First, let me start by saying that I did not misspell 'market' in the title of this post. 'Markt' is the Dutch spelling - just missing one little 'e', but I think my brain barely notices that is isn't there. Anyhow...
Noord Markt is in the Jordaan neighborhood, just outside of the center of Amsterdam. It runs on Saturdays, and is one of my favourite markets so far. There's a little bit of everything: plants, organic produce, butchers, cheese makers, antiques, vintage clothing, small household items - you get the idea. The market is almost in two parts, there's one part in the square in front of Noordkerk (church) and it's not too big, so after you walk around you think "well, I guess that's it - nice, but not as big as I thought", but then if you walk just around the corner you find the rest of the market. The second part of the market fills the middle of the street and stretches for about 2 blocks.
On Saturday Trev and I had a busy day exploring Amsterdam, so we didn't want to buy much at the market, because we wouldn't be home until much later. Even if you're not loading up on groceries, the market is still a fantastic place to wander around.
I often forget that Amsterdam is a costal city - maybe because I don't see the ocean on a regular basis, but when I see all the gorgeous fresh seafood at the markets, I remember. At Noord Markt there was a stand that had fresh oysters, and they would shuck them for you so you could slurp them down. I just can't do it. I blame it on my biology background and too many dissections while studying invertebrates - I know what's inside those little guys. But Trev decided to give it a try. He had his oyster straight up, no pepper or lemon. He said it was very salty - from the look on his face, I know I would have gagged.
In the middle of the market there is also a wonderful place to grab a quick and delicious lunch. I'm not sure if the restaurant has a name, but you'll be able to smell it long before you find it in the midst of the other stands. They serve broodjes (sandwiches) with freshly sliced farmer's ham or bratwurst with sauerkraut and mustard on warm crusty rolls. They also serve a classic Dutch dish: erwtensoep (pea soup). On Saturday it was a bit cold and rainy here, so it was wonderful to have a warm lunch. It also tasted amazing - I'm not even sure if I could pick a favourite. I would gladly go back every Saturday for more of their broodjes.
One more picture: we were wandering around and there happened to be a carnival in Dam Square. My eyes lit up at the sight of the cotton candy stand. This one was a small - you should have seen the large or the jumbo!