The added costs for breakfasts at our Amsterdam and Antwerp hotels are up to $14.50E so we've waived that option. On previous trips to Italy and Austria, for example, breakfasts have been included in the room cost. In a trip to Paris, we were quite happy to pass up the add-on breakfast in our hotel and eat modest breakfasts (sometimes just a couple of croissants and coffee) at small cafés at a very modest cost, certainly notably less than our hotel's charges. In Amsterdam, we'll be in quite a nice hotel near the canal. Will we be able to find small cafés for modestly-priced breakfasts in Amsterdam in such a pleasant, upscale neighborhood? (I suspect Antwerp may be an easier venue)).
Yes, you can get breakfast in Amsterdam. But if you want specific recommendations, you'll have to say exactly where your hotel is. Amsterdam has hundreds of canals, and unlike Venice, there's no "main" one. So, when you say "a nice hotel near the canal," that can be anywhere in the city. (You'll smile at having written that sentence once you are there; it's like saying "it's in New York, near the tall building")
Harold, Of course, I was pretty general, and I suspect there are multiple canals. We'll be staying at the Estherea, and that seems fairly well located for some sights.
Jim, you are not alone in your hope to save a little. My own experience last year in Amsterdam was that standing at a crowded counter (or waiting, seated, to pay a check when you could be sightseeing) for a 4 Euro Latte (no free refills) and a 3 Euro croissant (per piece) is not quite the bargain you thought it was. Maybe I have a bigger appetite than you do! I think the unlimited, serve-yourself hotel buffet (and my own bathroom afterwards) is an acceptable deal. Just one opinion.
If you want to save money you can have a breakfast on the top floor of the Bijkenorf department store near the Dam. 5 minutes walking from your hotel. Zero charm or character but decent prices and decent food.
La Place, the upscale cafeteria, at the V&D department store is now open for breakfast. Also next door Marks & Spenser just opened a food hall with sandwiches /salads. There is now a sanwhich war going on in the city between Albert Heign/heels/M&S
All good options for the AM
Thanks for all the helpful input. I decided to put my very old B.A. Econ education to work and be consistent with our practices re laundry while traveling in Europe: if the self-service launderette or a commercial laundry is no more than two streets away from our hotel, our first choice is the commercial laundry, the second is the self-service launderette. If neither are true, we bite the proverbial bullet and pay for the hotel to do the laundry. This example is not, I hope, as irrelevant as it appears. When we spend as much as we do to get to, to leave from, and travel and lodge within, Europe, our touring time becomes very valuable. I think it makes more economic (of our time) sense to not hunt around for the optimum breakfast place to save a few bucks when that time can (for us, of course--we're not so sure many others think this way) better be spent in enjoying our holiday. Of course, in the evening when our touring day is over, we'll have a leisurely stroll hunting down interesting dinner opportunities, and we might just stop for a coffee and pastry at mid-afternoon. Therefore, we've opted for the breakfasts available at our hotel (at 13E each person).