The Waterhole

The Waterhole, a rebel themed hangout down in the Red Light District, is a good venue to hear music close up and personal and dance if the spirit moves you. We got to check this place out when Cosmic Charlie, a Grateful Dead cover band played, and there was enough gray haired tie-dyed ol’ hippies there to start a retirement commune. The band gave me some serious but extremely enjoyable flashbacks to the 60s with tunes like Uncle John’s Band. Everyone seemed to dig both the band and the somewhat funky but smokey atmosphere of the place.

There was no admission that evening, so for the price of a few beers I got to relive some golden moments. And it was a special pleasure to be able to smoke da kine in this venue. The stage is downstairs from a youth hostel, so they try to keep the music hip and the vibes easy going. The sound in the relatively small venue was excellent.

THE WATERHOLE IS A LIVE MUSIC BAR IN THE CENTRE OF AMSTERDAM WITH A VARYING LINE-UP OF ALL POPULAR MUSIC GENRES
Oh, and you can also eat at tap&dine upstairs

Escape Nightclub

One of Amsterdam’s hottest spots – a multi-media experience on the Rembrandtplein. Lots of events held nightly.

To quote their website:

“Escape Venue has been a fact in the Dutch nightlife since 1987. Exclusive parties, music, light, decoration: all faces of a progressive club venue…For young adults who see themselves in a multi media environment, existing of modern dancemusic, hi-tech lighting, eye caressing visuals and internet.

Sukasari

If you’re looking for a nice, quiet place to hangout for a while right off the Dam Square that won’t set you back a lot of guilders, visit Sukasari.

Located in the very first block heading east from the Dam Monument, Sukasari is on the right side of the street just past the Old Man Headshop. The place is nicely decorated, Indonesian style, and was an oasis for lunch on one of Amsterdam’s hottest summer days. The spinning ceiling fans kept us quite cool as we relaxed over a lengthy business lunch. A steady supply of kleine biertjes chilled us even further.

The food is traditional Indonesian, not hot and spicy like Thai food. The menu is extensive, and they offer daily lunch specials if you don’t have a clue as to what to order…

The appetizers range from the standard shrimp-flavored kropek crispies to soups (meatball, chicken, chicken-corn or vegetable) and loempias. They offer a variety of sate’s (chicken on skewers) with the usual peanut sauces, and traditional bami (noodle) and nasi (rice) dishes. (Prices range from f5.25 for an appetizer to f22.50 for the most expensive item on the menu.)

Sukasari will also make up a Rijstafel with a variety of eleven Indonesian dishes for you to sample. (Priced at f45 per person.)

Being reasonably priced is the main attraction here, with a lunch special geared to the wallets of travelers who want a quiet oasis near the Dam Square. Be sure to ask for some hot chili sauce for your dishes to spice things up!

Sukasari is open from noon until 11:30 in the evenings Tuesdays thru Saturdays. On Mondays they are open from 4:30 pm until 11:30 pm. Closed Sundays.

Bolhoed

It’s often quite a challenge to find some place to eat where vegetarians can have a good selection, where organic ingredients are the norm and where the food is imaginative and well prepared. The Bolhoed is just such a find.

Once a hat store, the Bolhoed (Bowler Hat) restaurant now purveys a delectible assortment of vegetarian food. I tried the vegan special which included a very tasty pumpkin soup served with thick slices of fresh whole grain bread. The main course consisted of a variety of vegetable dishes including cauliflower with sweet potato in a mustard dressing (good tangy flavor, yet slightly sweet), eggplant and olives in tomato sauce (ok), Spinach with Tofu (yummy!), brown rice and a small salad (both very good).

With any of their specials you also get dessert, and I had a piece of chocolate cream pie that was scrumptious! There’s a beautiful selection of sweets in a display case inside, with more goodies like brownies and apple tart, all made without white sugar (honey being used instead).

All ingredients are organic including the very good red wine we had with our meal. My friend had pretty much the same except for a banana cream pie. I had a coffee substitute which was served cappucino style with foamed milk. It was very good. My friend had mu tea which he said was excellent. The bill came to 145 guilders for three including the wine. Not bad considering we pretty much ordered the most expensive items on the menu.

The restaurant is very gezellig (cozy) with warm colors, plants, even a buddha sitting in a corner. There are four outside tables, and ours had a mind of its own, moving around like a planchette on a ouija board.

Outside seating along the Princengracht

Having been an avid vegetarian and a vegan for many years, I can appreciate when this kind of food is done right. And at the Bolhoed, it’s done very well with everything one would expect from a vegetarian restaurant, and then some. I could find no flaw in anything that was served to us. The Buddha would love this place. I know I do!

This place gets busy so it’s a good idea to call for a reservation.
Princengracht 60-62
Amsterdam
Phone: 020-626-1803