My friend Marios is all about the great little places of Amsterdam. One of his favourite coffee and lunch spots is a cute one in the bustling Utrechtsestraat: Zuivere Koffie, literally: ‘pure and clear coffee’. This small place with wood and vintage dishware is like a comfortable ticket to the past. It’s hundred percent laptop-free, the women that run the place chat with each other and their guests, the house cat gently passes by. In the middle of the place there’s a table with home-made pies that will make your heart skip a beat: apple pie, carrot cake, date pie and a pecan pie. Marios urged me to eat the date pie, but I couldn’t resist the one with pecan nuts, orange and maple syrup. So glad I surrendered. The combination of pecan with sweet and fruity ingredients is much better than the usual pecan-caramel merger. This crown jewel is fresher, lighter and ‘sunnier’. Best eaten on the little garden terrace, the other hidden gem of Zuivere Koffie.
Pecan pie with orange and maple syrup, one piece, €4.00
Utrechtsestraat 39, City Centre
+31 (0) 20 624 99 99
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 8am-5pm, Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 9.30am-4pm
One of the bestsellers of Patisserie Kuyt is the prizewinning apple pie. Another hit is the sausage roll: puff pastry filled with gently spiced minced veal. But there is so much more in store. If you like chocolate, you’re spoilt for choice. Same same if you want your desserts and pies to be sweet, creamy and drop-dead gorgeous. Love the rice pudding and the cheesecake. With so many competitors around, it’s easy to ignore the not-so-extremely-pretty ones. Have mercy on them! I invite you to try some salty stuff: the kaasvlinders (palmiers of cheese) with nutmeg and ras el hanout, a mix of cinnamon, cloves, pepper and cumin. Take your time to properly taste the palmiers. In the beginning it’s mature cheese all-over. But wait, focus and you’ll discover something more discrete: a touch of sweet, a whiff of pepper. These guess-what-is-in-it cookies are made to serve with an aperitif. Together with the macadamia mix of Jan Gotjé, King of the Nuts, and potato chips with sea salt of the HEMA.
Palmiers of cheese with nutmeg and ras el hanout, 100 gr, €4.45
Utrechtsestraat 109-111, City Centre
+31 (0)20 623 48 33
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 8am-5.30pm, Saturday 8am-5pm