Who would think that a library could be the second best attraction in a Metropolitan city? Certainly not me. But Openbare Bibliotheek (Central Library) in Amsterdam is such a place. Ranked just behind Concertgebouw, the Openbare Bibliotheek is now one of the must-visit places for tourists in Amsterdam according to tripadvisor. While a bookworm is certain to find a piece of his heart in this sleek, modern, huge library, after a long time gobbling down over-the-top-salty, overcooked, greasy foods at my school’s canteen, I was thrilled to try some good food at Vapiano–an excellent Italian franchise restaurant located on the first floor of the library.
Yes I believe that many foodies are wary when it comes to resto chains. Burger King, McDonald’s, KFC… these notorious names easily make those who take food seriously squirm in disgust and horror. But I assure you that Vapiano is different (because it is German? jk..)
Vapiano, in my opinion, manages to synthesize the good aspects of both a chain and an independent restaurant. It had a casual atmosphere, but was extremely spacious, bright, and nicely decorated. It was self-service, yet the food was made to order (I spent a good few minutes or so gawking at a dude making fresh pasta–something I have only seen on MasterChef) and absolutely fresh. My pizza was very delicious, big, and fresh, and the price couldn’t be more reasonable.
I usually don’t really want to eat pizza when I am here (because I am going to Italy this January anyway why should I eat Italian food in the Netherlands?), but the mouthwatering, big, aromatic doughs with wonders on top immediately demanded my attention.
My friend’s Capricciosa (with ham, mushrooms, artichokes and olives together with tomato sauce and mozzarella) was beautifullll. The dough was thin and crispy, but was firm enough to hold all the ingredients on top. The right amount of fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce were added, thus the pizza itself didn’t feel mushy and heavy. And the artichokes were deliciously sweet.
I got myself a folded Calzone (ham, pepperoni salami, mushrooms, tomato sauce and mozzarella). It might not look pretty, but in my humble opinion it tasted even better than the Capricciosa. The pepperoni salami added a necessary salty kick, combined with the generous amount of hot sauce, my Calzone automatically seemed to have more ‘characteristics’ than the Capricciosa. This is not to say that the later was not good, but my palate is easily charmed by bold flavors.
One more thing I liked about my pizza was that it stayed nice and warm to the last bite, as it was neatly folded:
My friend’s bruschetta…
and her bf’s fresh pasta:
Vapiano is indeed a great restaurant, with a no-fuss atmosphere, large space, yummy and reasonably-priced food. It is also located near the Amsterdam Centraal Station, and thus is perfect for tourists looking for a quick place to energize themselves before venturing into beautiful Amsterdam.
Vapiano, Oosterdokskade 145, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
And well here are some photos of the library itself :P