Bruin Café is quintessential Amsterdam

What pubs are to London, are Bruine Cafe’s (Brown Cafés) to Amsterdam. Café De Eland is where locals from the neighbourhood gather for a drink, a chat and in the old days a smoke. Tables spill out on to the pavement, a pleasant place to sit on a sunny day to see the world go by.


The smell of cigarette smoke still lingers. But smoking has been banned in cafés (and restaurants) for quite a few years now. Bruin refers to the dark wooden wainscoting and walls, brown with the hue of smoke. Most patrons were inveterate smokers. Old prints and maps decorate the walls. Dim light shines on a long table clearly meant for regulars. It is three steps up and this makes De Eland even more ‘gezellig’. Sit outside with a view of two canals; Prinsengracht and Elandsgracht as soon as the weather permits. No full meals, only snack, try cheese cubes with a dollop of mustard or just peanut, good compliments to your Heineken. Equally good is apple pie with cappuccino.



Café De Eland

Prinsengracht 296

1016 HW Amsterdam

photo credit Marianne Crone

De Eland

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