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Cafe's/Grand Cafe's/Bars/Pubs/Bruine Cafe's: Cafe Luxembourg
I had read about this place in the usual areas (frommers, fodors) and it sounded like a nice place to rest and grab a decent meal. We were not disapointed. It had that "international cafe" feel to it, with a lively mix of tourists, locals, families, urban hipsters, and brooding sociopaths reading to themselves, smoking thier filterless cigarettes. The location is a prime people watching area, right on Spui square, so you can pass a lot of time, if you've got some to spare. Many people were reading newspapers, but it seemed like each one was in a different language. I even borrowed a cigarette from a neighbor and played the part of a local.
Favorite Dish: We had some normal cafe fare...well, normal for Amsterdam (or the entire Benelux region, i realized). I had some croquettes (shrimp and veal) and the wife got a club sandwich. The food was fine, but the atmosphere was what made the place special. All in all, it's a great place to relax, recharge your batteries, and take in some local flavor.
Cafe Luxembourg: Great evening scene
I love this area for nightlife in Amsterdam. There are a bunch of great restaurants here and lots of people milling about who ARE NOT looking for prostitutes or drugs. This place has a great bar that was crowded with young, attractive people and the food was quite good too.
Favorite Dish: I had a glass of red wine and the Fried Seawolf Fillets with mustard dill sauce, which was served with a salad and fries. Along with a glass of wine, my bill came to 15.25 Euros, 20 with tip.
Cafes and Bars
These are everywhere.
There is little distinction between a café and a bar in Amsterdam. Both sell alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, food and coffee. The kitchen in a bar or café usually closes at 21:00.
A very nice property of Amsterdam, that you certainly don't find everywhere, is that you pay the same price wherever you sit; it doesn't cost more to sit outside on the terrace.
Coffee is served Hollands with evaporated milk, espresso, cappuccino, and verkeerd ('reversed'), which is with lots of hot milk (the Dutch version of a Caffee Latte). Ten years ago it was impossible to get a bad coffee in Amsterdam. Modern times, and instant coffee, have now made their entrance, and the worst places have started to offer something called cappuccino that doesn't even taste like coffee, or offer only 'creemer' instead of milk. Let the buyer beware: check for the presence of a real coffee machine.
Beer-lovers should try a witbier (white beer) like Hoegaarden or Dentergems, with or without a slice of lemon.
You can drink beer and wine from age 16, and spirits from age 18.
Amsterdam is a paradise for beer drinkers, but alas the wine drinker is usually left with a 'choice' between red and white.
Luxembourg Cafe: Great people watching!
This Cafe is right on the Spui (pronounced Shpow) Square and is a wonderful local place to sit and have a beer or coffee and have a slice of the famous A'Dam apple cake, which is delicious here! Last trip here, I watched a beautiful young girl (albeit with bright orange hair!) playing her guitar for coins across the tramway in the square. There is a wonderful coffeeshop around the corner (directly across from a fun bakery) right on the canal. Spui is a beautiful little square that has an art festival once a week, and I think also has book sales from time to time. Also very close to the entrance to the Beginhof, a small quiet retreat for elderly women.
Favorite Dish: Apple cake and a beer
At the VT-meeting we went for lunch to the Café Luxembourg (at Spui). Most of us ordered a 'broodje kroket' (Sandwich kroket). A kroket is a typical Dutch hot snack served on a sandwich.
I like it, but the foreign guests in our group were not so sure about that. Hahaha, the look on their faces was quite bizar when they tried it, I have a feeling that they didn't really like it.
Don't mistake it that the food wasn't good! It tasted very good for a "broodje kroket"... but hey.... it's not top-gourmet food what we ordered but a quick snack. I will certainly go here again (hahaha, that is if I get to Amsterdam again) and try something different next time.
The Café Luxembourg looked really nice from the inside. The interior is in art-deco-style interior and there is a terrace on Spui square. The atmosphere here is quite international; you can find many international newspapers on the reading table and the menu is in English, Deutsch, Français, Italiano and Espagnol.
Open sun-thu from 09.00-01.00 and fri-sat 09.00- 02.00, breakfast 09.00-12.00. Kitchen open from 11.00-23.00.
This is the menucard, so you can already think of what you will order when you go here :-)
Luxembourg Cafe: Over priced
Dont bother. Looks like a generic tourist trap. We chose this place for a coffee as it has a lot of seats in a glass fronted part so we could people watch. It cost us enough!!!
I ordered a coffee, the cup was small, but I am used to this in Amsterdam, however, it was half full of froth, and cost twice the amount I had paid in a pub the previous day!
The food looked quite nice, but we werent willing to pay the prices. There are nicer places to grab a coffee than this.
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