One of our favorite ways to explore a city, especially when we don’t have much time for said exploration, is to venture out on a retail safari. Safari-ing allows us to walk the streets, see where the locals shop, where they eat, where they hang out.
De 9 Straatjes in Amsterdam are a fun area to explore to get to know canal culture, local eateries and boutique retail. We spent a couple of days there recently and while we didn’t have time to survey the retail landscape of the full city, we want to share some of our favorite stores from the 9 Straatjes neighborhood.
The following list is by design, incomplete. We only had a couple of hours for our safari. We know we missed some incredible stores. Let us know: Which stores did we miss in De 9 Straatjes? Which are your favorite stores to visit in Amsterdam? What neighborhood MUST we Safari in on our next trip?
8 GREAT STORES IN AMSTERDAM'S DE 9 STRAATJES:
Amsterdam | Spuistraat 172 | X Bank
While technically located about a five minute walk from the Negen Straatjes, X Bank is a great first stop on an Amsterdam Retail Safari because it highlights so much of what makes Dutch style and design great. You get a sampling of the top Dutch designers in apparel, accessories and home and pretty much anyone who walks in is guaranteed to find something they love. You can then check out the smaller boutique locations of the individual brands you loved like Rika Studios, Another Label, Abel Odor and Loes Vrij, among others - many of which are located within walking distance from X Bank. Find your footing at X Bank and then use it as a jumping off point to do a deeper dive into the world of Amsterdam retail.
(Read our review of the X Bank here.)
Negen Straatjes | Herengracht 296 | Love Stories
Whether or not you are actually in the market for new lingerie, Love Stories is a great store to check out. The brand started as a lingerie line known for its feminine, yet casual and wearable lingerie pieces, but has since expanded to include both swimwear and active-wear. The store is spread out across two storefronts and both the clothes and the sales staff are approachable and lively (something that may seem simple but certainly can’t be said for most lingerie stores we’ve encountered.) Pick up a new workout outfit and you’ll be sure to stand out among the sea of Outdoor Voices and Lululemon clad New Yorkers in your next Soulcycle class.
Negen Straatjes | Oude Spiegelstraat 12 | Maison Rika
We first discovered Maison Rika at the X Bank boutique are were inspired to check out the label’s flagship boutique five minutes away in the Negen Straatjes. As is apparently common in the neighborhood, the shop is actually spread across two storefronts across the narrow street from each other. Both carry the label’s signature ultra-chic clothing and accessories as well as complementary products from third-party brands such as Le Labo fragrances. The aesthetic is so well defined that the studio has extended the brand into a print magazine and a guest house above the shop.
Negen Straatjes | Prinsengracht 493 (Mens) | Runstraat 17 (Womens) | Denham
Denham has at least three shops in the Negen Straatjes - a women’s shop, a men’s shop and a flagship concept shop with the full collection. If you are looking for cool, trendy, well-designed Dutch denim and apparel, Denham is the place to go. While there are Denham stores across Europe, we loved visiting the stores in their home city of Amsterdam. Denham has retained a refreshingly local vibe so pop into the various Denham locations in the area to get a sense of the local style and maybe add yet another pair of jeans to your repertoire.
WE ARE LABELSNegen Straatjes | Herengracht 356 | We Are Labels
Oh, We Are Labels. What are we going to do with you? Such great clothing, such a cluttered store. If you’ve been walking around Amsterdam eyeing the casual and cool clothing of the locals, We Are Labels is the place to go. The problem is that they’ve stuffed every piece of clothing they could find onto the shelves, on top of the shelves, in between the shelves, under the shelves. If you are willing to wade through the clothing, you will be rewarded with breezy, casual sweaters and dresses as the reward for your effort. The store carries mainly Dutch labels with some Parisian and other European labels thrown in for good measure. While it may not be the most pleasant shopping experience, you’re likely to actually make a purchase here.
MENDONegen Straatjes | Berenstraat 11 | Mendo
When you free associate with the word bookstore you probably think cozy, homey and comfortable. Mendo turns those assumptions upside down. Mendo is dark, moody and sexy. The store is stunningly designed to incorporate the books into the decor and everything from the wall pattern to the light fixtures feels intentionally designed to enhance the vibe. The books, predominantly focused on design, fashion, travel, photography, art and food, are equally beautiful and are begging to be purchased and displayed on your coffee table at home. This isn’t the type of bookstore you cozy up in with a cup of coffee in hand, this is the type of bookstore you go to when you are seeking a work of art and want to be in a place worthy of purchasing one.
ACE & TATENegen Straatjes | Huidenstraat 20 | Ace & Tate
We usually spare you the whole “Warby Parker of…” bit but that probably is the best frame of reference for Ace & Tate. Not because it’s the easiest shorthand to describe digital native brands, but because this literally is a digital native, direct-to-consumer eyeglasses store that aims to cut out the middleman and offer glasses at affordable prices. The glasses are a bit more stylish than those of Warby Parker, so if you are interested in trying out a European vibe but still want to affordability and convenience of Warby Parker, check out Ace & Tate. There are a number of store throughout Europe but we like this home location of the Amsterdam-based brand, just be prepared for a crowd in-store as the brand is very popular among locals and tourists alike.
Negen Straatjes | Huidenstraat 24B | Polette
If the idea of a different pair of glasses for every day of the week sounds appealing to you, but you are also a responsible person who understands it may not be the best idea to shell out thousands of dollars on this endeavor, check out Polette. The deal at this Amsterdam native brand is that glasses (frames + lenses) start from €14.98 and the options for lens and frame combinations are nearly infinite. So go ahead, let loose and try a look you never thought you could pull off (maybe those super thin sunglasses Kendall Jenner wears or colorful round frames with matching lenses). And hey, if you wake up the next day realizing that you really can’t pull them off, at least the dent in your bank account will be pretty minimal.
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