.

Pluk, AmsterdamPluk, Amsterdam

Pluk seems to have really nailed it though.  With seating upstairs on the mezzanine level overlooking the cafe, you can easily spend your whole morning here, watching people come in and out.  Have an energy booster shot to start, and work your way though salmon salads, cold-pressed juices and delicious coffees.

Pluk, AmsterdamPluk, Amsterdam

It also sells pottery and trinkets, reminding me a little of Anthropologie.  And apart from that, it is in the heart of the ‘Nine Streets’, Amsterdam’s cutest little streets crossing the main ‘royal’ canals in the centre of town.  These streets are perfect for a weekend stroll, with so many great shops and other cafes and bars.  Pluk’s sister property Ree7, is a few doors down and looks just as inviting, with perhaps a slightly trendier, more masculine feel to it.  It’s another one of Amsterdam’s most popular brunch hangouts though, and is most definitely next on my list.

Pluk, Amsterdam

Pluk Amsterdam

Reestraat 19

1016 DM Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Drink, Eat, Healthy

Lavinia’s, Amsterdam

June 14, 2015
Lavinia Good Food, Amsterdam

Lavinia is Amsterdam’s most popular ‘good food’ (as they call it) cafe.   We went in to grab one of their raw hot chocolates, but it appears that we were not the only ones in search of a post-Christmas ‘health’ injection.  It is super cosy, warm and welcoming, with good breakfast options (go for the banana pancakes), sourdough sandwiches, spelt pizzas and ‘green cocktails’ (without alcohol of course).  Highly recommended but be prepared to queue.

Lavinia Good Food

Kerkstraat 176

 

Amsterdam, Drink, Healthy

Dr Blend, Amsterdam – for the best cold-pressed juices

June 14, 2015
Dr Blend

Dr Blend is a delightful Juice Bar as well as health store, on one of Amsterdam’s prettiest canals.  They offer juices the colour of the rainbow – tonnes of healthy green mixes (I loved the sound of Dr Brockiwi – with kiwi and broccoli) but in the end I went for Dr Red (I can’t get enough of beetroot).   There is a small seating area from where you can admire the shelves of blenders and packets of quinoa, seeds and powders which gets me excited (but I am well aware this may not be everyones’ thing).  We saw sandwiches laden with smashed avocados go by, as well as delicious smelling soups and organic muffins.  Ideal if you’re looking for a healthy stop.

Dr Blend

Dr Blend

Herenstraat 23, 1015 BZ

 

Amsterdam, Eat, Healthy

Vinnies Deli, Amsterdam

June 14, 2015

 

Another good reason to visit the popular Haarlemmerstraat, this Deli serving delicious organic food and drink is well-worth popping by.  They also do private dining and offer a catering service, so you can get their fresh food delivered to your door.  The Deli is like a living room – you feel instantly at home.  All the furniture is for sale, so if you fancy any Dutch or Danish furniture – you can eat as well as buy.

They’ve been so successful they have now also opened a Deli on the Nieuwezijds Kolk (33).

vinnies 2

Vinnies Deli

Address: Haarlemmerstraat 46-h
1013 ES Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Eat, Healthy

Buffet van Odette, Amsterdam

November 14, 2014
Buffet van Odette, Amsterdam

Every time I return to Amsterdam it has numerous new tempting brunch additions.  But when I was in town two weeks ago I was determined to brunch at Buffet van Odette – a cafe/restaurant which is a staple brunch place for most young and ‘with it’ Amsterdammers, and which I, shamefully, had yet to visit.

The name is misleading, since it does not really offer a buffet – though the bar and windowsill display a selection of plates of cakes and pastries and huge bowls of the freshest, most colourful salads – so a buffet of sorts.

Buffet van Odette, Amsterdam

Buffet van Odette, Amsterdam

Buffet van Odette, Amsterdam

I was worried that this bright, charming, and seriously popular cafe would be full as we walked down the Prinsengracht on a beautiful autumnal Saturday morning.  It takes no brunch bookings after all.  But we were lucky – while the small terrace facing the canal (i.e prime seats) was busy, inside was relatively empty.  Just a few friends catching up, and a number of couples sipping cappuccinos.

 

Buffet van Odette, Amsterdam

Buffet van Odette, Amsterdam

Buffet van Odette, Amsterdam

 

We ordered Bloody Marys (good ones) while we waited for our food (which did take a while).  The truffle cheese omelette was high on everyones list.  Turns out that it’s famous for a reason – it blew us all away. I felt like something lighter so went for the ‘salad from the buffet’.  And this was really no ‘normal’ salad –  my bowl was piled high with all my favourite ingredients: roasted beetroot, crunchy quinoa, grilled carrots, creamy humous, tomato tapenade, carvelo nero kale and fennel with dill.  Sublime.   Oh, and the bread they use – from Hartog – is seriously good too.

Buffet van Odette, Amsterdam

Buffet van Odette, Amsterdam

Buffet van Odette, Amsterdam

Buffet van Odette also serves dinner (which you can book), and for 30 euros you can get a three-course meal.  Niet slecht (not bad).  Seeing the canal lit up at night through their large windows can’t be a bad way to end your day either.

Buffet van Odette has prime location on one of Amsterdam’s most stunning canals and those who don’t know Amsterdam well should stroll along the Prinsengracht after brunch towards the ‘negen straatjes’ (nine little streets), for some window shopping and more cute cafes and restaurants.  We passed a new shop called ‘Second Female’ – a Danish brand which recently opened in Amsterdam, offering amazing knit jumpers, lose fitting smart winter coats and tailored dresses.  On the pricier side of the high street, but just about affordable.  And at least no one else will be wearing it in England!

Amsterdam

negen straatjes, amsterdam

Second Female, Amsterdam

Second Female, Amsterdam

Second Female, Amsterdam

Buffet van Odette

Prinsengracht 598

1017 KS Amsterdam

020  423 60 34

Photos City Turtle’s and Buffet van Odette’s (Moon Jansen)

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