Amsterdam Pub Guide (Part Six)
Amsterdam South

Concertgebouw Amsterdam
Practical Stuff
Where do I find Pubs?
Dutch breweries (large)
Dutch breweries (small)
Belgian breweries
Amsterdam breweries
Bockbier Tasting 2004
Amsterdam Beer Tours

Amsterdam Pubs
Nieuwezijd (Dam)
Oudezijd (Nieuwmarkt)
De Jordaan
De Pijp
Amsterdam East
Amsterdam South
Amsterdam West
Buying Bottled Beer
Amsterdam South
I can, for once, feel totally comfortble as I start to write this description. The South is my home patch, maaan. No need to rummage through any old tourist guides for this page.

Above you can see the Concertgebouw (Concert Hall), one of several cultural instances clumped around Museumplein. Yes, it does mean Museum Square and, yes, it is the address of Amsterdam's major museums - the Van Gogh, Rijksmuseum (though it's closed until around 3015) and the Stedelijk.

More general information on Amsterdam, its pubs and their beers they sell . . .
Pub Index

For more about Dutch breweries & beers:
Dutch breweries
Every Dutch breweries and all their beers.
Dutch beer tasting notes
Detailed tasting notes of many Dutch beers.

Amsterdam Pub Guide (Part Six)
Amsterdam South

De Balie
Kleine Gartmanplantsoen 10,

Tel. 020 - 553 5131
Fax: 020 -
Email: Homepage:

Opening hours: Sun - Thur 10:00-01:00
Fri - Sat 10:00-02:00
Number of draught beers: 4
Number of bottled beers: +-10
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks, meals.
When re-splitting these pages the pubs I have listed around the Leidseplein presented me with a dilemma. Logically they belong in the Jordaan page, yet they don't connect up well with the other pubs. Which is my way of explaining why I've put Balie here. I didn't know where else it could go.

De Balie ("counter" or "ticket office" in English) is the bar of the theatre of the same name. You may have already read my comments elsewhere about the Leidseplein. I'll limit myself here to the remark that this is the only pub on the square in which I would voluntary drink a beer.

There are two distinct rooms served by a central bar. The front room has a view over the square and the assembled idiots upon it, whilst that to the rear has a magnificent wooden staircase that provides access to the auditorium. The style is light brown with a contemporary (I know that I shouldn't use the c-word - I would propose administering electric shocks of increasing intensity to the presenters of design programs every time they utter it) twist. They could lose the industrial ducting and not greatly upset me. Has anyone thought how incredibly naff and old-fashioned this is going to look in about 10 minutes time?

Oh, and for those anoraks like me it's a great location for tram-spotting. A reasonable pub, it stands out so much becuse of the sea of dross surrounding it. Columbus is only 2.50 euros, by the way.
Rating: *** Public transport: Tram 2, 5, 7, 10 to Leidseplein

Bar Café "Anno 1890"
Amstelveenseweg 1124,
1081 JW Amsterdam.

Tel. 020 - 644 5906
Fax: 020 - 661 1912
Email: Homepage:

Bar Café "Anno 1890"
Opening hours: Sun - Thur 06:30-01:00
Fri - Sat 16:00-02:00
Number of draught beers: 2
Number of bottled beers: +-6
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks 2-6 euros, meals 6-15 euros.
Bar Café "Anno 1890" interriorBefore anyone starts moaning, I am well aware that the beer selection here is not up to the usual standard. And that 1890 is about as far out of your way as you can get and still be in Amsterdam. On the other hand, it does open at 6:30 in the morning.

This pub surely holds the record for number of times passed without ever getting around to entering. Twice a day my number 170 bus used to go drive past (or stop outside (as the pub's next to a bus stop) 1890. Oddly enough, on the bus home I bumped into an acquaintance who, like me, had been wondering what it was like inside for years. Now it's official - it's very nice inside

I won't bother going into all that now. Surely you can see from my smudgy pictures how dark it is? While you're perusing said pics, perhaps you'll spot the carpets. On the tables. It's usually against my principles to include anywhere incorporating this unique Dutch design feature. But 1890 is so impressive, I've let them off.

Where was I? Oh yes ... 1890 is filled with enough "stuff" to make the Steptoe's front room seem like an exercise in minimalism. The theme, as far as I could deduce, is of old signs. Every spare bit of wall space is filled with them. Very decorative, but what happens when you need to find the toilet? In a hurry. It doesn't look so clever then, I can tell you.

I still haven't told you where 1890 is. Take a look at the address. Amstelveenseweg starts at the far end of the Vondelpark. Yup - this is as far as you can get from Centraal Station and still be in Amsterdam. The border with Amstelveen is about 30 metres away.

