by nike, January 21, 2013
Gartine, in a lovely little alleyway in Amsterdam

Gartine at Taksteeg 7 in Centrum, the central area of Amsterdam

It’s surprisingly difficult to get good food in Amsterdam. There are oodles of cafes and coffee shops, but the cafes often aren’t really focused on food (but booze and coffee), whereas coffee shops are often places that serve coffee, but are mostly famous for serving various types of cannabis.

Gartine is one of thee delightful exceptions. It’s a tiny little cafe, with a lovely beautifully subtle and understated decor. Warm – an essential when it’s -2C outside! And the staff are welcoming and attentive. The menu is simple, but enticing. I enjoyed a rather lovely sandwich with soft Italian tallegio cheese, roasted cumin seed and Belgian apple molasses. (Oh, ok, I know – still kaas broodjes – but not JUST cheese sandwiches).



After all that tramping around museums it’s wonderful to enjoy a tasty, fresh lunch accompanied by a warm pot of tea. The cheese was gorgeous, and the balance of flavours just right.

And it must be good. The fellow sitting at the table next to me ordered three lunches. Then dessert. And coffee. Hungry fellow. He practically inhaled everything on his plates, and then wiped his girlfriend’s plate clean.

I’ll be going back to Taksteeg 7 for high tea, which you can order in small (sweets and tea), middle (savouries and tea) or large (soup, savouries, and tea) versions. Looks delicious, nu?


High Tea at Gartine

Gartine’s focus is on fresh, local, ethical produce and slow food. The fruit and vegetables are largely sourced from their own vegetable garden, the eggs are free-range organic, and the bread from local baker ‘t Vlaamsch Broodhuys. So as well as tasting great, everything looks good and has a lovely healthy, earth-friendly afterglow.

If you can’t make it to Amsterdam, you could always order the cookbook, invite some friends over, decorate your tables with hyacinths and tulips, and have yourself a little Dutch delight.

Taart van rinse appelstroop (Appelstroop cake)

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