When you visit Amsterdam and go in search for coffee, don’t ask where you can find the best coffee shop. You’ll be met with some bemused looks or devilish smiles! As you go wandering up and down the unlevelled canals, you’re searching for the top cafes that serve the best specialty coffee in Amsterdam. Dutch coffee roasters have been delivering caffeine deliciousness for several years now, so don’t despair when withdrawal symptoms kick in. We’ve cycled up and down the canals to discover who delivers the goods. See below for our top ten picks for coffee in Amsterdam.
YOUR GUIDE TO FINDING SPECIALTY COFFEE IN AMSTERDAM
The Dutch word “trakteren” translates to “treat” and this is a perfect word to sum up what this café delivers. A small unassuming shop front, these guys know coffee and are passionate about bringing you the best. Beans are roasted by the Dutch Barista Coffee Company and the café additionally features a single origin coffee each month. Trakteren also offers a wide tea selection as well as an extensive chocolate selection! If you’re lucky, nab one of the wooden crates out the front and sit in the sunshine. Sip your piping hot latte and watch passersby. Closed Mondays.
Perched on the corner just behind De Hallen, Lot Sixty One serves up its house-roasted beans to coffee connoisseurs. Customers can bask in the sunshine outside on wooden benches with customary blue cups and saucers. A popular roaster and supplier for several cafes around the city, be warned that all coffees are served as double shots unless otherwise requested! Card only.
Situated in Amsterdam-West, Monk Coffee Roasters offers a light airy space for a spot of coffee and cake. A comfy couch sits along the main wall under beautiful artistic brass pipes spelling out “MONKS” in bold letters. Should you swing by on the weekend, make sure to arrive early for the weekend brunch menu. Monks supports local coffee roasters including Dolce Alchemia, Boot Coffee and Bocca Coffee. Select a third-wave coffee option from their menu when you order at the counter and I dare you to try to say no to one of their sweet treats. If the sun is shining in the right spot, we would recommend basking in the sunshine on one of the small red bench seats out front. Closed Mondays.
Located at the top of Haarlemmerdijk close to Haarlemmerplein, blink and you might miss this hotspot. Friendly service accompanies a generous offering of coffees and smoothies. Grab a cushion out the back for a moment of bliss away from the busy shopping street. 2 Coffee & Such serve a range of specialty coffees including matcha, turmeric and beetroot lattes alongside the regular espresso varieties. Their coffee beans are roasted by friends up the road, White Label Coffee, and all vegan milks including oat, soy and almond are readily available next to their offering of vegan and gluten free cakes.
A gem in the city centre, don’t expect your typical lattes and cappuccinos. Bocca’s coffee menu is small, reduced to short and long blacks as well as short and regular whites, brewed with the utmost care. If your usual order is a latte, go for a regular white. For those who prefer a cortado, ask for an extra shot to your regular white. Sourcing beans from as far as Ethiopia, Brazil and Indonesia, Bocca has long been a supporter of sustainable coffee farming. The cafe roasts and sells organic coffee beans in-store and online. Should you decide to sit in, you’ll be given a small card detailing the origin of your coffee beans and the flavours to expect from your cup. Note: Card only and it’s a laptop free zone on weekends.
“Toki is the word for your local hangout.” And this is exactly what Toki is. On a corner block parallel to Haarlemmerdijk, the hip and cool sit at white marble tables that are peppered with colourful geometric stones and adorned with black and white speckled water jugs. The exposed concrete floor supports simple wooden stools and a plush green couch in the back corner. Toki grinds beans roasted by Bonanza Coffee Roasters and offers all the coffee favourites including pour over coffee. Known across the city for their cakes, it would be remiss to not have a slice of their popular banana bread with coconut or lemon drizzle cake (we can vouch for both of them!). The kitchen, operated by chef NANA offers five options where you’ll find Japanese ingredients including yuzu and shiso pesto. Open 7 days a week. Card only.
Just two streets back from the bustling Leidseplein, Sweet Cup will welcome you with the amazing smell of freshly roasted coffee beans from Ethiopia and Rwanda. Paul and Lisa work hard to provide an excellent cup of coffee accompanied with one of their indulgent sweet treats. If you’re lucky, their resident basset hound, Sjef, may make an appearance for a belly rub. The coffee bar walls are adorned with art for sale by local artists. Pop in to get away from the city bustle and to get your caffeine and doggy fix all in one visit. Closed Mondays & Tuesdays.
You’ll find White Label Coffee not too far from Rembrandt Park. The tiered cafe features an extensive filter coffee menu, Hereca-style carpets and a Giesen roasting coffee machine up the back. Moss-filled coffee tables under low lighting and green pot plants up the back make this spot perfect for curling up in the corner or muted conversations with dear friends. Choose from banana bread, croissants and home-made cakes on the snacks menu. White Label also sells Ambela washed coffee beans and a range of merchandise. Card only.
Screaming Beans is no stranger to high-quality coffee, having opened their specialty coffee in Amsterdam bar back in 2010. Located only 5 minutes’ walk from Dam Square, pop into this low-lit café for a caffeine pick-me-up. The small space packs a powerful mix of third wave coffee methods. The owners claim to be very stubborn, preparing the coffee in their own way without compromising on quality or taste. Another staunch supporter of origin coffee beans, Screaming Beans has established contacts with farmers in Tanzania and ship the coffee beans to the Netherlands for roasting and sale. Coffees are served with a small sweet bite which will be the thing you need before wandering up and down the canals.
Scandinavian Embassy embodies high-quality minimalism that we have come to expect and love. Delivering top-notch coffee in Amsterdam alongside a low-fuss, rustic menu loyal to Scandinavian roots, find this small café on the edge of Sarphartipark in De Pijp. Supportive of small roasters in Scandinavia, beans are brought over from the likes of The Coffee Collective (Copenhagen, Denmark), Drop Coffee Roasters (Stockholm, Sweden) and Per Nordby (Gothenburg, Sweden) among others. From the high bench at the coffee bar to the round table out the back, wooden accents and floral touches flow through the décor. The food menu is small so don’t come here for a big brunch. Instead, we highly recommend one of the cinnamon buns that will come out hot and fresh from the oven. Scandinavian Embassy is a suitable pit-stop for parties of 2 – 4 people otherwise take your coffee with you for a walk through Sarphatipark. Open 7 days a week. Card only.
Found good coffee in Amsterdam? Share it with us in the comments below!