Café De Dokter has been in the Beem family since 1798; now into the 6th generation, currently in their 40th year. The name derives from it’s first owner, a surgeon, and the close proximity to a hospital, making this a regular haunt for physicians.
At just 18 meters squared, this is the smallest bar in Amsterdam (a hotly-contested accolade).
The walls are adorned with all sorts of medical paraphernalia, some of which has a husk of dust. The lighting is sparse, low and often candlelight, adding to the cosy, gezellig feel of this drinkers’ den. It’s easy to get very comfortable and hunker down for hours. It’s a far cry from the adjacent chaos of Kalverstraat and the bustle of het Spui. On Fridays, it is possible to pick up a new read at the book market next door, then escape from the rain in this splendid hideout.
Dark wood panelling adds order to the centuries of hoarding that adorns most of the walls. It can be empty and still feel atmospheric. Authentically old and charming.
Better for Jenever, there are some decent enough Abbey brews, and La Chouffe is usually a crowd-pleaser.
Few bars can match the curiousness of the interior. Excellent, family service too.