Amsterdam's New Bars & Restaurants That Are Actually Worth a Visit
Terrace season is long over, but there’s no use crying over spilt milk... when you can cry into a craft beer, or cocktail, or delicious plate of food at one of these 19 brand new openings.
Apt. and HOPPA!Spui
Odeon is one beautiful building, but it doesn’t seem to be able to keep its tenants. Supperclub is hoping to change that, moving from their Dam square basement to the canalside landmark earlier this year. After the late-summer basement opening of tapas-style French fare in the aptly named French Connection, the building’s IQ Creative-operated nightlife options further diversified in October with two new options: Downstairs speakeasy Apt. pours its menu of inventive cocktails (Red Curry Cocktail, anyone?) against a backdrop of modern pop art. (Knock three times to get in, and spell out the name in Dutch—Ah-Pay-Tay—rather than just calling it “apartment” to sound in the know.) You’ll find Apt. hiding behind (but not through) beer-based bar HOPPA! (Did you know Odeon was once a brewery?) Decked out like the modern version of a minimalist tasting room, the brews on tap all claim Amsterdam origins. There are also growlers to go. Bottoms up.
Caffe Esprit by day, this beautiful space is no longer going to waste come nightfall thanks to this haute global street food concept with a big bar of Champagne and special beers, popping up every Weds-Sun 6pm ‘til late.
If this barbershop-meets-coffee-and-soul-food mashup isn’t hipster heaven, we don’t want to know what is -- and now they've moved to newer, better digs. The coffee has always been on the menu, but the fried chicken and waffles, tacos, and hot wings are new additions, served until late. Especially noteworthy for Staring at Jacob foodie fans.
The Pijp-themed Venster 33, owned by local actor Cas Jansen, gets a beer-themed cousin in this swanky-looking brew spot where local hoppy pop rules. There’s also a menu of sandwiches, including Philly cheesesteaks (but no word yet on whether that menu item’s the real, wafer-thin-sliced-beef deal or just another Amsterdam poseur).
Venus en AdonisJordaan
The name comes from a Ferdinand Bol painting (an apprentice of Rembrandt); however, the only thing you’ll be geeking out over here is the spread of surf ‘n’ turf options, including steaks, lobster, crab, chicken, salmon, lamb, and more. The meat is all female, because they believe that’s the most tender, and plates (planks of wood, actually) are meant to be shared, whether you bring your own party or choose to sit at the bar or meet ‘n’ greet table. You can also just come to drink the Dutch beers, natural wines, gins, whiskeys, and vodkas.
GIN Neo Bistro & WinesJordaan
The menu is inspired by anything and everything, running the gamut from high-end herring to kimchi duck. Don’t like this month’s menu? There’ll be six new dish options next month. The resto gets its name from owner Jin, but you can bet what the two most prevalent libations on the menu are.
It’s BAUT reborn (again)! Well, kinda. This is the next foodie brainchild of chef Michiel van der Eerde -- but this hotspot in the former Parool newspaper building is permanent. The C stands for Celsius, and the familiarly ‘round-the-world menu is divided by the dishes’ prep temps.
Built into the back of the (excellent) Tropenmuseum, De Tropen is the culinary jewel in the newly revamped Oosterpark’s crown. When the warmer months roll back around, this terrace is going to be everything. For now, you can enjoy the black bean hummus or pulled pork sandwiches, burgers, prawns, and all the rest under the lofty, darkly painted ceilings on the other side of the giant arched windows.
Amsterdam Oost has landed another seriously stylish café, done up in street art-influenced gray design and open for business morning ‘til night. The menu of mains, sides, and wines by the glass is a streamlined offering of affordable classy comfort classics (think sirloin with pepper sauce, crunchy fries, and garden herbs), with plenty of bar snacks for those late-night cravings.
One of our fave openings from 2014 is adding some chicken flavor (with burgers! and beer and cocktails!) to the other side of town, and another dose of the Brooklyn atmosphere already permeating Beukenplein. The only bad news is this is a replacement for another Western hotspot expanded east: Bar Brouw Oost, RIP.
Rum BarrelIndische Buurt
For better or worse, the gentrification of the Javastraat marches forward. Following closely on the hills of relative newbie Bar Basquiat (another Smokin’ Barrels/Waterkant sibling), Rum Barrel gives away its main game in its name. They’ve got a line-up of 70 types of fermented sugarcane, plus comfort food (like chocolate) and (rum-laced) coffee. After the overwhelming G&T trend of the past couple years, we’re more than welcoming this fresh Caribbean cocktail breeze.
Hoorah, another new wine spot! Amsterdam’s bar scene is finally beginning to understand that there’s more to vino than red, white, and rosé. In this wine factory you can not only get a glass, and buy bottles (tapped like beer) to go, but you can even create your own wine blends in the Winelab. The theme is all-natural, and some wines are unfiltered, with a little extra grit. And, sure, they have beer and the hard stuff, too, for your grape-unfriendly friends.
This typically mod-industrial (think particle-board bar) pop-up is going through its self-discovery phase, with a morphing identity so far involving different incarnations of food and drink. Maybe the spot will settle on a concept by its October 2016 closing, but we don’t mind if it doesn’t.
Brouwerij Troost WestergasWesterpark
Just when you thought Westerpark couldn’t get any more lively, the Amsterdam beer movement keeps mounting with a new, larger outpost of Pijp-based Brouwerij Troost. You’ve got 12 taps, two levels, and no reason to stay sober. (Oh, and there are burgers, too.) Amateur, or a small-scale pro looking for a place to brew? They keep extra kettles on site just for people like you.
Wilde WestenBos en Lommer
And there is life outside Westerpark, too! This wood-ovened pizzeria comes from the same people behind popular café Brandstof. Open from breakfast on (though no pizza ‘til dinner), the spot also caters to freelancers looking for temporary office space and teams looking for a tasty place to get in some meeting action in an almost-tropical setting of light wood and lush greenery.
The BOXWestern Harbor
Amsterdam is a mega-club richer in the increasingly nightlife-friendly Western Harbor area. The infamous spot of a shootout has been reborn with a new name, new look, and (hopefully) new reputation, upheld by a changing lineup of dance-based events.
Dim Sum NowDe Pijp
Steamed dumpling and other Asian small bites from the classic brunch alternative now get the burger/taco-shop treatment at this small, take-out friendly spot just around the corner from the Albert Cuypmarkt.
Café de BiebDe Pijp
No troubled-pop-star connections, sorry. But a cozy, glass-encased fireplace makes this the perfect spot to while away winter. With a full menu of drinks (emphasis on beer) and comfort bar fare, like our current favorite non-pizza: flammkuchen. Food is served until closing -- that’s 5am on weekends, folks.
Sign up here for our daily Amsterdam email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.
Elysia Brenner is a writer, editor, and all-around Amsterdam expert. Follow her on Twitter right here.