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“Gone Down Hill”
Review of Cafe Chris

Cafe Chris
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Established in 1624, Cafe Chris is Amsterdam's oldest "Brown Cafe," truly a historical landmark.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Gone Down Hill”
Reviewed 6 July 2012

I spent a lot of time at Cafe Chris until it changed hands. It used to be run old school by a charming man called Fred. Since he passed away, the service and atmosphere is terrible. You would think the current owners would be more welcoming but it's almost feels like you're in the way! The old charm has left the building!

Visited June 2012
1 Thank waloli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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60 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
37 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Perhaps the Oldest Cafe in Town - The Quintessential Bruin Kroeg (Brown Cafe)”
Reviewed 7 March 2012

Somewhat hard to find, but absolutely worth your efforts. The easiest way is to go to Westermarkt (street), the main street just South of the Westkerk (West-Church), head West (away from city centre) to Eerste Bloemdwars Straat, then head North (right; @ Broodje Mokum) for one "block" to Bloemstraat, and there Cafe Chris will be on the corner. The only other bridge across the Prinsengracht is Leliegracht, which is North of the Anne Frank Huis. I say perhaps the oldest cafe in town because there is some debate as to who is really the oldest, Cafe Karpershoek up by Centraal Station claims to have opened in 1606. Cafe Chris definitely opened it's doors in 1624, and this easily puts it 2nd or 3rd place on the list, if not first. Supposedly the workers for the Westkerk were paid here back in the day, and while sitting in this place it is easy to imagine what life must have been like then, as not not much has changed in here since. Dark brown, wood paneled walls, leaded glass windows, nice large bar, a grandfather clock, tables with separate chairs that can be moved to accommodate your party, advertisements as old as the place, "mug club" mugs hung from the low ceiling, and a tiny mens room, well closet, where you have to pull the cistern chain to flush outside of the room itself. There is no music being played as is traditional in bruin bars, magazines and newspapers available to read (mostly in Dutch), and a billiards table which you don't see very often in bruin bars. The room itself is large for Amsterdam standards, and there is also terras seating out front, where there is a wonderful view of the Westkerk tower, a delightful place to sit and enjoy a cold bier on sunny days. This is a locals place, and I see there have been some negative comments here concerning that. I must say, I have been going to Cafe Chris for 9 years now, and I have never had rude service, or animosity from the locals. Sometimes this might be brought on by one's own behavior and attitude as well. The bier selection is quite small, but they do have Westmalle Tripel available for us bier snobs. The jenever selection is decent. They do have some snacks available, try the traditional bitterballen. I guess the main reason to go to this establishment is to partake in real Dutch culture, and to actually sit and drink in a place that has literally been open for 388 years. I don't think there are many places on the planet that can claim this fact. The surrounding Jordaan neighborhood is also very picturesque and worth just wandering around to see what you can find. Go here for a "living" piece of Amsterdam history.

Visited June 2011
5 Thank Doodyjazz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
208 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“Oldest brown cafe in town!”
Reviewed 8 August 2010

Stopped by Cafe Chris (purely based on the name as my name is Chris)for a cold beer during our walk around the Jordaan. Glad we did. Seemed like a locals kind of place. Few old folks who look like they had been there for awhile inside chatting up with the bartender. Had a good feel about it. Classic "brown" cafe (name givenm for the years of smoke built up on the walls they say-not a drug reference or place). Enjoyed a cold Amstel. Supposedly Rembrandt drank here in his time. That is cool enough for a beer there. Has a few seats outside in the sun or you can soak up the history inside. Worth a stop while wandering.

2 Thank cubuff1453
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“The charm is gone!”
Reviewed 30 December 2009

Lived near this place during my time in Amsterdam. Was always a quaint bar and fun to take family & friends to drink where Rembrandt drank. Now they are more worried about letting the alcoholic old locals smoke in there (it's not allowed to smoke in bars anymore in A'dam but Chris doesn't care - they didn't realize we understood dutch when we walked in with a group of visitors including a baby when they said "hurry up and light up your cigarettes so they'll leave"). They will get no more of my drinking dollars, so light up guys!

4 Thank AmsterdamDame
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
“Cafe Chris”
Reviewed 17 March 2006

Lovely place , real old and a good place to drink a beer after walking in the lovely old Jordaan. Nice local customers and service, we comming back, Nel, Henk and Phil thats for sure


2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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