I recently returned from a long weekend away with my Mum and Sister in Amsterdam, a really beautiful city in the Netherlands – and not at all what I expected.
Being a little judgemental, I thought it would be full of lads on stag-dos for a bit of a drug-and-booze fest, but this really wasn’t the case! While there are certain areas in which you will find that sort of thing, the city is full pretty canals and lots of lovely little streets with plenty of cafés, restaurants and shops. As a place to visit, I’d highly recommend it – especially if you have any form of allergy or intolerance, as the city’s many supermarkets and eateries are generally excellent at catering for those with a range of dietary requirements.
I was only there for a short while, but I thought I’d share some of the best places to go in Amsterdam if you’re lactose-free!
Before we went to Amsterdam, we used Google to search for a few places to eat out, and this was one of the first places listed for those with a dietary intolerance. It’s a small café called PIQNIQ, about a ten minute walk from the Anne Frank House and Museum, and only five minutes from our hotel, Hotel Sebastian. It’s a lovely modern café featuring a menu with not only a good variety of dishes, but also the following sentence printed at the bottom: ‘If you suffer from a food allergy or intolerance, let your server know, we have gluten-free and lactose-free options.’ Great!
I informed my waitress that I’m lactose-free, and she took her time to run through the menu with me outlining what I could have. Really this only worked out to be a few things, but I was still happy with that! You can view the full menu on their website – I’ve included a link at the bottom of the page.
The waitress suggested a lactose-free pancake, made with soya milk. Or I could have enjoyed the scrambled eggs made with soya milk, and no butter for the bread. Or simply a fruit salad. All of their bread is made fresh that day, and can be made gluten-free too.
Amsterdam is apparently famous for their pancakes – so being a huge pancake fan I definitely wanted to try some and was glad to find one I could actually eat. It was SO GOOD! A huge crepe-like pancake served with honey, fresh sliced banana, walnuts and lime. The lime does sound unusual to have, but it did add a sharper flavour, mixing well with sweet honey and creating a similar flavour to the classic lemon-and-sugar pancake. I’m not a huge fan of walnuts – I find them quite dry, and wasn’t too keen on them. It did add a nice crunchy texture, but I don’t think it really needed them. The texture and taste of the pancake itself was just like any normal pancake. It was a little thicker than a crepe, but soft and light and lasted probably about 10 seconds before I demolished it.
On our second day in Amsterdam, my family and I tried a place called The Pancake Bakery, which was recommended in various places online as good spot to try gluten-free and lactose-free pancakes. However, when I asked the waitress she informed me that they only make them gluten-free, not dairy or lactose-free! It was slightly torturous sitting in the café whilst everyone else was loving these pancakes without me, so the next day we returned to PIQNIQ so I could get my pancake-fix again!
I would highly recommend PIQNIQ; the food is great, and the café is very relaxed and beautifully decorated. I’d definitely come again!
Find out more about PIQNIQ at: www.lunchcafepiqniq.nl/main/index.php?lang=en