As a long-term resident of Amsterdam, who has lived, loved and been in relationships that ended here, I’ve learnt the best places to conduct affairs of the heart in Amsterdam, city of kamikaze cyclists. In this message I’ll select my favorite places for the five stages of a relationship
Stage 1, the first date
You’ve swiped right, so has the Lion or Antelope of your dreams. You’ve made some inane and dare I say shallow conversation and now you’re going to meet for the first time. Spannend!!!!
So where to go? First impressions are essential. You don’t want to set false expectations by choosing somewhere too upmarket or expensive. You also want to ensure that the location isn’t half empty so that if the conversation falters you’re not left alone just the two of you, listening to the mice coughing. The best location for a first date has to be De Duvel. A successful eetcafe that’s been running for many years. The place has a buzzing atmosphere. Is always full of a mixture of irritating students shouting as if they believe they’re at a football match. Local yuppies, hipsters and some confused tourists. De Duvel offers great value for money. Choose this place and your date can only be impressed. If they’re not, jump to my list of the best places to end a relationship.
Stage 2 Meeting the Parents
You’ve been together for some time. Her Ugg boots are in the hallway or his brown shoes are by the door, gezellig! It’s time to meet the parents. You don’t just want to take them for some patat and a bottle of cola. It’s a special occasion, when the parents are going to be putting you under more scrutiny than a border guard in the USA when he hears that you flying from Amsterdam. You’ve got to impress! For that reason I’ll recommend a restaurant that is simply perfect, Restaurant Jaspers.
This gem of a place has food that would bring a serial killer to tears. The food is so delightful that it’s turned hardened atheists to god. When there go for the wine matching which is put together by their super talented sommelier. The set menu is incredible and will impress your parents. They still might hate you after the meal, but during it you’ll be a hero.
Stage 3 The Anniversary
If you’re male, you might recognize the following scenario.
“Darling I’m going out with the guys this Saturday”
“Is something wrong?”
“Well this Saturday is our 1st anniversary, but if your friends are more important…”
When this happens, don’t admit that you’ve forgotten. Start laughing and say “I was only joking, of course I remembered” then scramble for the Yelp app and look up where to go. I’ll save you some time by recommending that you go to Mystique. where they have the best ribs I’ve had in Amsterdam, wonderful service and nice booths for that intimate feeling. They also have desserts that will melt even the coldest of hearts.
Stage 4 Proposing marriage
If you decide that it’s time to pop the question, you don’t just want to do it in your local supermarket while buying frozen bitterballen. Location, Location, Location for which I’d suggest Ristorante Bellavista.
There are plenty of places to eat Italian food, but this is my favorite. A glorious menu featuring the best of Italian cuisine. A superb wine list, friendly attentive service and of course romantic too. Call ahead and ask them to have a bottle of champagne ready and get down on one knee and propose. At least if she refuses you’ll be in a place with great food.
Stage 5 Where to take the kids
She accepted, which was lucky as she was putting on weight, in fact two months later your first child arrived. Once you have a baby the challenge is often finding places where you can go for a quick bite to eat with the children. I can only recommend Cafe Goos which is probably the most child friendly cafe in Amsterdam. There’s plenty of room for the buggy and the kilos of accessories that you need to carry around with you. At weekends the place is full of children, and they also have a good childrens menu too.
I hope that the places listed above will help you on your way through the various stages of your relationships in Amsterdam. If all else fails check out my list of places to end relationships on Yelp 😉
Shallowman Amsterdam heeft zijn Britse bestaan ingeruild voor Amsterdam. Hij verbaast zich over ons Nederlanders en deelt dat op zijn (te grappige) blog.