Two years ago, the owners of De Foodhallen had absolutely no idea that it was going to be an immediate hit. Inspired by their travels, the concept of a food market in Amsterdam seemed like a big risk. Instead, it was an overnight success.
The combination of a cool location (a former tram shed in Amsterdam Oud-West), trendy food concepts, and just the right amount of buzz have made De Foodhallen the place to be for weekend bites and drinks. But we all know the secret to staying ahead of the game is keeping things fresh and exciting.
New food stands at the Foodhallen:
After two years, it was time for an update. Amsterdam Foodie and I had the good fortune to be invited to sample seven new food concepts launching at De Foodhallen this fall.
AND THE WINNERS ARE…
Like authentic ramen, proper tacos are in severely short supply in Amsterdam. After chasing tacos from one pop-up to the next, I was excited to hear about Taqueria Lima West. They did not disappoint. The chipotle braised beef tacos with lime cream, corn and pickles on a fresh corn tortilla (no flour tortillas here, yay!) were my runaway favorite of the evening.
By the way, all the photos show tasting portions only, so you’ll get regular (bigger) portions when you order from any of the new stalls at De Foodhallen.
I thought the tacos were the clear winner… until Renato’s showed up. A family-owned businesses with a pizzeria and osteria in de Pijp, Renato’s brings authentic Italian flavor to De Foodhallen.
This is everything you want in an antipasto plate and more. Decadent and creamy burrata, prosciutto di Parma, truffle ham, artichokes, homemade focaccia bread, bruschetta with real Italian tomatoes (trust me… you can taste the difference), and truffle Pecorino cheese that totally rocked my socks. Oh, and if you love truffle you’ll also love Renato’s pizza Della casa.
Also in my top three was Dim Sum Thing (photo above) which serves, you guessed it, dim sum. The hakao and sieuw mai were delicious and authentic (I have the authority to say this, as the token Asian of this blog), although the chicken gyoza and crunchy prawn ball could have used more flavor and moisture.
I regret not having tried the sweet sesame ball (buchi), which is one of the little things I miss most from home. A return visit is in order!
GREAT FOR VEGETARIANS: FENTO AND PADRON
Normally vegetarians get the short end of the stick, but I was impressed with the quality of the vegetarian options that evening. (Disclaimer: I am not a vegetarian, but I can empathize with them.) Fento by Hilary Eats serves healthy, sustainable plant-based dishes like the XL Tostada, a nutritious alternative to the rather sinful beef version of Taqueria Lima.
I used to be a sugar junkie, but after a nine-week no-sugar detox, my taste for sweetness has changed. So I liked Hilary’s raw cacao spoons with maple syrup and sea salt, a guiltless, not-so-sweet, and rather nutty treat.
Padron makes green versions of street food and Dutch favorites, like this adorably presented vegetarian tartare (made from smoked beetroot, tomatoes, and red peppers, served with a quail egg) and vegetable tempura with tarragon mayo.
I am not a huge fan of steak tartare, so it’s not a surprise that it’s veggie version didn’t wow me. But the crunch to the veggie tempura was satisfying, and I always appreciate a good mayo.
DECENT, BUT NOT THE MOST EXCITING: GUNTHER’S
I can’t say that I’ve ever craved for a flammkuchen. So I would probably not head straight to Gunther’s first thing on a night out at De Foodhallen. Having said that, if someone at my table ordered the flammkuchen with beef carpaccio and truffle mayo, I would sneak a piece off the plate.
Good to know: Gunther’s makes them for vegetarians too, with aubergine, mushroom, and courgette.
WAIT AND SEE: MONSIEUR BABA
Monsieur Baba just moved into De Foodhallen on the day of this tasting event, so we’ll have to give him a little wiggle room. For an Arabic-French fusion, I didn’t get much of a strong sense of flavor from this crunchy Indian papadum with orange couscous, almonds, and goat cheese foam. On the other hand, the buns with spicy sausage and dill were a huge mouthful of dill.
For dessert, the sour-ish raspberry cream has potential. I guess we’ll have to let him grow into it and give it another try a few months down the line.
Which new stall are you most looking forward to trying? And what would you like to see more of at De Foodhallen? Let us know!