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Located in the center of the old city is the Cafe 't Gasthuys that serves traditional home cooked Dutch food at its canal-facing terrace. It lies close to the university making it popular among the students. Serving both lunch and dinner, enjoy the delicious meals here while watching the boats go by.
The chic interiors boast of mirrored walls, and yes that is an advantage as it gives you a clear picture of your cute neighbor seated behind! High ceilings, brick red walls and drinks stacked right up give Jaren an ultra chic look. Try the Moroccan broodjes or select from the scrumptious salads from the salad bar. Do go for the Salade de Crabe - a much recommended salad prepared by this cafe. Their waterside patio is a huge hit among diners.
With a very large, sunny terrace on a bridge over the Singel canal, Café van Zuylen is a popular choice for a beer and a bite to eat during the summer months. Inside, the bar is full of nooks and crannies for privacy as well as large window seats for a comfortable evening of people watching. It can get pretty busy on the weekends with the crowd of young professionals spilling out onto the streets. The breakfast, lunch and dinner menu offer a wide choice for every meal, while the Spanish tapas platter is a favorite off the snacks menu for those looking for a quick bite.
The former canteen of De Volkskrant, one of The Netherlands' most well-known newspapers, Canvas was once a hotbed of journalistic discussion and hurried meals. Today, the atmosphere is much more relaxing, with people from many backgrounds gathering for a meal and a drink in this 7th-floor establishment with a view over the city below. During the week, Canvas is a great place for lunch, with decently priced mains and sandwiches, including a tasty panini selection. A cool place to hangout, the terrace offers amazing views. There is also an ever-changing line-up of exhibitions in Canvas, and art lovers will be pleased to know that most of the works are for sale.
Coco's Outback is a large Australian bar and sits within one of Amsterdam's busiest nightlife squares. During the day it is fairly quiet and easy to find a table, however on weekends and evenings it can become quite busy, especially if there are sports screenings or DJ nights. The menu offers typical Australian meals such as grilled dishes, kangaroo steaks and burgers, and pies. At the bar, you can order from a wide variety of imported bottled beers, pints of frozen Heineken, shots, and cocktails.
Found on Javaplein, just to the east of Amsterdam's central canal ring, this former bathhouse now serves as a funky, welcoming bar and restaurant. The converted interior still has the tiles that mark its former purpose, with the addition of an eclectic array of couches, stools and tables to spend long afternoons over a drink with friends. In warm weather, the Badhuis' large terrace comes alive, taking over the sunny square outside. The food is reasonably priced and tasty, with the signature Badhuisburger, served with potato wedges and corn, being a popular favorite. -Declan Aylward