It has been close to 2 decades that we set foot in a hostel, but we recently ended up in one for lunch.

As our oldest son will go to high school later this year, an “adult” bike was needed. After some investigation, we found that the prices of the well-known brands were not that far off from the very stylish and sturdy Vanmoof bikes. We visited their flagship store in Amsterdam (Mauritskade 55) and eventually needed to wait about 45 minutes to get his new bike customized.

As it was lunchtime, they recommended heading over to the Nescio Café & Bar of the next door’s Generator Hostel (Mauritskade 57). It opened in April 2016 in the impressive building that once was a zoological university building. As far as my limited experience with hostels goes, it looked pretty high-end and is nicely designed. According to their site, the hostel has about 170 rooms ranging from €15 a night for a shared room up to €100 a night for 6-person sky suites that overlook the Oosterpark. Even though it’s a little outside the city center, a beautiful location, and excellent facilities.

It was great fun being the only natives (I was the first to order in Dutch in a few days) and watching the various tourists. Some of them clearly recovering from hangovers, killing time to catch a train to the airport or just chilling, charging their phones and planning to do some excursions that afternoon or where to go clubbing that night.

No service, just order and pay at the counter and you’ll get a buzzer that indicates that your food is ready to be picked up. From the menu with various snacks, salads, breakfast, pizza’s and sandwiches, our son chose a Dutch classic: Bitterballen with mustard and I had my eyes set on their cheeseburger (€10).


The very good beef patty was served on a brioche bun and was accompanied by decent french fries. The cheeseburger had plenty of toppings: pastrami, bacon, caramelized onions, and a ranch-style dressing. Eating the burger was a quite greasy and messy affair, but it tasted fabulous. The only downside would be the brioche bun. As such a bonus, but both of them were done just a bit too long and therefore were slightly charred around the edges. We ordered an IJwit, the delicious and refreshing wheat beer from the Amsterdam Brouwerij ‘t IJ, to wash the burger away.


Chantal chose the Beetroot burger with soft goat’s cheese, rocket leaves and hummus (€8). Four quite bold flavors, but the earthiness of the beets and hummus combined very nicely with each other and with the kick from the rocket leaves and the freshness of the goat’s cheese. We both thought it was a delicious burger, but it was hard to finish as it was extremely filling.

I just recalled that we need to bring the bike in for a check-up in 3 months… 😇

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