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The Insider 3: Canal-Side Cafes in Amsterdam

Sip wine, nibble on sandwiches, and watch the boats glide by

Get a caffeine boost with Amsterdam’s local coffee specialty, koffie verkeerd (“coffee wrong”), similar to a latte.
Amsterdam’s picturesque canals are certainly one of the city’s most charming features. So where better to enjoy a drink or a meal than on the lovely terraces of these three waterside cafés?

Café de Jaren: Sitting on the banks of the Amstel River, this modern and spacious café features a two-tier balcony and a large wooden terrace overlooking the water. Snag a table in the sun and order up one of the café’s many sandwiches for an unbeatable afternoon along the canal. Café de Jaren also serves traditional high tea, which should be reserved at least a day in advance.

Café Van Zuylen: A huge terrace on the Singel canal bridge makes this café one of the best on the water. Sip a glass of wine or a refreshing beer and watch the world go by, from bicycles along the bridges to boats floating peacefully on the canal. And, if the weather is less than ideal, the cozy interior is almost as enjoyable as its outdoor area.

Edel: This café-restaurant is located in a historic vocational school along the water’s edge. Its sprawling terrace is a favorite local spot for lunch, dinner, and drinks, serving French and Italian fare at reasonable prices. Equally scenic on a sunny day or as the lights sparkle on the water at night, guests can enjoy classic dishes such as boeuf bourguignonne or mushroom risotto as they take in the views.

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