Bars of De Pijp
Image by Franklin Heijnen under Creative Commons License.

Netherlands, Amsterdam Guide (D): Bars of De Pijp

De Pijp area of Amsterdam is a fascinating mixture of trendy urbanites, students, immigrants and Amsterdammers, which is reflected in the different cafés of the area.
The directory takes in places that serve food, where you can hear music, where you can watch the world go past from a terrace, traditional brown cafes and the unique experience that is a Night Bar. De Pijp truly has it all.
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Attractions Map

Guide Name: Bars of De Pijp
Guide Location: Netherlands » Amsterdam
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (D))
# of Destinations: 27
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Kingfisher   O’Donnell’s Irish Pub   De Pijp   Mazzeltoff   Eddy Bar   Toko   Gambrinus   Gollem   Het Paardje   De Pilsvogel   Chocolate Bar   De Duvel   Café Krull   Flinck   Barca   Braque   Sarphaat   Café De Punt   CC Muziek café   Café De Kroeg   Café Marie   Flamingo   Schilders   Quinto   Izakaya   Café Binnen Buiten   Vrienden  
Author: Steve Voyce
Author Bio: Steve is originally from London, but has lived in Amsterdam, The Netherlands for 15 years. He loves everything about Amsterdam and considers himself a real local. He writes fiction and non-fiction that often features this amazing city.

1) Kingfisher

Kingfisher is the kind of laid-back, cool, place that De Pijp area is renowned for.

If you like an unpretentious, fun, bar that on evenings bursts with trendy people – think young professionals and media-types, rather than students – this is the place for you.

Saying that, Kingfisher has a no-nonsense relaxed atmosphere - the good friendly service helps – and is also a great place if you are looking for a bar to relax with friends, or to meet up before going on elsewhere.

O’Donnell’s Irish Pub

2) O’Donnell’s Irish Pub

The main bar in De Pijp to watch sports, if that’s your kind of thing, and on match days and evenings it can get very busy, especially for big English matches and anything involving Ajax. (See the chalkboards for upcoming televised matches from the Premier League, Eredivisie, international football and rugby).

O’Donnell’s is one of the larger bars in De Pijp (it has the longest bar) with a good selection of seating; we’re slowly being won over by the armchairs by the door which have...
De Pijp

3) De Pijp

Even though it is now synonymous with the area, De Pijp is a surprisingly new addition, opened only within the last ten years. During that time it has established itself as a favourite among locals and visitors alike because of its great atmosphere, good service and fine selection of food and drink.

During the afternoon it has the feeling of a neighbourhood café; sit and enjoy a coffee, mint tea or glass of wine in the calm interior or on the small terrace; even ask to borrow one of their...

4) Mazzeltoff

One of the ways to approach Mazzeltoff would be to get there at 9pm and spend the evening watching the place gradually fill up and get louder. Or you could do what everyone else seems to do and once the bar that you are in closes, head to Mazzletoff for “one last drink.”

Believe us, we’ve tried both techniques, and they have their equal merits, but we think we prefer arriving later for a last drink. Or two.

For a bar whose clientele is mainly those whose night just has to go on a...
Eddy Bar

5) Eddy Bar

Andre Hazes is somewhat a legend in Amsterdam and The Netherlands beyond. His funeral a few years ago took on the kind of significance that one for a member of royalty or a politician might do in another country. His songs are an unofficial soundtrack for the Dutch nation.

Hazes pretty much grew up in Eddy Bar and the place has his memory soaked into every surface. This is perhaps the ultimate Amsterdam bar, from the music on the jukebox to the carpets on the tables to the dartboard and, of...

6) Toko

Café Toko is a relatively new addition to the Pijp bar canon, but gaining a good reputation as a contrast to the more established places across the Albert Cuypstraat. A nicely decorated, if a little dark, space with some lovely touches, that really comes alive at night with a friendly crowd and in-house DJs.

Toko has a good selection of drinks, including an educated wine list and some particularly tasty fruit-based cocktails (although don’t let that fruit foil you, these pack a punch). If...

7) Gambrinus

A wonderful bar situated just a little further south from the main Pijp area, along the Ferdinand Bolstraat. It’s well worth a visit as it has a great atmosphere (gezellig) and really good service.

The kind of place to go to if you want a “simple” glass of beer, a good chat and unfussy food. In the warm months there is outside seating where you can watch the day or night unfold.

