Café Hoppe, Amsterdam

Café Hoppe

At Spui 18-20, corner with Hei­steeg, you find one of Amsterdam’s oldest cafés, with a loyal and varied clientele. Sometimes completely crowded, sometimes surprisingly quiet, the Hoppe bartenders always professional and friendly (and thank­fully of the more seasoned and service minded variety).

Café Hoppe, Sitting-Hoppe at at Spui 20 and Standing-Hoppe at Spui 18, Amsterdam

Café Hoppe, Sitting-Hoppe at at Spui 20 and Standing-Hoppe at Spui 18, corner Hei­steeg (December 2021).

Me, I prefer Hoppe on quieter after­noons, when it’s not completely over­run with students. Preferably on a sunny afternoon on the small terrace in front of number 18. On those more relaxed days there are always interesting local guests or happy tourists for a chat and even the bartenders have time for a word or two between their out­standing service. The beers are excellent here and the traditional Dutch pub grub is of exceptional quality (try the bitter­ballen). They even serve a fine breakfast (they open at 8) and lunch.

Café Hoppe, Amsterdam, closed during corona times in October 2020

Café Hoppe, closed during corona times. Left of the entrance a commemo­rative stone for previous owner Harry Mustert, on the right a stone slab with the words “This stone was worn out here, 1670 anno 1917” (October 2020).

Hoppe started out in 1670 (even before the Spui and Nieuwe­zijds Voor­burg­wal were filled in in 1882), at Spui 18, as a distillery with a tasting room, where all liquor (jenever) was produced in-house. Behind the bar you can see the barrels that once served to pour the various jenevers (Dutch gin) and liqueurs. The interior of the bar, with its antique stained glass windows, is still largely original and over­seen by the city’s histo­rical preser­vation society (Monumenten­zorg Amsterdam).

The liqueur barrels behind the bar inside Spui 18, Amsterdam

The liqueur barrels behind the bar inside Spui 18 (July 2022).

The secret to their continued succes is that nothing has changed much: there is no music to distract from the conversations, the beer is on tap, they serve fine wines, there is still sand on the floor (a remnant from times when chewing tobacco was in vogue).

Old photos on the wall inside Café Hoppe, Amsterdam

Some old photos inside Hoppe. In the center Freddy Heineken (1923-2002, CEO of the brewery), a regular guest (July 2022).

Hoppe has been a favorite space for the city’s intellectuals and locals for centuries, to discuss politics, art and world affairs. During the 1960s and 1970s it was a standard meeting point for artists and reporters from the nearby newspapers at Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal (who would come here for lunch and stay until late). Simon Carmiggelt (1913-1987), a Dutch writer and journalist who wrote a daily column in newspaper Het Parool, was a regular guest here.

Bartender Thomas at Café Hoppe, Amsterdam

Bartender Thomas (at Hoppe since January 2008) drawing a beer (July 2022).

At the start of the 1900s the neigh­boring number 20 was a hotel and restaurant. In 1949 Harry Mustert bought the bar from his mother (his parents had run the bar). He joined numbers 18 and 20 with a doorway (so they could be run under one license), closed the hotel and added a conser­vatory to number 20, Sitting-Hoppe, meant for those who prefer to sit down for a chat while watching the crowds pass by. The ladies’ rest­rooms are at number 20, the men’s in the back at number 18. So now you have Sitting-Hoppe at number 20 and Standing-Hoppe at number 18, each with their own kind of customer and ambiance.

Bartender Peter on his last day at Café Hoppe, Amsterdam

Bartender Peter on his last day at Hoppe, now in Café Pieper at Prinsen­gracht 424, bought by Hoppe in August 2022 (July 2022).

Bartender Thomas at work in Café Hoppe, Amsterdam

Bartender Thomas at work (July 2022).

Most who frequent this place
Are of audacious mind
Here we draw, consume
Always forgetting time
Audacious also was Harry’s mind
Whose house this never was
1939 Anno 1982

The bar at Sitting-Hoppe, Amsterdam

The bar at Sitting-Hoppe (July 2022).

Hoppe on the side of the Heisteeg, Amsterdam

Hoppe on the side of the Heisteeg (July 2022).

Website Café Hoppe:

Travelers' Map is loading...
If you see this after your page is loaded completely, leafletJS files are missing.