April 30 is Queen’s Day: Holland’s national celebration and the day when the country – and its capital in particular – goes absolutely bonkers. And while there’s no point us telling you where to do your drinking (if you’re in town, the party will find you and if it doesn’t, just head toward the sea of orange wigs), when the singing stops, the sun rises and the hangover kicks in, chances are you’ll be in need of some serious TLC. And when that dark hour arrives, here’s where to head.
Best for food
Bagels & Beans
An Amsterdam success story, this branch of B&B has a wonderfully peaceful back patio. Perfect for an economical breakfast, lunch or snack; sun-dried tomatoes are employed with particular skill, elevating the humble sandwich to the status of something far more sublime and satisfying. Van Baerlestraat 40 (675 7050, www.bagelsbeans.nl). Other locations Ferdinand Bolstraat 70, De Pijp (672 1610); Keizersgracht 504, Western Canal Belt (330 5508).
This designer burger specialist offers a standard choice of beef, lamb, tuna or falafel burgers with toppings such as wild mushrooms, wasabi, grilled peppers or pancetta, as well as changing specials. Spoilt for choice? Opt for the sliders and get three different combinations. Albert Cuypstraat 48 (0900 287 4377, www.burgermeester.eu). Other locations Elandsgracht 130, Southern Canal Belt; Plantage Kerklaan 37, Oost.
The wonderful and deeply filling world of Dutch broodjes (sandwiches) has its greatest champion in this takeaway, one of very few that still features proper home-prepared meat (including excellent roast beef) and fish salads in their buns, as opposed to the hugely unappealing factory-prepared products that have taken over the sandwich market. An awesome lunch every time. Gasthuismolensteeg 9 (620 1045).
Service at this teashop is friendly but can tend toward the slow. Everything is freshly made, though – cakes, scones and muffins are baked daily on the premises – so it’s understandable. On warmer days, sit on the terrace by the canal for the ultimate alfresco eating experience. Singel 103 (623 7071, www.greenwoods.eu).
Best for coffee
A bakery-tearoom where you can indulge in lovingly prepared and hearty sandwiches, soups and the most divine slabs of quiche you’ve ever had. Zeedijk 37 (489 8000, www.debakkerswinkel.nl).
Open only for breakfast, lunch and a full-blown high tea, Gartine is a testament to slow food served by a friendly couple who grow their own veg and herbs in a greenhouse. Simple but marvellous. Taksteeg 7 (320 4132, www.gartine.nl).
De Taart van m’n Tante
‘My Aunt’s Cake’ started life as a purveyor of over- the-top cakes (which it still makes) before becoming the campest tearoom in town. In a glowing pink space filled with mismatched furniture, it’s particularly gay-friendly (note the Tom of Finland cake). A genuine local gem with bags of character. Ferdinand Bolstraat 10 (776 4600, www.detaart.nl).
Small World Catering
The home base for this catering company is this tiny deli with a lovely proprietor. Besides superlative coffee and fresh juices, there are salads, lasagnes and excellent sandwiches. Binnen Oranjestraat 14 (420 2774, www.smallworldcatering.nl).
Best for ‘something stronger’
The canal view alone places Basjoe among our favourite coffeeshops in Amsterdam. The amiable owner, James, greets his visitors with a handshake and manages to remember faces despite being the highest person in the room. Candlelit, with a plain decor of soft vinyl terracotta booths, cream walls and wooden tables, it’s all about the weed here – but the coffee is also outstanding. Kloveniersburgwal 62 (627 3858, www.basjoe.com).
One of the most easy-going coffeeshops around. This down-to-earth joint, with its understated decor and bare wooden tables, feels like a friendly corner café – with the kitchen to match. Substantial foodstuffs include sandwiches, soups, burgers and shakes. A note to late risers: the kitchen closes at 3pm. 1e Bloemdwarsstraat 2 (623 5639, www.paradoxcoffeeshop.com).
Hill Street Blues
With comfortable couches and natural lighting, this cosy corner shop is ideal for a mellow high. Delectable milkshakes, smoothies and space cook- ies are also worth indulging in. But if harder and louder is more to your liking, head to the sister shop on De Wallen’s Warmoesstraat 52, where the walls and furniture are covered in barely decipherable graffiti. The basement has pool tables and arcade games, and with a police station next door, you can savour a legal toke right next door to the law. A favourite of Irvine Welsh. Nieuwmarkt 14 (427 7878).