I first came across concept stores in Amsterdam, which is fitting as the city is a hotbed for trendy designers and artists. The idea behind them is pretty simple, take the stress out of shopping by having everything you might possibly need in one place. Concept stores are a bit like department stores on a smaller and more bespoke scale. And my latest find on Van Woust in the De Pjip area, Hutspot is Amsterdam’s coolest concept store and a real hidden gem.
I’d heard from those in the know that Hotel Droog is the ultimate in Amsterdam concept stores but to be honest it left me disappointed. It felt empty a bit pretentious. I browsed nervously expecting someone at any moment to tell me to leave like the scene from Pretty Woman (I know it’s Amsterdam but hopefully they didn’t mistake me for a prostitute more they thought it was out of my price range). Hutspot, on the other hand was for welcoming. The atmosphere relaxed and the assistants friendly, despite the chic interior and goods on offer.
What I love about Hutspot, and what makes it an Amsterdam hidden gem for me is the random mix it offers. As you walk through the door and down the stairs the first thing you notice on your left is a barbers. And it’s not any old barbers either as its decked out with big old-fashioned leather chairs and you can even get a traditional shave or beard trim. Once properly inside the shop floor you’re greeted with an Aladdin’s cave of delights. From super cute baby bibs to jewellery, clothes (mens’ and womens’), shoes, books, rugs, stuffed animals, bicycles, vespas – you name it and Hutspot probably sells it.
Upstairs is a cafe upstairs which serves great coffee, sandwiches and my friends who stopped off for breakfast raved about the yoghurt and muesli. There’s also a big table where you can sit and eat and use the free wifi. Or there are couches dotted around making it a great place to chill, especially on a rainy day – I’ve seen lots of people having informal meetings there too.
All of the furniture you can see on the top floor is also available to buy, along with various other items including amongst other random items some vintage weighing scales. Plus, there are exhibits from artists that are also for sale. And on a Sunday morning a weekly yoga class takes place (it’s in another room so not in front of people perusing the store).
It’s is also in a great location, it’s right by the Albert Cuyp Market, so once you’ve finished checking out the biggest street market in the Netherlands you can stop for a coffee break and unwind there. Hutspot is actually a type of Dutch stew and with its eclectic mix of wares it’s the perfect name for this hidden gem and Amsterdam’s coolest concept store.