By our DR editors Aurelie Bessoles and Thomas Ohrstrom
Best Places to Go in Amsterdam Oost
Maybe you’re looking for a perch in East? West may be said to be the best, but Oost is then definitely… the best! So, what are the best places to go in Amsterdam Oost? I’ll tell ya later. 😉
So, I’m back in Amsterdam lovely people! I missed the city like a week-old tulip bouquet misses that little white powder sachet thingie. A lot. I dropped my suitcases in Oost in the midst of last summer and got immediately stricken by the endearing village vibe of this neighborhood of Amsterdam.
Main perk? You get the best of both worlds because a) you’re still close to centrum and b) there are little to no tourists, ah!
What do I have to look forward to?
A quietly bustling corner of Amsterdam remains. East. From Oosterpark hugging cafe’s and open format bars like ‘de Biertuin’ and ‘Louie Louie’ to the not far off Javastraat; east really offers a complete experience. Known in the not so distant past as a less desirable part of town, hosting what was voted the cities ugliest major street, Wibautstraat, East Amsterdam has gone through more than a face lift, and with that comes a lot of little gems. Not least among them are two incredible cafe’s (which I’ll be touching on later), along with all of the other great places that Ooost has to offer. Today, we’re taking you on a VIP tour, checking out 12 of the best places to go in Amsterdam Oos.
If we had to restrict this part of town to one single iconic element, it would have to be the majestic De Gooyer. Few people know it, but it is the tallest windmill in the country and is registered as a national monument. This is where you’ll find the already legendary 1985 founded brewery Brouwerij’t’Ij. A little further South stands Oostpoort, an animated cluster of a shopping and dining area, featuring the Dutchiest brands and establishments – think Febo, Hema, Albert Heijn, Kwekkeboom, Rituals, etc.
That being said, there is way more than meets the eye in here, and a simple bike ride in the hood shall unveil to you gems after gems. Most of the following tips have been introduced to me by Dutchies, or I ran into them at random, the natural way. Like a good grandma recipe, it is a pleasure to share them with you. Without further ado, here are 12 of the best places to go in Amsterdam Oost.
1) Ruk & Pluk (Linnaeusstraat)
You can’t go more local than that. One of my favourite places in Amsterdam, a proper revelation. It’s raw, it’s folkloric, it’s unexpected, it’s kitsch, it’s colourful, it’s strange, traditional and unusual at the same time. Kind of bruijn café, if you will. Never a dull moment in this unique and symbolical pub. Until late, a mishmash of both young and old Dutchies are enjoying their nights. Please note that cash only is accepted and that it’s best to go alone or in a tiny group, to mingle with the crowd, the sinequanone condition, if you want to get the full experience.
2) Park Frankendael
How about a relaxing walk or a picnic in this exceptional place in Watergraafsmeer where botanic, history and art meet? This public cultural garden is never overcrowded, offers elegant pedestrian bridges and a whole children playground veggie and plant patch section. Cherry on the cake, there is a market every last Sunday of the month. Last but not least, all green hands and plant lovers will love a session in the nearby paradisiac Intratuin.
3) Roopram Roti (Eerste van Swindenstraat)
Truthfully the best roti I’ve ever had! Make sure to check their opening hours before heading off to your yummiest Surinamese excursion. You may have to queue for a while, but hand on heart, it’s worth the wait.
4) Beter en leuk (Eerste Oosterparkstraat)
A welcoming space full of charm, brilliant for a scrumptious and conscious brekkie. Bigger appetites might favor the Sunday Roast or scones and Pimm’s from the Cottage (Linnaeusstraat). The common denominator undeniably being the kindness and hospitality of the staff, combined with excellent food.
5) Equal Yoga (Linnaeusstraat)
I have a total crush on this studio. Get back in shape thanks to these 60 minutes classes of hot power yoga (it’s not as warm as Bikram though). The flows they’ve created have heaps of benefits and the teachers are all super pro. Very often, I hear someone I know saying they’re also going to Equal, it’s much more than going to the gym, it’s a bright light shining in the neighborhood and their success is well-deserved. All classes are in English and there often have a commitment-free trial deal for 8€ a week unlimited courses. For those who still aren’t convinced to move to East, luckily for you, they happen to have another location in the Rozengracht.
6) Maxwell café (Beukenplein)
For the nice borrel bites, the sympathetic staff and the Monday pub quiz. And it’s a stone’s throw from overly busy Bar Bukowski.
7) The Cool Collective (Land van Cocagneplein)
Not your usual intimidating concept store and ideal for those hunting for a distinctive gift. Let yourself be bewildered by their jewellery, toys and home ware.
8) Criterion (Roetersstraat)
A pearl in the city: this cinema was founded back in 1945 by a group of students who had to interrupt their studies because of the war. Ever since, it has become of of these Amsterdam quintessential places, dear to everyone’s hearts. The café is exquisite and the programming on point. It’s glamour, rebel and smart entertainment for you. So go watch a film there or regret it later!
9) Q Factory hotel (Atlantisplein)
One of the very latest additions in Oost. Impressive for its design visitors rave about, the whole building also hosts some other businesses (I saw a guitar shop and a media school), brings a touch of novelty in the area, which makes it interesting. Mostly suitable for a young and dynamic crowd and only a 25 min tram ride to Centraal Station, which could be a nice alternative to its ‘counterparts’ only Oost can brag about, such as Volkshotel, Manor Hotel and Lloyd Hotel.
10) City Bike Oosterpark (Eerste Oosterparkstraat)
Ever since one of my best friends got a flat tyre under the drenching rain and we happened to be nearby, I’ve been recommending this bike shop and got 100% satisfaction feedback so far. No wonder, the staff is incredibly serviceable and knows their job. Second hand or brand new fietsen at a fair price, you’re welcome.
11) Coffee Bru
There’s more of the best places to go in Amsterdam Oost!?
Pssst! What else is not to be missed out there? The bingo nights or special meal deals at Bar Wisse, the exquisite Georgian restaurant Batoni Khinkali, the little stores and cafés of the Javastraat, Troppen Museum, Spirit (a veggie and organic eatery where the bill depends on the weight of your plate), Panama for clubbing lovers, the red bridge on Borneo eiland (called “the Python”).
Iconic Oost hotspots – because a reminder never hurts: Artis aka the city zoo, Roest for funky evenings, the remarkable Dappermarkt, the Oostelijke islands. Still on my Oost bucket list (you should make yourself one too): Flevopark, Café Elkaar.. and you’ve guessed it, we can only highly recommend you take your (visiting) folks on a pleasant Eastern escapade, especially if you’re keen on inserting some less bustle & more laid-back moments.
So, there you have it some of the best places to go in Amsterdam Oost. For every occasion or every mood, there is something Oost will have in store for you.
What do you think are the best places to go in Amsterdam Oost? Let us know in the comments!