lockdown lowdown amsterdam north.
We just gotta stay connected.
Whether you’re an Amsterdam native, you’ve just moved here, or are a long-time expat, Covid-19 lockdowns have altered how we experience the city. Gone are the days of gallery hopping and roaming the 9 streets for rare vintage finds, and gone are the bustling cafes, cosy bars, and museums we all once knew — but they’ll be back, and a whole lot better.
So how do we stay connected when the social scene has been removed from our weekly repertoire. Amsterdam is synonymous with its cafe culture and eclectic hang-out spots, and the vibrant North side is known for its creativity and flair - and the North is where it’s going down.
We crave experiences — and right now we are limited as to what we can do. It’s the days that count and there is plenty to see and explore, you just gotta get out there and discover another side of your city.
The North is our home and community — and community is one of the very reasons why we started Public.
Amsterdam North’s hot spots have stayed true to their creative nature and have adapted to the situation — cafes, bars, restaurants, and shops have developed new concepts in-line with their values, and we’re here to share who we think is doing it best.
We’ve laid out three delicious routes for you and your people to explore. Choose one, choose two, or choose them all – we’re sure our friends of the North will be happy to have you swing by. And, what better way to enjoy your stroll around the North other than with some top-notch tunes mixed by London based friend of the brand Deejayu - help your self to the first of its kind - Public Mixtape Vol. 1.
Even as we rely on digital connectivity to survive, it’s our need for human connection that will truly shape our lives.
Start your day at Public, get the morning spros flowing through the system, grab a cinnamon bun – and head West along the ‘coast’ of the IJ, weave through the never-ending building sites (some are really interesting – never underestimate the fascination of a building being built) and cruise all the way down to NDSM.
NDSM is the creative playground of Amsterdam – it’s an industrial shipyard with a whole load of history behind it, and it’s been transformed into cultural hotspot (it’s also home to many dope festivals).
Buns a la Public Bakery.
NDSM is the prime location for aimless wandering and snapping some shots of street art and huge industrial structures - don't forget your pic for the gram while you're there. Kebec is the spot for that much needed slice of pizza – you won’t regret it. It’s also got to be the most unassuming place in Amsterdam.
Kebec's unassuming exterior.
Head over to Zonneplein, a quaint village-esque area of the North, and double up on your caffeine consumption at White Label Noord. Their cake selection is pretty nice, and their interior looks a little Wes Anderson-like. It’s an interesting area – well worth the walk.
Route 2 is an absolute slammin' day-out around the North of Amsterdam. As always – kick-start your day at Public, have a chin-wag with whoever is working at the bar, then venture deep into North to Broodbakerij Ex (Waddenweg) where you’ll find some of the best baked goods around.
Broodbakerij Ex is known for their Kimcheese – it’s an "if you know, you know" kinda thing. They also have a great selection of natural wines, bread and freshly baked sweet treats (and just to top it off, they’ve got a super cool interior). It’s little more than your average walk from Public (2.4km), but it’s also a crispy cycle route.
Goodies galore at Broodbakkerij Ex.
Entrance to the Vliegenbos.
If you vibe with Mexican cuisine then there’s no question about it – Coba – 'nuf said. Pre-pandemic it was a treat to snag a booking here, and they've worked to make Coba as accessible as possible during the lockdown. The well-known Mexican eatery has expanded into a marketplace with everything from coffee and bunuelos to tortillas and salsas.
Look, we can’t exactly go on vacation at the moment - so when you do walk into Coba for a coffee and a Bunuelo - you get taken to another place, it’s pure magic.
Keep your explorer spirits high and the North guide vibe on a level with a signature Coba cocktail. They’ve got Margaritas, Palomas, and La Gueras for days (and many more vibrant liquids of a fruity kind stocked in the fridge), they come by the bottle – great for sippin and walking.
Take your home cooking game to another level - Coba are pushing tortillas, tostadas, home-made salsas, and fresh ingredients for all your lockdown cooking needs - don't sleep on it. Once you’ve loaded up on all Coba has to offer - step outside, take a right, and head over to Euro Pizza. Grab a slice of something cheesy, pick up a frozen pizza for another day, and embark on your journey home while swigging a bottle of Margarita and munching on your slice.
Wake up, get your sh*t together, round up the crew, and head over to Public for your morning coffee.
Once you’re feeling caffeinated and all that, make your way to the North-East and swing by Vendejo de Goudfazant (Aambeeldstraat). The hotel-turned-market spawned as a result of the pandemic, and it really has hit the nail on the head. You’ll go in there with one thing in mind and walk out with a bag full of wholesome goodness.
Exterior of Vendejo de Goudfazant.
After VdG you’ve got a few options – FC Hyena for fresh pasta, Oedipus or Walhalla for craft beer, Toko Kelly (aka Skate Cafe) for some classic street food - or hop on your bike and swiftly make your way to the cheesiest haunt in the North - Fromagerie Abraham Kef aka Kef (Van der Pekplein). The team there will gladly help you pick out your new favourite cheese, then cruise up the street to Chateau Karlito to find its perfect match - a French natural wine.
Chateau Karlito, on the lovely Van der Pek.
Just around the way from Chateau Karlito along the industrial stretch (opposite the Yotel) is Bacalar Taqueria. You can tell by its very unassuming facade that it's going to real good. Bacalar has to be up there with the best in Amsterdam - their food is exquisite - and the team behind the place are a top -notch bunch. On the day we visited Bacalar they had a Japanese inspired menu - their pork belly tacos and their mexican-Japanese-fusion dish dubbed - the Takushi - really hit the sweet spot (we also enjoyed a few swigs of the beautiful Salty Yuzu Sake). These guys are a full flavoured powerhouse - they knwo exactly what they are doing. Go check em out.