I love Amsterdam. I could live there without hesitation and I’m actually trying to figure out how to do just that when I retire. This seaport town has always had a diverse and tolerant history, and continues along those lines today.  The people are wonderful, friendly, and accepting. The city is filed with lovely canals, great eating, festivals and art to linger over.

www.askilene.com_5

So start your trip out with a grand walking (and eating) tour from  Hungry Birds –hungrybirdsamsterdam@gmail.com +31 61 898 6268

Owned and run by Zosia and Esther-Hanna (above). Our tour, Street Food, was led by Zosia, who was fun, interesting, and knew the great, small local spots to grab a unique bite.  All with an interesting story. You will love her.  There were only two other people on our tour with my husband, Chuck, and myself, so it was personal and tailored to our tastes.  The four of us had such a great time we didn’t want the day to end, so at 4PM we decided to get a glass of wine at  this amazing wine bar we happened on “Wijnbar diVino” (Voomstraat 41A).  One bottle lead to another and we both cancelled  our dinner reservations and ate and drank all night at this cozy place. Not only was the wine selection superb, but the food was delicious.  We told them to have the chef send out what he would like and keep it coming…and they did, with a special dessert on the house (we did close the place down and drank all their Brunello’s)! 

Now that I have whet your appetite, let’s talk restaurants.

Vermeer – a one star Michelin restaurant, a little formal, but amazing food and the best Sommelier I have ever met, who pulled up a chair after dinner and did a dessert wine tasting with us.  – Prins Hendrikkade 59-72, +31 20 556 4885

Daalder – Michelin star quality but without the Michelin star prices and behavior.  Reasonable, casual, friendly restaurant with food so good you thought you had died and gone to heaven.  Try the 5 course tasting & wine paring, life changing!  Lindegracht 90, +31 20 624 8864

Van Spevk– a classic brasserie, Amsterdam style, cozy, warm, romantic. Small menu but everything was excellent, good wine list also..   – Spuistraat 3D1, Amsterdam, Netherlands, +31 20 420 0117

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