Amsterdam … Café Hunting

Café Hoppe (Spui) one of the oldest Bruin Café in Amsterdam

Relaxing in a cozy atmosphere after strolling along the canals is one of my favourite things to do when I am in Amsterdam. Unlike any Cafés in Europe, Amsterdam has this unique place known as Brown (bruin) Cafés. Historic and full of charm they are the equivalent of London pubs which took the name because of its smoke stained interiors wooden fittings. This is where Amsterdammers would spend their day and tourist like me who like to relax in a nice laid back environment for hours on end … Drinks and light snacks are served all day and their hot chocolate Viennese style is simply a delight. They would come in fluffy whipped cream served with speculoos (Dutch spice cinnamon biscuits). Snacks include bitterballen (potatoes meatballs) and tasty pannekoek with thick stroop (Dutch pancake with syrup). For beer lovers you can get all the various regional beer on tab and even get a taste of Jenever (Juniper flavoured Dutch gin) There are quite a few of these Brown Cafés and some dates back to 17th century. The typical Dutch ceramic walls and an old stove at Papeneiland (Prinsengracht) gives you that feel of being in an old Dutch house. Great hot chocolate (which reminded me of the famous Dutch Droste’s chocolate I used to have when I was a kid) and friendly atmosphere is at ‘t Smalle (Egelantiersgracht) The many beer mugs hanging along the walls of another 17th century Café Chris (Bloemenstraat) is quite a sight and the sand sprinkled floors of Café Hoppe (Spui) and its wooden interiors give you the impressions of journeying into Rembrandt’s era. In Nieuwmarkt there is a historic building, the Weigh House formerly one of Amsterdam city gates built in 1488, today is the Café In de Waag another nice stopover when in the area. Other historic cafés that I like are De Kroon (Rembrandtplein) first opened in 1898, then there is the 16th century Café IntAepjen (Zeedijk) probably the oldest and the Art Deco style Café Americain (Leidsekade) one of the Grand Café, listed as National Monument which first opened in 1900. So now let’s go Café hunting …

Café t’Smalle in Egelantiergracht

I love the Café ‘t Smalle with its terrace overlooking the Gracht, the interior is cozy and they served great hot chocolate with whipped cream and the traditional speculoos biscuits…

Hot chocolate whipped cream and speculoos biscuits at Café ‘t Smalle

This small Café Papeneilan in Prinsengracht with its traditional decoration is another of my favourite …

Café Papeneilan in Prinsengracht

More images on Brown Cafés …

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18 replies »

    • Nice site you have and yes being a Parisian we do have fantastic cafés which I will post soon … so stay tuned 🙂

  1. Thanks for the visit to my blog and the ‘like’. As an expat Australian living in Amsterdam I also love the brown cafes for the appearance, atmosphere and company. The only problem is that they usually make lousy coffee, but you can’t have everything. 😉

    Hot chocolate – yes, that they can do well, and appeltaart too.

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