Five favourite local terraces in Amsterdam
My fantastic job at Spotted by Locals allows me to work everywhere and there’s little I love more than working outside. So I’ve become quite an expert on which terrace has sunshine at which time.
When the sun is out, the terraces in the city centre and canals are usually packed. Here are five spots I and fellow locals love to frequent, which all have great terraces and are not too far from the city centre.
Cafe Sound Garden
Cafe Sound Garden has my absolute favourite terrace in Amsterdam! This bar has been here forever (at least since I came to Amsterdam in 1997) but it always surprises me how few people know about its great terrace.
It’s a very grungy place, often playing loud metal music inside. Outside (the only place you can actually hear what people are saying) you can distinguish many different languages. No, these are usually not tourists, but internationals living in Amsterdam.
Most people are dressed in black here, but I’m quite sure nobody would give you a strange look if you would come here in a suit or cocktail dress. Everybody is welcome here.
I love that Cafe Sound Garden proudly serves Budels beer. It’s one of the very few places in Amsterdam that isn’t under contract with one of major multi-national breweries based in The Netherlands (or - worse of course - Belgium, Germany or Denmark!). Still, they manage to keep the price of a beer under €2,50. Try the Budels Witte Parel - it’s one of the few white beers I truly like.
cafesoundgarden.nl // Marnixstraat 164-166
De Vergulden Eenhoorn
De Vergulden Eenhoorn used to be a farm, and that’s still how it feels when you’re here. You feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, but in fact, it’s quite central (just east of the city centre) and very easy to access. Just take a metro or train (to the Amstel station) and take a short walk.
They have the most amazing garden with great food, beach chairs and chirping birds. At night they even light up an outdoor fireplace!
De Vergulden Eenhoorn // Ringdijk 58
This is one of my latest discoveries via the Spotted by Locals Amsterdam app and has become a favourite!
When the sun is out, the canals are usually packed, and the inner city can feel cramped for space. If you want to chill out in a relaxed atmosphere right by the water, look no further than Meneer Nieges.
Its location on the Western Islands means it’s out of the way of the tourist route, but still easily accessible. Just about a ten-minute walk from Central Station, Meneer Nieges has a large terrace with deckchairs, picnic tables, and lounge beds to chill on. It’s the perfect place to go for a coffee, lunch, or a few drinks and bites on those long summer evenings. The menu is small, but really good, and also surprisingly affordable. The heavenly soft Burrata and pulled short rib sandwich are my favourites.
Meneer Nieges // Westerdoksdijk 40H
Hannekes Boom started as a subsidised project in 2010 to revive a really seedy area. They have temporary permission, but as it’s such a huge success I can’t imagine they’re not here to stay.
They have one of the biggest terraces in Amsterdam with all day sunshine. They have big picnic tables, so it’s a great place to go if you’re with a group of people or want to mingle with locals! It’s a prime location for watching ships go by, or - for those with a boat - to moor and be seen. If you don’t have a boat of your own, it is a very good spot to make friends and hitch a ride!
The food and drinks are pretty affordable. You can get a simple meal, such as fish and vegan dishes or great nacho platters. And they have buckets of beer to share. At night they often have DJs.
Hannekes Boom // Dijksgracht 4
This cafe is in an area I would love to live in... It’s still connected to the oldest part of Amsterdam, just a short walk away from the bustling Nieuwmarkt area, but somehow still a place where few tourists venture out to.
Orloff has a very big terrace and it’s the perfect place for an after-work beer to catch the last few hours of sunshine, and see locals cycling home from work. From here it’s a beautiful walk to ARTIS Royal Zoo, through canals and nice little streets.
One of my friends always orders the eclectic combination of a beer, Lebanese pizza (thin & amazing) and french fries.
Orloff Amsterdam // Kadijksplein 11
Looking for more terrace inspiration? We've got you (un)covered with the best al fresco bars and restaurants around Amsterdam. And for more insider tips, head to spottedbylocals.com.