Saturday, July 27, 2013

What's the deal with breakfast in Amsterdam?

When my family visited Amsterdam recently, we were pleased to see a pancake restaurant near our hotel. The restaurant, located in the Western Canal Ring neighborhood, looked like a good place for breakfast.

But the next morning, arriving at about 7:45, we were surprised to discover that the restaurant didn't open until 8:30. That seemed odd for a breakfast place, but we didn't dwell on it as we headed down the street to a bagel and coffee place. But that shop also was closed, and didn't open until 9:00 a.m.

Looking around, we found some several other cafes or coffee shops, some with the word "breakfast"  prominently displayed outside. None of them were open. None opened earlier than 9 a.m.  We ended up eating breakfast at a quaint Dutch place known as ... McDonalds. It was the only place open.

In the United States, breakfast and coffee shops are open at least by 6 a.m. (if they're not 24 hours). A restaurant that didn't open until 9 a.m., well, wouldn't be a breakfast place.

So what's deal in Amsterdam? It's not like there weren't any potential customers. As we strolled the streets at 8 a.m., there were plenty of people on bikes riding to work (this was a Tuesday), and small groups of tourists out, too. Even if locals don't eat breakfast out, you'd think the market for feeding hungry tourists would be ripe.

I honestly don't get it. Is there someone out there who can explain to me the mystery of the Amsterdam breakfast culture? Please put your comments below.

See also these articles:
Review: Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam


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