Before heading to concerts, young professionals and bohemian types gather for beer and bitterballen, the Dutch answer to tapas, in Amsterdam’s trendy Eastern Docklands.
These artificial peninsulas, east of Centraal Station, were reclaimed from the river IJ in the 19th century to create warehouses for the booming shipping industry, and the wider area includes even earlier buildings used by the Dutch East India Company. The docks fell into disuse by the 1970s, but the district has undergone a thorough redevelopment while retaining its industrial façade.
Traditionally a way of using up leftovers, bitterballen are miniature meatballs coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried. This beer snack is usually made with beef or veal and is inevitably served with mustard.
Hannekes Boom, an ultra laid-back beer garden on the waterfront, has some of the district’s best. It is a quirky place to watch boats meander past and experience the famous Amsterdam gezelligheid, or conviviality. Brouwerij ‘t IJ is a leading microbrewery housed inside a converted municipal bathhouse next to De Gooyer, a windmill that dates from 1725.
Photographs: Dreamstime; Alamy