Box Sociaal – Amsterdam (NL)

A welcome new addition to the casual eatery scene in Amsterdam combines Aussie hospitality with Dutch ingredients and great vibes

  • opening times:
    Mon - Sun: 9 - 23
  • wifi:
    Yes
  • urls:
    FacebookWebsite
  • price check:
    Espresso: €2,5 / Flat White: €3,2 / Filter: €2,5
  • machine:
    La Marzocco Linea
  • coffees on offer:
    various from Friedhats
Discover the world's best roasters from a box at your door

“Hey, how’re ya going,” Alex Than Aye shouted over my shoulder at an incoming customer. If you had any doubt about what kind of place Box Sociaal was, then his greeting quickly provided clarity. Despite a Dutch-sounding name, Box Sociaal is Aussie through and through. I was sitting at the bar chatting to Alex and Yudhi Srinivasan, one of the other co-owners, tucking into one of their delicious salad while trying to get a better sense of who this new kid on the block was.

Feel-good vibes

Feel-good vibes

Alex and Yudhi are old friends from Sydney who spent many years living abroad. After coincidentally returning back to Sydney around the same time and coming to understand the severe changes that new rules and regulations on the city’s nightlife have had on social activities, they decided to look beyond Australia’s borders to set up their own business. Thankfully it was not London that they went for but Amsterdam.

The official opening took place just a few weeks ago during the Amsterdam Coffee Festival weekend and it didn’t take long for Box Sociaal to get noticed. In the week before the official opening, the place was consistently full of people who had been told about it by a friend or who found out about it on Instagram. “It was an important practice run for us, you know,” Alex said. “We got a chance to iron out a few things and make sure we were satisfied with our quality before we properly opening the doors.”

Box Sociaal founders and staff

Box Sociaal founders and staff

Box Sociaal moved into a space right opposite Artis that formerly housed a rather run down Italian restaurant and the team turned into a friendly, welcoming and very sociable kind of place. There is a big communal table in the middle, bar seating along the window and a slightly unusual mezzanine with a very low ceiling.

Gorgeous salad with green hummus and veggies

Gorgeous salad with green hummus and veggies

The name derives from ‘box social’, a fun concept that was popular in North America in the early 1900’s and involved a group of  women decorating cardboard boxes and filling them with dinners for two before anonymously presenting them to a group of men who would consequently bid on the different boxes hoping to score the best combination of dinner and woman. While you don’t get to bid on dinners or women at Box Sociaal, it aims to draw on the fun elements of this slightly forgotten tradition: bringing people together and serving great food and drinks.

Upstairs seating

Upstairs seating

A close look at the menu will reveal a nice selection of dishes that are Aussie-inspired but created using a great deal of Dutch ingredients. The team makes a point of wanting to be sustainable and sourcing locally, something that also applies to the coffee beans that come from our very good friends at Friedhats. One example of their fun approach to bringing different influences together would be their Espresso Martini, made with stroopwaffel-infused vodka and coffee from Friedhats. Yum!

I <3 THE MENU

I <3 THE MENU

Personally, I think it’s really great that there is finally a nice joint to hang out at in the Plantagebuurt area, one that can sometimes feel rather pizzeria-heavy. I hope it won’t take too long before Box Sociaal becomes a firm part of the local fabric, so why no go a pay them a visit? Go off like a frog in a sock!

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