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7 Best Coffee Shops In Amsterdam

We didn’t intend to write an Amsterdam cafe guide until we spent a week drinking excellent third wave coffee during our seventh visit to the DAM. Discover our favorite Amsterdam coffee shops plus our highly caffeinated opinions about specialty coffee in Amsterdam.

Flat White at Koffie Academie in Amsterdam
Image: ©2foodtrippers

We get that the phrase ‘Amsterdam coffee shop’ has a seedy connotation. Other than the confusing name, we don’t personally have an issue with these extracurricular hang-outs.

Instead, our issue is that some travelers miss out on drinking great coffee in Amsterdam due to simple confusion. This is a city with amazing coffee options that transcend global chains like Starbucks as well as the Dutch chain Coffee Company.

Amsterdams Canal and Buildings
Amsterdam has a variety of specialty coffee shops hiding in plain sight though probably not on this canal. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

With just a little digging, we discovered a vibrant community of specialty coffee shops as well as an active bean roasting network. Though some cafes import beans from European countries like Germany and Sweden, local roasters like White Label Coffee, Friedhats Coffee Roasters, Rum Baba Coffeeroasters, Bocca Coffee Roasters and Stooker Specialty Coffee are fueling Amsterdam’s commitment to quality coffee.

Pro Tip
You can visit one or more local roasters if you have time. Otherwise, you can try them while you dine at Amsterdam cafes and restaurants.

Records at Black Gold Amsterdam in Amsterdam
Amsterdam cafes like Black Gold bring the cool factor to the city’s vibrant coffee scene. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

As we dug deeper, we learned that Amsterdam’s coffee history goes back centuries to the days when the Dutch East India Company brought coffee to the Netherlands straight from Indonesia. In light of this trading history, it’s no surprise that Amsterdam has a coffee culture that rivals European cities including Athens, Berlin, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Florence, Graz, Hamburg, Lisbon, Lyon, Paris, Porto, Prague, Rome, Strasbourg and Vilnius.

Amsterdammers have embraced the specialty coffee culture with a vengeance. Dutch baristas rival peers in Australia with their modern brewing techniques and latte art skills. In fact, we met several baristas in Amsterdam who previously lived in Australia at some point in their lives. It really is a small world after all – at least when it comes to specialty coffee.

Our Favorite Amsterdam Coffee Shops

Cappuccino and Pastry at ScandInavian Embassy in Amsterdam
We enjoyed this rejuvenating Fika break at Scandinavian Embassy in De Pijp. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We drank a lot of coffee in seven days during our seventh visit to Amsterdam. Not only did we frequent multiple cafes every day, but we also drank coffee during leisurely Amsterdam brunches at spots like Dignita, The Breakfast Club and Little Collins.

Read our Amsterdam brunch guide.

Keeping with the ‘seven’ theme, we’ve narrowed our favorite specialty coffee shops down to the following seven Amsterdam cafes:

1. Scandinavian Embassy

ScandInavian Embassy in Amsterdam
Crowds flock to Scandinavian Embassy to drink classic Nordic brews in Amsterdam’s De Pijp neighborhood. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Scandinavian Embassy embodies the passion for coffee and fika that we’ve previously embraced in Scandinavian cities like Helsinki, Turku, Oslo and Stockholm. Open since 2013, this popular Amsterdam cafe prides itself in uniting coffee and food in an ‘intimate Scandinavian setting’ directly across from Sarphartipark.

Unlike most Amsterdam cafes, Scandinavian Embassy exclusively sources its beans from Scandinavian roasters like Stockholm’s Drop Coffee and Copenhagen’s Coffee Collective along with Balkan roaster Koppa Coffee out of Belgrade.

The cafe follows this practice to ensure a consistent coffee product. Plus owner Nicolas Castagno is partial to Nordic beans after spending time working for Drop Coffee in Sweden. Once we tasted their product, we wholeheartedly approve of this approach.

Baristas at ScandInavian Embassy in Amsterdam
Lenka Durinova and Joanna Myrman expertly crafted coffee drinks during our stop at Scandinavian Embassy in Amsterdam. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Though Scandinavian Embassy’s cappuccinos are excellent, their iced lattes may be the best we’ve tasted anywhere in the world. After speaking to the friendly staff, our best explanation for this latte bliss is that the cafe uses high-quality beans and makes all of their cold drinks from scratch using ultra-fresh milk.

Either way, the iced latte was so good that we ordered a second round.

Iced Latte at ScandInavian Embassy in Amsterdam
This unassuming iced latte blew our coffee-loving minds. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Beyond coffee, Scandinavian Embassy serves a light menu that fits its Scandinavian theme with dishes like Müsli and Gravlax. We opted to relax in the minimalistically designed cafe while enjoying hot cinnamon buns that were similar to Kannebulla in Sweden and Norway or Korvapuusti in Finland.

We later found out that the buns were baked on-site with flour procured from a local mill. Our only regret is not having room for a second round of cinnamon buns.

