Amsterdam’s Oud-West (Old West) has always attracted families, shoppers and hipsters. Some 170 nationalities call it home, while outsiders come to eat, play and shop. Stretching west from Vondelpark to Overtoom and Mercator, the multicultural neighborhood is just outside the city’s historic canal ring, but easily accessible from its buzzing hub. Unlike districts closer to Centrum, locals outnumber tourists here, attracted by specialty shops, restaurants, bars, cafés and cozy terraces on shopping streets like Kinkerstraat and Overtoom. That may change with the opening of several new hotspots sure to draw an influx of tourists and visitors from other neighborhoods.
Oud-West highlights include The Zevenlandenhuizen (Seven Countries Houses) on Roemer Visscherstraat. Built in 1894, each of seven houses in the lineup represents an architectural style from a different European country. Architect Tjeerd Kuipers designed the residences, which were commissioned by Amsterdam philanthropist Sam van Eeghen. Equestrians won’t want to miss Hollandsche Manege, Holland’s oldest riding school, dating back to 1744. The current building, constructed in 1881 and restored in 1986, was inspired by Vienna’s Spanish Riding School and has been declared a national monument. Its ornate interior features a grand hall where dressage competitions and other events are held.
Trade Albert Cuyp for Ten Kate
If there’s anything you need, chances are you’ll find it at Ten Katemarkt—three blocks between Kinkerstraat and Clercqstraat in the Oud-West lined with outdoor stalls brimming with fresh produce, flowers, fish, meat, bread and cheese. For non-cooks, there’s also souvenirs, clothing and accessories. Open daily except Sunday, Ten Katemarkt attracts more locals than tourists and is more condensed than Amsterdam’s giant Albert Cuyp market. Despite its manageable size, it offers an equally broad selection of edibles and goods as its larger cousin in de Pijp.
Waterkant Debuts on Singlegracht
With proven vision, the trio behind Amsterdam’s Bukowski Bar, Café Kuijper and Maxwell have transformed the dilapidated night shelter behind the Q-Park on Marnixstraat into a popular canal-side bar and restaurant—perfect for a romantic date or evening out with friends. Opened in August 2014, Waterkant debuted to overnight success, offering casual drinking and dining on an expansive waterfront terrace. At colorful tables, customers can watch boats passing by and the Nassaukade street scene. Looking to Amsterdam’s colonial past, the new hotspot offers a Suriname-inspired menu with specialties like peanut soup, curried duck spring rolls, fried dumplings and roti roll. If you’re starving, order the Jamaican Jerk ribs—a whopping 16 barbecued bones served with coleslaw and fries. Or blow the budget on a whole Canadian lobster for €25. Wash it all down with traditional Parbo beer or a local craft brew.
De Hallen: Tram Depot Turned Hotspot
For decades, Amsterdam’s old tram depot on Bellamyplein begged for redevelopment. The transformation of its decaying buildings into a monumental hall housing restaurants, a public library, movie halls, an indoor food court, working studios and a hotel debuted with the opening of De Hallen (The Halls) in October 2014.
A New Indoor Food Court
Inside De Hallen, Foodhallen (Food Halls) has magnetized locals with its eclectic blend of ethnic food and drink in a buzzing indoor food court. Inspired by the likes of Copenhagen’s Torvehallerne, Madrid’s Mercado de San Miguel, and London’s Borough Market, the place is a beehive of activity on weekend evenings—a great place to take a date or meet friends.
For a quieter experience, go at lunchtime on a weekday. As for what to eat, you’ll have your pick from a maze of stalls proferring everything from Vietnamese street food to gourmet hot dogs and fresh-baked sourdough bread. Familiar names like The Butcher, Caulils, Wild Moa Pies, Bbrood, Pink Flamingo and Petit Gateau are represented alongside more foreign newcomers like Bulls and Dogs and Viet View. Eet smakelijk!