Amsterdam has long been a haven for electronic music, and an incubator for some of the greatest artists in electronic music. It also has been a second home for many artists who moved from the nearby city of Rotterdam. Such is the case for Michel de Hey. As an artist who got his start in the late 80s, he's been around the block more than a few times. As such, we asked the Amsterdam resident about some of his go-to spots in the city, for our on-going City Guide series. As a bonus, you can check out our prior Amsterdam city guide from Sandrien here. As with the previous guide, for those who will be attending ADE, these are worth a read!
Words and photos by Michel de Hey
We all like a good drink, so where are the top spots to head to before a night out?
I really enjoy going out for dinner. No cocktail bars or bars for me, I prefer to take the last shift at a restaurant and stay for some more wine. So here are my favorite spots to hang out before heading to the clubs.
Best pizza: Pazzi
Even Italians can live with their pizza :) Great starters and wine as well and you can also sit outside to see which people live in Amsterdam west. 2nd place pizza is Fuoco Vivo, sour-dough pizza, with great taste but not as cozy as Pazzi
Best French cuisine: Wolf Atelier.
If you want star food dishes but if you don't want to pay for the stars this is the place. Funky building as well near Central station
Best Japanese restaurant: Umeno
Looks like an old dutch cafe but the Japanese chef is a true master of Japanese food. Not cheap, but worth every penny. You can only eat there with a reservation, and the place holds max 15 people.
Best fish restaurant: Brut de Mer
in the very populated but lively de Pijp. A small fish restaurant where they totally know what they are doing, great oyster bar and smooth wines.
Where can you find the best clubs / late-night venues in town?
It's highly recommended also because it is close to my house but a great club to be late at night cool lineups, proper sound and a great place to DJ as well.
It’s a pretty dark place, just how I like it sometimes. You can walk around the DJ booth, the sound is amazing and it’s the perfect place to party from the beginning until the end.
Brunches are a weekend staple, which spots stand out for you?
Morgan & Mees
Great terrace, great ambiance, great food, and beautiful people. I highly recommend the oysters and salmon over there
I used to play a lot in Israel and the humus there is always super special. First time I ate the same kind of humus outside of Israel was here. Do not take out, but eat it there as it is part of the fun and at home, it does not taste the same. Afterward, you can walk to my favourite Italian ice place.
Best dirty late-night street food option?
Late Chinese food: New King
For a late quick Chinese dinner, this is the place. It is super crowded as it is de Zeedijk but you will not be disappointed
Best Thai: Cook Kai
Small and with small I mean really small Thai place but for me the best one, super tiny but super Thai what else do you want:)
Where can we shop for records and music memorabilia in Amsterdam?
You can go to Distortion, Rush Hour, Mary Go Wild
Your Sunday escape plan when you need to get away from it all?
Sunday escape plan?? What’s that:) On Sunday I love to go to Thuishaven to have a drink, see friends and enjoy the festival.
It’s the venue where I celebrate my birthday and the place where I almost play every month. I just did a 10-hour set there and it was one of the highlights of an already high season. For me, it’s one of the best and surprising places in Amsterdam, period.
Something everyone should do when visiting Amsterdam, but probably hasn’t?
The best ice cream: Massimo Gelato
The best Italian ice in town. The first time I took a bite of my hazelnut ice scoop I got a tear in my eye. You taste the love they put in their ice cream. It is unbelievable. Also, the cues as well during summer but it is worth every minute you have to wait.
Also, check out Adam Lookout to get the best view over the city and even go on a swing 100 meters above the city and feel like 5 years old again. There is a bar, there is a nice restaurant and you have some DJs playing on days with nice weather.
Funny thing is you can take the free ferry from Central Station which is a real Amsterdam thing. But I assume every tourist knows this already? And Shelter is in the basement of the building.
A track that reminds you of your childhood in the city? (If not originally from this city, a song that reminds you of when you first moved here)
Jimmy Castor Bunch - King Kong
When I moved here coming from my beloved Rotterdam it took me a while to adjust. I had an old pickup where I played 7inch records from when I was a kid and King Kong was 1 of her favorites and it always made my day singing and dancing while it was playing.
What are other great exports that come from Amsterdam?
I am not a beer drinker...but I have been told there’s a LOT of local craft beer available in Amsterdam.
A gift you can’t leave Amsterdam without taking home for friends?
A Michel de Hey sweater! :)
Michel is playing at Loveland Festival alongside Carl Cox, Loco Dice, and more. Grab your tickets here.