Café Belgique

Not Rated.
Café BelgiqueCafé Belgique
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

32 Ratings
Ratings: 32
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: n/a
Taps: 8
Bottles: 50
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

Gravenstraat 2
Amsterdam, 1012 NM
Netherlands
phone: +31 20 625 1974

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 | Reviews: 22
Photo of Duxani4
3.6/5  rDev -13%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 1 | selection: 5 | food: 1

Great choice, nice place, good location, too small

Photo of pat61
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

I first came here in 1971 and it pretty much ruined me for adjunct industrial lagers. I have visited Amsterdam 10 times since and am always overjoyed when I find that the Café Belgique is still there. It is a small, charming place with 8 beers on tap and another 50 in bottles. the beer selection changes frequently with the aim of giving a sense of the over 700 different beers offered in Belgium. There is food but it is the kind of stuff that one might cook in a dorm room. I think I had a toasted cheese sandwich there once. It is about 50 feet east of the Nieuwerndijk which is an alley filled with shops that runs from the train station to the Dam Square and is usually crammed with tourists. A handful of these find the Café Belgique and then there is a spattering of locals and expats. Its dim, cozy and has a DJ at times.

Photo of AdamNowek
5/5  rDev +20.8%

One of the top watering holes in the city. The crowd is predominantly local (if generally of non-local origin) and a bit alternative. But don't let that put you off: the vibe is convivial and the music playing, which is usually done by a DJ on almost every evening, is eclectic to say the least.

Sure, it's no de Wildeman, but it's not trying to be; this is a purely unpretentious place where the point is to socialise and just have a nice night out at the bar where there just so happens to be a diverse selection of Belgian brews.

Photo of MarkTwain
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Stumbled into this place on our honeymoon in Amsterdam .Right off the Dam on a side street it wasn't opened during the daytime. Finally at nite on our last weekend there we visited this place. At first we felt like intruders to the mostly local crowd but they soon warmed to use when they found out we were honeymooners. A German sheperd came by a few times and we pet him and then he went back to his corner to lay down. As I stated before it was all locals except us. Met a cool guy named Volley(Voldemier) I think. He told me that if someons stole his bike , he would steal someelse's Haha. Later that night they locked the doors and wouldn't let outsiders in just people they knew. Oh and the Beer was a real taste of Belgian Ales, White, Trappe, Red, All kinds of tastes and potency. Finally we called it a night and stumbled the few blocks to our hotel. I guess anyway!!! To this day I don't remember leaving, or entering our hotel. Next day we went to the Liedesplien to watch the EAGLES/Giants game at a sportsBar. VERY COOL PLace and people. if you fit in that is.

Photo of PhillyStyle
3.05/5  rDev -26.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4

Visited back in June 2012:

Stopped in while on a recent visit to Amsterdam, among other place...and the only way that I can really explain this place is that it feels very much like a dive bar...there were some suspect individuals hanging out there that afternoon. It was a completely different experience and vibe than In De Wildeman. I think that we may have only had one beer and left. They had a good selection on tap, mainly Belgian beers, but the service was not good...the bar tender acted as if we were a burden to her and frankly it was a burden for her to be there as well. The other reviewers have described it well, so no need to harp on that. Overall, didn't have a great experience and I am not sure that I would go back if ever back in Amsterdam.

Photo of 4thelvofbeer
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Cafe Belgique is a great place to visit if are in Amsterdam. A really nice Belgian-beer bar that has all the Belgian staples. It is extremely small and has only a few tables inside, but does have a bench or two outside of the place where it is nice to sit and drink some beers. They have a bunch of good brews on tap and a nice bottle selection. It is close walking distance to everything in Amsterdam (and if you like hamburgers...the Burger Bar has the best hamburger in the world...a short walk from Belgique).

Highly recommend a stop at the beer bar...

Photo of xmorgan
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I found this place on the web. It is tiny! But the experience was awesome!

