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Cafe in Amsterdam
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The 12 best cafés in Amsterdam

Need a jolt of caffeine? Get your daily fix (and pair it with a Dutch cookie) at one of the best cafés in Amsterdam

Christina Newberry
Written by
Christina Newberry

In many ways, modern travel is at its most vibrant in the cafe of a city, and Amsterdam is no different. Everyday life overflows here, as old friends catch up while young creatives furiously work away in the corner, with plenty of fantastic coffee and cakes to be enjoyed along the way. To be clear, if you want a coffee or a light meal in Amsterdam, then a coffeeshop is not the place to stop. Despite the name, those joints serve cannabis (yes, pun intended); you’re after a koffiehuis (or cafe).

Amsterdam’s centuries-old cafe and restaurant culture deserves celebrating, and what better way to pay homage than by nipping in for a hot cup of coffee and a delightfully massive cake? These are the best cafes in Amsterdam. Expect plenty of gorgeous canalside views, you lucky thing.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Amsterdam

Best cafés in Amsterdam

  • Bars and pubs
  • Café bars
  • Old Side

The tiled floors and bistro tables at Café de Jaren feel very Old Europe, but the huge floor-to-ceiling windows make the bright space feel very modern indeed. Perched on the Kloveniersburgwal canal, this former bank building offers classic Amsterdam views, especially from its two large terraces – and it’s one of the few places in town where outdoor tables can be reserved.

Founded by two local women, Back to Black is known for its high-quality, house-roasted sustainable brews. There are two addresses in Amsterdam, but most visitors will find it easiest to visit the one on Weteringstraat in the centre. The large windows, long tables, dangling Edison bulbs and mismatched chairs make the space feel like a cool aunt’s living room – if your cool aunt served some of the best coffee and cakes in town.


This darling ‘coffee boutique’ in Oost is the perfect spot for a coffee, glass of wine or light meal with a side of shopping. The food and wine are simple but fresh and moreish – and we recommend the reasonably priced Aperol spritz. Within the boutique, you’ll find unique jewellery, clothing and household items, beautifully displayed for easy browsing in an industrial-chic space with concrete floors, whitewashed brick walls and a skylight that floods the room with light even on the greyest days.

With Swedish owners and a Scandi chic aesthetic, this minimalist but cheery café lives up to its name. They source their beans from micro-roasters across Denmark, Sweden and Norway, and serve seasonal dishes inspired by Nordic cuisine. Weekend brunch can get very busy, but you can always pop in for a top-notch cappuccino paired with a delightful cinnamon bun.


If you want to try the typical Dutch appeltaart (and trust us, you do), there’s no place better than Winkel 43 in trendy Jordaan. This buzzy spot is hugely popular, and since they don’t take reservations, you may find yourself in a queue stretching out the door. It’s worth the wait for what’s consistently hailed the best pie in town – even Bill Clinton said it was fabulous. They serve decent meals, too, so come hungry.

  • Restaurants
  • Tea rooms
  • Red Light District

The star attractions at De Bakkerswinkel’s three charming locations in Amsterdam are the freshly baked scones served with cream and homemade preserves (ask for the pineapple-basil jam). The Red Light District outpost is a quiet haven away from the bustling crowds and stag parties that pack the streets. Inside, you’ll hear more Dutch than English – a rarity in this tourist-centric part of town – as you sit among tables of locals lingering over afternoon tea.


This bright, high-ceilinged space in a former cinema that dates back to the 1920s is the perfect antidote to Amsterdam’s perpetual rain. Yes, you can get both coffee and coconuts here, the latter served whole with a straw and lime on the side. But don’t stop at drinks: the food here is just as spectacular. Try the coconut pancakes with whipped coconut cream, which are a standout and gluten-free to boot.

Amsterdam’s first indoor food market, housed in a former tram depot, features more than 20 food stalls serving everything from Dutch bar-snack staples to dim sum to French pastries. Right in the centre of the action, the Main Bar serves an excellent cappuccino and offers ample people-watching opportunities, as well as a prime view of the live music on Tuesday nights.


This cheerful café in Oost boasts a long bar, a bright lounge area with sofas and a loft dining section – all, unsurprisingly, brimming with plants. In summer, a large, heated covered terrace extends seating space dramatically, with locals chatting outside well into the evening. The brunch here is especially good: try the scrambled eggs with truffle or the chia bowl.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Jodenburt

Spot this slanting old house on the Oudeschans canal and there’s no doubt you’ll want to head straight in. Built way back in 1695, it was originally home to the lockmaster, who controlled the flow of water into the city’s canals. It’s now a cosy bar and café, with wood beams, a wonky stone floor and large windows overlooking the canals. The food is mainly Dutch snacks like bitterballen (deep-fried meat-and-roux balls), kaasstengels (a stick-shaped cheese biscuit) and cheese tostis.


The menu here leans British – think comfort foods like meat and veggie pies or Sunday roast – but the family owners are Dutch. They’ve blended English countryside décor with Dutch gezelligheid (their version of hygge) to create a warm and welcoming space that spills out onto an expansive terrace in summer. It’s a delightful place to relax over brunch, complete with inventive seasonal scones, or a pitcher of Pimm’s.

Zoku is an über-cool ‘apartment hotel’ and co-working space that also boasts an elegantly decked-out café and lunch space. Take the lift to the top floor and walk along a glassed-in hallway through the rooftop garden to The Bar, where you can grab a coffee or snack, or The Living Kitchen for a lavish lunch buffet. Need to get some work done? For €35, you get a co-working space day pass that includes access to the buffet lunch.

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