Pro Tip
Don’t forget your credit card. Scandinavian Embassy doesn’t accept cash payments.

Scandinavian Embassy is located at Sarphatipark 34, 1072 PB Amsterdam, Netherlands.

2. Black Gold Amsterdam

Barista at Black Gold Amsterdam in Amsterdam
Siebrand van Hengel combines his passions for coffee and music at Black Gold in Amsterdam. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Black Gold’s location near Rembrandt House is appropriate. Back in the 17th century, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn mastered the art of Dutch painting. In the 21st century, Siebrand van Hengel masters the art of third wave coffee in his tiny, music-filled cafe.

Van Hengel welcomed us with friendly curiosity, intrigued by our mutual love of good coffee and eclectic music. During our time at Black Gold, we enjoyed cappuccinos while we listened to a variety of funk, rock, jazz and minimalist tape loops. There’s no corporate soundtrack here – it’s entirely possible to grab a coffee in the morning while listening to the Isley Brothers and have a second in the afternoon while ruminating to John Cage.

Cappuccinos at Black Gold Amsterdam in Amsterdam
Black Gold combines new school coffee with old school vinyl. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Black Gold exclusively used locally sourced White Label beans at the time of our visit. We liked our cappuccinos so much we returned for a repeat performance. Since Black Gold is just a 10-minute walk from the train station, our return visit was as inevitable as rain. FYI, it rains a lot in Amsterdam.

Pro Tip
You can buy a record if you dig what you hear. Black Gold sells albums in addition to coffee paraphernalia.

Black Gold Amsterdam is located at Korte Koningsstraat 13 H, 1011 EX Amsterdam, Netherlands.

3. Koffie Academie

Barista at Koffie Academie in Amsterdam
Dara Chey used modern brewing techniques to craft our cappuccinos at Koffie Academie. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Located near Vondelpark, Koffie Academie doesn’t source its beans from local or Scandinavian roasters. Instead, this Amsterdam cafe roasts its own beans just a couple of blocks from the cafe.

Though we were tempted to order a slice of cake or brownie, we were content to sip our cappuccinos in the cafe’s tiny yet comfortable space. Touring Amsterdam can get exhausting, especially when the city is in the midst of a heatwave.

Coffee on Scale at Koffie Academie in Amsterdam
Brewing coffee is both a science and art at Koffie Academie. Digital scales allow the baristas to be precise with their measurements. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Barista Dara Chey used Indian beans in our crafted cappuccinos. As a testament to Koffie Academie’s roasting skills, Chey’s end result was superior to coffee that we’d previously crafted ourselves with beans that Mindi had bought at a specialty coffee shop in Delhi.

Pro Tip
Koffie Academie has good WiFi if you want to connect while you sip your coffee.

Koffie Academie is located at Overtoom 95, 1054 HD Amsterdam, Netherlands.

4. Monks Coffee Roasters

Monks Coffee Roasters in Amsterdam
Monks offers a cheerful environment for guests who choose to linger over their drinks or food. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We felt at home at Monks Coffee Roasters when we saw Pasteis de Natas, the popular Portuguese pastry, immediately upon entering the spacious, sunlit space. Choosing just one pastry would have been a tough task had we not been going to dinner immediately following our coffee break. The colorful assortment tempted our senses until our wandering eyes found the coffee menu.

At Monks, friendly baristas craft an assortment of black, white and filter drinks as well as pots of hot tea at this centrally located cafe. We opted for cappuccinos, our typical go-to third wave coffee drink when we’re not in the mood for flat whites.

Cappuccino at Monks Coffee Roasters in Amsterdam
Leave your computer at home when you visit Monks on the weekend. Per the sign, screens are not allowed on Saturdays or Sundays. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The team at Monks rotates beans from a ‘changing selection from the world’s finest roasters’, many of which are local in the DAM. The cafe has its own proprietary house coffee blend as well.

Tea is a different story. The cafe sources its tea from Cafe Couture and its Prana Chai from Melbourne.

Pro Tip
Buy a bag of Prana Chai or Monks Blend Coffee as an edible Amsterdam souvenir.

Monks Coffee Roasters is located at Bilderdijkstraat 46, 1052 NB Amsterdam, Netherlands.

5. CT Coffee & Coconuts

CT Coffee and Coconuts in Amsterdam
Computers are welcome at CT Coffee and Coconuts. The multi-story Amsterdam cafe has enough room for guests to linger and work. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

CT Coffee & Coconuts is the cafe where we’d likely spend many of our days if we lived in Amsterdam’s De Pijp neighborhood. Not only does the airy space remind us of cafes we frequented in Vietnam, but CT Coffee & Coconuts also serves excellent coffee with a free side of internet.

As digital nomads now living in Lisbon, we like to work at cafes where we can order great food and coffee while we work to our hearts’ content. Of all the cafes we visited in Amsterdam, this is the one where we would feel most comfortable working (and drinking coffee) for several hours.

