The car-rental agency back home in Paris had misplaced our GPS, leaving me to navigate our way into Amsterdam to the discordant symphony of a crying baby and a chatty toddler. Never a good start to a family vacation. My husband, Todd, would pay a million dollars not to compete with me on “The Amazing Race,” and the combination of cyclists, canals, and trams added to our stress. In the end, I persuaded a taxi driver to escort us to the hotel and vowed to learn stick shift before our next road trip.
Recovered by morning, we headed to a boat tour with the kids, Todd joking that we’d probably order our (caffeine) fix at the wrong kind of coffee shop, which would really put us in National Lampoon territory. But our luck changed when De Laatste Kruimel (Langebrugsteeg 4 Amsterdam, 011 020 4230499), or the Last Crumb, appeared around the corner from the dock. The cafe displays its sweet and savory treats like pineapple-basil scones in the window — all the advertising that 20-something owners Ivelina Ivanova and Pavel Paskalev probably need.
Opened four months ago, the shop specializes in old-fashioned, from-scratch baking with specialties such as strawberry-rhubarb crumble. “We use a lot of butter, eggs, sugar,” Paskalev explains. “We want to go back in time with food.” Still, keeping with the time, the couple sticks to organic ingredients at their labor of love. Indeed, the preciously cute interior with its jars of homemade jam and cake stands would make the perfect reunion spot for another Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks movie. Better yet for us, it was easy to find.