Gambrinus can be busy on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night; sit “upstairs” at the big table and...

8) Gollem

Technically this is actually Gollem 2, as it’s the younger brother of the main Gollem, which is situated on the Overtoom. But don’t let that stop you; this Gollem has everything that is good about the big one, with a more Pijp-vibe.

Gollem was the first cafe in Amsterdam to import foreign beers and they still pride themselves on the depth and quality of their offering. Just make sure you come here wanting to drink beer! The bar stocks over 150 bottled beers, has 14 on tap with the...
Het Paardje

9) Het Paardje

Possessor of one of the largest, sunnier, terraces in De Pijp, The Little Horse (Het Paardje), is another relatively newcomer to the area. Situated on the Gerard Douplein, a busy square just off the Albert Cuyp, Het Paardje is a bar that typifies the whole Pijp mood: simple food and drinks, a good vibe – especially in the evenings – and the sort of service that is sporadically good.

If you want to spend a pleasant summer afternoon drinking Amstel while watching the hustle and bustle of...
De Pilsvogel

10) De Pilsvogel

Pilsvogel literally translates as Beer Bird, which can’t be a bad thing, can it? This more established café is on the opposite corner of the Douplein from Het Paardje, and appeals to a similar, slightly more studenty, crowd. But don’t let that put you off as the café has a lot to offer, not least excellent service and a good selection of wines; we’re very fond of the Rioja.

Although not the biggest bar in town – inside can be very snug – the place has a really great atmosphere....
Chocolate Bar

11) Chocolate Bar

The Chocolate Bar has nothing to do with chocolate, except maybe for the décor, which edges towards the browner end of a retro 60s feel. This is the kind of cool spot that rode the first wave of new bars opening in De Pijp ten or so years ago, and has gone on to become a local fixture.

The space itself is an L-shape with a large bar and seating area going round to a more lounge-y space at the back, great during the colder months. There’s seating outside that can get busy and is right on...
De Duvel

12) De Duvel

A real diamond in De Pijp’s crown; a more traditional brown café, with a modern twist, that encompasses a first-rate wine list with the kind of classic food that reflects the close proximity of the market and some extremely interesting cocktails – we like the sound of the Cointreaupolitan, and it’s on our list of things to try next. Combine those with the sort of gezellig that you only really find in Amsterdam and you have a really top place.

The interior is a nice size room...
Café Krull

13) Café Krull

The thing that struck us on first visiting Krull many, many years ago was “Wow, they serve Guinness.” A small thing, we know, but back then a rare thing. And in in De Pijp it still is rare today. So if you’re looking for a Guinness and want to try somewhere different that O’Donnell’s, then this is your place.

Krull is probably best approached during the daytime, it sits on a corner overlooking the Sarphartipark and has a nice outdoor seating area that makes the most of the position...

14) Flinck

Not to be confused with the – now closed – Flinckx restaurant further east down the street, we really love Flinck for lunch and dinner, or a drink; anything, really. Situated on a busy corner close to the market, the café manages to combine being tourist-friendly with a good cross-section of locals and the more recent incomers to the area. You’ll discover everyone and anyone enjoying one of their great open sandwiches, a steak, a beer or a glass of wine. There is seating outside to...

15) Barca

Barca has managed to make a success of a spot on the square that seemed to be the failing of a lot of previous establishments. It even managed a refurbish a couple of years ago to take it from strength to strength. With its large, buzzing terrace in the summer and modern interior, Barca attracts a great deal of out-of-towners (it seems to be on a must-see list for a lot of young, non-Amsterdam Nederlanders). It’s also the go-to place to watch any Barcelona FC match and, subsequently, it’s...

16) Braque

A real slice of Paris at the other end of the Albert Cuyp from the market, this is more of a restaurant than a bar, but we’ve included it because they cook great food, have friendly staff and serve lovely wine. And you can just sit at the bar and take a drink if you want. So what can be wrong with that?

Braque has an air of one of those French places you stumble across on vacation, right down to the zinc chairs on the pavement outside and the snails on the menu. And obviously the wine card,...

17) Sarphaat

Despite its closeness to the park that shares its name and its big, split by the road, terrace, we actually prefer Café Sarphaat in the winter. The inside is a gorgeous mix of dark wood, chandeliers and candles that highlight the winter sun that slants in through the windows. A great place for lunch on a cold Sunday, or grabbing a hot chocolate and slice of apple cake on the way back from a bracing walk.

