Dining Review: Gartine, Amsterdam, Netherlands

When I was looking for things to eat in Amsterdam, I kept seeing Gartine mentioned, which I didn’t really understand since it’s just a breakfast/brunch/lunch place. How good could a place that doesn’t even serve dinner be?

I was blown away by Gartine. It’s amazing. The best brunch I’ve ever had. It’s not fancy, but it’s simple and pure and delicious. It was so good that after going there once, I had to return the next day since I knew that if I didn’t I would regret it.

Gartine aka best breakfast ever

Gartine aka best breakfast ever

Gartine is small, with just a handful of tables downstairs and a small seating area upstairs (which seems to be very coveted). We visited in the off season and were able to get seated prior to 10:30am on both days that we went, but I would generally recommend making reservations, as we saw multiple parties get turned away as it got closer to lunch time.

It’s run by a friendly couple who exude love for what they do. You just feel warm by sitting there, and you can tell they take so much pride in their craft. Have you heard of the Danish term hygge? That’s what I felt eating at Gartine.

The food is simply prepared but incredibly well executed. Everything we tried was varying shades of great: the scrambled eggs were light, fluffy, and perfectly seasoned; the sourdough toast was hearty and full of flavor; the french toast was not too sweet and served with a heavenly apple butter; the jams are homemade and intriguing. If you’re a party of 2, I’d recommend splitting a large breakfast and another plate, like the scrambled eggs.

The bread part of the large breakfast and the scrambled eggs

The bread part of the large breakfast and the scrambled eggs

Leaving Gartine behind in Amsterdam definitely made me sad as a place like this could never exist in San Francisco, since there’d be a 3-hour wait, the prices would be at least 50% higher, and the quality of the food would suffer since they wouldn’t need to try even half as hard and they’d still have people beating down the doors to get in. The food at Gartine is nothing that you’ve never eaten before, but the quality and execution is just so darned good. It’s a definite must-eat if you’re ever in Amsterdam.

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