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Beautiful summer cityscape with view of traditional canal houses, Medieval building old house converted into a Café de Sluyswacht, Nieuwmarkt, Holland.
Photograph: Shutterstock

The 12 best cafés in Amsterdam

From waterside views to incredibly sweet treats, the best cafés in Amsterdam have something for every appetite

Christina Newberry
Written by
Christina Newberry

If you’ve never visited Amsterdam before, we’ve got some important information for you. Coffeeshops here sell cannabis. If you’re looking for, you know, just coffees, croissants, stroopwafels, cups of tea and the like? What you need is a koffiehuis (café). And don’t worry, our local writer Christina Newberry has been to them all. 

The Dutch capital is home to tons of traditional old haunts, well loved by the community, as well as a bunch of fresh trendy cafés too. The cafe and restaurant culture here is second to none, and between those trips to galleries and long bike rides, you’re going to need a bit of sugar and a lot of caffeine. Tried and tested by our Amsterdam experts, these cafes have it all. Read on for the best cafes in Amsterdam. 

The best coffeeshops in Amsterdam
🍴 The best restaurants in Amsterdam
🍳 The best brunch in Amsterdam
📍 The best things to do in Amsterdam

Planning your next trip? Check out our latest travel guides, written by local experts.

Best cafés in Amsterdam

Back to Black
Photograph: Bex Walton / Flickr

1. Back to Black

Back to Black is one of the most famous cafes in Amsterdam, serving up seriously sweet treats and high quality, house-roasted sustainable coffee. The space is as cosy as it gets, with huge windows, long sharing tables, hanging Edison bulbs and mismatched chairs and sofas. It was founded by two local women, and its soaring popularity means there’s actually two in the city (but the one you’ll visit is probably the one on Weteringstraat in the centre).

Hartje Oost
Photograph: Annet Ka/Shutterstock

2. Hartje Oost

Oost is a whole day out in itself, as a shopping, food and drink space in the city. It calls itself a coffee boutique, but you can also grab a glass of wine or a meal while you’re there – we recommend the well-priced Aperol spritz, in particular. Spend the day browsing fancy jewellery, furniture and independent clothing brands, and then settle in for a latte and cake at the cafe (the industrial space is very, very pretty too). 

  • 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 in 1695, it was 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.

CT Coffee & Coconuts
Photograph: Shutterstock

4. CT Coffee & Coconuts

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.

Scandinavian Embassy
Photograph: Shutterstock

5. Scandinavian Embassy

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.

Winkel 43
Photograph: Marco Metzler / Flickr

6. Winkel 43

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.

  • 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.


9. Living Kitchen at Zoku Amsterdam

Zoku is an über-cool ‘apartment hotel’ and co-working space with 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.


11. The Cottage

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 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.

The Main Bar at Foodhallen
Photograph: Fokke Baarssen/Shutterstock

12. The Main Bar at Foodhallen

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 and a prime view of the live music on Tuesday nights.

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