These beautiful brown bars and cafés are famous for their history and atmosphere. It feels like taking a trip back in time and enjoying Amsterdam as it was way back when. These are the places that will never be modernised as there would be an open public revolt. And rightly so. The name comes from the look and feel of the interiors. The old wooden panelling, the floors, the general look of the place. Many say the name comes from the time when people used to smoke there, too, as that stained the wood. Nowadays, of course, that is no longer allowed, but the look remains. So go on in and enjoy a beer, read your book or chat with the locals who love these places.
Get a lovely cold beer. These might be from the larger, more well-known bigger brewers. As likely as not, the brown cafés have all sorts of local and craft beers in bottles or on tap. You don’t have to drink alcohol as they are mostly open all day, too and serve up some great coffee. Maybe you can order a delicious slice of traditional apple pie with cream on the side. Many will serve the classic bitterballen and a side of mustard. That goes down so well with a beer. Whatever you have, you will enjoy a convivial slice of Dutch life, chatting with people who live in the area. So be sure to enjoy Amsterdam’s brown bars and cafés, and here is our selection of the best ones.