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Red Light District
This surprising oasis in Amsterdam’s most touristy neighborhood is a secret garden, as it’s literally hidden behind a gate on the side of the Oude Kerk. The coffee is as good as it is cheap, and so are the juices and desserts -- but here the scenery trumps all. Even on a drab day, the interior is knus but cozy, and outfitted with suitably historic décor.
Tucked away in the quiet part of Amsterdam’s culture quarter, this cheery spot is a place to which we might have brought a first date or two thanks to its spot-on espresso macchiatos and the fragrance of roasting coffee permeating the air. Try the baked goods for a worthwhile extra indulgence, then snag a bag of beans for home.
The no-nonsense interior is filled with locals -- which is exactly what these devoted folks love about the spot (well, that and the solid coffee it offers). It’s one of the last refuges in the wave of trendiness taking over Amsterdam’s eastern side. However, you can pick up a surprising variety of mealtime fare (in all three courses) as well. Want a taste of its personality? Try the “Brexit mess,” a strawberry & meringue dessert with whipped cream, to complement your cup of coffee, of course.
It was one of the first harbingers of Oost’s gentrification when this South American-inspired coffee spot with a living-room vibe and single-origin beans opened a few years ago. And the caffeine heads came flocking. It offers a limited number of things to eat, but as the coffee is the main draw, you won’t mind.
This hangout in an old movie theater from the ‘20s wins over every skeptic with its cavernous, airy, plant-bestrewn three-level interior and organic-focused menu of drinks (including some unique renditions of the coffee kind) and food that evolves throughout the day. Weekends can get messy (and super-busy), so weekdays are your best options.
Red Light District
Care for your coffee with a side of shopping? It’s de rigueur around Amsterdam, but coffee fans swear that this design-focused effort by two friendly ladies pulls it off best. The lactose-friendly won’t find a better flat white anywhere in town. The coffee comes custom-roasted from Caffènation (but in a much more convenient location).
Yep, these are the people roasting KOKO’s beans... but they’ve got a whole other line of their own as well. The theme is full Belgian, with Belgian beans (roasted in Antwerp) and homemade Belgian chocolate served in a room full of ‘50s furniture. This is the Belgian brand’s first shop outside its home country, with the face of this location being the beloved barista Bert, the great giver of coffee.
It imports its beans from all of your favorite coffee countries, then roasts them right here on-site. Everything is for sale, from the carrot cake and sandwiches, to the handmade furniture from reclaimed wood, to the pop art on the walls.
Another in-house roaster that supplies all the right smells and regular “cuppings” (that’s coffee talk for tastings), Lot Sixty One will give you ample opportunity to sample their results. Take your joe and people-watch on the terrace, or chill inside with the friendly Aussie-led staff.
This location (and only this location) makes going to Starbucks worth it: aside from the eye-popping (and sustainability-focused) interior design, this is where new tastes are tested for the European market. Come by for the regular cuppings at the dedicated counter, stay for the people-watching and free WiFi. Best of all, this spacious spot is one where you’ll be able to get a seat.
RB is definitely a neighborhood spot. But coffee fanatics will nonetheless go a bit out of their way to spend an hour relaxing here (especially in terrace weather). From one of the owners of Coffee Bru, expect the same laid-back vibe and top tastes. The coffee almost (almost) plays second fiddle to the fresh-baked goods. Just don’t take the name too seriously: rum cakes you’ll find, cocktails you will not.
Noord’s little secret is a spot for Amsterdam’s boven-de-IJ creatives to congregate. Maybe it’s all the graphic art in which you can let your eyes get lost when they get sick of looking at your screen, or… nah, it’s the coffee, prepared via a half-dozen different devices, from an AeroPress to a V60. Get yours with a side of wild chicken mango sandwich or jalapeño-topped tuna melt panini.
The “fabriek” part comes from this old stalwart’s (10 years in business) first Westerfabriek location. The “espresso” part means you know what you’re ordering when you get there... though it's rather proud of its iced cascara, too. Beans are roasted on-site in Westerpark, but you can enjoy them on IJburg now, too. Taking its cue from the star cuppa, the menu (including sandwiches) leans Italian.
