As a mom to a lively almost two-year-old, coffee is a very good friend of mine. But I’m not talking about your average cup of filter or instant coffee. No, no – I mean the good stuff; a two-shot flat white made with speciality coffee beans and a smooth and creamy milk topping. Preferably served with a slice of something sweet in a relaxing and stylish space. And with Amsterdam seeing the arrival of some great new cafes and concepts, there’s really no excuse for a bad cup of coffee. Whether you’re into your skinny lattes, flat whites or even if cappuccino is more your thing, here’s my top picks of the top 5 coffee spots in town.
Monks Coffee Roasters
Each time I visit Monks – and that’s pretty regularly – I’m always taken aback at just how good their coffee really is. Each cup is lovingly made by owner Patrick, or a member of his small team, using their own coffee blend. Not only do they have great coffee, this speciality coffee bar in Amsterdam West serves a mouth-watering selection of brunch, lunch and delicious sweet treats, courtesy of Tablespoon Baking Company. Housed in a former ice-cream shop on the corner of Bilderdijkstraat, this light and spacious spot is a hive of caffeinated activity for freelancers during the week, although computer-free zones around the café help to encourage a bit of old-fashioned face-to-face conversation. My favourite time to visit is early in the morning on the weekend (it opens at 8am every day) where it transforms into a peaceful spot to get your first caffeine fix of the day. Bilderdijkstraat 46
My second-favourite pick is EspressoFabriek in Westergasfabriek. Established back in 2005, the brand is known as one of the pioneers of specialty coffee in Amsterdam and was one of the first companies to roast their own beans in-house. Not only is their coffee fantastic, the space is truly beautiful with high ceilings and stylish design finishes. Grab a coffee to-go for a walk around Westerpark or, in my case, to give a little boost before spending the rest of the day in the nearby sandpit. On the menu you’ll also find Dutch apple pie, a selection of sweet snacks, tramezzini (Italian sandwiches) as well as wine and beers. Fear not if you find yourself in Amsterdam’s far-flung corners, they have a second location in IJburg, too. Pazzanistraat 39 (Westergasfabriek) & IJburglaan 1489
A relatively recent discovery of mine, Coffee Bru was in fact the first specialty coffee bar in Oost. Owned by a young collective of coffee aficionados, Coffee Bru quickly became the neighbourhood’s number-one spot for a comforting cappuccino or perfectly brewed pour over. It’s listed as one of the top 10 coffee spots in the Netherlands by the Dutch newspaper ‘Algemeen Dagblad’, and I can see why. With a rustic, arty vibe indoors and sidewalk seating when the sun (occasionally) comes out, this cute café is definitely my go-to spot for lazier days. Oh, and the cakes aren’t too bad, either. Beukenplein 14
Even without any caffeine in my veins, I perked up considerably when I discovered this intimate little spot. Koffie Academie’s cosy atmosphere and central location just around the corner from Vondelpark make it an ideal place for meeting up with friends or getting some work done on a rainy day. Choose from freshly-made sandwiches, croissants, brownies or carrot cake, and of course, freshly-roasted coffee. Sparsely furnished with heavy wooden tables and dark walls, the space is relatively small, so you need to be quick to grab a table at busier times. Or, the window counter is perfect for watching the world go by, or when enjoying a solo cup of coffee. Overtoom 95
Lot Sixty One Coffee Roasters
This coffee lover’s paradise has two locations in the city. The original Lot Sixty One Coffee Roasters on Amsterdam West’s Kinkerstraat offers delicious coffees using beans that are roasted fresh onsite each day. Or, pop into their espresso bar in the back of fashion brand Urban Outfitters in Kalverstraat for a smaller selection of drinks, cakes and pastries. The Kinkerstraat location features simple interiors of warm wood tones and snazzy chequered subway tiles – the perfect Instagrammable combination. All set right beside a picturesque canal with outdoor seating – what more could you ask for? If you can’t get a spot here, head inside the nearby Foodhallen to Café Belcampo as they serve the brand’s coffee, too. Kinkerstraat 112