Anyone who seeks an authentic café (pub) experience 'with the locals' will love the Jordaan. Off the tourist radar, the West attracts an artsy crowd.
Drink Like a Jordaanian
There's a certain hard-drinking, hard-living spirit left over from the Jordaan's working-class days, when the neighbourhood burst with 80,000 residents (compared to today's 20,000) and brown cafés (bars) functioned as a refuge from the slings and arrows of workaday life.
Local bastions that are still going strong include the following:
A stone's throw northwest of the Jordaan, the late-19th-century Dutch Renaissance Westergasfabriek complex adjacent to the Westerpark was the city's western gasworks until gas production ceased in 1967. The site was heavily polluted and underwent a major clean-up before it re-emerged as a cultural and recreational park, with lush lawns, a long wading pool, cycleways and sports facilities.
The post-industrial buildings now house creative spaces such as advertising agencies and TV production studios, as well as regular festivals and events – including the Sunday Market, a quality craft and gourmet food event.
Westergasfabriek's slew of dining, drinking and entertainment options includes the following:
- Mossel En Gin Gins are used in creative cooking and cocktails.
- De Bakkerswinkel Split-level cafe inside the gasworks' former regulator's house.
- Raïnaraï Algerian cuisine amid exotic decor.
- Westergasterras Bar opening to one of Amsterdam's best terraces.
- Brouwerij Troost Westergas Brewery for hop heads and cool cats.
- Pacific Parc Indie gigs and DJ sets.
- Westerunie Pumpin' post-industrial club.