De School Café – Amsterdam (NL)

The city’s most exciting nightclub also runs one of Amsterdam’s hottest new places to fine dine, and enjoy an expertly prepared cuppa Joe

  • opening times:
    Mon - Fri: 8 - 22, Sat: 9 - 23, Sun: 9 - 18
  • wifi:
    Yes
  • urls:
    FacebookWebsite
  • machine:
    La Marzocco Linea
  • coffees on offer:
    Espresso from White Label Coffee
  • milk:
    Arla

When Amsterdam’s legendary nightclub ‘Trouw’ closed its doors at the beginning of 2015, the city was in a state of shock and mourning. It was as if a local hero had passed away and the citizens of Amsterdam had lost their leader. Indeed, Trouw left a big gap in the Dutch capital’s clubbing scene, but as is usually the case with Amsterdam, it wasn’t too long before another amazing concept arrived.

Corridor from the café to the business units

Corridor from the café to the business units

Almost exactly a year after the closure of Trouw, De School opened its doors in the West. Dubbed the successor to Trouw, partially because of some former Trouw people’s involvement, this spectacular venue inside a disused high school building, comprises the city’s most exciting new nightlife venue (De School), a spectacular restaurant (De School Restaurant), a few small business units (including the new White Label roastery and the Subbaculcha HQ) and of course, an amazing coffee bar (De School Café).

The new White Label Coffee roastery

The new White Label Coffee roastery

The entire space is kept rather bare, with its tiled floors, its 70’s style sporting figures on the walls, the arched ceilings and its very basic furniture, but when seen in its entirety, it totally works. This is also mainly due to the fact that De School, unlike Trouw, is really trying to position itself at the higher spectrum of the fine-dining experience.

During a recent visit to the restaurant with my friend Meg, we got to enjoy a spectacular 4-course surprise dinner that featured exquisite dishes such as crystallized beetroot ice cream cones with a creamy wasabi filling and slow-cooked veal with a side of roasted and crunchy vegetables. But it wasn’t until people like Parool foodcritic Hiske Versprille gave this new spot 9 out of 10 stars for its quality and service that people started to stream to De School for lunch and dinner.

View of the café bar, kitchen and into the restaurant

View of the café bar, kitchen and into the restaurant

The café is technically located in the same space as the restaurant, albeit separated from it by the rectangular glass-walled kitchen. What’s wonderful about it, is that you can sit at one of the high tables and see the chefs at works while sipping on your flat white, prepared with beans from White Label Coffee.

Communal tables and individual tables

Communal tables and individual tables

Francesco Grasotti, co-owner of the young coffee business that has its flagship café nearby, is thrilled to operate his new roastery from one of De School’s business spaces.  He said: “It feels like you’re part of something that’s really unique, fun and full of character. Everyone here is contributing something towards the community, and for us it’s the perfect spot.”

Their gorgeous new roaster

Their gorgeous new roaster

His girlfriend Denise Rijnen is in charge of the café and makes sure it’s a welcoming, friendly place to meet for a coffee, have a quick lunch or just chill out with a beer after work. Without a doubt, De School has managed to carve out its own niche here, a place where you could technically spend all day and all night with some of the best quality food, drink and entertainment under one roof. Shame they don’t have a hotel … hint hint.

Please note: access to the café / restaurant is from the other entrance close to the KFC

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