Within the first weeks of moving to Amsterdam, I already found of my favorite spots in the city. My go-to place for a nice, relaxed, delicious and wine-infused dinner with a couple of friends. Café Binnenvisser is kind of like your local café, except instead of cheese cubes and chips it has some fine snacks and instead of beers on tap, they serve natural wines. A little bit of New York in Amsterdam I'd say. But with an authentic cool Amsterdam vibe, which is mainly thanks to the crowd that frequents this place.
I was told about this place by two of my Amsterdam friends, who know all the best places. Of course, I trusted them blindly and took my New York friend here for the first dinner of her visit. We spent a long night, catching up over many snacks and different natural wines. This was in March, and now, a couple months later, she still talks about it!
One of the main reasons why I keep returning to Café Binnenvisser is that it's located super close to where I live. And knowing that great wine, food and a cozy evening is just a short stroll away, makes it very tempting.
Bob Nagel and Maarten Bloem, the guys who started Café Binnenvisser about a year ago, decided to focus on natural wines and a small food menu at their café. The menu changes all the time (check out Instagram to see the current menu items) they use mostly seasonal ingredients and the menu evolves mostly around vegetables. Just what I like! I'll show you some of the food I tried here, on several occasions...
Asparagus with eel mayo, pickled tuna and wild garlic
The perfect balance of sweet & salty.
Burrata with thai basil and miso
The vegetarian croquettes, which I believe change a bit from season to season (they usually contain celeriac, pumpkin, old cheese) but they're always FREAKIN' DELICIOUS. I order these every time and they're always the highlight of the night! Everyone loves these.
Make sure you order wine in between snacks. They have a bunch of natural wines and you can always try a couple before finding the one, which is great!
Duck paté with fresh sourdough.
I didn't try this but it was good apparently.
Cauliflower with kale and a salsa verde. This was one of their winter dishes, really delicious.
A lentil stew with hazelnuts. Simple and earthy.
Lamb with fresh naan bread. Again, I didn't try this but apparently, this was delicious too since my table partners were fighting over the last piece.
What I like a lot about Café Binnenvisser is that the atmosphere is very relaxed and the whole setting is unpretentious and genuine. Everyone who works here loves their job, so they're always friendly and happy to serve you, which makes all the difference. You can also hang around here forever, you will not be rushed through your dinner, no matter how many people are waiting for your table.
So basically all the reasons why I love Café Binnenvisser are that:
- They have amazing food and wines
- The vibe is relaxed, fun, laid-back and very Amsterdam (the good way)
- The service is great
- The menu changes often enough for you to come back on a monthly, if not weekly basis!
So go and try for yourself! I can warn you it can get quite busy here, so you might not always be lucky with finding a table (no reservations sadly), but if you're with two people you'll usually get a spot! And now during summer, their terrace is open which makes the restaurant twice as big!
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