Sugar is everywhere in Amsterdam, and it’s been like that for a long, long time. It was Amsterdam that led the sugar trade during the 16th century, and that was refining the white gold until the 19th century, when farmers here started producing sugar beets to reduce sugarcane import costs from the Caribbean. Since then, the Netherlands has been in the top three when it comes to sugar production in Europe, and it is said that every Dutch baby is born with a lump of sugar in their mouth.
So how do you choose just three places in a sea of confectionery delights? For out-of-town visitors, the pursuit of the best sugary treat can be enormous. But we’re here to help you narrow down that list of sweet shops in Amsterdam, with three stores that offer different ways to appreciate this controversial pleasure. Because travelling is not the time to feel guilty right?
Everybody knows what chocolate tastes like, but let Chocolatl show you something totally unique about world chocolates. This little shop in the historic district of the Jordaan offers the best selection of various chocolate sensations. Like a wine connoisseur, the owner can give you insight into the region your chocolate comes from, pointing out how its taste, texture, and sweetness is determined by the region in which it was grown. Here, a piece of chocolate is like a piece of happiness as flavours explode in your mouth.
You can also leave the guilt behind and purchase some environmentally and humanely grown products. Or feel healthier by consuming the less sweeter varieties. And for the total coco fanatic, Chocolati offers various private tastings and lessons.
Next to the Heineken Plain, a little cake shop with big-screen appeal has stood for 25 years. Featured in a list of movies, television shows, and opening events, the cake makers at this petite shop keep busy. No worries, though, because while the owners at the Cake From My Aunt are creating new sensations in the back, you get to enjoy a simple lunch with a treat as sweet as their 1970s reto décor.
It’s not just cakes in many flavours they offer — you can enjoy pies and cupcakes as well. Come by just for a photo if you wish, because the colourful treats on display make the window look like an art exhibition. But we believe you won’t be able to resist having a bite before you explore the neighbourhood.
When you walk the streets in Amsterdam, different ice cream shops selling gelato-style cones or cups can overwhelm you. But in the heart of the Spuistraat, it’s possible to discover an authentic handmade Dutch ice cream created with heavy cream and fresh ingredients. In the old-school Amsterdamers’ universe of sugar ‘N ice, there is one word that matters to the owners: “enjoy.” It is impossible to make a quick choice, between the smell of traditional poeffertjes, fresh stroopwafel that are still hot, and Dutch-style waffles. These items can be eaten hot or cold, and covered in white or dark chocolate if you like. The colour of the homemade ice cream makes the choice of cold selections even more difficult — we suggest a little taste-test before you chose.
It is always ‘N ice to talk with the owners about their passion, but if you want more about the history of these treats, you can always join an Amsterdam Food By Foot tour, where this is one of five food stops.
From snacking on salty fries, to savouring rich cheeses and sipping boozy spirits, this indulgent Amsterdam tour should come with a health warning!