Licensed to Chill
First of all, on a completely unrelated note, you should know that marijuana, like the coffee shops where it is sold, is not legal here. It is merely “gedoogd”, or “tolerated”. Up to 5 grams at a time, anyway. Don’t ask where those grams came from, though: each household may grow up to five plants, but it’s not legal to sell them. Which is fine, because we’re here to talk about coffee. The debate as to which was the first of Amsterdam’s coffee shops still rages between the tourist-dependent Bulldog and bee-colored local fave Mellow Yellow. We prefer to credit the latter in a nod to their better “beans”, friendlier tenders, and historic evidence. Official licenses were handed out in 1995 in the form of green-and-white stickers. Look for one of these on a window near the entrance.