Puccini

I already knew that Belgian chocolates, as fine as they are, are equalled if not surpassed by Dutch chocolate. I first became addicted to Dutch chocolate when some friends from Breda took us to their favorite chocolatier which happens to be around the corner from them. Another friend told us about Puccini, right here in Amsterdam, so I finally went by to see what all the fuss was.

I was glad I did! I’ve never tasted such fine chocolate in my life! All the bonbons were fresh, creamy smooth, and so flavorful. While their selection isn’t huge, each choice is meticulously made with the finest natural ingredients and a 70% cacao content. Many of their bonbons contain fine liquors like cognac, grand marnier or amaretto.

Discover this well-kept local secret for yourself! Puccini has two locations, and at the Staalstraat shop, you can see them make the bonbons through a window. On the Staalstraat you can also enjoy a coffee and some fabulous chocolate desserts at their cafe…

The other location is at Singel 184
Phone: 020 427 8341

The Old Indian

This is THE PLACE to look for a pipe. The Old Indian specializes in pipes and the place seems to have the largest selection in Holland, with every kind of pipe you can think of. I’ve spent hours trying to decide and the helpful staff will make your search easier.

They also carry a selection of cannabis books, seeds, clothes and the usual paraphernalia.

Media Markt

This huge two-story megastore located by the Amsterdam Arena has just about everything electronic you could desire. Probably the best selection of stereo equipment in the city, plus TVs, computers, printers, phones, car stereos, major appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, small kitchen appliances and much more.

Good prices and excellent selection make this the place to get those things you really need. They take credit cards, but returning items is quite an experience, as you must go to another entrance, wait in line in a very small room, and then, rather than just refunding your money or offering a replacement, you pretty much must prove that the item is defective or they won’t give you a refund! And yes, they’ll make you take it out of the box and plug it in if necessary and they have workbenches in the back to test it out too…

Convenient access via the metro, Bijlmer station. Or you can park in the Arena parking lot (one of the cheapest in the city).

Conscious Dreams – Kokopeli

Smart shop on the Warmoesstraat with lots of open airy space. Displays of San Pedro cactus with Peyote grafted onto them is interesting, as well as lots of books and information for the shaman in all of us. Of course mushrooms and herbal preparations for your head are the order of the day here. They offer a neat chill space in the back of the shop, overlooking the old inner harbor of Amsterdam, and the canal tour boats docked there. I’m curious about the “brain machine” they have back there, I’ll have to go visit again… They have two other locations in Amsterdam as well.