Warm up in a traditional “brown café”

institution - authentic
Warm up in a traditional “brown café”

Known for their nicotine-stained walls, “bruincafés” are an Amsterdam institution.

Never hesitate to take refuge in the cosy ambiance of one of these cafés, which are present on every corner of the city. Centuries of tobacco smoke have given a patina to the walls, the source of their name. Some have retained their traditional Oriental carpets, which have protected their tables for ages.

Most brown cafés are frequented by locals sharing a pint with friends after work. Foreigners are welcome, as the Dutch like to share their favourite spots, which become quite busy in the evenings, especially on Fridays and Saturdays. Drink beer on tap, coffee with a little bit of milk, or jenever, a Dutch spirit similar to gin, which is served very cold in tiny glasses and drunk in one go.

This drink is best accompanied by a sandwich or another dish otherwise, overindulgence can lead to a serious headache…