Vapiano is an Italian-themed self-service restaurant with 2 restaurants in Amsterdam - one at the OBA library and the other just off Rembrandtplein.
Vapiano (meaning "go slow" in Italian) is a chain originating from Germany but has been expanding worldwide - they currently have 7 outlets in Netherlands which also includes Den Haag, Eindhoven, Rotterdam and Tilburg.
At Vapiano you are given a chip card when you enter the restaurant - this is scanned each time you place an order. At the end of your meal you should take the card to the cash desk to pay your bill.
At the OBA library restaurant there is an outside terrace (you need to pay for the food first if you want to go outside). The kitchen and main seating area are upstairs on the first floor.
Food is ordered directly from the cooks at the kitchen counter. The menu consists of antipasti, salads, pizzas and pasta. The cheapest item on the menu is the bruschetta (toasted bread with tomatoes, garlic and oil) at €3. The salads range from €4.50 to €9, with some optional extras available.
Pizza and pasta is made on-site and cooked to order using fresh ingredients - the kitchen is all open and you can watch the staff at work. Pasta and pizza mains range from €7 to €10 which is good value.
There are 11 types of pasta and 19 different sauce combinations - a nice touch was to get a generous serving of fresh parmesan. For pizza there are 19 choices for toppings. Also watch for the occasional pizza and pasta specials on the menu.
On our first visit the pasta we had was cooked in about 3 minutes whereas the pizza took around 15 minutes as the counter was busy (tip: try to avoid peak times if you can). The quality of the dishes we have had at Vapiano on subsequent visits has been consistently good - the only criticism is that the pasta (being fresh) can sometimes be a bit sticky.
The decor/ambience is stylish and each table includes fresh herbs, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The bar serves a full range of drinks (including Illy coffee) and various desserts.
Staff is multi-national / multi-lingual and English is spoken widely. Free WiFi is available.
Vapiano is highly recommended for locals and visitors, great Italian food at a fair price and a welcome alternative to La Place. They are open to midnight Sunday to Thursday and to 1am on Friday and Saturday.
Vapiano Amsterdam, Oosterdokskade 145
T: +31 (0)20-4201825
Amsterdam 2, Amstelstraat 2-4
T: +31 (0)20-7670800