Blogwatching: Amsterdam’s unique boutiques

The Copa football store

There are dozens of boutique places to shop in Amsterdam and lots of independent stores. Tracy and Marc from blog Amsterdam Wonderland have put together a list of favourites.

The city authorities have worked hard to keep international chains out of the centre, strictly limiting the number of fast food joints and coffeeshops (ie: the places that DON’T sell coffee!) within the the historic heart.

If it IS a coffee you’re actually after, the chains you’ll find are, in general, Dutch ones with the likes of Bagels and Beans and Coffee Company far more ubiquitous than Starbucks and co.

But if you want is to hit the shops, then read on.  Shopping in Amsterdam is a joy – IF (that’s a big if) – you know where to head.

For us, the independents are what we really love.  Those little stores in the city centre that you know probably struggle to make a living, but that we all want to see thriving.  They are mostly not clothes shops (though there are many lovely ones scattered around) but rather quirky little enterprises more often than not selling things that none of us really NEED but are small and perfectly formed and simply make us feel happy.

So here then is a selection from chocolate shops to football shops, stationary to sweets and even Amsterdam’s very own “Mouse Mansion”- the boutiques that are hugely unique and that will be eternally grateful for your custom.

Confectionary

Amsterdammers love sugary stuff and and there are some fabulous boutiques offering world class chocolates and tempting sweets or ‘snoep’ (pronounced snoop) on offer.

Tony’s Chocolonely – a beloved Dutch brand famous for its flavours, packaging and ethos as much as the quality of its chocolate.  Branching out around the world, their store in the Westerpark (with its very own rainbow chocolate vending machine) is based under the head office – expect a whole lot more quirk than Cadbury’s World!

Puccini Bomboni – high class (high price) and VERY high quality chocolates at both outlets of this lovely Dutch chocolatier.  It’s rather too easy to spend a little too much.  Our top tip for a very Dutch foodie souvenir is their version of hagelslag – chocolate sprinkles to be served on white bread with butter – we promise not to tell!

Dutch Homemade – although the window is full of rainbow macarons, its the assortment of sensational ganache chocolate tablets that I adore here.  Whilst there are spiced flavours like ginger and coriander, rosemary and flower tea on offer, my favourites are the classics – the highest grade chocolate from around the world laced with tried and trusted flavours of cinnamon, coffee, mint, cherry and “smoky” caramel.

Clothes

Whilst chain stores are two a penny, there are still lots of one-off places to head for a wardrobe makeover.  So ditch H&M and Zara and instead try out these for starters.

Copa – for unique football merch and THE BEST tees in town there is no other place to explore.  Copa is a true one-off – expect lots of love and admiration when you wander out in these threads.

Patta – Marc’s fave for urban streetwear – this tiny boutique serves up the hottest limited edition gear beloved by the urban fash pack.

Zipper – if you’re a vintage fiend then you’ll want to allow some time to browse Zipper.  An Amsterdam institution based in the 9 Little Streets.

 


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