Eating clean during a city trip may be challenging. Amsterdam doesn’t offer many healthy options if you’re watching what you eat and really want/need to eat healthy. Here is a quick guide to find healthy options during your stay in Amsterdam so that you don’t end up in a fast food restaurant like many tourists.
The best way to eat healthy and save some money is simply to go to the supermarket instead of buying a 7 euro bagel. I love going to the supermarket when I’m abroad because you always discover new products and new brands. For example, I love the giant yogurt and cheese aisles in French supermarkets or the 1,000 different kinds of pasta in Italian supermarkets.
Whether you arrived in Amsterdam by train or by plane, you’ll probably arrive at Amsterdam central station first. When you’re out of the station, you can find a supermarket nearby on the Prins Hendrikkade street facing the central station. The supermarket is called Albert Heijn (name of the supermarket chain) and is located in a building dating from 1883.
Albert Heijn supermarket on the Prins Hendrikkade
You can also find organic products in this supermarket (if “biologisch” is written on the package). If you prefer going to an all-organic supermarket, you’ll find a few organic supermarkets in the city center.
Adresses of two of them are:
Biologische supermarkt Organic – Vijzelstraat 129 – 1017 AJ Amsterdam
Biomarkt – Weteringschans 133-137 – 1017 SC Amsterdam
A local organic product that is worth trying is “kwark“. Kwark is a kind of yogurt similar to Greek yogurt but lighter and smoother. It’s rich in protein (13,5 gram of protein, 3 g of carbs per 100 grams of product).
I love the brand Weerribbenzuivel. Their fat-free kwark (“Magere kwark“) is very rich and flavorful for a fat-free product. They say on the package that their cows decide when they want to be milked by joining their milk station only when they feel like it.
Eating on the go: grab a soup
Soup en zo is a take-away shop where you can buy a soup for about 5 euro. The soups are fresh and change according to the season or the weather: chickpea soup, Indonesian chicken soup, spinach soup with coconut milk, cold gazpacho when the weather is warm (rare in Amsterdam…)
The only negative point may be that some soups are sometimes too salty if you’re watching your sodium intake.
They have 2 addresses in Amsterdam: Jodebreestraat 94a and Nieuwe spiegelstraat 54.
Pumpkin soup with coriander
Herrings (even if it’s a bit scary!)
Ok, I admit you have to be a bit adventurous to try this Dutch speciality: raw shiny silver fish served with chopped onions and pickles. If you’re brave enough to try, find some fresh herrings called “Hollandse Nieuwe” catch between May and July. They are the best type of herring. You can buy them at one of the little take-away stands found throughout the city center.
Eating herring is a bit like eating sushi, so don’t be scared, if the herring is fresh, it’s delicious. You get 17 grams of protein, 1 grams of carbs and 6 grams of good unsaturated fat full of omega 3 in a portion of two small fishes.
Lunch: a few addresses
If you need to sit down for some time to have lunch, here are 3 addresses to have an healthy lunch or a coffee.
Pompadour is a small lunchroom where you can have a salad, a quiche, a soup or a sandwich.
2 adresses: Huidenstraat 12, 1016 ES Amsterdam and Kerkstraat 148, 1017 GR Amsterdam.
Sugarless is also a lunchroom / café. Everything is organic but everything is quite expensive too.
Address: Bilderdijkstraat 92, 1053 KX Amsterdam
Gartine is a popular adress for lunch / tea but it’s so popular you have to make reservation.
Address: Taksteeg 7 BG, 1012 PB Amsterdam.
Frozz sells frozen yogurt at different locations in Amsterdam. One serving of their frozen yogurt is 108kcal, 4.3 of protein, 14.8 grams of carbs, 3.5 grams of fat. www.frozz.com
If you’re a vegan or cannot eat dairy, you can buy an ice cream at Fiori di gelato, their fruit flavored ice-creams are dairy free. Address: Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 56 1018LP Amsterdam
Quality dark chocolate: See my post about my favorite chocolate shops in Amsterdam.
Things to avoid
Unless you find high quality Dutch cheese, the Gouda, Edam and Massdammer that are sold are not that great.
FEBO is a fast food chain where you can buy your snacks from a wall-mounted vending machine. Sausages like “Frikandel” or “Kroket” are made from minced meat and deep-fried. Unlike other fast food chains, you have no healthy option whatsoever in FEBO, no salad, nothing.
Dutch treats made of butter: they may look appealing but they’re not that good.