Saying that, it is also a good place for a beer on a warm evening or to even try one of...
Café De Punt

18) Café De Punt

In it’s beautiful corner building situated in a curious part of De Pijp, north of the market and across the street from a supermarket, De Punt has become a real favourite with locals since it opened. It’s recently increased its arsenal with the addition of a wood-burning pizza oven, and has a good selection of toppings on offer. They also have a decent selection of beers and drinks and the non-pizza food is not bad at all.

De Punt is one of those bars that is not too trendy, not too...
CC Muziek café

19) CC Muziek café

This place must have some really good noise-insulation! The Pijp’s really sole music bar is down a quite residential street opposite Gambrinus. It’s not the biggest space, but makes up by having a great atmosphere and the chance to listen to music played live every night. And a huge cross-section of music it is too, from Karoke nights, to open jamming, to Soul, Rock, Funk, you name it.

Sometimes on one evening you’ll hear it all, if you’re lucky. You might also be lucky to catch a...
Café De Kroeg

20) Café De Kroeg

A surprisingly large interior behind the small frontage, Kroeg is the antithesis of the more trendier places in the area, but manages to attract a cross-section of patrons, from students through young professionals to older citizens. If Ajax are playing the place tends toward the beer-swilling fans watching the big screen, but otherwise it is a raucous mix having a great time, drinking and singing (there can be a lot of singing).

Kroeg is a good honest bar without pretentions, but be aware...
Café Marie

21) Café Marie

A recent newcomer to the square, Marie has an emphasis on German food and beer, and – like its neighbour Barca – a large, sunny, terrace, the “Biergarten” that has a large amount of seating. But the interior is big too and has a good selection of tables, bar stools or sofas where you can enjoy Schnitzel, Stroganoff and large glasses of beer. There is also a good selection of salads and sandwiches and a decent drink menu.

Again, this is a place that manages to remain cozy despite...

22) Flamingo

Flamingo is a smaller place right on the corner of the market, which makes it a great place for a glass of wine and to watch the world go by. It can be busy and noiser if you sit outside when the market is closing (around 5pm), but also interesting to watch from inside. Those guys work really hard.

A friendly bar with a good wine card and four beers on tap, it can get tight inside, especially in the winter, but that just adds to the atmosphere. We like it for a Sunday evening tipple or if...

23) Schilders

The Painter’s Bar is a nice take on a brown bar with a more contemporary feel to it. It’s no-nonsense approach to food, drink and prices has endeared it to locals and students alike, but it also has a lot to offer the casual visitor.

This is a great place to grab a hearty lunch that wont break the bank or enjoy one of their beers (in specially designed glasses) and a borreltje in the evening. The well-designed interior has a great atmosphere, even if the service is sometimes a little...

24) Quinto

Not least because of it’s fun-filled studenty Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, Quinto has a reputation as the main party-bar of De Pijp area, and don’t let it be said that those nights aren’t good, cheesy fun, because they are. Since 1987 students and young people have been doing what they are good at until the early hours in Quinto and it’s as good a venue as any.

But Quinto also has other sides. It has great, friendly staff and a good relaxed vibe. There is a surprisingly good...

25) Izakaya

There is a trend in Amsterdam for higher price range hotels and the bars that come with them. Some might consider this a good thing and we’re sure that the city is happy to have a more upscale tourist and the money that they bring with them.

Izakaya is situated in the Sir Albert hotel on the western edge of De Pijp, next to the area’s small red light district and opposite Café Buiten. It’s a curious position that leans more on the projected future of the area rather than the past.

Café Binnen Buiten

26) Café Binnen Buiten

The name means Inside Outside, and it’s not wrong, this is a place that comes alive when the weather is good. There is a significant amount of outdoor seating that faces west for some lovely sun-down drinks and a nice cozy interior for if the weather is inclement (though the outside heaters also make for year-round al fresco eating and drinking).

The menu is decent, if not too original, and the service can sometimes leave a lot to be desired, especially on those warmer days, but most come...

27) Vrienden

Recently renovated and rebranded as Vrienden, from the previous Kale De Groot, this is a larger café on the corner of the square next to Barca. Vrienden has a huge terrace, which gets extremely busy in the summer and a large comfortable interior, all of which are well served.

The menus, food and drink, edge toward the more traditional side, which is wise, considering the alternatives elsewhere on the square, and all are good without being exceptional. It’s the sort of no-nonsense,...

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