Nice Selection,cute beer tender and friendly to boot. I spent 3hours drinking and tasting all the drafts and talking to the beer tender.
They have cheese and small snacks. All the prober glasses and a fair bottle selection

For this place I would say it does not have the largest selection of drafts or bottle,s however the qty is clearly outweighed by the quality of the place.

Nice place to go, you will suppirsed at how small it is, and crowded it gets, but stop in and enjoy it.

Photo of Neorebel
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Cafe Belgique is a pub I happened upon during my first trip to Amsterdam and have since returned there this year. The outdoor seating and large "La Chouffe" sign initially caught my attention because of my love for Belgian beer. La Chouffe and La Trappe are on tap for a total of 8 beers on tap and 30 bottles. I had Rochefort and Orval from the bottle. So, the selection is good, but nothing earth shattering. The big draw is the atmosphere. Its a very small place with a very old world decor along with Belgian beer memorabilia on the walls. The place is dimly lit with candles on the 2 tables. There is a staircase up to the bathroom - its funny, the bar employee watched me wander up there and then back down again - he clearly knew I was wondering if there was upstairs seating, and he said he did not want to stop me from enjoying the wonder of the building. I really enjoy this place, and plan to return each time I visit Amsterdam.

Photo of jbertsch
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Very small spot with 6 stools at a bar, and maybe 2 tables. However, you can also sit outside on one of maybe 2 benches and watch passerby.

They specialize in Belgian beers. There's not a ton here that a beer geek hasn't had. The tap selection is limited, but they have a decent bottle selection.They have the usual 6 trappist ales one can find in any decent spot, and other Belgians one can find elsewhere. But it's nice to have them all in one place. I did enjoy Le Trappe on tap. Haven't seen that on tap in the states.

The woman behind the bat was helpful and friendly enough.
Worth a stop in if you're in town. But if you only have time to visit one bar in Amsterdam, go to In DeWildeman.

Photo of boardrigger
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped in twice during the busy tourist season & only saw 3 other people there-(2 from California). A great small place to find good Belgian beer on tap & in bottles. Striking blond bar server who knew her biers. The place us on a small quaint street that can be hard to find at 1st but well worth the time to look for it. There is a chaulkboard on the wall listing the country of origin as well as the alcohol content of each brew. A bench out front provides some fresh air if it's a hot/humid day.

Photo of bnietz
4.43/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

My favorite beer bar on my recent trip to Amsterdam.

The place, as other reviewers have pointed out, is very small with a couple of tables and maybe 6 bar stools.

I had three nice beers on the evening on my visit, all served appropriately: Wildebok (6%), Blanche de Nemur, and a Hoegaarden Grand Cru.

Met a nice family from the southern part of the Netherlands and also a father and son from England. The father was a WWII vet, aged 85 and a real hoot.

I found that the Brits love to drink Kwak out of those goofy glasses. They had it on tap and was constantly being poured.

Also, this was the only beer bar I found in Amsterdam that had t-shirts and sweatshirts for sale.

Not to be missed when you visit this fun city.

Photo of joedon
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Tiny little pub with lots of character. On a small side street very close to the main tourist part of Amsterdam. Three tables with about 10 seats and another six stools at the bar. Lots of old breweriana on the walls and warm-dark wood everywhere.

Good selection of draft and bottled beers. Mostly Belgians with some Dutch beers as well. Very friendly bartender who also served the few drinkers at table. I didn't try for any samples or talk beer with her. Beer served in correct glassware for each brand.

No food available other than a peanut machine. Prices were about average for small Amsterdam pubs; similar to Cafe Gollum.

A pleasant place in the afternoon but it gets really crowded on the weekend nights. I would happily visit here again. One could describe this place as a "Cafe Gollum wannabe" but still a good stop on your pub crawl.

