Sunflower’s Amsterdam Walk & Eat by Cecily Layzell is a lovely small guidebook with walks and restaurant recommendations in the Dutch capital.
Amsterdam Walk & Eat is useful new guide for travelers who enjoy both walking and eating. The mainstay of the guide is ten walks in the city of Amsterdam accompanied by recommended restaurants to enjoy food and drinks en route. A few relatively easy to prepare Dutch recipes are included for home cooking. The guidebook also includes some advice for wheat-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free eating in the Netherlands.
Walk and Eat in Amsterdam with Cecily Layzell
Sunflower Books’ Amsterdam Walk & Eat by Cecily Layzell includes ten walks in Amsterdam, a countryside hike, and hiking suggestions at two easy day-trip excursions from the Dutch capital.
The walks in Amsterdam are all around 5 km long and the terrain easy – Holland is about as flat as it gets. All walks start and end near convenient public transportation connections and many can easily be combined for longer full-day walks.
Amsterdam Walk & Eat let visitors explore all aspects of the Dutch capital. The historic buildings along the famous grachtengordel (canals circle) are of course must-see sights but several walks also go through more modern neighborhoods. These allow visitors to explore some of the more interesting outer suburbs of Amsterdam where the old and new often blend in surprisingly well. One walk goes past the Riekermolen windmill – a rare sight in the Dutch capital. (To see working windmills, Zaanse Schans is a very pleasant day-trip destination from Amsterdam.)
Restaurants and Food in Sunflower’s Walk & Eat Amsterdam
Each walk is accompanied by restaurant recommendations in all price classes. Cecily Layzell is an Amsterdam-based freelance writer and food critic with enough knowledge and experience to guide visitors to eateries worth visiting in the Dutch capital. She described the eateries near Rembrandtplein, rather unnecessarily politely, as offering “little of interest to discerning diners.” This description unfortunately goes for many restaurants in tourist Amsterdam making it doubly worth following her suggestions in central Amsterdam. Many further restaurants are described at her Eat Amsterdam site.
Ten Dutch recipes – including a rather French Crème Brûlée – were sourced from recommended restaurants allowing readers to reproduce some Amsterdam food at home. The cinnamon-heavy Dutch apple pie is easy to make and delicious while the mustard soup is a bit more of an acquired taste.
The guide also has some tips on wheat-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free eating in Amsterdam but such allergy and food intolerant visitors may be better off giving traditional Dutch cuisine a wide berth and stick to modern restaurants and foreign cuisine. A list of Dutch menu items and shopping terms are useful even though Amsterdam waiters and shop assistance may well speak English perfectly.
Sunflower Books’ Amsterdam Walk & Eat Guidebook
Amsterdam Walk & Eat is full color but light and small enough to be slipped into most back pockets. As a result, descriptions are cryptic, especially for well-known sights that needs little explanation. Practical visitors’ information such as ticket prices and museum opening hours are kept to the bare minimum, but frankly few readers need the extensive details (and easily outdated information) that are given in heavier guides. Similarly, the guide is without hotel recommendations or transportation information that will hardly be worth schlepping through the streets of Amsterdam once in town.
Sunflower’s Walk & Eat guides are aimed at walkers who also love food. The emphasis is on the walking, the guide does not attempt to list all good restaurants in the region or to replace the Michelin Netherlands Hotel & Restaurant Red Guide.
Maps are a bit basic but easy to follow. The index is similarly stripped bare – good luck finding the Rijksmuseum or Van Gogh Museum without knowing both are on Museumplein.
Buying Sunflower’s Amsterdam Walk & Eat Guide Book
Amsterdam Walk & Eat by Cecily Layzell (ISBN 978-1-85691-394-2 published 2011) is generally cheapest when bought from Amazon UK. It is also available from Amazon Deutschland. Oddly enough, an electronic version (PDF file format) is available directly from Sunflower Books but for nearly twice the price of the printed guidebook.