Planning a trip to Amsterdam soon? Be sure you check out the Foodhallen – a cultural center with a focus on craftsmanship, media, fashion, and of course amazing food! It’s like a daily food truck festival!
On Sunday we spent the day visiting Amsterdam and had our lunch at the FoodHallen. I had been looking forward to going for a while and LOVED it! Located on the edge of the city center, we took the tram and walked back to the city center, where we then did a self-guided tour of the Royal Palace – (Koninklijk Paleis).
Since its opening in 2015, this multi-functional cultural complex has become an extremely popular and trendy spot for locals to hang out. Now even tourists, like us, are making their way to Oud West Amsterdam just to experience De Hallen.
It is housed within a former tram depot, a national monument built between 1902-1928. This is the place where the first electric trams in Amsterdam were maintained, and it has since been given a new lease of life. It now houses a multicultural food hall, The Maker Store, a library, a bike workshop, a boutique hotel – Hotel De Hallen, and FilmHallen – the biggest independent cinema complex in the Netherlands.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO EAT A LOT – BUT YOU COULD!!
The nice thing about eating at the Foodhallen is that you control how much you eat. When you order, you can choose – small or large at my places. So you not control just what you eat, but also how much. You could easily eat a giant beef burger or 3 oysters – so if you are not that hungry and meeting a friend between lunch and a late dinner, a snack at the Foodhallen is a great idea.
There are over 20 food stalls here, serving everything from dim sum to Indian street food. It is pretty tough to choose between all the different options, as so many look so good, you can over-order if not careful. It’s not the cheapest way to eat, but the main dishes at Foodhallen are under €10 which if you compare that to a restaurant is decent.
WHAT WE ORDERED
It has a very international vibe with each stall selling street food dishes from around the world. But don’t worry, if you’re looking for Dutch food, you can get Bitterballen here too. We decided to split everything we ordered and to order in stages – as having all things show up at once wouldn’t be ideal. With COVID, the items were delivered to our tables so we didn’t have to go stand in line – I liked that part.
- Tofu Bahn Mi sandwich from Viet View.
- Tempura Veggies from Patron
- Spicy Chicken Kabab Pita from Pita
- Shrimp Dumplins from Dim Sum Thing
Most food stalls only take debit cards so make sure you have one with you. With COVID, like many cafes now do, there is a QR code on your table which opens to an app where you can see menus and order as you go.
DRINKS AS WELL
Up to this point, I have only been talking about food, but what would a nice meal be without a drink or two? At Foodhallen, they have the drinks covered too. In the back, there was a large bar set up. And of course, being a very hip & happening place there is a dedicated Gin & Tonic bar. But it was closed when we were there. Not sure if that was part of the effects of Corona time or was it just that it was during the day and no one was drinking G&Ts with their lunches. I did enjoy two nice beers on draft. 🙂
Also located in the Hallen but behind the FoodHallen is the hip Kanarie Club.
This place is a space for creativity and inspiration during the day, and cocktails and fun by night. It has a bar, restaurant, and workplace which is designed for people to spend all day in one spot. With a wide range of flexible workspaces, sufficient electrical outlets, meeting facilities, and good coffee, this is the ideal place to flex a day. Upstairs they even have a bar with a small pool – which was originally created by squatters to collect rainwater.
But now with COVID, they opened this area up so when you are eating at the FoodHallen you can sit in that area as well and order off the menu on the QR code on the table. This is the bar where our drinks were coming from during the day we were visiting.
I WISH WE HAD A FOODHALLEN IN DEN BOSCH
If we had such a place in Den Bosch, I’d be here all the time! In fact, when Hudson Bay was going bust I suggested they open a large Foodhallen in that amazing building – instead, Shoeby, a giant local clothing retailer, came in and set up shop. If Den Bosch was to get a Foodhallen in Den Bosch, I’m thinking it would be set up in the up-and-coming hip area of Kop van t’Zand.
I highly recommend this palace and will definitely be back! If you’re in Amsterdam and looking for a good vibe and great food, do yourself a favor and find the FoodHallen Bellamyplein 51, 1053 AT Amsterdam in De Hallen, Amsterdam.