Favorite Place in Amsterdam: Coffee and local culture at Café Koosje


The scene at Cafe Koosje.
The scene at Cafe Koosje.

Editor’s Note: For our “Favorite Places” blog series, we’re asking our local correspondents to write about one of their favorite places in town.

For an ultimate Dutch time out in Amsterdam, head to Café Koosje. From coffee to apple pie with whipped cream, the place warms its patrons with cups of culture and a charming ambiance hard to find elsewhere. Plus, the Jewish Historical Museum, Botanical Gardens, and Waterlooplein are all within walking distance.

Koosje won my heart on a rainy afternoon as I sipped an Irish coffee and observed with amusement as a baby grand piano swung in the air by a rope. (A man across the street was moving into the top floor, and as Dutch flats are inconveniently narrow, hoisting a piano to the top floor was the only possible, unthinkable and [in]convenient option.)

But Café Koosje can be fun for all. Families burst in fresh from visits at the nearby Artis Zoo, and locals are lured in by the classy lunchtime scene. Scarlet awnings and curtains round out the vintage décor, though the long bar and mirrored liquor cabinet lend the space an airy vibe. The café’s interior is lit by cozy candlelight, with parlor-like windows along the front wall inviting customers to gaze out.

Koosje is a prime people-watching location, with everything from bike quarrels to nearby customers slurping on Chocomel delights providing entertainment for your eyes. Outside, patrons can choose between the covered patio or the wooden benches that wrap around the building.

The extras here are spectacular because Koosje is Dutch: Coffee always comes with cookies, “appletaart” comes with whipped crème, and “toastis” come with ketchup. Cool music posters and  papers in English and Dutch are readily available. While servers breeze back and forth holding the blackboard dinner menu, smart travelers indulge in the relaxed vibe and soothing atmosphere of a café open to serving all passersby.

Café Koosje
Plantage Middenlaan 37

Sun. to Thurs. 9 AM– 1 AM
Fri. 9 AM – 3 AM
Sat. 9 AM– 2 AM

Typical prices

Main courses: €11.50 – €18.50
Apple pie: €4.50
Coffee: €2.00
Fresh mint tea: €2.30
Beer: €2.20
Wine: €3.00

About the author

About the author: Audrey Sykes hopped across the pond from the US eight years ago for a Masters degree in global journalism. Since then, she’s lived all over Europe, reporting and editing for music sites, snowboard mags, and travel media. She’s also the Amsterdam author for Party Earth, a guide to nightlife across Europe.

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