Amsterdam City Blog restaurants, shops, people and life in Amsterdam


Authentic Italian flavours at Mazzo

Tomorrow I am having my wisdom teeth taken out. It's my first time at the dental surgeon and it scares the living daylights out of me. So, to celebrate my last days of being able to eat solid food, my friend Matt and I had dinner at Mazzo on the Rozengracht in Amsterdam.

Mazzo on the Rozengracht in AmsterdamI've been wanting to go to Mazzo ever since Matt sent me an article on it on The Cool Hunter. It is a huge place, with an industrial and modern look, and yet a very homely feel about it. The enormous Chesterfield on the left wall looks inviting, but I'd advise against choosing to sit there, as it makes eating off of the low table a challenge.

Antipasti misti at Mazzo in AmsterdamWe started with the antipasti misti, which turned out to be a lovely big plate full of bruschette, cuts of meat and salads. We shared everything and enjoyed most of it (I especially loved the bruschette and the small pulpo salad).

Then we both had a pasta. Matt chose the Arabiata, I had the Carbonara. The pastas come in two sizes: small for around E9,- and large for around E13,-. Very tasty and good value too! It's also very Italian: the pasta is not smothered in sauce, like the Dutch tend to make their pastas.

Mazzo's signature Pizza MazzoLastly, Matt and I shared a pizza Mazzo. It's the one with buffalo mozzarella, lardo (baconfat), rocket and truffle tapenade. The bottom was thin and crisp, somewhat like the romans like their pizza. The topping was fresh, rich and gorgeous. We had thought to try a few desserts too, but it turned out we were full after the pizza. Next time, Mazzo, next time!

There were so many things on the menu that I'd love to try. A cold pizza Primavera for one, Stuzzichini (fried nibbles, like croquettes and stuffed olives) and the toasted tramezzino from the lunch menu. I definitely need to come back here!

Rozengracht 114
020 3446402



Vapiano: great pizzas, small prices

VapianoIf, after a hard day's work at the Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (the public library of Amsterdam, also known as the OBA), one feels a bit peckish, then a visit to Vapiano is in order. Don't go for the service (there is none), but do go there for the good and affordable food. Also a good tip if you're in the neighbourhood of the Amsterdam Central Station and looking for a bite to eat.

Vapiano has a system. Upon entering the establishment, each customer receives a card. Upstairs you can order pasta at the pasta counter, pizza at the pizza counter and so on with the salads and sweets. You touch your card to the appropriate place on the counter when you order (it says something like "your card here") and receive a pager that will tell you when your meal is ready. Then you have a seat, wait till the pager goes off and enjoy your meal. Before exiting the building you hand in your card at the cash register at the bottom of the stairs and pay for what you've had.

pizza bruschetta at Vapiano in AmsterdamMatt and I had pizza at Vapiano recently. I ordered the Pizza Bruschetta, with fresh tomatoes, garlic, rocket salad, parmesan cheese and mozzarella. He had the Toscana, with spicy Italian sausage, olives, fresh herbs, tomatoes and mozzarella.

Mine was very good. The crust was not too thin, not too thick, crisp but not dry. The topping was packed with flavour, thanks to the garlic and the very thinly sliced parmesan. It was also fresh, because of the rocket and the fresh tomatoes. All in all, a very good choice, for a mere E6,75.  The Toscana (E7,75) was stronger in flavour, the spicy Italian sausage was spicy indeed! Matt was happy with his choice.

Kill me again please
We had already spotted our dessert while we were picking out our pizzas: Death by Chocolate. For 3 euro a piece this extremely nice, dark brown stuff will slowly devour you (or you it). And you'll like it, I promise. At Vapiano Death does not ride a pale horse: Death is a pie, moist and tasty, not too sweet and not too heavy, and it comes covered in a thick layer of lovely ganache.

It was so good I licked my plate afterwards. That is, until I caught the stare of an elderly man at the table next to ours and I had to stop, because I was dying with laughter from merry embarrassment. I'm going back sometime soon, have another pizza or try one of the pastas and afterwards gladly request to be killed again!

interior of Vapiano near Amsterdam Central Station The interior styling is hip, but relaxed. Vapiano is open Sunday through Thursday from 11am till midnight. Friday and Saturday from 10am till 1am.

Oosterdokskade 145
1011 Amsterdam