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!
This has to be the absolute best place we found in Amsterdam for those with an intolerance! It’s amazing! We discovered it just after visiting the Anne Frank House and Museum, only about a five minute walk away. I was seriously starving, and we just happened to walk past this restaurant, Vegabond.
Sounds a bit odd, but this is actually a really nice place! At the front it’s a small café with a selection of cakes and sandwiches, while at the back is a shop packed full of products perfect for people with different intolerances and allergies. I remember gazing into the glass display cabinet filled with lots of lovely looking chocolates and sweets, thinking that they couldn’t possibly look this delicious and be lactose-free. However, the lady at the counter informed me that absolutely all the products were both lactose and gluten-free! ALL OF THEM!!! I almost fell over, but instead starting clapping and congratulating the shop assistant for creating such wonderful dairy-free delights (and it was at this time that everyone in the café started looking at me a little oddly!).
In a very excited state – with plenty of jumping up-and-down and squealing – I purchased quite a few of the products on display to try myself. First up was a hummus wrap (the boring lunch bit) and then a chocolate brownie, followed by a slice of chocolate and banana bread, and finally two fruity chocolates (I really like chocolate!). The café was quite busy, so I had the items packed up in a cute little box and practically ran back to the hotel, ready to open and devour them!
The Hummus Wrap
The wrap was also gluten free, filled with hummus, carrot, spinach, cucumber and sundried tomatoes. All in all, a good wrap with lots of great textures, and the flavours worked really well together. It was healthy too, which made me feel better about all the cake I’d just bought with it!
This was incredible, and by far my favourite! It tasted just like a normal brownie – I wouldn’t have known the difference at all. So soft and gooey, but with a crisp top and a few nuts thrown in for a little bit of crunchiness. It was very chocolatey and rather rich, so you wouldn’t want too much at once. The slice I was given was just the right size for me (even though my sister did nab a bit).
Banana and Chocolate Bread
This too was excellent, and again wouldn’t have a clue that it was both gluten and lactose-free. The bread was crumbly and light, with good sized pieces of chocolate and nuts tossed in. The flavour was delicious, with just the right ratio of banana to chocolate. Again the slice was the perfect amount – not to thick or thin, just right… but definitely left me wanting more!
I chose two chocolates; one strawberry, one blueberry. Unfortunately, I didn’t really like them; the chocolate was far too bitter, and really solid making it hard to bite into. In the centre was a fruity, mousse-like filling, which I thought lacked flavour and didn’t really work with the tough outside layer. The small pieces of dried fruit on top just fell off, and failed to add much to the chocolate – if anything it just made it slightly more chewy and even harder to bite into! While they did look very pretty, I’d much rather a slice of one of their cakes instead!
Find out more about Vegabond at: http://vegabond.nl/