Cafe 't Smalle
Cafe 't Smalle is in this guide not because of its beer list (which is small, but nice) but because of its charm and canal-side patio.
This is where Pieter Hoppe began his gin distillery in 1786. Hoppe is a famous brand of Dutch gin, which is known as jenever (pronouced YEA-ne-fer). The building has been a cafe only since 1978, but this place has an Old World feel.
The high-ceilinged bar has tiled floors, leaded glass windows and a candelabra. Behind the serving counter is a pyramid of jenever barrels. Upstairs is a cozy mezzanine with wood paneled walls. The bar serves tasty food and offers a nice beer selection. If the weather is decent you can enjoy an unbeatable terrace on the Egelantiersgracht.
After wetting your whistle at 't Smalle take a small detour west along the canal looking for house No. 50, which contains a gable stone detailing an egelantier (sweet briar) rose, with the caption "In liefde bloeinde" (In love blooms).
If you're still standing, let's continue to our final destination. Our journey to Cafe de Spuyt will take us along the picturesque Prinsengracht (Prince's Canal). Notice the varied gables on the canal-side houses. Just before you reach Leidsestraat pull off to your left to see wonderful examples of neck gables on seven consecutive canal houses. On them are the names of the original seven provinces of the republic: Utrecht, Over-Yssel, Holland, Gelderland, Zeeland, Vriesland,and Groeningen.