A whole host of buses - 170, 171, 172 - will take you there. I won't claim that it's worth the whole journey from town, but if you're in Buitenveldert, you should drop by.
Rating: **** Public transport: Bus 170, 171, 172 (and many more) to Kalfjeslaan

Vondelpark 3,
1071 AA Amsterdam.

Tel. 020 - 612 3021
Fax: 020 - 618 2537

Opening hours: Mon - Sun 11:00-01:00
Number of draught beers: 4
Number of bottled beers: +-10
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks, meals. Pils €2.20 (vaasje), other draught beers €2.80.
We have to assume that the name is meant to be ironic. Vertigo occupies the basement of Amsterdam's Film Museum. The address won't be much use in finding the pub. Vondelpark is rather large. I'll help you out by letting you know that if you enter the park by Roemer Visscherstraat, it's just on your right as you go through the gates.

What I've always thought that the Vondelpark lacked was a few beer gardens, like those jammy gits in Munich get in the Englische Garten. The seating outside Vertigo as about as close as we get. I've included a snap so you can see for yourself how lovely the view is. Though obviously in the Summer you've more chance of the lake being frozen over than you do of finding a seat.

Inside, the vaulted ceiling is reminiscent of another central European icon, the Czech beerhall. It's roomy enough by Amsterdam standards, but popularity means seating can still be hard to find.
Rating: **** Public transport:

Café Het Groot Melkhuis
Vondelpark 2,
1071 AA Amsterdam.

Tel. 020 - 612 9674
Fax: 020 - 612 9917

Opening hours: Winter (Oct - Mar) Wed - Sun 10:00-18:00, Monday and Tuesday closed.
Summer (Apr - Sep) Mon - Sun 10:00-???
Number of draught beers: 3
Number of bottled beers: +-10
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks, meals.
Surprisingly, since I live not far from the park and spend a great deal of time there (sleeping on benches, drinking cans of super-strong lager), Het Melkhuis was recommended to me by a fellow parent. For any of you visiting the city with a hyperactive infant, this pub is the perfect spot to release the energy that's been building up inside the little monster.

Why is that? Because not only does this pub have an enclosed (some of it is moated) playground, but it's situated inside the park. Even if one of your offspring is wily enough to escape, they still have a way to go before they find a main road to play chicken on.

Set amongst mature trees, Melkhuis is a thatched chalet with an unexpectedly stylish interior.The 20 metre black and white striped leatherette-style bench seat is a classic. And the ... but I'll leave the rest for you to discover personally.
Rating: *** Public transport:

Het Blauwe Theehuis
Vondelpark 5,
1071 AA Amsterdam.

Tel. 020 - 662 0254
Fax: 020 - 67 09 787

Het Blauwe Theehuis
Opening hours: Mon - Sun 09:00-01:00
Number of draught beers: 2
Number of bottled beers: +-10
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks, meals.
Vondel ParkThis will be the greatest challenge to your skills of orientation. On the plus side, the building is both distinctive in form and brightly painted. But it is right in the middle of the park.

Chez nous, it isn't known, as you might expect, as the "blue pub" (that's the nazi pub's alternate monicker) but as the "______ pub". I won't worry you with the relevant details. Suffice it to say; there are no visible bloodstains.

There's somerthing of the English seaside about this pub. The curving form, painted concrete walls and metal-framed windows smack of Butlin's or a pub on the promenade. A perfect circle in plan, the bar counter is dead centre of the ground floor, leaving only enough space for the lengthy queues which appear in the Summer. Upstairs is smaller room with a wide balcony. Outside a hedge marks the limit of the outdoor seating. Beyond the hedge is a a canal-style scene (with trees) that really is rather scenic. Very pleasant.

No great choice of beer, but a lovely place to see how Duvel tastes in the open air. It is genuinely tricky to explain how to reach. The easiest way is if you go into the park through the entrance halfway along van Eeghenstraat. In front of you and slightly to the right is a concrete bridge with bright blue railings. Go over the bridge and you can't miss the pub.
Rating: *** Public transport:

De Wildschut
Roelof Hartplein 1,
1071 TR Amsterdam.

Tel. 020 - 676 8220
Fax: 020 - 679 4846
De Wildschut
Opening hours: Sun - Thur 11:00-01:00
Fri - Sat 11:00-02:00
Number of draught beers: 4
Number of bottled beers: +-10
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks, meals.
De wildschut interriorI was quite surprised to find that Wildschut, which I had thought to have included back somewhere around the beginning of history, was still missing from these pages. My only explanation is another of those black holes which occupy so many of the slots allocated for the past in that twisted lump of sausage called my brain.

I rode past Wildschut for many years on the tram ... no I've already done that one ... Wildschut is on Amsterdam's only square to compete regularly in the Champion's League of European public spaces ... no, that doesn't work either ... Roelof Hartplein is why Rem Koolhaas should top himself now ...