Photo of ComicalAli
3.86/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Half of this bar is outside. It is so small that many of the people "in" the bar are actually standing in the alley out front. For a minute I was worried that we might not be allowed to drink outside in Amsterdam, but then I realized that within two blocks I could get a pre-rolled joint, a block of Moroccan hash and a hooker all without any interference from John Law.

The beer selection here was less impressive than other bars like the Wildeman or Cafe Gollem, but still much better than any of the "tourist" bars like the Bulldog. Lots of Belgian ales that create the background noise in bigger bars, so I took the opportunity to try the Timmermans Peche. I liked it, but it tasted like drinking the syrup out of a can of peaches, which I also like.

Service here was good too. In general all of the bartenders in Amsterdam were willing and able to speak English and talk about beers, which was very nice.

I recommend heading to this place after stopping at the Wildeman, if you are on a pub crawl, and then heading over to Cafe Gollem.

Photo of Hornet2003
4.39/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Visited on July 6, 2007

This was a life saver for me. I was out shopping with my gf and a female friend. Needless to say I needed a beer after a couple hours of clothes shopping.

I absolutely loved the atmosphere here. It was soooo small but incredibly cozy at the same time. We got a nice (big?) table that could have sat 4 by the window. To the left as you walk in. Check out the website panorama QTVR to see exactly. It was a little smokey in there but that's to be expected and probably seemed worse at the time than it actually was. Our Vancouver-ite noses aren't used to smoking in bars.

I had a Chouffe on tap and my first ever Rochefort beer, the 10. What a treat! The beers were great and the service, friendly. This was only our 2nd day in Amsterdam so we weren't used to going up to the bar to order but once we got used to it, it was all good.

Bathroom was up an INCREDIBLY steep staircase, but I thought it was hilarious watching tourists try to stagger up there.

Prices I seem to remember were pretty reasonable. €4 for the Rochefort and like €3.50 or something for the Chouffe.

Next time I'm in Amsterdam, I will definitely hit this place up again.

Photo of bierme
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A very fun place packed with regulars and locals not a tourist in site. Stayed for a few hours and chatted up some locals. Place is very small but conformable enough.

Had some La Chouffes. Very good, selection is somewhat small as compared to Wildman, but still full of quality. 10 or so taps with 15-20 bottles on the list.

Service was slightly slow but understandable considering how full it was. People in the bar were polite enough to part when we walked up to the bar to order.

Had some cheese that was very good.

All in all a fun place with pretty good beer.

Photo of YankSubSomerset
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

How can such a tiny place stay open in such a popular spot in Amsterdam? This place is always almost full when we stop by, but somehow there is always somebody just leaving and we can get their spot, or we manage to get the last spot as we come in. Let's just call it good luck.

The selection isn't going make it into the hall of fame, but there is certainly enough to make a beer lover happy with providing some old favorites if not providing a salivating list of beers not yet tasted.

They were offering some rather odiferous abbey cheese to go with your beer. I think that added to the atmosphere.

Photo of cthrockmorton
4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

What a wonderful little place! As others have mentioned, there are a half-dozen stools at the bar, and 3-4 tables. When we passed by in the afternoon, there were people sitting on the benches out front -- remarkable since it is January and was raining!

After dinner, we came back around 8:30 pm and found *one* empty table big enough for two. Perfect!

The service was gracious, shifted into English from the word "hello," and much more quick than the other places I've tried here in Amsterdam. (In fact, everyone in the place was speaking English -- somewhat surreal for a Belgian bar in Amsterdam...or maybe not.

The selection was appropriate. About 6 taps or so, and about 30 bottles. I tried a double I had never seen before, and also the La Chouffe. Everything served with it's own special glass, and that Netherlands layer of foam.

I was pleased with the experience, and can recommend it!

Photo of Johnny7
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5

I've been lucky enough to visit Cafe Belgique a few times and every time the atmosphere seems better. If you like small Dickensian style pubs with red candles in jars on the tables, plenty of Belgian beers to try and a plate of cheese then this is the place to go.

