Mini Guide: De 9 Straatjes
It's not difficult to see why De Negen Straatjes (The Nine Streets) is widely regarded as the best neighbourhood in Amsterdam for shopping. The streets are packed with concept stores and fashion boutiques, as well as a number of yummy cafés and restaurants.
The sheer volume and variety of shops can be a bit overwhelming, so I've compiled a list of my favourite stores and top recommendations for places to eat.
Insider Tip: Visit mid-week to avoid the inevitable weekend crowds.
(Hartenstraat 12, 1016 BE Amsterdam)
Friends will know that my Zara addiction is a very real problem. About 70% of my wardrobe comes from the Spanish brand. But I think I’ve finally found a shop to rival it.
Edited is a German clothing brand that only has stores in Germany and, luckily for me, one in Amsterdam.
Prices are more in line with Topshop than Zara, but the quality surpasses both. The clothes are fun yet stylish, and they also do a fab range of gym-wear. And the best part is you can be sure you won’t see hundreds of girls in the same outfit as you!
(Herengracht 298, 1016 BX Amsterdam)
“If I was a rich girl...” I’d spend a lot of money at this shop!
In case you haven’t guessed by the name, LOVE Stories is a lingerie brand. And my goodness does it make pretty underwear!
The brand is all about celebrating the bralette as the sexiest, most feminine and most comfortable piece of lingerie around. There is not a single underwire bra in the entire collection.
The lingerie they make has a strong fashion-approach, with each collection being an extravaganza of mismatched prints and patterns.
And the best part is they’ve expanded to swimwear - the LOVE Stories’ Swimclub is one to check out if you’re in need of a new bikini.
(Reestraat 16, 1016 DN Amsterdam)
If there's one thing that Amsterdammers know how to do, it's how to create a fantastic boutique, and Ou. is no exception.
The price tags might be noticeably higher here than at other boutiques in the 9 Streets, but that's because of all the high-end brands they stock. With names like Ba&sh, American Vintage and Gestuz, OU is like a mini department store.
Not in the mood to splash some cash? Then just do like me and window shop!
(Berenstraat 11, 1016 GG Amsterdam)
Mendo calls itself 'a candy store for book aficionados' and stepping into its flagship store on Berenstraat you can understand why. With its dark interior and spotlit book tables, the shop is less bookstore and more high-end gallery.
But if you're looking for a work of fiction, then this is not the place for you as Mendo exclusively sells coffee-table books.
And, just as Mendo is no average bookshop, the publications it sells aren't your average coffee-table books.
Though you can get plenty of gorgeous publications for under €100, a quick look on their website reveals that a grand is a pretty normal amount to pay for a limited-edition book. In fact €10,000 for a book of never-before-seen Tibetan Murals, signed by his Holiness the 14th Dali Lama, seems reasonable when compared to the €25,000 that you'd need to get the Ferrari Art Edition which is more work of art than work of literature - the 500-page book is elevated by a sculpture evocative of Ferrari's famous 12 cylinder engine. Call me crazy, but I think I'd prefer to save the money for an actual Ferrari.
As you can tell, Mendo is the perfect place to go when you want to daydream about the things you'd buy if you had unlimited disposable income!
(Hartenstraat 30, 1016 CC Amsterdam)
If art is more your thing then you should pay a visit to Eddy Varekamp’s gallery on Hartenstraat.
Varekamp is an Amsterdam artist whose handmade linocut and stencil prints depict themes like love, life and of course Amsterdam.
I’ve got my eye on one of his Amsterdam tote bags.
Onto the food...
(Reestraat 8, 1016 DN Amsterdam)
Jansz might be a hotel restaurant, but that's no bad thing considering the hotel in question is the Pulitzer.
I have to admit that I've not actually eaten here. Unsurprisingly, being the Pulitzer's restaurant means it's a little out of my student budget. That said, I have every intention of going when my parents are in the Dam and can foot the bill!
On a sunny day, the blue benches that line the pavement outside look like the perfect place to enjoy a glass of rosé and watch the world go by.
(Berenstraat 20, 1016 GH Amsterdam)
Blink and you'd miss it.
Behind its unassuming white exterior lies Libertine Comptoir de Cusine, an upmarket cafe whose menu pays homage to French Toast.
I'm not kidding - the menu is almost entirely toast based. Whether you're in the mood for something savoury or craving a dish to satisfy the sweetest of tooths, Libertine has you covered.
If toast isn't your thing then pop down a street to Wolvenstraat where you'll find Libertine Comptoir de Cuisine's older sister, Libertine Cafe Cafe. It might be because we share the same name (give or take a few letters) but the Libertine restaurants top my list for places to refuel during your 9 Streets shopping spree.
(Prinsengracht 274, 1016 HH Amsterdam)
To understand the name of this picture-perfect restaurant, you first need a small lesson in Dutch art history. Luckily for you, it was one of my modules this year!
I'm sure I don't need to tell you who Rembrandt was, but for the sake of this explanation, I'll remind you that he painted De Nachtwacht (The Night Watch) and Venus and Adonis is the name of a painting by Rembrandt's apprentice Ferdinand Bol. What does this have to do with a restaurant I hear you ask? Well following the success of their steak restaurant De Nachtwacht, Peter Smorenberg and Joyce Lieven decided to open a bar-grill, Venus and Adonis. And so, like Bol, this little bar on Prinsengracht is the apprentice of the more established grandmaster.
History lesson over, time to talk food!
In true bar-grill style, steak and seafood is the order of the day here.
Though not technically on one of the 9 Streets, Venus and Adonis is a great lunch spot, although arguably an even better one for dinner. The restaurant has a shared dining concept, dishes are served on a board in the middle of the table - perfect for when no one can decide on just one dish!
(Reestraat 19, 1016 DM and Berenstraat 19, 1016 CG Amsterdam)
So good, there are two.
Whether you choose to go to the one on Berenstraat or the one on Reestraat, Pluk won’t disappoint.
With unicorn açai bowls and enough avocado-based dishes to sink a ship, Pluk has quickly become an Instagrammer's heaven.
But don’t let that put you off. The food is just as tasty as it is insta-worthy. Pluk has become my go-to brunch spot when friends come to visit and it's one I'm always recommending to people.
Still not sure? Maybe the queues that snake out the doors will convince you!
(Prinsengracht 455, 1016 NH Amsterdam)
The award for the cutest store on the 9 Streets has to go to House of Natur.
This tiny juice bar is so small that the till is on a different floor to the fridges and there's only space for 2 to sit-in, but it's this quirkiness which is why it has made it onto my list.
House of Natur. is completely plant-based and according to its website its ethos is all about being "vegan, pure, healthy, raw, tasty and crap-free." If you don't want to break from your shopping for too long, then this is the perfect place to grab something healthy on-the-go.
And there you have it, my mini-guide to De 9 Straatjes.
Hopefully, it has given you some inspiration for your next trip to Amsterdam and if you have any recommendations just let me know, I'm always up for discovering new places.