No, sorry. That's it. I've officially run out of ideas. Which is a great shame, because, if it deserves anything, a pub of such beauty, one tooth in a full bite of pearls, is an original (or otherwise) idea.

It's slightly odd that a town with as many stunning buildings from the 1920's and 30's should contain such a paucity of art-deco (or fat ugly sofa style as that philistine who claims to be my elder brother always calls it) interiors. De Wildschut, by itself, fully compensates for that lack. I will let the photographs speak for themselves, those gossippy little ruffians.

Roelof HartpleinWildschut forms - quite literally - one corner of Roelof Hartplein, which explains its unusual L-shape. You enter at the junction of the two arms, each of which is a separate bar. Lots of the original 1930's features have been retained, including some smaller pieces of etched glass in the windows and the light fittings. The latter are certainly pretty funky. One (see photo) looks like alien chrysalis hanging from the ceiling. I hope nothing starts hatching while I'm in . . .Old cinema seats sort of fit the art-deco theme, but aren't always the most practical form of seating.

Turning to the square itself, Wildschut occupies a typical Gruter creation - lot's of elegantly curving brick balconies. Lydia, the young ladies' hostel over the road is unmistakbly by Boterenbrood, with its enchanting asymmetry and multiplicity of window forms.

Whilst the library on the remaining side (see photo right) slits open the junction like an ocean liner at full speed. I wasn't joking about it being one of the best public spaces in Europe.
Rating: **** Public transport: Tram 3, 5, 12, 24 to Roelof Hartplein

Café Welling
J.W.Brouwerstraat 32,
1071 LK Amsterdam.

Tel: 020 - 662 01 55
Opening hours:
Number of draught beers: 5
Number of bottled beers: 8
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks. La Chouffe €2.90, Duvel €3.20.

Welling is another ur-gemütlich brown café, located directly behind the Concert Gebouw. Which makes it pretty easy to find, if you know where to look. In my years of pounding Amsterdam's mean streets (not that they're very mean in this chic neighbourhood), I had never stumbled across it.

It rates near-black on the brown scale. So dark, in fact, that it's difficult to see where pictures stop and the wallpaper begins. The collection of images (at least the ones I could make out) are so diverse that they must have been collected over decades.

Judging by the way they were chatting amongst themselves, most of the other customers were locals. Which is just as it should be.

The bottled selection - all the Rocheforts, Westmalle and Duvel - isn't bad for a neighbourhood local.
Rating: *** Public transport: Tram 16, 3, 12, 5 to Concert Gebouw.

Prins H
Amstelveenseweg 266,
1075 XV Amsterdam.

Tel. 020-671 2717
Prins H
Opening hours: Mon - Sun 11:00-01:00
Number of draught beers: 2
Number of bottled beers: +-6
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks, meals.
Prins H has what you could describe as a slightly unusual location: inside what was once Haarlemmermeer Station. It occupies the eastern half of the building while the western half is used by the Amsterdam tram museum (or Electrische Museumtramlijn Amsterdam - EMA - as it 's known in Dutch). It's been many years since the station has seen a scheduled train service (that should sound familiar to rail commuters the world over). To enter the pub you have to walk around to the rear, and over the platform used by the museum tram. The doors you can see on the photo above are purely for decorative purposes.

The ornate late-Victoriam interior makes an excellent pub. Original brick and glasswork of exceptional quality has been incorporated very tastefully into the design. The high wooden ceilings give an airy, spacious feel, even though the main room isn't really that large. I'll admit that the beer selection is nothing to write home about, but it's so attractive inside that it doesn't really matter that much. Just look upon it as a good opportunity to remind yourself how good a beer Duvel is.

Prins H interiorThe boundless enthusiasm of my sons for any form of railed public transport has given me plenty of chances to reacquaint myself with the devil from Breendonk-Puurs. Being a happy father myself, I know the need to find suitable entertainment for youngsters on the edge of going berserk. Here's a family tip: one Sunday (it has to be a Sunday because it doesn't run any other time) take the 16 tram (and do remember you can only do this from Easter to the end of September) out to Haarlemmermeerstation.

Take a museum tram (if you're lucky, you'll get the viennese one and you can pretend to be Einstein travelling to work) all the way to the last station. Head down the road towards the massive spire of Bovenkerk church. Right opposite the church you'll find Zilversand, not a bad little pub, with enough decent beers to keep me quiet on a hot Sunday afternoon. (Not a bad place to eat, either. I can't believe the prices they charge now in the centre of town. These people have no shame. The meals here are priced in broad agreement with the laws of nature.) If the kids get restless, there's a sort of waterpark/lake round the back of the church where you can take them for a run. There's always a little frison of relief that goes around the bar when I head off in that direction with my two. Sure, threre's lots of scope for them to drop into one of the many bits of water. Don't worry - none of it's deep and an unexpected dip can work wonders in calming an infant running amok. Do remember to check the time of the last tram back to Haarlemmermeerstation on your way out to Bovenkerk. (Don't say that I didn't warn you. You've only yourselves to blame, if you strand yourselves in the outer reaches of Amstelveen.)

