This picturesque city is the perfect getaway to discover trendy wine bars, unique wine merchants and innovative eateries, says Simon Woolf...

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Amsterdam wine bars and restaurants

L’Hexagone

One of Amsterdam’s more unique wine merchants, Evan Walker’s semisubterranean HQ is only identifiable by a kitsch ‘Open’ sign hanging on an unmarked residential door.

Inside you’ll find an Aladdin’s cave of treasure, from super high-end Bordeaux and Burgundy, to impossible-to-find old vintages and discoveries from every corner of France. www.lhexagone.nl

Amsterdam wine bars, L'Hexagone

Evan Walker from L’Hexagone

Barrique

There’s always a varied by-the-glass selection here, and the full list covers Old and New World, plus there’s a small ‘red book’ with special vintages.

Service is friendly and the food (set menu only) punches well above its weight. www.restaurantbarrique.nl

Amsterdam wine bars, Bak

Roe deer at Bak, Amsterdam

Bak

Alessandro da Fies curates one of the city’s greatest wine lists, catering to a wide range of prices and tastes, but focused on smaller, artisan producers.

The food focuses on vegetables, and only wild fish and meat are used in the kitchen. www.bakrestaurant.nl/en

Amsterdam wine bars, Choux

Choux

Choux

You’ll find more than a nod to the lighter Nordic style of fine dining at Choux.

Figo van Onna’s exciting wine list features only natural wines from Europe.

Wine pairings are eclectic and good value, and the service is full of passion. www.choux.nl

Amsterdam wine bars, Glou glou

Glou Glou

Glou Glou

Amsterdam’s first ‘natural wine’ bar feels authentically Parisian, except that the service isn’t quite as rude!

A well-chosen and fast-changing selection of mainly French natural wines are all available by the glass, bottle or to take home, at very reasonable prices.  www.glouglou.nl

De Wijnwinkel Renalda

Incongruously situated among the trendy clothing boutiques of De Negen Straatjes (The Nine Streets), this venerable wine importer/merchant couldn’t be more centrally located.

The eclectic selections from Italy, France, Spain and Germany are excellent.

You’ll be well looked after once they realise you’re not just a lost tourist looking for the nearest coffee shop. www.wijnwinkel.com

Worst

A neighbourhood wine café serving outstanding sausages and charcuterie.

The wine list is cleverly curated to provide for both adventurers and traditionalists alike, and focuses on France and the Old World.

Next door, Restaurant Marius has the same list with a superb table d’hote menu. www.deworst.nl

Amsterdam wine bars, Cafe de Klepel

Cafe de Klepel

Café de Klepel

A French-style bistro where excellent, hearty food plays second fiddle to the wines.

All of the staff are sommeliers, and the mainly French list is always changing.

You can splurge on serious Burgundy, or have much more fun by asking hosts Margot or Job to pour you their latest discoveries by the glass. www.cafedeklepel.nl/?lang=en

Amsterdam wine bars, The Wine Spot

Filipe and Paulo, from The Wine Spot

The Wine Spot

Paulo De Almeida and Filipe Rodrigues both have ancestral links with Portugal, so it was natural for their shop to have the Netherlands’ best Portuguese wine selection.

Service is free of pretension whether you buy a bottle for €6.50 or €50; everyone is treated as a valued customer. www.thewinespot.nl

Westerwijnfabriek

This yearling, run by Anne van Velthoven, (pictured top) occupies an atmospheric 100-year-old building that was once part of the gas works.

The wine list is particularly strong on the Loire, Jura and Rhône Valley, with a sprinkling of more international selections.

Excellent charcuterie and snacks are served. www.westerwijnfabriek.nl

Simon Woolf is an award-winning writer, columnist and natural wine specialist based in Amsterdam.


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