This was the first bar I had Kwak in, served in the Kwak glasses with the test tube holder glass carrier. The pub is also handy for other great bars nearby. The old woodwork, list of beers, understanding my dodgy Hull accent, very close to the central station all make this a must when in Amsterdam, plus I have to work my way through the rest of the beer list.

Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Same caveat about the value here. I paid what I thought were decent prices for some of the best beers I can imagine. That being said here goes:

Cafe Belgique is awesome for sure. Gravenstraat is just to the west side of the city centre and a very cool location. The side streets of Amsterdam are wondeful and I could get lost in them for hours especially if I wound up in Cafe Belgique.

As previous reviews mention Cafe Belgique is absolutely tiny. There is very limited seating and even standing room. That being said the atmosphere is still very laid back and ambient. The lighting was almost candlelight like (probably from the candle like chandelier in the bar room). The walls were lined with Belgian breweriana.

The bar faces the door and had 8 or 10 taps of varying beers including when I was there Chouffe, Barbour, La Trappe etc. The Chouffe was some of the best artisinal beer I have ever had. I have had it in bottles but never on tap and never this fresh. There was a wonderfully fruity hop flavor that I never noticed before. And La Trappe on tap was velvet in a glass. The bartender apologized profusedly when there was only one La Trappe glass left for the two of us. In fact this may be the best thing about any place in Europe is that they take their glassware so seriously.

Belgique was a little better than Wildeman purely for their selection and attention to detail, seek this place out if you go no where else.

Photo of JohnfromDublin
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Very nice spot just off the beaten track, visited twice over weekend 15-17 Oct 2004. First time was late and crowded, but we still managed to grab a decent beer or two. Second visit was much better. Nine of us went there about 6pm on sat evening and upon entering, two patrons seated in the right hand alcove gave up their seats so that we could "take over" that table. Six draught beers, including Kwak and impressive Vlo (from local brewery t'Ij) available. Excellent beer menu to peruse, so you can be making up your mind on the next beer while enjoying the first one. Had Orval, Rochefort 8, Rodenbach in bottles. Minor drawbacks were the small size of the place (maybe not a bad thing!), and beware the stairs to and from the toilets after quaffing strong beer!

NOTE: Glad to see that nothing had changed for our visit in Oct 2005. Maybe the beer menu had shortened slightly, but great place!

Photo of elmocoso
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

What a place to run into - and only steps from my hotel. A cozy little place wit room for 25 if packed. A nice bar tender. Great beers on tap and a atmosphere that is hard to beet. This joint was tiny but just what i was looking for. I met many-a-friendly local here durring my stay and this bar made my trip to amsterdam. I cant say enough good things about it. As a side not, and a show of the kind of Beer Karma that flowed through this place: I was sitting by the window minding my beer when i see a guy in a BA shirt stroll by.

Photo of jed
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

All jokes aside about the, ahem, extracurricular activities in Amsterdam, it's a great town to drink. Most places have a good selection of Belgian beers, and the excellent local Brouwerij 't IJ is available in most serious beer places. Café Belgique, while not as famous as Cafe In de Wildeman, is my favorite overlooked place in the city.

The selection is excellent, with around 10 beers on tap and a solid selection of Belgians. They don't have St. Bernadus or Westie, but other than they hit all the major highlights. Another reason this place is great is the staff, which is very friendly and knows its beer. The bartender the night we visited recommended good replacements when they didn't have a local brew, and also guided a new beer drinker to a good selection.

The interior of the bar is cozy, if a bit cramped, with space for around 20. I have no idea if they have food here, since I didn't check.

If you're in Amsterdam, this should definitely be your second stop after the Wildeman. Friendly service, relaxed interior, good prices. Be sure to try the 't IJ Columbus barleywine if they have a few bottles in stock.

Café Belgique in Amsterdam, Netherlands
92 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.