WHAT TO DO IN FEBRUARY IN AMSTERDAM
February in Amsterdam is quite unique. It’s a quiet time of the year and one of the best months to enjoy the cosiest eateries. During the whole month, Amsterdamers hibernate in favourite cafés and bars waiting for the winter to end. If you happen to be in Amsterdam during February here are some suggestions on how to spend your time like a Dutchie.
Cosy Cafes and eateries
Get breakfast, lunch or evening drink at our favourite spots. In Amsterdam, spending time in cafés is part of the Dutch lifestyle. We love people watching while sipping a hot fresh ginger tea or a craft beer. One of the best ways to enjoy your afternoon is to sit by a window with a yummy apple pie and a fresh mint/ginger tea or a cup of speciality coffee.
- A favourite spot for an apple pie? Het Papeneiland located in Jordaan district, at Prinsengracht canal no 2. They also serve a good selection of local beers. The bar has a great view of one of the most picturesque canals of Amsterdam – Brouwersgracht and Singel.
- To get your Dutch waffle fix – find a family-run to Lanskroon bakery at 385 Singel. This typical Dutch café bakes their version of traditional Dutch waffles daily and offers them in two flavours – honey and coffee & caramel. We say – you live once, so try both!
- For a brunch treat – head to one of the GS Cafe locations – GS Jordaan (West, Goudsbloemstraat 91), GS Brunch Boat (Centre, Keizersgracht 177) or GS de Pijp (SouthEast, Ferdinand Bolstraat 158). At the Jordaan, treat yourself to a Bloody Mary – we recommend the one with mezcal, no shame on starting early – you are on holiday! There’s plenty to choose from the food menu – eggs ‘any way you want’, sandwiches or a pulled pork&kimchi ‘burger’ in a doughnut! The Jordaan location is quite popular, so do check the opening times, go early or book in advance.
- Pompstation (Zeeburgerdijk 52) As the name suggests, this industrial building used to be a pump station for Waternet. At the beginning of the last century, the giant water pumps stood in the area that is now the restaurant. ‘Then in the eighties, the pumps were moved to the basement directly under the floor. Especially on rainy days, the pumps will start to pump the water out of the city. This can sometimes be noticed by a gentle (or at times not so gentle) vibration that resonates throughout the building – sounds fun, right? The menu is fantastic – good choice of steak, fish, seafood, burgers and even duck breast – all produce is high-quality and sustainable.
- If you are a coffee connaisseur – head to Bocca on Kerkstraat 96 and do yourself a favour – get a cinnamon bun with your coffee. You’ll thank us later. We also love Back to Black café on Weteringstraat 48. Excellent choice of cakes, coffees and teas. If you meet a ginger/white cat – say hi. His name is Pinky.
- For the afternoon and early evening, here is our selection of cosy spots: For a beer (and a game of Scrabble) we like Cafe de Wetering (Wateringstaat 37), located just across from Back to Black café. This tiny pub has a fireplace and the bar was partly built with the wood salvaged from the local church that burned down some 50 years ago. The atmosphere in the evenings can’t get any more Amsterdam. Order a cheese and sausage with walnuts platter to accompany your drinks. And if you see a fatter older version of Pinky – that’s Fidel (from Fidel Castro of course!). To say Fidel and Pinky dislike each other is an understatement. If you find Fidel sleeping on your table…well just get used to it. He runs the place.
- For a bigger menu with your drink head to Cafe Brecht (Weteringschans 157) – run by a lovely Dutch lady, this bar looks like someone’s grandma’s living room…in east Berlin ;). The German-inspired menu offers enough choice to fill up your stomach. Knee to knee super cosy vibe with honestly priced drinks – from beer and cocktails to mulled wine and warm cider. It’s one of those places where once settled; it’s hard to leave. You’ve been warned!
- DINNER Mama Makan (Spinozastraat 61) – got to try this place if you are a fan of Asian cuisine. Because of the Dutch colonisation of Indonesia, there are clear influences of the latter in the Dutch kitchen. Not to mention that the best Indonesian food restaurants outside of Indonesia are in the Netherlands (and Australia) Mama Makan (Mama’s food) is where authentic Indonesian meets innovation. With its’ spacious, modern interior design and lush menu – your dining experience at this restaurant might become one of the highlights of your trip.
After dinner, city walks.
And last but not least – explore Amsterdam on foot.
As experienced Amsterdam guides and the residents of this city, we always encourage visitors to explore the city by simply getting lost. This is when you truly discover Amsterdam of-the-beaten path. The main tip – don’t follow the crowd, go the other way, and you will find the local gems. So get your comfy shoes on, warm jacket and explore! You can always navigate back once you had enough using your google map or ask a local. Nothing in Amsterdam is far and everywhere is walkable. For the ones in doubt – Amsterdam is one of the safest cities in the world. And if you got a bit cold – have a break at the first cafe you see and ask for a shot of Jenever – this very Dutch, strong drink will surely keep you warm!
If you like walking, but you do not like getting lost in a new city, interested in food, beer or history, join us for one of our cosy adventures in February. Taste the best dutch street-foods on our Food by Foot adventure, or make new friends on The Original Amsterdam Beer tour.
Hope to see you there 🙂