Eetcafes, Dutch for eating cafe, are very popular in the Netherlands. They are some sort of a cross-over of a restaurant and a bar. They usually have simple menus dominated by steak, mussels, french fries, sandwiches and snacks. And they have both a bar and dining area. Some guests initially come for drinks, hang around, get hungry and stay for food, while others might meet at the eetcafe for dinner and then stay on for booze and chat.
Not surprisingly, the Jordaan, the most authentic of Amsterdam neighborhoods, is full of eetcafes and bruin cafes. And Cafe De Reiger – Dutch for the heron – is a great option for spending a typical Amsterdam evening.
Start by strolling through the narrow Jordaan alleys, look at the small boutiques and galleries and discover the hidden ornaments and court yards of the 17th century houses. Then check into Cafe De Reiger for steak and fries. And hang around for a few typically Dutch biertjes and mingle with the locals.
The vibe is busy and informal. The dining room is usually packed and tables are close to each other. The decor is simple with basic chairs and tables and a wooden floor that has survived many busy nights. You will be served bread and beer quickly and can choose your dishes from a large board. Next to classics like steak and spareribs, De Reiger has some daily specials, a fish and vegetarian dish as well as some salads.
De Reiger is an eetcafe. I go there when I’m up for meat, fries and beer and usually stay away from the other options.
Cafe De Reiger is located on Nieuwe Leliestraat 34, near the Westerkerk and Anne Frank House. Food is served daily from 6pm to 10:30pm. They do not have a web site, so you might want to call at (020) 624 74 26 to make a reservation.