Right next to the organic coffee shops that line the streets and only steps away from the welcoming women of the skinny alley of the Red Light District is Amsterdam’s Chinatown. Fresh Peking Duck is on display in all the windows tempting the Pho seeker to give up his quest of finding that perfect bowl by settling for an enticing substitute.
Having made it past all the bland döner kebap shops that are an absolute waste of money and all the aforementioned distractions along the way, I find the only Vietnamese restaurant in the area. Mind you, I have been to Amsterdam many times but always neglect to take note of two things: 1) the restaurant is only open for dinner 2) where exactly the restaurant is located. I guess writing down the name would help.
Regardless, half the fun of visiting the Red Light District is navigating through landmarks that aren’t really landmarks:
“Oh I think you go over two bridges down one alley then past the first coffee shop next to the girl in the window and it should be on your left hand side. If you’ve gone past three churches, you’ve gone too far.” In this case, I believe to get to the Vietnamese restaurant you go left down the first street of Chinatown and it should be on your right hand side after the awful sushi spot.
When you do finally find the Pho restaurant take note, if you are on a stopover to another city that you still have to weave your way back through the maze, out of the District, across the street to the train station, and back to the airport, all the while trying to keep a straight face when answering questions from the customs agent regarding the overindulgence you just experienced.
As far as the pho is concerned, I worked up such an appetite trying to find the place that I really didn’t’ spend too much time savoring each spoon. Instead, I proceeded to scarf down the bowl to quell my suddenly insatiable appetite.
From what I do remember, the pho was quite good.
Because of the great adventure, Amsterdam Pho comes in at #10.