Who doesn’t love a taste of home? As much as we love living in Amsterdam, this Finnish-British expat household finds itself often missing the creature comforts from home.
Tom needs his daily dose of a “proper cuppa” and I sometimes need a top-up on my super salty liquorice (don’t judge me) and ordering online can be tricky. Delivery times can vary wildly and the dreaded B-word (brexit) has made getting a care package from the UK challenging to say the least. Who wants to wait for days on end when your tea box is looking empty?
So what is an expat to do in Amsterdam? Through some sleuthing and the ever-helpful expat communities Tom and I found our top four sources for that taste from home.
Address: De Clercqstraat 7, 1053 AA Amsterdam
There’s a few reasons why Sterk is on the top of my list. Not only do they have an excellent selection of English teas and snacks, they also have one of the largest selection of international craft beers I have ever seen. They stock small indie brands from where I used to live in North England and some obscure Finnish micro-breweries too. Of course you can also pick up the evergreen favourites from big brands but for me, being able to keep up with the latest and greatest on the UK and Finnish craft beer scene is a massive bonus. Tom also loves it here because he can get this Monster Muchnies and Yorkshire Tea while beer shopping.
Hotel des Arts
Address: Rokin 154-156, 1012 LE Amsterdam
When I have a hankering for Finnish Salmiakki, Lonkero or proper rye bread, I head over to Hotel Des Arts. They run a Finnish pop-up shop where the stock is ever changing, and they have been known to bake their own korvapuusti’s as well. Finnish owned and run, this is a haven for the Amsterdam-based Finnish community. It’s also super centrally based so if you’re looking for a unique staycation you should totally consider this 18th century monument town house with 22 rooms full of character and warm ambience. Comes highly recommended.
Kelly’s Expat Shopping
Address: Ferdinand Bolstraat 139, 1072 LG Amsterdam
An absolute staple for any British/American expat, Kelly’s absolutely has the largest selection of expat foods in town. I often stop here to pick up Lucozade (it’s the nectar of the gods and nothing cures a hangover or a bout of sickness quite like it) but they have proper groceries as well. Miss some smoked back bacon? Crumpets? Cakes and biscuits? Mature cheddar? Kelly’s has them. They also are our go-to for any seasonal products like mince pies or hot cross buns.
Address: Leidsestraat 48, 1017 PC Amsterdam
Neatly placed close to Leidseplein, Eichholtz Delicatessen is an emporium of all kinds of amazing things, not just from the UK but also from Americas, Australia, and all over Europe. Don’t let the small space fool you! There’s so much stock here that you can easily spend ages going through their wares. They’re super convenient to pop in to if you just need some tea or the odd can of IRNBRU and happen to be in town.