Café De Liefde
Café de Liefde nestles in the tiny Bilderdijkpark. The tempting terrace under the trees is bigger than the café itself. This hidden gem is a relaxing spot for an al fresco drink or meal.
Floor 17 has a terrace on the roof of the Ramada Apollo Amsterdam hotel, with a breath-taking 360-degree view of Amsterdam. The roof is surrounded by glass screens that provide shelter from the wind. The bistro blends barbecue dishes, summer cocktails and laid-back beats. At the Rooftop Movie Nights, you can lean back in a beanbag and enjoy a film, surrounded by a panorama of city lights.
This café in a magnificent 1920s Amsterdam School building has a canal-side terrace under stately trees with seats right up to the water’s edge. There is a tempting menu and the bar serves fashionable cocktails and gin and tonics.
Hugo’s Bar has a terrace spilling out onto the pavement of a bustling roundabout, and it’s a great place for an afternoon of people-watching. The menu has a range of small dishes you can share with the whole table, and you can go on sipping cocktails till late in the evening.
Mossel & Gin
In the heart of the Westerpark, Mossel & Gin (mussel and gin) is housed in one of the converted buildings of the old gas factory. It has leafy gardens on two sides, each with slightly different atmosphere. As to what’s on offer, the name says it all. A menu of sophisticated mussel dishes and other seafood, plus a connoisseur’s selection of gins, served in king-size glasses of fizzing tonic.
Remise47 is the restaurant lucky enough to command the finest outside space at the hugely successful and trendy De Hallen, the converted tram depot now occupied by boutiques with local design, a multiscreen art house cinema and an indoor food market. The restaurant serves what it describes as ‘accessible urban bistro cuisine’ on its large informal terrace, where hip Amsterdammers mingle with in-the-know tourists.
Pacific Parc occupies one of the big old industrial buildings of the Westergasfabriek, once a gas factory now a buzzing cultural park in Westerpark. Outside there is plenty of space for a busy, sprawling terrace, with the canal to the left and the leafy park to the right. Of the many great cafes and restaurants in the park, Pacific Parc can boast the longest history, and the décor is still refreshingly old-school DIY. Expect good food, friendly staff, and a menu of rare reggae and soul tunes creating a chilled atmosphere. There’s a dancefloor at the weekends and sometimes live music outside.
Café Cook is tucked away on the corner of a large square in the residential area of the Baarsjes, well away from the tourist hubbub. It has a spacious terrace with tables dotted around on two sides and spilling over the road onto the square. There’s a relaxed, homely atmosphere but a surprisingly stylish menu for lunch and dinner.
As the name suggests, the large, busy terrace is the star of the show at the Westergasterras. The café is in Westerpark, in one of the converted 19th-century industrial buildings of the Westergasfabriek. It’s a great place for a drink, and there’s also an impressive lunchtime and evening menu. The spacious terrace has a view of the imposing gasometer, contrasting with a pretty water garden to the side. The decking with comfy beanbags by the water has to be one of the finest spots to sit outside in Amsterdam.
Away from the tourists and more obviously fashionable hangouts, Terrasmus is in the Erasmuspark in the up-and-coming Bos en Lommer neighbourhood. The café itself is a simple wooden chalet under the trees, and the place to sit is at one of the tables dotted around outside – after all, this is another café where the ‘terrace’ is in the name. There’s even an al fresco piano. The café attracts a wide range of customers and runs lots of lively, off-beat events. The menu features juices, smoothies, toasties and local craft beers.