Officially, Amsterdam’s new Foodhallen doesn’t open until tomorrow, but the internet has been buzzing with excitement about this new foodie dream for a few weeks already so, when I got a text from my fellow food enthusiast E suggesting we check it out together, I jumped at the chance.
The Foodhallen is Amsterdam’s first indoor food hall – a sort of hip food court, if you will. Unlike the Markthal in Rotterdam, there are no produce stalls here – you come to eat.
Take tram 17 from central station to Ten Katestraat and you’re a minute’s walk away.
We came on a rainy Sunday afternoon, and the place was packed with excited groups of hip Amsterdamians and foreigners alike, ready to chow down and Tweet/Instagram their first impressions.
There are interesting stands set up everywhere – you can get burgers, Spanish tapas, gourmet kroket and bitterballen, temaki, pizza …
E had her eye on the Vietnamese stall, Viêt View, where they serve fresh rice paper rolls and bahn mi. Their rice paper rolls were popping up all over social media and we wanted to get in on the action!
We weren’t the only ones interested – while E went to grab us some drinks, I patiently waited for our order, staring longingly as plate after plate of delicious food passed under my nose. It took every ounce of self restraint not to take pictures of strangers’ plates!
Fortunately, my patience was well rewarded. The rolls were absolutely stuffed with shrimp and veggies, with the perfect hit of coriander and mint.
In Toronto we are spoiled with many a delicious Vietnamese restaurant, and – based solely on the shrimp rolls we had – I think Viêt View totally measures up. The next time I’m there, I’ve got my eye on their vegetarian bahn mi!
(Whenever I’m surrounded by food I find myself wishing I had a couple of extra stomachs – but alas! I have to make do with what I have, which is admittedly a larger-than-average appetite but only the one stomach.)
Next up was a heavier affair …
Have you ever been to the raclette stand in Borough Market in London? The one I gushed about back in the spring?
Well! If you live in the Netherlands and are a cheese enthusiast, I have good news for you: Caulils in the Foodhallen was inspired by their British pals and serves up very similar food, and you won’t need to take a plane to enjoy it!
We went back and forth between the grilled cheese sandwich and the raclette plate, before landing on the latter.
After we’d demolished our plate, it was time to head out and get on to our next stop of the day: the Pure Markt. But we couldn’t resist grabbing some goodies from the entrance hall before we did …
You know … just in case we got hungry!
The Pure Markt was a decidedly more laid-back affair, set up this time in the gorgeous Beatrixpark in the old south of Amsterdam.
Lots of stands were set up, selling not only delicious baked goods, but also homemade soaps, vintage clothing, and lovely Amsterdam-inspired gifts. It was the perfect place to have a snoop and walk off some of the cheese!
The Pure Markt changes location every week, so if you’re interested check out their website for their agenda!
And if you’re lucky, you may just be greeted by the welcome wagon …