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The Best of Amsterdam, According to Local Denim Heads

There’s more to Amsterdam than the round walls of Kingpins Amsterdam. Beyond its famous canals, renowned art museums and infamous Red Light District, there are hidden gems across the Amsterdam waiting to be discovered.

Rivet asked Amsterdam locals in the denim community to share their top picks for late-night snacks, group cocktails and other not-to-be-missed hot spots.

Here, Mira Copini, Jean School co-founder and coordinator, Pablo Riekwel, Denim City intern; Milene Tjong, Denim City operations manager; Jos Van Den Hoogen, Denim City workshop manager; Isa Van Der Laan, salesperson at Denim City Shop; Silvia Rancani, owner of The Denim Window; and Shirley Zheng, House of Gold designer, share their “best of Amsterdam.”

Rivet: What the best spot for a late-night snack?

Ingwer: Leeman’s doner kebab
Jos: Broodje Dobber. Try the Dutch croquette.
Milene: FEBO
Mira: Indonesian Bojo Restaurant
Pablo: Domino’s pizza
Shirley: The Butcher for burgers, or Wok to Walk—a guilty pleasure.
Silvia: Food Hallen located in De Hallen, near Denim City.

Febo restaurant
FEBO Shutterstock

Rivet: What is the best store to shop for denim?

Ingwer: Denim City and Tenue de Nimes.
Isa: Denim City because we have good quality, a sustainable way of thinking and personal assistance to help you find the right jeans.
Jos: Indigo Mood for good vintage. Denim City for a new jeans or tailor-made denim.
Milene: Denim City.
Mira: Tenue de Nimes.
Pablo: Denim City.
Shirley: Episode for vintage Levi’s.
Silvia: Tenue de Nimes and Concrete Matter for vintage military.

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Rivet: What is the best place for dinner?

Ingwer: My favorite restaurant is Rijsel, which has a good atmosphere and food and nice people.
Isa: As a student, I like Vapiano and Saturnino for nice Italian food.
Jos: Vrouw met de Baard, Soul Food and Food Made by Love
Milene: Bar Fisk. It’s a great hangout with a big group.
Mira: Vrouw met de Baard.
Pablo: Volkshotel.
Shirley: Spaghetteria. It’s a great pasta place with wine while you wait.
Silvia: Happyhappyjoyjoy for Asian cuisine, Fiko for pizza and The Seafood Bar for seafood.

Rivet: What is the most underrated place that tourists don’t know about?

Ingwer: What I really enjoy is the A’Dam Tower. Not very underrated, but it has a beautiful atmosphere, with drinks, good music and friendly people. Not something tourists wouldn’t know about, but I still highly recommend it.
Isa: Skate Café—good vibes and you can skate!
Jos: Sunday at Vondel Park. Spontaneous things happening there, like cabaret, music and dancing.
Milene: Noord because there is not so much tourism there. And of course, when you want more nature and quiet, Amsterdam Bos is really beautiful. Amstel is also nice.
Mira: If you like dancing, look up the local salsa night. Venues change every week, so you need to look up where they’re taking place.
Pablo: In Westergas, a place called Dumplings with Chinese pancakes with pistachio.
Shirley: Amsterdam Noord is amazing. Ij-Hallen flea market is great to visit. Pllek is a nice “beach” club during the day, and at night there are many warehouse parties at clubs like Shelter. I love going to Amsterdam Roest or Hannekes Boom by boat with friends—bring a nice charcuterie plate and some wine and boat around Amsterdam—and then end up at one of these places for lunch or dinner. You get the best views of Amsterdam on a boat. There’s no other way to see the beauty in this city.
Silvia: Plantage and its botanical garden, or Amsterdam Bos for a recharging walk in the nature.

Vondal Park
Vondal Park Shutterstock

Rivet: What is the place for a large group to get a drink?

Ingwer: Cafe Amsterdam.
Isa: Pool Bar.
Jos: Waterkant.
Milene: De Japanner.
Mira: Hotel Jakarta.
Pablo: De Pikp bars.
Shirley: De Tulp, or any of the bars in Gerard Douplein area. Love Glou Glou wine bar. Also love the G&T bar at Foodhallen.
Silvia: Pont 13.

Rivet: What is the best souvenir to take home from Amsterdam?

Ingwer: Nijntje dolls
Isa: Dutch cheese from Kalverstraat.
Jos: Memories.
Milene: Stroopwaffels.
Mira: Chocolates from Puccini Bomboni
Pablo: Nijntje.
Shirley: Oude Amsterdam cheese, it’s the best.
Silvia: Cheese or tulip bulbs.