The Foodhallen in Amsterdam, it’s not a hidden gem anymore, because most (Dutch) people have already heard of the concept by now, but it’s still fun. Ever since I tasted the food markets in London, I’m a huge fan of food markets around the world. They’re cheap, healthy and divers. Besides the small farmers’ markets, we didn’t have these large foodmarkets in Holland. But then two big ones opened their doors in 2014: the Markthal in Rotterdam and the Foodhallen in Amsterdam. A couple of weeks ago I finally visited the one in Amsterdam, and I must say: I truly loved it!
The Foodhallen is part of the Hallen, an innovative concept that is located in an old tram depot on the Bellamyplein in Amsterdam West. You can come here for a cinema, a library, a hotel and even for the film studios. There are also some cute little shops where you can fix your bike or rent some art (always convenient to have around). The building itself has an industrial look with cold grey colors and pieces of rail on the floor. In my opinion it all gives off a bleak atmosphere, but then again I’m not a big fan of the industrial look. Luckily the food court makes up for it. The Foodhallen are located in area 3 and is called ‘Meat West, Brasserie and Foodcourt’. The emphasis on ‘meat’ shocked me at first, but luckily I had nothing to worry about. There were plenty of vegetarian options to choose from. The 21 stands offer snacks and dishes from all around the world. From Indian Tikka Masala to Vietnamese street food. The prices are a bit high, but the quality of the food makes up for it. Here a short list of the stands I liked.
Bulls & Dogs
A stand with some real dude-food: the hotdog. No wonder my boyfriend picked this stand first. And he was glad he did so, because he tasted here the best hotdog in his life, the ‘Smokey Pepper Dog’-hotdog. You can just see the passion for food here. It shows in the names of the dishes and the way the meals are presented. And luckily they also had a vegetarian hotdog: The ‘It’s Not A Dog’-hotdog. The name itself made me already curious and so I took a shot. I was a little anxious for the combination with the popcorn, but it worked. What a great combination!
A little bit hidden in the back you’ll find Green Brothers. The place to be for the vegetarians with some quiches, frittata, soups and salads. They also have some striking dishes. Take for instance the ‘Dutch weed burger’ made out of seaweed. Not something you see every day. Although it was a bit pricey (€8,-), I had to try it. And it’s definitely worth the money. You get a big burger on a green sandwich with pickles, tomato and home-made mayonnaise, and off course the seaweed burger. Definitely worth trying.
Caulils is a stand you cannot ignore. The smell of cheese is all around. At first I wanted to skip this stand, because I’m sure as not going to eat some ordinary grilled sandwich. I was already about to walk away, until I saw a sign with some excellent reviews. ‘The best grilled sandwich of Amsterdam’, it said. Apparently this wasn’t something you wanted to miss. So five minutes later I took a bite out of this golden sandwich, and there’s indeed nothing ordinary about it. The cheese, the onions, the flavour and the way it’s grilled makes it delicious.
Pasta di Mamma
And to wrap this up, we ended our food tour with some Italian snacks. We found this cute little shop in the back called ‘Pasta di Mamma’ and ordered two cannolis. One with white chocolate and the other with pistache. I had heard a lot about these Italian snacks, but I had never tasted one. But I must say, I gotta do that more often. The combination of soft cream with the crunch makes it delicious.
Four down, seventeen stands to go. I wanted to taste more, but sometimes it’s better to stop. I’m sure I’ll be back soon. If you are planning a getaway in Amsterdam, then I really recommend you visiting the Foodhallen in West. A surprising concept with international air. The food is delicious, you can see the handcraft of the vendors and the atmosphere is nice.
Have you ever been to the Foodhallen?
Foodhallen, Bellamyplein 51 in Amsterdam. Opened every day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and in the weekend til 9 p.m. From Central Station take tram 13 or 17.