Food & Drink

Amsterdam's 13 Best Cocktail Bars

Published On 01/20/2015 Published On 01/20/2015
Tales & Spirits
Vesper Bar
Hiding in Plain Sight Amsterdam
Door 74
Flickr/Franklin Heijnen
NJOY
Twenty Third Bar
Bluespoon Restaurant & Bar
Chapter21
Oolong
Snappers
5&33
Bar Oldenhof
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1. Tales & Spirits Lijnbaanssteeg 5-7, Amsterdam, 1012 TE

This drink den of brick and dark wood beams supporting crystal chandeliers not only boasts one of the best spirits menus in the city, but also some of the kookiest bartenders to ever don bow ties. In other words: fun guaranteed.

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2. Vesper Vinkenstraat 57, Amsterdam, 1013 JM (The Jordaan)

This award-winning, unpretentious cocktail bar usually has a fair amount of people in it (without overcrowding), enjoying a long list of specialty cocktails including their signature drink, the Vesper cocktail.

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3. Hiding in Plain Sight Rapenburg 18, Amsterdam, 1011TX

HPS has dug its boozy burrow in the quietest neighborhood in the city center, luring its dedicated following into a small, but cushy, bi-level party. Here, cocktails and more alcoholic alchemy (made with their specially infused house syrups) are always served with a side of water and savory olives. Watch out for its special meals and events.

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4. Door 74 Reguliersdwarsstraat, Amsterdam, 1017BN (Rembrandtplein)

One of the best-kept secrets in the city, Door 74's 'tenders concoct what may be the very best craft cocktails in all of Amsterdam, and they're open 'til super-early in the morning.

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5. The Butcher Albert Cuypstraat 129, Amsterdam, 1072 CS (De Pijp)

This is a tasty burger bar, but if you want to have some REAL fun become a secret member of their secret speakeasy located through a refrigerator in the back.

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6. Cocktailbar NJOY Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 93, Amsterdam, 1017 PX (Leidseplein)

This Leidseplein cocktail bar features a cave-like interior and offers a refuge from the chaos outside. where you can pick your poison according to your personality: the menu's got something for The Dreamer, The Alchemist, The Connoisseur, The Sparkling star, The Tycoon, The Accomplice, The Seductive, or The Untouchable Virgin.

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7. Twenty Third Bar Ferdinand Bolstraat 333, Amsterdam, 1072 LH (De Pijp)

The Hotel Okura's (literally) top bar takes its name from its floor number. Despite the height, the limited windows mean a slightly less spectacular view than you'll get at the Centraal Station-adjacent SkyLounge, but you'll feel like you're getting more for your money anyway. Not that the Champagne cocktails come cheap at this blue-lit bar -- this is the Okura we're talking about!

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8. Bluespoon Restaurant & Bar Prinsengracht 587, Amsterdam, 1016 (The Jordaan)

This Canal Belt bar is located in the Andaz Hotel and it doles out terrific cocktails (a historic tour of libations inspired by pre-, during, and post-Prohibition classics). This classy resto and bar is situated within a gorgeous setting-- the interior ceiling is painted entirely in a vibrant blue with floor to ceiling glass windows looking out onto a on-site garden. Beautiful, intricate interlays decorate the walls and delicate flower arrangements provide the finishing touch.

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9. Chapter21 Jonge Roelensteeg 21, Amsterdam, 1012 PL (Medieval Center)

This is the kind of clubby cocktail lounge where you're best off shelling out for a table to guarantee your spot inside. (Though you'll probably spend most of the night on the dance floor.) This '70s-style Tiki “living room” is tucked away in Dam Square and if you don't get bottles, the house-made cocktails are good (this is Vesper's little sister)... but are almost beside the point here.

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10. Oolong Restaurant & Cocktail Bar Ferdinand Bolstraat 13-15, Amsterdam, 1072 LA (De Pijp)

Located in De Pijp, Oolong is a great spot for a dim sum dinner (no greasy dumplings here, but fresh, flavorful food), but the real draw are its inventive and delicious cocktails.

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11. Snappers Resto-Bar Reguliersdwarsstraat 21, Amsterdam, 1017 BJ

One of the best spots on the Reguliersdwarsstraat to score a quality cocktail, Snappers is known particularly for tequila (including its selection, scope, and mixed versions of the spirit). And if you don't want to drink on an empty stomach, snag yourself a burger from the menu.

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12. 5&33 Martelaarsgracht 5, Amsterdam, 1012 TN (Medieval Center)

One of the most unique spots in the city, 5&33 is a restaurant, bar, AND art gallery. The dark, cushy interior offers several places to sip its cocktail concoctions (with a special emphasis on G&Ts and five types of rum & Coke), from the lounge to the library. And if you're hungry, out try out the Med-style small sharing plates.

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13. Bar Oldenhof Elandsgracht 84, Amsterdam, 1016 TZ (The Jordaan)

Bar Oldenhof is considered by many to be the manliest bar on the Amsterdam cocktail scene (thanks to its extra whiskey and beer menus and brown cafe interior), but you're not getting in unless there's a seat for you. And reservations are not an option. If there's room, however, you can park your butt for a fireside chat or enjoy a cigar upstairs while quaffing your cocktail of choice.