Amsterdam Uncovered: Gen Z's Guide to Hidden Gems

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Amsterdam Uncovered: Gen Z's Guide to Hidden Gems

Are you curious about where the next big thing is happening in Amsterdam? Of course, you could always consult the traditional weekend guides and those mundane 'what-to-do-this-weekend' lists. Alternatively, you could do better by exploring what our Nocto cool-hunters have unearthed this week to discover the city's hottest vibes.

If you opt for the second choice, then read on.

This week, we've ventured into not one, but five venues that are gaining popularity among the 18+ crowd (yes, students are welcome too). These places include an avocado-themed show bar, a repurposed old fishing boat transformed into a floating party ballroom, an indoor street food haven carved out of an ancient market hall, and the finest French-Japanese speakeasy in the city. And the best part? They are all conveniently accessible by bike… 🚲

1. The Avocado Show

Before becoming a global franchise with restaurants opened in London and Stuttgart, The Avocado Show had settled down in Amsterdam and Den Haag with a simple but now-hugely-popular concept devised in less than a week by two young founders Simpson and Zaal 🥑.

If you are up for healthy food & good vibes, you can have it seven days a week. Their mission is to bring joy to every avocado lover. The main concept is to serve Pretty Healthy Food in cosy settings. It becomes a perfect place for brunch & lunch for everyone, from meat lovers to vegans alike, on a canal in Amsterdam - the beautiful Keizersgraacht.

They bet on their own name, too, as they promise to offer a spectacular avocado show on their plate. We have to say, based on the Instagram tags alone, this happens to be true, as The Avocado Show has racked up hundreds of millions of views and clicks. We could not also resist the temptation from one of the best restaurants on Keizersgraacht, as the plates are served in a very Instagram-worthy - did we win a ‘share’?

The Avocado Show

2. Hannekes Boom: A Garden Oasis Near Centraal

Commuting via bike or boat couldn’t be more easy when you are heading to Hannekes Boom. Located just 5 minutes bike-ride away from Amsterdam Centraal, this floating (and huge) venue is rumoured to be one of the most GenZ approved restaurants with terras in Amsterdam - definitely, the most chilled - meaning you can come in your pyjamas and nobody cares.

Someone could say it can be similar to the Mooie Boules (except you can’t play the games here), this place it’s another level when it comes to party, since it features an old fishing boat now transformed into a party-hall, with DJ nights every Friday and (almost every) Saturday during summertime.

If you are more into sit-down situations though, you’ll be all served! Hannekes Boom has a huge open-air terras with QR codes on every table to easily order lots of different types of special beers or snacks like tacos with big groups 🌮  dipping your feet in the water while you’re enjoying the sun. 

Yes, also if you are still wearing your pyjamas…

Hannekes Boom

3. Foodhallen: Food Lover's Wonderland

We know how boring the students’ diets can be - lame pre-cooked tomato soups from the local grocery store and a simple sandwich with well-known hagelslag, oh, dreary times.

But if you fancy having some food diversity to break this diet, well, Foodhallen may come in handy. More than 20 food-truck stands in Amsterdam West, parked in the once-upon-a-time tramremise building now transformed into a proper street food feast: you can literally walk through the most incredible variety of treats from pizza or noodles to pitas and temakis.

We indeed took a tour, having some small tasting experiences from all over the world (Spanish padron peppers and French macarons were our favourites 😍) and then hopped around the beautiful hood of Kinderbuurt, which has hosted Foodhallen since 2014.

Also, if you are planning to go and it’s raining, worry not - the food feast is indoor, so you have one more excuse to drop your sandwich with hagelslag…


4. Paindemie: A Romantic Dream Bar

Forget about lockdowns and facemasks - Paindemie has nothing to do with the worst-ever periods of humanity. Instead, Pain de Mie is what the French call their usual white toast bread, which happens to resemble Japanese milk bread and has a bit of sweetness to it. 

Even if the owners established the idea during Corona times out of nostalgia and pure love for this bread, Paindemie is now probably one of the best kept secrets romantic dinner in Amsterdam, hence be careful how you ‘spread’ the word…

The experience, here, is guaranteed. The venue is a delicious toast bar downstairs and an incredible Art Deco speakeasy upstairs. So, whether you are there with a bunch of uni friends to chill after a study day or to surprise a new date, you won’t be disappointed.

We have to admit, the space upstairs is incredible: an old school cocktail bar merged with a fine dining restaurant, all themed in French-Japanese style, very intimate (it could be filled up with around 20 people), warm and cosy interiors - it’s like entering a whole new world, so leave your phone inside your pockets and start mingling with other guests!

And the cocktails 🤩 - since we knew they use some authentic Japanese liquors, we tried their signature Sakura Martini (Ukiyo blossom gin, Cherry liquor, lemon, vanilla syrup, egg white) and they were a whole another level…

As a bona fide speakeasy, it goes without saying that Paindemie is the best restaurant located in Amsterdam West that ‘if you know, you know’. Well, now you know…


5. Cut Throat: A Hidden Caribbean Oasis

You won't find a cozier, more tropical escape than Cut Throat, located a mere 7-minute walk from Amsterdam Central Station. This Caribbean-inspired gem offers a unique blend of experiences that might sound unrelated at first but come together seamlessly. 

The staff here are incredibly friendly, always ready to offer more water or a warm welcome. What sets Cut Throat a special eat-out  is its three-in-one concept: a barbershop, a restaurant, and a bar. It may sound unusual, but trust us, it's a winning formula. 

The typical journey begins with a fresh haircut, followed by a leisurely lunch in Amsterdam Centrum, maybe also some nice cocktails. While the food and drink menu isn't extensive, it does feature some mouthwatering Caribbean delights, like the irresistible fried chicken with waffles and the flavorful grilled jerk chicken. To top it off, a DJ keeps the tropical atmosphere lively, making this brunch place in Amsterdam a magnet for the Gen Z crowd.

Cut Throat

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