Working from home ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, the prospect of dodging the morning commute and spending the day in bed sounds great, but there are just too many distractions. And not enough watchful eyes to keep you guiltworking. That’s why if you find yourself embracing the freelance life – or stuck without an office for any reason – cafés are the only way to go. But, be warned: finding a quiet spot to work in Amsterdam isn’t always as straightforward as it seems. The last time we asked for a ‘coffee shop’ where we could get some work done, we got sent to The Bulldog – and struggled to see our laptops through thick clouds of skunk smoke. To avoid something similar happening to you, and to make sure you don’t miss that deadline that’s been keeping you up all night, we’ve put together a list of Amsterdam’s best cafés to work in. These spots have got all the ingredients you need to keep your brain focused: strong coffee, fast wifi and vibes that sit somewhere between buzzy and tranquil. So settle in and get down to it. It’s business time.
1.White Label Coffee
White Label’s founders Elmer and Francesco are serious about coffee. And when we say serious, we mean seriously serious. They roast their own beans – ethically sourced from farms in Guatemala, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Brazil – supply coffee shops across Europe and serve all their shots ‘double naked’. We’re not sure what that last one means either, but it sounds good, right? Take our word for it: it is. You’ll struggle to find a better cup anywhere in town, and the ever-changing menu means there are always new roasts to sample. Plus, with roasting and bagging occurring on-site, this is quite possibly the best smelling café in all of Amsterdam. It looks great, too, with persian rugs and bric-a-brac furniture dotted across White Label’s many levels. There are plenty of quiet corners where you can plug in and beaver away – and if you start to feel that afternoon lull, this place has got all the answers.
Since opening in 2011, De Stadskantine – or the city canteen for the uninitiated – has become an Amsterdam institution. It’s not hard to figure out why: this place offers delicious food, made with locally sourced ingredients and served at seriously reasonable prices. It also happens to be a great spot to get a bit of work done: huge windows ensure the dining room bathes in natural light; long, communal tables mean you can pretty much always find a place to sit. And, De Stadskantine is open from 08:30 to 22:00 on weekdays, so you can graft uninterrupted all day long. We recommend bagging one of the window seats – perfect for a bit of people watching – and getting settled in.The coffee tastes good and won’t break the bank, and if all that work’s got you too tired to cook, they offer great dinner options – changing weekly and all for just €9.85. They’ve recently added English-style Sunday Roasts to their repertoire, too: so if you want to combine a bit of weekend work with a tasty treat, this is the spot for you.
3.Bocca Coffee Roasters
Bocca has the proud distinction of being Holland’s very first roaster. Their story started when founder Menno Simmons – then a sesame seed trader – stumbled across a field in Ethiopia full of coffee plants. He tasted the red Arabica berries and knew he had found his calling. Fifteen years later, you can still taste Menno’s passion in every cup of joe these guys serve. Bocca has become an Amsterdam institution, and plenty of in-the-know locals claim they serve the best espresso in town. But tasty coffee isn’t all that Bocca’s got going for it. With its unassuming front door and location on sleepy Kerkstraat, this cafe and roastery tends to stay nice and quiet. The interior is minimal and stylish, accented with reclaimed wood, and there’s a big table behind the bar perfect for getting stuck into that work you’ve been putting off. Oh, and they sell their own beans too, so if you need to bust out an all-nighter, Bocca’s got the fuel to keep you going.
4.STROOM in de Pijp
STROOM describes itself as ‘the new living room in de Pijp’. Rightly so: from the moment you step through this little gem’s doors, everything – from the rustic, Scandi-inspired interiors to the warm welcome of the staff – makes you feel right at home. And not only is STROOM warm and cosy, it’s a great place to get some serious work done: there’s fast, free wifi; 50 seats spread over two floors; and a big terrace where you can sit out when it’s sunny. Plus, they’ve got a load of tasty offerings to keep you going. We recommend the pancakes with banana, bacon and maple syrup, or the chicken sandwich with truffle mayo. There are plenty of veggie and gluten free options too, and they’ve got a great range of teas and freshly squeezed juices. You can even get a beer from local brewery ‘t IJ when the work day’s over. Don’t say we aren’t good to you.
5.CT Coffee & Coconuts
This huge De Pijp café – housed in a converted 1920s cinema – is a sight to behold, inside and out. The stunning art deco facade invites you in, and stepping through the doors feels like stumbling upon buried treasure. The former theatre floods with light, and the eye is drawn to high ceilings and exposed brick walls, hanging gardens and beautiful wooden floors. Plus, with two mezzanine levels, and a seemingly endless supply of sofas, armchairs and beanbags to sink into, this is a great place to while away a day – and get a bit of work done while you're at it. Whether you want buckwheat porridge for brekkie or a burger at dinnertime, the food’s always spot on, and the atmosphere’s laid back – so much so that barefeet are actively encouraged. If that doesn’t get you feeling tropical, why not try a whole fresh coconut, served with fresh lime and a splash of rum. After work drinks, anyone?
Situated in the upcoming Western neighbourhood Bos en Lommer, Wilde Westen – or Wild West – is a freelancer’s dream. It even describes itself as a “typical all day hotspot” where you can “feel at home throughout the day”, so no need to feel awkward about not ordering another coffee. Housed in the old GAK building, it is part of a collaboration with Moma & Co: a creative workspace that supports a number of startups. The idea is simple: café by day, buzzing bar – and the neighbourhood’s best pizzeria – by night. Seriously, the pies that come out of their wood fire oven are to die for, and on Mondays they’re all just €9. Plus, if you enjoy spending Sundays drinking yourself into oblivion, this is the place for you: the bottomless boozy brunch lets you sample unlimited cocktails, wine and beer. Just don’t come crying to us about your hangover.
7.Monk’s Coffee Roasters
Since opening its doors in August 2016, Monk’s has built up quite a reputation. It’s not hard to see why. Owner Patrick Abbott (hence the ‘Monk’s’ – get it?) spent years working in cafés in Australia, and decided he wanted to bring a little piece of Melbourne’s coffee scene to Amsterdam. Boy has he succeeded. The coffee is delicious (and brewed using a range of innovative methods), the decor is the perfect marriage of industrial and cosy and the vibe is so soothing it’s bordering on meditative. It’s almost like Patrick designed this place with freelancers in mind. Monk’s has plenty of quiet spots where you can get your head down, a lovely garden if you need a breather, and food options to keep you going all day. How about avocado and feta toast for breakfast and lemongrass chilli dory fish come evening? Sounds alright to us. Just make sure you don’t leave without trying some of their sweets; the scones are so good, you’ll struggle to keep it to just one.
1052 NB Amsterdam
+31 6 23131661
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8.last but not least...
citizenM hotels are not just for sleeping you know...they are the perfect place to work too!
With superfast wifi, 24/7 coffee and inspiration in every (comfy) corner, here's why you'll never be stuck in the office again.