Best vinyl bars in Amsterdam
Anyone looking for DJ sets and listening sessions that are all about the records will be spoilt for choice in Amsterdam. With its eclectic and ever-growing music community, the city boasts an array of intimate clubs, radio stations and even restaurant bars kitted out with high-end audio equipment. So here’s our selection of the hippest spaces for audiophiles and vinyl-lovers to give their ears a workout.
This hidden speakeasy location combines a laid-back jazzy vibe with the audio quality of a Tokyo-style listening bar. Obsidian by Graphite is a newly constructed acoustic space perfectly designed to optimise the appreciation of music. Inside, you’ll find a stage, a high spec vinyl DJ setup, comfortable armchair seating, and a bespoke sound system. Start the evening with relaxed fine-dining courtesy of top chef Peter Gast and there’s no doubt you’ll end it on the dancefloor.
It doesn’t come much hipper than Corner Store - a vibey record bar and Japanese-Dutch-fusion kitchen where DJs spin vinyl through dinner. Here, it's as much about the exceptional umami flavours, cocktails and flowing natural wine as it is about the music. The interiors were fitted with hand-crafted acoustic panels on the ceilings and walls, along with a vintage HiFi system that gives each record its authentic sound.
Dynamic Range Music Bar at Het HEM
To complement their cutting edge visual arts programme, Het HEM champions experimental music and new, challenging ways to experience sound. Head up to Dynamic Range Music Bar - an intimate listening space equipped with a high-end sound system - for weekly listening sessions and live shows. As part of their musical artist-in-residence initiative, residents and guests select their favourite records paired with a curated drinks menu.
*please note Het HEM is closed for renovation until Autumn 2024. Keep an eye on the website for updates.
This subterranean listening bar in Amsterdam Oost has an amazing audio set-up and such good sound insulation you’d never know it was there. At Doka, DJs, artists, live bands and other creatives provide the early evening soundtrack as cocktails are slurped. Later on, the space transforms into an intimate, sweaty club that stays open until the sun comes up. Check the programme for visionary local talent and international guests spinning vinyl.
This intimate DJ bar and club in Westerpark has a great sound system and plays sets all night long every Thursday to Sunday. At Radio Radio, you can expect a curation of the coolest sounds from all over the world, and they live stream too. Stop by their Pizza Pizza restaurant for, you guessed it, pizza, natural wines, beers and more before heading back to the dancefloor or settling down on the sunny terrace during the day.
Serious about caffeine and want to meet like-minded music people? Black Gold is an independent vinyl and speciality coffee shop where you’ll find regular in-store concerts, DJ sessions and art exhibitions. In their own words, the owners are passionate about sourcing great quality coffee beans, connecting people and inspiring them through music. Crate-diggers will also find broad genres such as funk, afrobeat, 90s hip hop and electronica.
Feed is the newest space in Amsterdam Oost aiming to simultaneously nourish our bellies, ears and hearts. Music-minded people meet here for the great set-up, sound system and broadcasting booth. The agenda is packed with local DJs spinning laid-back vinyl at weekends, midweek music quizzes and Sunday live jazz sessions. The bar and kitchen dishes up a knock-out brunch and dinner menu all washed down with some great cocktails.
The glowing Cinzano sign and glitter ball should tell you everything you need to know about the kind of records that are spun at this Italo-kitsch inspired cocktail bar on the Zeedijk. Bordello Aperitivo is the first venue dreamed up by the team behind the Bordello a Paragi record label whose cosy record store is located just down the street. On the decks, at the weekend DJs play all kinds of rare vinyl obscurities - with a heavy emphasis on Italo disco, of course.
One of the more recent additions to Amsterdam’s music scene, murmur is a listening bar and art space in Amsterdam Noord. Inside, you’ll find a cosy atmosphere and reasonably priced drinks with a young crowd tuning in to chilled-out or more experimental DJ sets. It's a true meeting point for artists, collectors and record labels with various talks, performances and album showcases on the agenda - particularly around events such as Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).
Amsterdam-born Oedipus Brewing has a second home at the iconic Badhuis Javaplein - a historic former public bathhouse - serving worldly tunes, fresh beers, and a seasonal, organic menu on the sunny terrace. At weekends they broadcast live radio sets with DJs spinning everything from jazz to modern worldly, ambient and tropical sounds. Thursdays are for the obscure records, Fridays are all about tropical, worldly sets and on Saturdays, it’s time to dance to funky hi-energy disco/Italo tunes.
Run by a team of enthusiastic students, Studio/K is a forward-looking centre that functions as an arthouse cinema, a music venue, a gallery and a restaurant bar with its own online radio station. On Fridays, these live streams are also accessible to the public with collectives and labels taking over the station to showcase a range of electronic music styles. Keep an eye on the programming to see who’s up next!