You probably know Amsterdam because of its iconic canals, beautiful buildings, and bustling city life — but only a short bike ride away from that city center, you can find another famous sight: the Dutch polder landscape. So when you’re in need of a break from the city or you just want to breathe in some fresh countryside air, grab your bike and move up north to Landelijk Noord (‘rural North’). Small villages like Durgerdam, Ransdorp, and Zunderdorp were annexed by the city of Amsterdam in 1921 after being damaged by heavy flooding. But this area could not be any more different than the city. Once you cross the city borders, you’ll find yourself in a whole new world. One of the many bike paths through the meadows brings you to the village Holysloot (fun fact: it’s a dead-end street that leads to the one-street village). Here, you can find a true hidden gem: Het Schoolhuis, a restaurant/cafe in a former school building.
While overlooking the meadows, merely joined by local cyclists or city breakers, you can enjoy some really amazing food on their sunny terrace or stunning inside restaurant. They serve a lot of local delicacies such as Beemster cheese or lamb on freshly baked bread, a lunch salad with grilled goose breast, or some truly amazing homemade cakes. And whatever you do, make sure to order a plate (or two) of hand-cut fries with a dollop of mayonnaise. It doesn’t get any more Dutch than this.