Cheungs visit Amsterdam: sexmuseum, windmills and the best apple pies in town

12 Dec

So, my mum and brother (and my friend from Paris, Kristen) were in town the other weekend, and as I now consider myself somewhat of a semi-local, I put it on myself to provide a fully fledged food/ sightseeing tour of Amsterdam for the occasion.

 As many exchange kids will know, having parents visit is a fantastic thing- not only because you love them and miss them dearly, but because of the happy certainty that for a few glorious days, you will be able to eat to your hearts content without  having to worry about whether you can afford next month’s rent. It’s also a fantastic excuse to do all those embarrassing touristy things you never got around to doing in your first week- eg the windmills/ clog making factory in Zaanse Schans, or the Amsterdam Sex museum. 

 ( Incidently, taking your mother to the Sexmuseum is not as mortifying an experience as one might think. In fact, it can be rather entertaining, like the moment when your mum turns to you, while observing a collection of 1800s black and white pornographic photographs, and says in hushed Chinese: “Jen, these girls aren’t very pretty at all are they?” )

 Our visit to Zaanse Schans was equally entertaining, because it just so happened that the day we went, the town had been transformed into a sort of “black pete” wonderland in the lead up to Dutch Christmas. Upon entering, we saw about fifty dutch people in full black pete attire,  my favourite being one particularly fetching fellow who had fashioned himself as “Elvis Black pete”, complete with black quiff, sunnies, and a red silky ruffle top.


            (Black Petes hand out peppernoten to the children, and the hungry Australians)

 Elvis Black Pete

As it turns out, the local kids were graduating from “Pieten academy” that day after completing their “Pieten” training. Here is a picture of Kristen with the “Pieten diploma” she received from SintaKlaas (actually I think it belonged to a little boy called Sven Van de Heugel or something who had carelessly left it behind, but same same)


Anyway, back to food. In my opinion, a food tour of Amsterdam really isn’t complete without the holy trifecta– stroopwafels, Mannekin pis French fries, and apple pies from Winkel.

 Winkel is a café located at Noodermarket which, I have it on firm authority, has THE best apple pies in Amsterdam. I have been there several times, none of which have disappointed. Here are some pics:

mum and apple pie

 These pies are just, in a word, awesome- big fresh chunks of juicy apple (none of that artificial syrupy filler nonsense), encased in a warm, crumbly, cinammony-sweet crust, and served with a generous dollop of whipped cream.  

 In fact, so good are these pies, that if you come on a market day (Saturday or Monday), this is all they serve. The place is essentially transformed into a pie making factory, with one guy popping whole pie after pie out of the oven, another lining about ten of them up on the counter factory line style, a third taking orders and making coffees. Word of warning, on market days, the place is kind of pandemonium. The place is usually packed and you could find yourself waiting a good twenty minutes for a seat.  But believe me, it’s worth it!

To date, the only real challenge for the spot of “Best dutch Apple pie”  is from my friend Evelein, who claims that her home-baked ones are better than Winkel. Big claim my friend, to which I say that the only resolution is a good old fashioned Iron Chef style cook-off.  I for one, am more than happy to taste and judge!



Noordermarkt 43, 1015NA Amsterdam
Tel: 0206230223   |   Web:


One Response to “Cheungs visit Amsterdam: sexmuseum, windmills and the best apple pies in town”

  1. Linda Robson December 12, 2010 at 1:14 pm #


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