The Foodloversguide NL, a directory of the best food addresses in the Netherlands, was published a few weeks ago. The 320 page paperback contains lots of mouthwatering photos and more than 400 suggestions for foodies looking for the best restaurants and butchers, bakers and candlestick makers in the Netherlands. The Foodloversguide was published by Mo’Media, is written in Dutch and will set you back € 17,95.
I first read about the guide on Mevrouw Gerritsen blog. Turns out that it has been put together by a group of Dutch food writers and journalists, including bloggers Mrs Gerritsen and Petra de Hamer. Other than a few photos of sample pages and the usual marketing blurb, I could not find much information about the guide online. So I decided to order it and share my thoughts with you.
First thing to note is that the guide is written in Dutch, although I would say that basic knowledge of the language is sufficient given the many photos and its address book format. And as an additional benefit of ordering it in spite of the language barrier, you might pick up just enough foodie Dutch from it to bluff your way around Amsterdam’s food scene.
Also be aware that it’s a guide for the entire Netherlands. You may be disappointed if your center of the universe – like mine – is Amsterdam, and you rarely venture out to hard to pronounce places like Middenbeemster, Oosthuizen and Zuid-Scharwoude, let alone anywhere beyond the borders of North Holland.
The section on North Holland has several editorials on organic meat and bio fruits and vegetables. Along with the descriptions there are addresses of butcher shops, farms and markets where you can acquire the produce; some of them in Amsterdam. There also are sections on cheese, bookshops and kitchen supply stores, which for example includes a good description of the authority in Amsterdam, Duikelman on Ferdinand Bolstraat.
Another feature of the Foodloversguide are best-of-lists. Among others, you will find the top 5 lunch places of Amsterdam, including my favorite Small World Catering on Binnenoranjestraat; a list of who makes the freshest bread with amongst others recently opened French franchise Le Fournil de Sebastian on Olympiaplein; or an overview of the Amsterdam Noordermarkt and other farmer’s markets.
The restaurants included in the guide seem to be the ones that purchase their ingredients from the food producers listed in other sections. For Amsterdammers, the guide recommends well-known high-end restaurants Le Garage, De Kas, and Altmann. I found two restaurants that I have not yet been to: Stylish and set menu only Beddington’s on Utrechtsedwarsstraat and A la Ferme, ominously themed after Matisse’s “luxe, calme et volupté” on Govert Flinckstraat. Neither would be high on my want-to-go list because – at least on first sight – they seem to put too much focus on appearance.
Overall the Foodloversguide NL is a visually pleasing food directory with many useful addresses. Personally, I find it too broad with its focus on the entire Netherlands and everything from far out eco farms to urban kitchen stores and from basic ingredients to high-end dining. I do think it’ll make for a nice christmas gift and will be useful for newbies who like to roam around.