The Maker Café – Amsterdam (NL)

Combining the works of local artistans and craftsmen with outstanding hospitality and a beautiful space, The Maker Café is West’s hidden gem.

  • opening times:
    Mon: 12 - 17, Tue - Fri: 12 - 19, Sat: 11 - 19, Sun: 12 - 19
  • wifi:
    Yes
  • urls:
    Facebook
  • price check:
    Espresso: €2 / Flat White: €2,50 / Filter: €4
  • machine:
    Kees van der Westen Spirit
  • coffees on offer:
    various from Manhattan Coffee Roasters
  • milk:
    Queens of Dairy

A few years ago, the building that is now named ‘De Hallen’ was a derelict ruin in the middle of one of Amsterdam’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. It sat there like a a giant sore, largely off limits to the public due to severe danger of collapse, but some thrifty locals had at least made the most of the unused open space around it and created communal city farms and decorated its outer walls with graffiti. For a city with such few industrial innercity buildings, it seemed odd that no one was doing anything with it.

That was five years ago. Today, De Hallen is a spectacular space that houses several restaurants, a hotel, a cinema, various workshops and a gorgeous retail space called ‘The Maker Store’. Formerly known as the ‘Local Goods Store’, The Maker Store largely kept the original concept alive by championing products made by local brands and craftsmen and showcasing the spectacular variety of artisanal products that Amsterdam and its surroundings has to offer.

The Maker Café team - picture by Lauren Commens

The Maker Café team – picture by Lauren Commens

Upstairs, the team recently created a new co-working space aimed at offering local makers a place from where to work while also adding a new element to the mix: The Maker Café, designed by Hop. Managed by Daniel Eppstein, The Maker Café offers locals and visitors a great space where they can experience some of the featured products first hand, come in for a meeting with local makers or simply relax with a book while sipping on an expertly prepared cup of coffee, tea or lemonade.

The bar with espresso machine

The bar with espresso machine

While the area surrounding The Maker Café is largely saturated with average to bad coffee bars and chains – Lot Sixty One being the one exception – The Maker Café’s concept stands out because of its openness, wonderful staff and relaxed atmosphere. Baristas Alix Goldstein, Japheth Fenton and Pepijn Meurs run the show with a contageous positive energy that seems worlds away from the fast-paced, impersonal morning coffee rush that you often experience at other coffee bars.

The huge skylights and a massive open space add an additional element of friendliness that even make gloomy Amsterdam days seem bearable. The specialty coffee on offer comes from award-winning barista duo Esther Maasdam and Ben Morrow who are based in Rotterdam, while Citea provides its fine selection of loose leaf teas. Other local brands like Lowlander Beer, The Ketchup Project and Eau ‘d Amsterdam are also available for purchase, as are all the pieces of furniture.

Flat White

Flat White

When asked why Daniel and his team wanted to create The Maker Café in the upstairs part of The Maker Shop, he replied: “De Hallen is such a magical place that has an incredible energy and our store attracts a lot of tourists who are easger to take home a nice gift or souvenier from Amsterdam. We want to offer them, local staff and other people from the area a nice place to come and have a delicious cup in a relaxed environment.”

View of the shop

View of the shop

In the near future, The Maker Café may start hosting morning classes or workshops while also adding carefully selected food items to the menu. Already, the cakes from De Firma Taart are a dangerous seduction that is hard to resist and with expertly crafted coffees and comfy armchairs to sink into for a relaxing moment of mindfulness, what’s not to love about this hidden gem?

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