Most of you know that I am a major food lover. And that I am quite fussy when it comes to my food. Going out for lunch or dinner needs to be worth my while. When I cook at home, I use honest, pure and often local ingredients. I often prefer a home-cooked meal to restaurant fare, as it’s simply healthier and tastes better. But I have found a true gem a few streets away from where I live where the owners share my passion for delicious and creative food made with only the best and freshest ingredients available.
Cottoncake is truly one of my favorite places in De Pijp. De Pijp is Amsterdam’s SoHo, a very lively area filled with small cafes, eateries, boutique shops and vintage stores. It’s a really mixed and creative urban area, with people from all walks of life, with different cultures and backgrounds. Young professionals, freelancers and business owners mix in with young students and hipsters. The area is thriving. New shops, galleries, eateries and cafes open up every month. When Cottoncake opened its doors last year, I couldn’t believe my luck.
Cottoncake is both shop and café. They combine two things I love: cotton and cake. Cottons stands for the beautiful unique clothing and design items they sell and cake for the lovely, fresh foods they serve here. Cottoncake has almost become like a second home to me. I am here quite often. It has a cozy, relaxed atmosphere. I love to take my friends here for lunch, meet up with my clients, read a book or work behind my laptop.
The best part about Cottoncake is the fact that they offer lots of healthy and gluten-free options on the menu. If you don’t eat bread living in Amsterdam, it can be really hard to find a good place to have lunch. Most places serve sandwiches only. And if they offer a salad at all, it often lacks the freshness and clean flavors I am looking for in a salad. Delicious, healthy food makes me happy. At Cottoncake they share that love for foods that are healthy and taste great. The menu offers healthy, homemade fresh food and drinks, like freshly squeezed juices, homemade lemonades, sandwiches, soups and salads. Everything is homemade with seasonal, pure, fresh and local ingredients and created with love.
The seasonal menu offers healthy and delicious foods. You can really taste the purity and freshness of the ingredients on your plate. There are also plenty of vegetarian options on the menu. I love the quinoa salad, which changes with the seasons. Right now it is served with avocado, dried apricots, feta, almonds and fresh coriander. All sandwiches can be ordered gluten-free at a small extra charge. The ‘toastie’ with goat’s cheese, eggplant, red bell pepper and spice chili oil is my personal favorite. Almost all the cakes, except the cheesecake, are made with gluten-free rice or almond flour. Make sure to try out the chocolate brownie or the walnut banana bread.
I love coming here on a Saturday morning for a late breakfast. On a sunny day you can enjoy your breakfast outside and wake-up with a delicious cup of fair-trade coffee. I usually have the homemade gluten-free granola with coconut, cranberry and nuts and topped with fresh fruits. I also love the Orange Carrot Ginger Lime Juice. The fair-trade coffee by Two for Joy is excellent, made with fresh beans, roasted just around the corner here in Amsterdam. The teas from Evermore are delicious and the lemonades from Fentiman’s are botanically brewed and made with honest, all-natural ingredients. They are really refreshing on a sunny day. Make sure you try the Rose Lemonade or Victorian Lemonade. I also use them at home to make cocktails.
The owners, Tessa and Jorinde, have filled this place with love & passion and attention for detail. They love traveling and discovering new things, from fashion items, the latest products in interior design to great coffee and food. They use their shop as a platform to showcase and share all the things they have fallen in love with. They not only sell products by other designers, but they also create their own products, like the beautiful Ikat jackets, which were designed using unique hand woven traditional textile they personally discovered during a trip to Bali.
Jorinde, who is in charge of the menu here, is passionate about food. She loves to serve clean and honest food and uses organic produce and ingredients wherever she can. She loves to create new recipes and is always looking for the best and most healthy ingredients available. For example, there are bottles of agave syrup on each table to use instead of refined sugar and you can choose soymilk instead of normal milk for your latte. Jorinde also hates to see food going to waste. When they run out ingredients, the girls simply walk outside and shop at nearby stores for whatever they need. They get their meat from neighbor NOZ, a butcher that serves high-quality meat and is committed to animal welfare. The spelt bread comes from the local of bakery Brood, which is only a few houses a way. They are a great example of going local.
The food and drink menu may changes with the seasons, but every week new and unique items come in from edgy, renewing brands they have fallen in love with. From beautifully knit sweaters, artwork by new and upcoming artists, carpets made from leather-scraps in Sweden to beautiful natural cosmetic products. For example, the natural cosmetic products by the Swedish Lilla Bruket, which celebrate the power of plants and are all hand-made in Sweden. I love the rough and rustic design, reminiscent of old apothecary bottles.
Tessa, who is in charge of the interior design, has a great eye for detail and has filled the space with simple yet beautiful modern and Vintage items. The interior changes constantly. New items are added; old items taken way or sold. But there’s an underlying vision or ‘feeling’ that never changes. The interior design has a Scandinavian feel to it, a pure, clean and natural look. No frills or bombardments of colors. A white space, almost like a clean slate, where everything that is showcased, from the art work on the walls to the beautiful clothing, is put into the spotlight in a refined, yet unobtrusive way. I love the high white ceilings, the vintage French stools, the fresh flowers on the tables and the large, old wooden desk that is used as the counter. It’s cozy, simple and intimate all at the same time.
There are regular art exhibitions too exposing the work of new upcoming artists. Expositions change every ten weeks and are celebrated with a small event. All pieces of art are for sale in the shop as well as some of the furniture. Last year I ended up buying two French stools for my living room, that were being used in the café. The only negative that I can think of is that it’s really hard to resist buying something here. I have ended up buying a beautiful scarf many times or a beautifully knit sweater. Or I stay around just a little longer than I plan too. If you haven’t been there yet, go and check it out for a healthy bite, a fresh juice or a lovely cup of coffee.