Bruin brood -- brown bread -- is a staple of the everyday Dutch diet, but the Dutch are capable of far more sophisticated oven-baked treats than the standard supermarket loaves. Here are my top choices for the best bakeries (Dutch bakkerijen) and banketbakkerijen (specialists in pastries and sweets) in Amsterdam.
Open Mon. - Fri. 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sat. 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.; closed Sun.
Now in its fourth decade, Patisserie Holtkamp continues to offer the best of both traditional Dutch and French pastries in its widely praised bakery. But Holtkamp also has a savory side, most popularly in the form of its luxurious croquettes, from the conservative cheese croquette to the decadent sweetmeat and truffle croquette. Holtkamp's products are also available at restaurants across town; see the Holtkamp web site for addresses.
Albert Cuypstraat 51-53
Open Tues. - Sat. 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.; closed Sun. and Mon.
With some of the finest bread in the Netherlands, it's no wonder that this passionate corps of bakers was selected as finalists in the "Bakery World Cup", held biannually in Paris. Loaves and rolls of all flavors are on sale here, as well as their popular lemon cake and other top-quality pastries. Their location on the Albert Cuypstraat, near Amsterdam's famous open-air food market, adds to the allure for foodies.
Open Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
The Dunselmans have been in the bakery business for over a century, and their time-honed mastery of the craft is evident at Lanskroon, Claudia Dunselman's celebrated bakery. Classic Dutch desserts redolent of apples and berries, rich almond paste, and warm spice blends are the house specialties here, but visitors in the warmer months can also cool down with one of their authentic Italian sorbets.
Open Tues. - Fri. 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; closed Mon.
De Bakkerswinkel, despite its celebrity as a jack-of-all-trades -- its infallible lunchroom-café turns out soups, salads, sandwiches and more -- is really a bakery at heart, as its name ("the baker's shop") implies. From exquisite breakfast scones and croissants, to chocolate-enrobed cakes and richly spiced apple pies, to dense, yeasty breads, De Bakkerswinkel is indeed a bakery par excellence; see my write-up for a more detailed review.