9 Best Amsterdam Tasting Houses and Cocktail Bars
Café de Dokter • Medieval Center
Tiny, clad in dark wood and filled to the brim with bird cages, antiques, old clocks and other curios, Amsterdam’s smallest pub was founded by a surgeon and has been in the same family for generations. There are just four tables and a good selection of whiskeys and beers, with a rotating whiskey of the month and superb smoked beef sausage to go with it.
Map • +31 20 626 4427
Café Hoppe • Medieval Center
Since its opening in 1670, Hoppe has been attracting a diverse crowd of socialites, entrepreneurs, and journalists, and continues to do so to this day. You can knock back beers, award-winning wines, and numerous genevers within its ancient, wood-paneled walls, or else perch on the terrace of their modern pub section that makes for great people-watching on the Spui. Lots of special events, such as Herring Parties in June.
Map • +31 20 420 4420
Wynand Fockink • Red Light District
This 17th-century tasting house is a terrific place to educate yourself about genever (Dutch predecessor of gin); there are 70 or so liquers and genevers to choose from. They’re slurped from traditional tulip glasses, and you traditionally bow after the first sip. Boswandeling (Walk in the Woods) is a good one to start with.
Map • +31 20 639 2695
Rosalia’s Menagerie • Nieuwmarkt en Lastage
Attached to the awesome Misc EatDrinkSleep boutique hotel and just around the corner from the raucous Red Light District, this intimate cocktail bar is one of the best places in town to try contemporary concoctions or sip an artisan beer or wine. Their Vesper martini (gin, vodka and blueberry habanero jam) is a knockout.
Map • +31 20 330 6241
Vesper • Jordaan
A Jordaan neighborhood institution that’s essentially located in someone’s front room, this cozy cocktail bar features a creative, seasonally changing cocktail menu. They also offer a boozy High Tea menu, ideal for a lazy afternoon.
Map • +31 6 87244056
Door 74 • Southern Canal Ring
It’s easy to walk past this unmarked door without even noticing it’s there, but if you’re in the know, send a text message to gain entry to this dark-timbered speakeasy. An original cocktail is created daily; alternatively, try their Searching For Black Matter, a concoction of Botran Solera rum, dried pineapple bitters and Marzipan syrup.
Map • +31 6 34045122
Twenty-Third Bar • De Pijp
Come to the 23rd floor of Hotel Okura for some of the loftiest views of the city, as well as beautifully presented classic cocktails and indulgent champagne cocktails. The suberb bar snacks come from the hotel’s Michelin-starred adjoining restaurant.
Map • +31 (0)2 06787450
Bar The Tailor • Medieval Center
Inside the Hotel Krasnapolsky on Dam square and named after the original profession of the hotel’s founder, this slick bar is overseen by world-renowned mixologist Tess Posthumus. Her original cocktails grace the menu, including the award-winning Cuban Mist.
Map • +31 20 554 6114
Tales & Spirits • Medieval Center
Overlooking Singel canal on the western edge of the medieval center, this classy bar has award-winning mixologists serving imaginative, original cocktails. Try General Lee, a Knob Creek Rye, Dom Benedictine and Amaretto concoction that comes with its own theme tune.
Map • +31 6 55356467
5 Best Amsterdam Craft Beer Breweries
Brouwerij Troost • De Pijp
Trendy Troost has three locations across the city, all of which offer guided tours and tastings and have brewpubs attached. As well as a dozen or so brews, ranging from pilsner to aged barley wine, Troost also makes its own lemonades, gin, and jenever. The most atmospheric is the former monastery in De Pijp, with an attached restaurant serving comfort food and burgers.
Map • +31 20 760 5820
Brouwerij ‘t IJ • Plantage/East Amsterdam
Located in a former bathhouse beneath Amsterdam’s tallest windmill, the city’s most famous independent brewery produces almost three dozen beers; their Zatte and Natte are particularly good double and triple flagship brews. The large terrace is awesome on sunny days. While there’s no restaurant, the pub serves cheese plates, sausages, and other snacks. Private tours of the brewery available outside the public tours Friday-Sunday.
Map • +31 20 261 9800
Butcher’s Tears • Amsterdam Zuid
Unique, unfiltered and unpasteurized beers brewed at this edgy industrial space, overlooking a canal south of Vondelpark. At the tasting room, open Wednesday to Sunday, you taste barrel-aged wild ale with dates or seasonal and limited edition beers. No food is served, but there are occasional special events, such as live music.
Oedipus Brewing • Amsterdam Noord
Started by a group of four friends, Oedipus is a quirky microbrewery found in an industrial space in Amsterdam Noord. At their funky taproom, they pair their six permanent beers and a couple of stouts with award-winning burgers from the Beef Chief. Besides that, they experiment with unusual ingredients (Szechuan pepper beer, anyone?) and host Beer Dinners monthly in collaboration with different restaurants.
Map • +31 20 244 1673
Brouwerij de Prael • Red Light District
Great location in the heart of the Red Light District, surrounded by bars and cafes. This brewpub has a full range of own beers, IPAs, and stouts, and collaborates with other creative brewers. De Prael is also responsible for Amsterdam’s first ever rainwater bitter, and it ain’t half bad! The burgers, samosas, pulled pork sandwiches and chili dogs at the attached restaurant are an ideal accompaniment to the brews.
Map • +31 20 408 4469
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