From the outside it looks more like something ‘seedy’ but inside you are blown away with the ‘dutchness’ of this bar. Covered in pictures of old movie stars and an abnormal amount of photos of the owner herself. Playing only Dutch music and sitting with real typically Dutch locals. With warmth, homeliness and all things Dutch, “I wanna have my house like it”.
Cafe Rooie Nelis has been open since 1937 and perhaps the yellowy lace curtains have been there just as long. But these curtains certainly keep this place the hidden gem (Sabina wasn’t even sure she wanted to share it). It’s a no fuss, no false pretence, kind of cafe: ‘this place is real’.
Our lovely, bubbly and completely Star Wars obsessed Sabina (30) works on reception. Guests love her and so do we. She likes realness; in people, places and the world.
People may see her as someone who’s outgoing, wild and a crazy party animal due to her tattoos, but actually “I’m just someone who likes to sit home and watch conspiracy theories on YouTube. I look like I cause trouble but when I go into a bar the most problem I cause is by asking for a pink straw! Even in Cafe Rooie Nelis, they struggled to find me their last pink straw. I’m gonna keep asking for pink straws until I’m 90!”
Cafe Rooie Nelis
1016 PK Amsterdam
How to get there from Volkshotel
Take the Tram 10 from Weesperplein (direction Westerpark) and get off at stop ‘Rozengracht’.