In Amsterdam there’s not the same cocktail scene you can find in London, that’s true. But we must say things have changed in the last few years and some interesting cocktail bars have popped up in town. Daring bartenders blend gin and other spirits with spices, syrups, fresh in order to make sophisticated and balanced cocktails. It’s not cheap to have a very good cocktail in Amsterdam: unfortunately that’s the price to pay to enjoy entire worlds enclosed in a glass.
Enjoy this list of my favorite cocktail bars in Amsterdam! My choice has been based not only on the drink per se, but also on the quality of ingredients, the venue and the service.
best cocktail bars in amsterdam
When you see the sign ‘BAR’ outside it means you have arrived to my favorite cocktail bar in Amsterdam. Knock at the door and hope it’s not packed: you will be conducted to a small and cozy room made of wood, velvet armchairs and soft jazz music. Dwight Oldenhof and his brother will give you a very complete drink menu and they will explain to you the ingredients and the concept of the cocktail of the month. Drinks are just delicious and everything contributes to make your evening amazing . They don’t accept reservations.
ADDRESS: Elandsgracht 84, Amsterdam – Open every day from 6pm until 3am in the weekend
Small cocktail bar in the east of Amsterdam, HPS appears in several lists of the best cocktail bars on earth and I must say bartenders prepare awesome drinks. The venue is dark, cozy and decorated in a fascinating way with a lot of attention to details. The service is attentive and friendly.
ADDRESS: Rapenburg 18, Amsterdam – Open every day from 6pm until 3am in the weekend
In the heart of Jordaan, this tiny place takes the name from the famous James Bond’s drink in Casino Royale made of gin, vodka and Kina Lillet. The space has an odd size: you feel a bit weird if there’s no other people, but all of a sudden it gets packed if a few people walk in. Apart from that, cocktails are amazing. I love their idea to organize cocktail workshops to learn how to shake as a proper barman.
ADDRESS: Vinkenstraat 57, Amsterdam – Open from 8pm
Tales and Spirits is located in a small alley between Singel and Spuistraat and the huge drink list might get you confused. I’ve never been impressed by the quality of the service, but the food is great. They do have both snacks and main courses (strongly recommended the pork buns!), so you will have the chance to dine sipping yummy cocktails.
ADDRESS: Lijnbaanssteeg 5, Amsterdam – Open from Tuesday till Sunday
Just if you have booked in advance (by calling or texting them) you will be able to get access to this speakeasy located in one of the busiest streets of the Amsterdam’s nightlife. The venue isn’t that great, but it’s worth a visit for the creativity of the cocktails , the quality and the variety of the ingredients and the courtesy of the staff..
ADDRESS: Reguliersdwarsstraat 74I, Amsterdam – Open every day from 6pm until 3am in the weekend
Burger bar during the day and speakasy during the night: if you are so lucky to have the right password, you will be allowed to spend a night in one of the most secret and posh cocktail bars of the city.
ADDRESS: Albert Cuypstraat 129, Amsterdam
You should go to this place – located inside the Dylan hotel which is part of the Small Luxury Hotels network – more to enjoy the location rather than drinks: during the summer you can sit in the amazing garden in the courtyard and during the winter you can sip a Martini in the beautiful room with the fireplace.
ADDRESS: Keizersgracht 384, Amsterdam