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Café Loetje - Amsterdam Restaurant Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)

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Patio at Café Loetje

Sidewalk Patio at Café Loetje

© 2006 Shannon McAllister, licensed to About.com

The Bottom Line

An Oud Zuid neighborhood favorite for more than 20 years, Café Loetje justifies the "don't mess with a good thing" philosophy. Sure, the paint's peeling in spots and a renovation might make the bar area roomier, but this eetcafé ("eat café") serves the tastiest steak I've ever had, and the local regulars agree. (See below for the full review.)

Pros

  • Best steak in the city.
  • Affordable prices.
  • Authentic Dutch atmosphere.
  • Large outdoor patio in summer.
  • Close to tram lines, museums.

Cons

  • No non-smoking section.
  • No reservations accepted; wait can be long.
  • Not vegetarian-friendly.
  • Service can be hit-or-miss.
  • Inside can be loud.

Description

  • Address: Johannes Vermeerstraat 52, Amsterdam
    Phone: +31 (0)20 662 81 73

  • Kitchen open:
    M-F 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
    Saturday dinner only; closed Sunday.

  • Location: Museum Quarter neighborhood, at the corner of Ruysdaelstraat.

  • Tram lines: 16 or 24 to the Ruysdaelstraat stop.
    One stop away (walking distance) from Museumplein.

  • Attire: A little of everything, from casual to business suits.

  • Scene: Laid-back local. Young and old professionals gather at lunch and after work. Family-friendly.

  • Décor: Typical Dutch eetcafé ("eat café") with dark wood, basic tables and chalkboard menus.

  • Beers on tap: Heineken, € 2; Wieckse Witte (Dutch white beer) & De Koninck (Belgian), both € 2.90.

  • Wine: Solid selection of reds, whites & rosés at € 3/glass, € 13.50 - € 30/bottle, including Faustino I Gran Reserva.

  • Payment: No credit cards, cash only.

Guide Review - Café Loetje - Amsterdam Restaurant Review

Café Loetje (pronounced "LOOT-yuh") keeps it simple, both in attitude and food. No menus here, only chalkboards scrawled in Dutch. But the only words you need to know are ossenhaas biefstuk ("filet of beef steak"). Far more than the house specialty, Loetje enjoys local fame because of this thick, round cut, which comes solo on a basic, clear-glass plate, bathed in a sauce of butter and its own juices. Simple? Yes. Ordinary? Far from it. This is hands down the best steak I've ever put in my mouth. And at just € 13, it tastes that much better than meat twice the price at more chichi restaurants.

Like everyone else in the place, order the frites (only € 2 and don't dare call them French fries) to soak up the rest of that sinful steak sauce (or try the traditional mayonnaise that puts the American spread to shame). The house salad (€ 3) -- fresh butter lettuce, tomato, egg, a mustard dressing and bacon pieces the size of croutons -- is the final must for a complete Loetje experience. There are other options on the menu, but like most people who eat here, I've only ever ordered the tried-and-true combo above!

Be warned: Inside can get crowded and smoky. Head to the end of the bar to get on the wait list, order a beer and watch the gravity-defying servers descend from the upstairs kitchen with up to 12 full plates on two arms. In summer, the large patio is ideal, with a shade tree in the middle and neighborhood kids scribbling chalk drawings on the sidewalk. See you there!

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Best Steak in Amsterdam, Member ToroDorado

Toro Dorado Restaurant Looking for the best steak in Amsterdam? Then look no further than than Toro Dorado. When I visited the city for the first time, I didn't exactly expect to find the best steak I would ever eat during my visit. But after a wander around the city, you'll see that South American steakhouses are all over the place— there are no shortage of places to have a great steak. But if you order correctly, Toro Dorado is the best steakhouse in the city … and for me, the best Ive ever tried. Sure, the decor is a little cheesy, and when you compare the prices on the menu to the appearance of the restaurant, you might be a little disappointed. But once you taste the food, you'll know you made the right choice. Funnily enough, though practically all of the steakhouses in Amsterdam (including Toro Dorado) are South American, what makes Toro Dorado special is the Japanese beef. If you've never tried Wagyu beef, you're in for a treat. Wagyu is one of the most exclusive kinds of beef in the world. Imported from Japan, every cut of Wagyu Kobe beef is marked with origin and quality— and Toro Dorado only gets the best. If you want to try a Wagyu steak, get ready to pay an arm and a leg for it. A 180 gram (6 oz) Wagyu tenderloin will run you 54 euros. A 200 gram Rib Eye or Sirloin will cost you 55 euros. Even a simple rump steak is 45 euros. But these steaks are worth every cent. In addition to wonderful (if expensive

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