Brown cafes around the Albert Cuypmarkt
Just off the Albert Cuypmarkt, you’ll find many fantastic lively bars that are well-loved by locals and visitors alike. Popular with a younger crowd as well as older residents, the sprawling terraces of Het Paardje are hard to miss and provide the perfect spot to sip on after-work beers or cocktails. Take a window seat at Flamingo, a cosy cafe spread over two floors with excellent views over the market and ideal people-watching opportunities. Across the street, De Groene Vlinder is a modern brown cafe with a laid-back vibe that serves a good range of local beers.
Hiding behind a blooming wisteria tree, Wijmpje Beukers is a down-to-earth restaurant that prides itself on fresh, simple dishes made with excellence. Their take on comfort classics always has an interesting twist - the shepherds pie for instance, is made with duck, courgette and celeriac. Vegetarians and vegans are always accounted for and the chefs regularly change up the menu with locally-sourced, seasonal fare. The wine list is reasonably priced and you can expect to receive personal attention from the staff who are just as passionate about the menu as you will be.
Brecht brings the hip cosiness of a Berlin-style living room bar to Amsterdam with a timeless, retro charm. The comfy armchairs, table lamps and vintage decor will make you feel right at home and fortunately the place is open from 11am until 1am so you really can stay for hours. Sip coffee in the afternoon and switch to their great selection of German beers later on when the vibe gets a bit livelier. Food is served all day including piadinas, brezels, cakes and light bites.
Bar Mokum is one of Amsterdam’s most well-regarded cocktail establishments. The backbar sparkles with delicious spirits and liqueurs showcasing some of the city’s finest distilleries and the drinks list itself is an ode to the Netherlands. Concoctions bear names like Gleuvenrijder (a genever espresso martini infused with stroopwafel) or Ik peer em (a vodka tipple inspired by frozen pear popsicles). Prop up at the bar here for a mandatory first step in your education on Dutch drinking culture.
This well-loved eatery stands for the best of Italy: great food and warm hospitality. Commence your culinary journey with a plate of colourful antipasti or mouth watering burrata then delve into their menu of traditional delights with fresh pasta, gnocchi al ragu, garlic grilled prawns or bubbling aubergine melanzane. Impero Romano's atmosphere is laid back and welcoming; you can tell that over the years the restaurant has witnessed countless wedding proposals, birthdays and family get-togethers.
Pekelhaaring is a bright, airy restaurant with unassuming decor and an inviting atmosphere. Packed with seasonal flavours, the menu takes inspiration from the Italian countryside and Mediteranean coastline. Choose from a variety of pasta dishes, hearty stews, rustic salads and grilled fish all accompanied by an inspiring wine list. For lunch, Pekel Deli is the perfect place for a quick bite with a range of sandwiches crammed full of succulent deli meats and quality cheeses.
Best known for their ceviche and small plates, Sjefietshe is not your average fish restaurant. The creative menu pulls in zingy Asian and Latin American fusion flavours with a European casual fine dining twist. The baked octopus is a standout dish, paired with aubergine caviar, anchovies and escabeche sauce (a citrusy marinade hailing from the Philippines). Inside, the environment is both elegant and comfortable - the perfect setting to knock back one of their beautiful pisco sours or a mezcal martini before dinner.
Overlooking Sarphatipark, Boca's is a colorful tapas bar with a straight to the point concept: eat what you like, when you feel like it. In the day, choose from an extensive selection of bocas (small sandwiches) and light bites. Later on, the sharing platters come out and the restaurant turns into a buzzy spot perfect for an early evening hangout. Each plate is loaded up with your choice of charcuterie or cheese alongside small plates like prawn croquettes, soft-shell crab, or jackfruit bitterballen. How do you decide what to eat? I guess just order one of each!
Nobody does a boozy, caffeinated brunch better than Australians, and Little Collins is no exception. Inspired by Melbourne’s eclectic food and drink scene, this friendly neighbourhood joint has been curing hangovers with comfort food and coffee for over a decade. The menu draws flavour inspiration from around the world (think a kimchi bloody mary or an ‘nduja and comté scramble) as well as offering staple classics with mega helpings of eggs, bacon and avocados.
This popular tropical themed bar on the well-frequented Marie Heinekenplein is the perfect place to begin your exploration of De Pijp’s lively nightlife. Decked out with impressive jungle foliage and glitter balls, De Tulp has played host to many parties from birthday meals and work celebrations to weekly Latin nights and open-mic events. Under the warming glow of the neon sign, the outdoor terrace is a great spot to catch up with friends sharing a pitcher of beer or a moscow mule.