For more edetails about such excursions, see my guide to the pubs of Amstelveen.

In the Summer there is outside seating on the tram platform, with a free show of classic trams to entertain you (Sundays only).
Rating: **** (for the interior) Public transport: Tram 16 to Haarlemmermeerstation

Café Gruter
Willemsparkweg 73-75,
1071 GT Amsterdam.

Tel. 020-618 3249
Café Gruter
Opening hours: Sun - Thu 12:00-01:00
Fri - Sat 12:00-02:00
Number of draught beers: 6
Number of bottled beers: +-10
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks.
Café Gruter interiorGruter is located on one of the small squares that punctuate Willemsparkweg as it meanders out of town. (Straying off the subject, the way these little public spaces are created along this section of the number 2 tram route is extremely ingenious. I would explain how they do it - here and in a few other parts of Amsterdam - but it's beyond my meagre powers of description. OK, I just can't be arsed. Come and have a look. There are plenty of other buildings in the neighbourhood worth investigating, anyway. Look at it like this: how many other tourists are going to bother to come all this way? Tell everyone it's the eighth, wonder of the world and the one thing you just have to see when in town. No-one will ever be any the wiser.) The unusual shape of the building means that it is much smaller than it looks in the photo above.

The interior is triangular in shape, with the bar counter in a raised area to the rear. Beer and cigarette enamel advertising signs are scattered around walls in an encouraging way. This being a fairly dark brown sort of place, there are bare wooden boards and a highly unmixed set of tables and chairs. The covered terrace (clearly visible above) is almost as large as the pub proper and is furnished in a similar fashion.

OK, the beer selection is nothing that special, but 6 draught beers does show some commitment. The pub itself is very pleasant, in a typically Amsterdam way. I wouldn't recommend a special trip to see it, but if you're around the Vondel Park, do drop by. I'm sure that you'll feel at home.
Rating: ***
Public transport: Tram 2

Wijnwinkel-Slijterij Ton Overmars
Hoofddorpplein 11,
1059CV Amsterdam.

Tel: 020-615 71 42
Fax: 020-615 01 99

Opening hours: Mon 13:00 - 18:00,
Tue - Wed 09:00 - 18:00,
Thur - Fri 09:00 - 19:00,
Sat 09:00 - 17:00
Number of draught beers: n/a
Number of bottled beers: +-100
Regular draught beers: n/a
Food: n/a
I'm sure this excellent independent off-licence is one of the reasons the Hoofddorppleinbuurt is such a popular residential location. At least that's what I like to think; I live just around the corner.

Despite specialising in malt whisky (it stocks around 500) and wine, there's still a very respectable beer selection of 100 plus. It includes most of the trappists (some Achel, no Westvleteren), a good selection of quality Belgians, the full range from local brewery De Prael, all the Jopen beers and the odd German Weizen. The "Beer of the month" has included oddities such as Zwergle from Bamberg's Fässla brewery and Anchor Bock from San Francisco.

Delivers orders of €50 or more free in Amsterdam within 48 hours.
Rating: *** Public transport: Tram 2, bus 14, 62, 145 to Hoofddorpplein

The Amsterdam Pub Guide Continues:
Amsterdam Pub Guide Part One Dam Square - Leidseplein
Amsterdam Pub Guide Part Two Zeedijk/Nieuwmarkt
Amsterdam Pub Guide Part Three De Jordaan
Amsterdam Pub Guide Part Four De Pijp
Amsterdam Pub Guide Part Five Amsterdam East
Amsterdam Pub Guide Part Six Amsterdam South
Amsterdam Pub Guide Part Seven Amsterdam West
Amsterdam Pub Guide Part Eight Utrechtsestraat

Questions? Suggestions? Click to email me.

More Dutch Beer Pages
Dutch pub guides
Dutch Brewery Pages
Amsterdam Pub Guide
Dutch Breweries (part 1) A - H
Rotterdam Pub Guide
Dutch breweries (part 2) I - Z
Haarlem Pub Guide
Dutch beer tastings
The Hague (Den Haag) Pub Guide
Utrecht Pub Guide
Pub Guides to Other Dutch Towns
More Beer Pages
Main index page

© Ron Pattinson 2004 - 2006

All articles and photos on these pages are property of Ron Pattinson. If you would like permission to reproduce either on your own site or in a book, please contact me first.