Cappuccino at CT Coffee and Coconuts in Amsterdam
We almost felt bad to drink this expertly crafted cappuccino with a swan floating on top. It was so pretty. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

But what about the coffee? CT Coffee & Coconuts sources its beans from local roasters White Label and Friedhuts. They typically have Brazilian, Ethiopian and Rwandan beans that customers can select based on their preference and order.

We drank a cappuccino crafted with Brazilian beans and an icy coconut coffee adorned with an eco-friendly green straw during our first visit. Though we enjoyed both, we opted to order two cappuccinos the second time around. When we return a third time, we’ll likely do the same.

Pro Tip
CT Coffee & Coconuts serves brunch food all day long. See our Amsterdam brunch guide for more details.

CT Coffee & Coconuts is located at Ceintuurbaan 282-284, 1072 GK Amsterdam, Netherlands.

6. Lot61 Coffee Roasters

Barista at Lot Sixty One Coffee Roasters at Urban Outfitters in Amsterdam
Originally from Manchester, barista Nathan Brannan crafted our cappuccinos with finesse. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Lot61’s main location is right by the Foodhallen, Amsterdam’s trendy-as-Brooklyn hall filled with Amsterdam food favorites. Though we made it to the Foodhallen, we somehow missed the cafe. Lucky for us, we made it to Lot61’ssmaller location inside Urban Outfitters not once but twice.

Cappuccino at Lot Sixty One Coffee Roasters at Urban Outfitters in Amsterdam
Savvy shoppers will find Lot61 when they shop at Urban Outfitters in Amsterdam. The cafe serves a limited coffee menu in the store’s back corner. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

During both visits, barista Nathan Brannan entertained us with tales of his coffee adventures in Manchester and Amsterdam. He also crafted excellent cappuccinos during our first visit.

We opted for cold brews on visit number two to combat the city’s brutally hot weather. Did we mention it was hot during our most recent visit to Amsterdam?

Pro Tip
Look out for Lot61 coffee at restaurants around Amsterdam. The company runs a wholesale business in addition to its cafes.

Lot61 Coffee Roasters is located at Kinkerstraat 112, 1053 ED Amsterdam, Netherlands. We twice visited their Urban Outfitters outpost at Kalverstraat 31-33, 1012 NX Amsterdam, Netherland.

7. Bocca Coffee

Bocca Coffee in Amsterdam
Bocca Coffee offers for coffee lovers in the heart of Amsterdam. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We first heard about Bocca while eating brunch at Betty Blue. When we discovered that Bocca has a sit-down cafe in addition to a wholesale operation, we had to check it out. Its central location made our visit a no-brainer.

Located just blocks from the massive Rijksmuseum, Bocca has ample seating for locals and travelers who want to take a coffee break in the middle of town. A table in the back is reserved for those who want to use laptops while they drink their coffee.

Iced Latte at Bocca Coffee in Amsterdam
This iced latte was the perfect remedy for hot Amsterdam weather. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Though we typically order cappuccinos at specialty coffee shops, we couldn’t resist ordering iced lattes at Bocca. Not only did they look good, but we were highly parched after traversing the city in 4o+ degree (Celcius!) weather. The chilled coffee tasted as good as we expected and cooled us down on the hot summer day.

Pro Tip
Sign up for a workshop. Bocca School of Coffee offers affordable classes for coffee enthusiasts who want to improve their coffee skills.

Bocca Coffee is located at Kerkstraat 96HS, 1017 GP Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Additional Amsterdam Cafes

Pastries at Monks Coffee Roasters in Amsterdam
Most Amsterdam cafes serve tempting treats in addition to coffee. We were tempted by these pastries at Monks. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Seven specialty coffee shops should keep you caffeinated for a week. If you’re lucky enough to stay in Amsterdam for longer or if your caffeine needs exceed one per day, check out these seven additional third wave coffee shops:

Frequently Asked Questions

What are coffee shops in Amsterdam?

There are two kinds of coffee shops in Amsterdam. There are coffee shops that sell marijuana and coffee shops that sell coffee.

Is coffee popular in Amsterdam?

Yes. Amsterdam has a vibrant coffee scene that fuels the Dutch people’s obsession for drinking good coffee.

How much does coffee cost in Amsterdam?

Good coffee is priced similarly to other European cities. Expect to spend around 3€ for a decent cappuccino or higher for a great cappuccino.

Does Amsterdam have specialty coffee shops?

Yes. Amsterdam has multiple specialty coffee shops in addition to a range of traditional cafes.

What are the best specialty coffee shops in Amsterdam?

Top Amsterdam specialty coffee shops include Scandinavian Embassy, Black Gold Amsterdam and Koffie Academie. Try them all plus more to find your favorite.

Is Starbucks in Amsterdam?

Yes. Amsterdam’s first Starbucks location opened in 2009. The coffee chain now operates more than a dozen coffee shops in the Dutch capital.

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About the Authors

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers a unique taste of the world.


Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

We purchased and imbibed the drinks featured in this article.

We thank Amsterdam & Partners for providing us with I Amsterdam cards to facilitate this and other articles.

Original Publication Date: August 9, 2019

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