Amsterdam Terrace Cafes
Amsterdam Terrace Cafes
Lokaal ‘t Loosje
This is an old favorite of mine, one of the nicest and most welcoming ‘brown cafes’ of Amsterdam. Lokaal ‘t Loosje is right on the Nieuwmarkt Square and really is a local hangout.
I love the way that the floor slopes, this is from subsidence and has not been corrected like sloping floors have been in most historic Amsterdam buildings and this adds centuries of charm for me. The old floor and wall tiles and wooden tables and chairs create a very comfortable and cozy environment and is a great place to tuck yourself away on a cold day, read a book, ok, website / online news, and look out over the Nieuwmarkt. The morning-sun terrace is perfect for warmer days and arranged Paris style with the chairs all facing the square. You realy can’t beat this place as an evening terrace to watch the world go by and people tend to be happy to share a table at busy times. It gets loud and animated later into the evening as alcohol accumulates in bloodstreams and it’s a really vibrant place to go with a few friends to whittle the night away.
The good selection of drinks is very reasonably priced, there are always about 6 local beers on tap and a wide selection by bottle as well and they are all a bit cheaper than elsewhere. The food that I’ve tried there has been good, breakfast from 08h30, there are croissant options but for me no breakfast is complete without toast with egg and bacon, which will set you back 5 euros (as of October 2019). The lunch time offerings are things like baguettes, bagels, wraps and salads, again, very reasonably priced.
People often ask me where locals go, well this is where!
Hannekes Boom has been a trendy, slightly offbeat, unpretentious local hangout for years now. It is central but tucked away. I summer it heaves and is choc-a-block full day and night. Now, it’s a bit quieter in the afternoons and a great place to hang out and watch to boats go by and see the very elegant foot and cycle bridge open and close on a pivot to let larger barges through.
UPDATE – You can’t use this bridge for 2020 as there is a building site next door and the bridge is closed. So Hanneles Boom is much more difficult to get to, but still worth the effort!
I eventually tried out the lunch menu and was a bit disappointed. It’s not much of a lunch really, I had a panini bread roll with bacon, goats cheese and walnuts with a small pile of leaves next to it. They were a bit skimpy with the filling for six euros. I think they could have tried just a bit harder. It tasted ok though. I haven’t tried dinner there yet but will do as I have heard good things about dinner there.
Food aside, it is a great place to hang out afternoon or evening and watch the world go by and experience that famous Amsterdam “gezelligheid’. They have my favorite beer, Triple Karmeliet in bottles, it is smooth and creamy, slightly lemony and surprisingly high in alcohol so it is like having 2 for the price of one! Check out the cozy seating around the huge wood burning heater!
Noorderlicht (Northern Light) is a quirky destination for a drink, lunch or dinner that is well off the beaten track. It is a cafe in an old vegetable growing greenhouse and is tucked away in one of the few remaining alternative corners of Amsterdam and you need to take a ferry to get there! There is a small tasty menu that includes meat, veggie, and vegan options. The terrace, dotted with unusual sculptures has great views over the IJ towards Central Station. The ferry is free and you can take bikes on it if you have one but bikes are not necessary to get to Noorderlicht as the walk on the other side is only about 10 minutes.
To get there, go to behind Central Station and take the ferry on the left-hand side when facing towards the water. Its destination is ‘NDSM’. It goes every 30 minutes and it takes about 15 minutes to get the NDSM wharf. You pass some of Amsterdam’s interesting modern architecture, the EYE Film Museum, The Western Dock Island development and the building that is meant to look like a container ship. The NDSM wharf if home to the Botel, an old submarine, the Greenpeace ship, and the Pancake Boat!
Leave the ferry and go straight ahead and once you see the student sea container housing on your left-hand side, then take the road to the right which leads past some decaying old warehouses which are home to a host of small creative businesses. Pop in and explore if the doors are open. Once you pass a dilapidated bunker-looking building on your right-hand side, you should get views towards Central Station and see ‘Noorderlicht’.