Establishment neighborhood
De Kaaskamer van Amsterdam
Runstraat 7, De 9 Straatjes
Within Amsterdam's picturesque canal-side shopping district, De 9 Straatjes ("The Nine Streets"), you'll find De Kaaskamer van Amsterdam, which has to be one of the world's most wonderful cheese shops. Obviously there's a lot of gouda, much of which is organic, along with ready-made food—homemade salads, sandwiches, and snacks—as well as specialty hams and wines. And should you be so inclined after visiting, they ship to more than 25 countries, including the U.S.
Bellamyplein 51, Oud West
This is the first large-scale indoor food market in the Netherlands and it’s already proven to be a great idea. Here, you can choose between Vietnamese banh mi, gourmet grilled cheese (this is the birthplace of gouda, after all), brick-oven pizza, Swedish meatballs, and so much more. Kids—and grownups with a sweet tooth to quell—go especially nutty for the crêpe stand and the dress-your-own-waffle station. Fair warning: seating room is very much first-come, first-served, so there may be some awkward stalking involved.
Love Stories
Herengracht 296, De 9 Straatjes
A Dutch brand through and through, Love Stories chose a well-loved, bi-level canal house as its only stand-alone location; inside, the setup is equal parts punk and French boudoir. You can easily cobble together matching bra-and-pantie sets, but the real fun lies in playing with different combinations of gauzy bralettes, cheeky panties, and silk pajama shorts. As of late, designer Marloes Hoedeman has been trying her hand at loungewear to great results.
Comme de Garçons POCKET
Prinsenstraat 26, Jordaan
The name “pocket” couldn’t suit the tiny sliver of a space better. The neat little shelves are stocked with a tight edit of the requisite striped tees, candy-colored wallets, and heart-adorned PLAY sweaters. And while there are dozens of Pocket shops around the world, each one with its own personality, this one stands out for its fragrance selection. In addition to the cult classic Wonderwood and Play Green, there are many hard-to-find scents and limited editions.
Gerda’s Flowers
Runstraat 16, De 9 Straatjes
It’s likely you’ll get a whiff of Gerda’s freshly picked blooms while bumming around 9 Streets before you actually see it. Whether you’re looking to pick up a quick hostess bouquet or elaborate centerpiece (these guys provide florals for tons of fashion events all over the city), beautiful results are guaranteed—high praise considering flowers are serious business in Amsterdam. While they make really great use of wildflowers, the selection of orchids and other exotics is excellent, too.
The Otherist
Leliegracht 6, De 9 Straatjes
Although the shop itself is rather small, it’s easy to burn an entire afternoon here. The walls are decked out from floor to ceiling with framed curiosities of all kinds, from brilliant blue butterflies to delicate beetles and stick bugs. And while we won’t pretend to know anything about bringing taxidermied goods through customs, there are plenty of other items worthy of suitcase space, like antique globes, unique cutlery, and stationery.
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