Expat guide on specialized groceries
Many areas that do not have a supermarket that opens late or on Sundays will have an Avondwinkel. This is a “night shop” that will stay open until the early hours of the morning and will sell a small range of specialized groceries items, wine and beer at prices approximately double those charged in supermarkets.
The various markets that sell food (refer to the section on open-air markets) in Amsterdam are great places to find the different specialty foods that you need. For example, the farmers’ market is a great option for those looking for organic products, and the Lindengracht market, just around the corner, promises to offer the freshest variety of local and international – including French and Italian – meats, cheeses and baked products.
Meat Markets/Butchers (Slagerij)
Butchers in Amsterdam stock cuts of meat that might not be found in a supermarket, like those from other parts of the world. In these small shops, you typically will have to go up to the counter and request a certain amount of the kind of meat that you want from the person who is working behind the counter. You will be able to see the prices of the products available, listed by their price per gram or kilogram. For the most part, butchers in Amsterdam will be able to assist you in English.
There are many stores that sell vegetables and fruit, plus there are stalls in the markets that also sell vegetables and fruit, in particular the Albert Cuyp market (open daily) and the Noordermarkt (open Saturdays) are recommended. At the markets, it is often the case that you can select your fruit yourself, and then wait for the person working at the stall to weigh your fruit, so that you pay the appropriate amount. Alternatively, you can ask the person to help you, by requesting a certain amount of fruit (by weight or number of pieces), and they will then put the items in a bag for you, and you can purchase your fruit that way.
In the smaller supermarkets, where you can often see impressive displays of fresh produce inside and often outside the shops, the protocol for service is quite similar to that of the markets. Most often, you will ask the individual at the counter for the fruit that you would like (either by weight or number of pieces), and they will let you know how much the items cost.
Fish Market (Vishandel)
Fish and other seafood can be obtained at a specialised shop or at stalls at certain markets, with the Noordermarkt and Ten Katemarkt, an open-air market located on the Kinkerstraat, worth mentioning. You can also find fresh fish in Nieuwmarkt:
Tel: 020 625 5776
British/International Food Stores
These stores feature items that are sold largely through the United Kingdom and Ireland; however, they also sell many widely know and appreciated American products, as well as traditional Dutch and other European specialty items.
This store sells American and British foods (and some Dutch products interspersed among the goods) at unreasonably astronomical prices. For example, you will likely find your favourite breakfast cereal from back home for sale, here, for at least 3 or 4 times its “normal” price.
Amsterdam, 1017 PC
1st Constantijn Huygenstraat 94
1054 BX Amsterdam
Arkwright’s British Isles Food Emporium
This store offers a variety of foods from the U.K. in a small space. It’s sort of gazellig (a Dutch term meaning cozy, quaint and comforting, at least in this sense), and the products aren’t Dutch.
Asian Specialty Markets and Groceries
There are many specialty shops and restaurants that feature a wide range of Asian delicacies around Amsterdam. These are especially concentrated around the Zeedijk and the Nieuwmarkt, which is the region in Amsterdam that is known as its “Chinatown.” Directly on the Nieuwmarkt, you will also find the largest, most varied Asian supermarket that offers such a wide variety of foods, spices and supplies for all your Asian-flavoured cooking and consumption needs that you might (and it is quite likely) never need to look anywhere else!
1011 JS Amsterdam
Greek Specialty Deli
Here you can find all ingredients involved in Greek cuisine, and also offers already prepared Greek dishes for takeout. The pasticcio and the roast lamb are heavenly.
Tel: 020 620 3590
Other Specialty Food Stores
This gourmet Italian shop offers prepared foods that you can take away or enjoy with some delectable Italian wine, fresh bread and delicious olive oil that this store is well known for. It offers a wide variety of fresh meats, pastas, baked goods and other Italian delicacies along with diverse olive oils and wines to compliment them.
1017 XT Amsterdam
Your sense of smell will get excited by the spices and teas offered by this small traditional shop close to Nieuwmaarkt.
Tel: 020 624 3041
This specialty shop in the Jordaan is entirely devoted to gourmet Olive Oil
1011 JK Amsterdam
1016 AA Amsterdam
These chocolate confectioners offer some of the most delicious and innovative creations that are prepared, without artificial additives, on their premises. In other words, in these stores, you will enter into a world of your wildest chocolate dreams!