Tips from a local: Joanna in Haarlemmerbuurt

micro step

Joanna is a Brit married to a Dutchman and they live in one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods of Amsterdam together with their two little girls. Their neighbourhood is called the Haarlemmerbuurt and their house is squeezed in between the Brouwersgracht (voted the most beautiful canal in Amsterdam) and The Haarlemmerstraat/dijk (often voted the best shopping street in the Netherlands). Such a perfect place to live!
Joanna is the owner of micro-step.nl (the Dutch branch of Micro scooters in the Netherlands). She always knows about the best local hangouts, so we’re super excited to share her list of tips with you!

1. Best date night restaurant: Wolf Atelier  — it’s located in a glass box balanced above the water on an old railway bridge. There are great views over Het IJ and the food is consistently excellent.

2. Favourite family-friendly dinner spot: La Perla in the Jordaan — these pizzas are fantastic, the best I’ve ever had in or out of Italy, they don’t deliver but you can either eat them at the long wooden table in the room next to the wood-fired oven or they’ll carry them over the road to their restaurant, and of course you can also take them home. Stout is another place we often go to, it’s next to the Herenmarkt playground (see below) and you can sit outside on high cushions above the kitchen while the children play.

3. Cosiest local cafe (or best place to grab a take-away!): Vinnie’s Deli is our favourite for breakfast and lunch, sometimes we go on a breakfast date after dropping the children at school. Get your daily quota of vegetables and vitamins with Cropbox‘s vegan lunchbox delivery service – their salads are indescribably delicious.

4. Trusted children’s shop: Hebbes — it’s a tiny toy shop but they have a such a great selection that you’ll always find the perfect gift for whoever you’re looking for. Spikes is our favourite shoe shop for kids.

5. Favourite women’s shop: Sukha — it’s like walking into a lifestyle magazine with a beautifully curated collection of ethically sourced clothes and homewares.

6. Coolest local playground: Herenmarkt — just around the corner from our house and one of the main reasons we wanted to live in this neighbourhood. A few years the neighbours banded together to raise funds to ensure that the wooden climbing frame would be replaced in the same style to safeguard the unique atmosphere on this square under the chesnut trees.

7. Favourite food shop: the Noordermarkt organic market on Saturdays – the largest farmer’s market in the Netherlands, this was the other big pull for me in this neighbourhood. We’re lucky to have a second, smaller, organic market on Wednesdays on the Haarlemmerplein. And for the days in between we have a Marqt supermarket on our doorstep. This stretch of the Haarlemmerstraat next to where we live is also home to several speciality food stores like Petit Gateau, Caulil’s, Stach and Vlaamsch Broodhuys.

8. Best shop for homewares, fun finds, or special gifts: Outras Coisas — my favourite place to head when I’m looking for a gift for a friend (or myself!). For tableware, Vivian Hann has a beautiful selection of interesting and often unique pieces. Klevering is another go-to for simpler presents and stylish Amsterdam souvenirs.

9. Local activity center or museum: Het Grachtenhuis — a fascinating insight into how and why the UNESCO World Heritage Canal Belt was developed and built as it was. It’s great for all generations (we went when our youngest was 5), an interactive multi-media exhibition which is educational and interesting. Never has queues either unlike many Amsterdam attractions!

10. Favourite park or outdoor space: on our boat in the canals in summer! Instant holidays at home. We swim in the canals around Prinseneiland, on the other side of the railway. If you’re visiting you can rent one at Sloepdelen. The Westerpark has great green spaces and lots of cafes, an arthouse cinema, jazz cafe and other venues including the wonderful Woeste Westen (Wild West) nature playground where city kids can get muddy, ride rafts, build huts, carve arrows and sit round the camp fire.


Leave a Comment