Whether you take yours with sugar or not, you’re getting exactly what the sign on the door of this escape from the Leidseplein madness promises: a sweet cup of Joe. The friendly staff here sure knows its brews, so bring your questions and be prepared to get schooled. They roast their beans on-site, so your cup is always fresh. Oh, and the basset hound goes by Sjefke, in case you were wondering.
This place offers friendly service and delicious espressos on perhaps our favorite shopping street in town. Need we say more? We do? OK, sure! It also has great gluten-free and vegan food options to complement your latte (which you should order, because the latte art is on-point).
It's as famous for its latte art as it is for the earthy flavors in the coffee. While it doesn’t roast on-site, Trakteren's specialty roasting partner (Dutch Barista Coffee) will take care of you. Come by for an espresso tasting the first Sunday of every month for the ultimate experience, and give the teas, single-origin pure chocolates, and cakes a try, too.
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1. De KoffieschenkerijOudekerksplein 27, Amsterdam
2. Back to BlackWeteringstraat 48, Amsterdam
3. Koffiehuis van den VolksbondKadijksplein 4, Amsterdam
4. Coffee BruBeukenplein 14, Amsterdam
5. C.T. Coffee & CoconutsCeintuurbaan 282-284, Amsterdam
6. KOKO Coffee & DesignOudezijds Achterburgwal 145, Amsterdam
7. Caffènation120 Warmondstraat, Amsterdam
8. Koffie AcademieOvertoom 95, Amsterdam
9. Lot Sixty One Coffee RoastersKinkerstraat 112, Amsterdam
10. StarbucksUtrechtsestraat 9, Amsterdam
11. Rum BabaPretoriusstraat 33, Amsterdam
12. The Coffee VirusA Lab, Amsterdam
13. EspressofabriekPazzanistraat 39, Amsterdam
14. Sweet CupLange Leidsedwarsstraat 93h, Amsterdam
15. Two for Joy Coffee RoastersHaarlemmerdijk 182, Amsterdam
16. TrakterenJ.P. Heijestraat 119A, Amsterdam
De Koffieschenkerij may live in Amsterdam’s most touristy neighborhood, but it evades the crowded feel by existing as a secret garden -- it's hidden behind a gate on the side of the Old Church. Here, you'll find coffee that's as great as it is cheap, plus some tasty juices and desserts. The menu is solid, but the scenery is the true star here. The interior is cute, cozy, and outfitted with historic décor, making it perfect for even the drabbest of days.
Back to Black is nestled in the quiet part of Amsterdam’s culture quarter, offering top-notch coffee drinks, including must-try espresso macchiatos, and a cheery atmosphere that makes it a perfect date spot. Bright and airy, this adorable shop features country-home decor, gorgeous hardwood floors, and an irresistible coffee aroma wafting in the air. You'll want to try some of the scrumptious baked goods, and be sure to take a bag of beans with you.
Brimming with locals and top-notch cups of coffee, this no-nonsense spot is a neighborhood favorite -- and one of the last refuges in the wave of trendiness sweeping Amsterdam's eastern side. You'll find a wide variety of food options in the lineup here, from a stir-fried Thai chicken salad to grilled trout. The personality of the menu really pops with the desserts, such as the “Brexit mess,” a strawberry and meringue treat with whipped cream that'll complement your coffee perfectly.
A South American-inspired coffee spot, Coffee Bru was a trailblazer in the wave Oost's gentrification, and roasts single-origin beans in a living room-style space that'll make you feel right at home. There isn't a ton in the way of food options, but they have some scrumptious treats like chocolate cheesecake to sate your sweet tooth. The real draw here is the coffee, so you'll want to cozy up with a flat white or cappuccino.
Hiding behind the art deco facade of a former film palace, this bright, airy cafe with plenty of space is perfect for studying, casual get togethers, or dates. The all-day kitchen churns out elevated entrees, a number of juices, and an impressive selection of wines, beers, teas, and coffee.
