No trip to Amsterdam is complete without a stop in one of the bruine kroeg, or brown cafés. These are the Dutch equivalent of Irish pubs, cozy spaces where people gather to relax over beers and comfort food. And Café Papeneiland is a classic. Stop in for a sip of jenever and a slice of Dutch apple pie.
By Travis Marshall, AFAR Local Expert
Say "Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie" at Historic Papeneiland
It's a state monument that's been serving up draft ales and typical Dutch fare (e.g., Amsterdam cheese and sausages) since 1642. Today, it retains its 17th century authenticity at the intersection of Prinsengracht and Brouwersgracht, one of the city's prettiest corners. An ideal spot for a morning snack, lunch or evening drink, Papeneiland is one of Amsterdam's oldest brown cafés, where Bill Clinton famously washed down a hunk of apple pie with cappuccino, then took a whole pie away with him. Oozing with Old World gezelligheid, the place has been owned through the generations by the Netel family, in which all males are named Tiel including current manager Tiel Netel, Sr. The famed apple pie is still made on the premises. With a thick crust below layers of spiced apples and a rich, crumbly topping, it tastes more like cake than its American cousin. Be sure to have yours with a giant dollop of whipped cream, to cut the tartness of the apples. Stay awhile and watch the boats coming and going in the canal, some arriving in the small jetty that fronts Papeneiland. The historic cafe is the starting point for many boat and walking tours.
By Melissa Adams, AFAR Local Expert