It may be de rigeur around Amsterdam to pair your coffee with a side of shopping, but fans of KOKO swear this stylish, design-focused shop actually pulls off the combination. In terms of what KOKO calls its "personal wardrobe," you'll find chic Scandinavian and Dutch-designed basics for sale. As for the coffee, well, you won't find a better flat white anywhere in town. The coffee here comes custom-roasted from Caffénation.
Loyal fans of the Antwerp location (and there are plenty of them) rejoice that Caffènation has a sister spot in Amsterdam. Appropriately, the theme of this bright and cozy coffee shop is full Belgian, including the beans, which are roasted in Antwerp. You'll want to get comfy among the '50s-style furniture as you sip on an expertly created flat white and some homemade Belgian chocolate (!).
The team behind Koffie Academie imports beans from all of your favorite coffee countries and roasts them right on site. You might have to wait a few minutes longer than usual for your cup, as the baristas here craft every drink with care, assuring its perfection. Everything you see inside this cozy, hip spot is for sale -- from sandwiches to carrot cake to the handmade furniture from reclaimed wood and pop art on the walls.
A bright and rustic corner coffee shop, Lot Sixty One has a team roasting its beans in-house (you'll see the roasting machine and heaping bags of beans right downstairs), leading to some of the best coffee in the city. You can take your cup and people watch on the terrace, or relax inside with the friendly Aussie-led staff. Another solid option? Take a bag of beans home with you and, as Lot Sixty One says on its website, start "getting serious about your morning brew." That's an order.
This Starbucks flagship location boasts an enormous, multi-level interior that used to be an old bank vault. It looks incredible from floor to ceiling, as it's all made from repurposed materials (the wooden beams and blocks on the ceiling are gorgeous) and designed to conserve energy. You can pick from the widest selection of Starbucks items you've probably seen anywhere, including the not-found-elsewhere Reserve coffees at the separate coffee bar, and sweet and savory snacks like croissants, muffins, and brownies at the bakery.
With the same owners as Coffee Bru, you'll find a similar laid-back feel and top-notch coffee drinks at Rum Baba. A sun-filled spot that brightens Transvaalbuurt, it's a neighborhood favorite, but brings in coffee fanatics from around the city, too, who are willing to go out of their way to kick back at RB, especially in terrace weather. The joe here is high-quality, but don't overlook the fresh baked goods (like you could), such as the scrumptious rum cakes. Just don't expect any rum cocktails. Sorry.
With its veggie-centric dishes, expertly brewed coffee drinks, and minimal setting, The Coffee Virus is the kind you find yourself wanting to catch. Driven by businesses and entrepreneurs, this shop purposefully scored a quiet Overhoeks spot and opted for a relatively bare interior to make it a prime spot for bringing your work and getting it done. The mostly vegetarian menu serves up sweet and savory salads and sandwiches that satisfy and fuel even the most carniverous of stomachs.
On the south end of Westerpark lies a coffees shop with a pretty simple outlook on everything in life. Within its white walls with wooden slats, you'll find a calm crowd patiently sipping the main item on the menu -- espresso -- and potentially taking a bite of old-school apple cake or one of the other Italian-inspired dishes on the constantly changing menu.
Don't let the name of this Grachtengordel shop fool you -- the coffee drinks here come as bitter or as sickeningly sweet as you prefer. The minimal decor, airy lounge space, and chatty, knowledgeable baristas make it feel as if you're having a hand-crafted latte or freshly baked muffin from the comfort of your own home (except there's an adorable basset hound named Sjefke there).
Stunning latte art, bold espressos, and vegetarian/gluten-free fare take center stage this homey little cafe in Haarlemmerbrurt's shopping district. If you can snag a table among the passing shoppers, you can camp out all day with a laptop and multiple artsy lattes or browse their always-stacked collection of books and magazines just long enough to finish an espresso and a meringue cupcake.
Elephants, clowns, dragons, butterflies -- these are all things you'll find in Trakteren's famous latte art, for which it's arguably more known than the earthy taste of the their coffee, which is roasted at the nearby Dutch Barista Coffee. The long but narrow space doesn't allow for many seats, but that has yet to stop anyone -- you'll likely find a young crowd gathered on the sidewalk outside, their to-go cups sitting on crate boxes.