Watching the World Go by at Cafe Luxembourg

When you go to Europe, the first thing that you do isn’t go to a museum.

It isn’t go to your hotel room (because that won’t be ready for hours…you know I’m right).

You go to a cafe. 

You indulge in the truly glorious ritual of having a cup of cappuccino or a glass of wine and people watching. Don’t expect the check to come the minute that you pick up the last bite of your burger. Don’t expect service that is so downright familiar that it might as well be your proctologist. Expect to sit and relax. To get a little tipsy and a lot relaxed.

I have rarely been to a cafe that more perfectly exemplifies this aspect of the European culture than Cafe Luxembourg

amsterdam day 2 010 This charming brasserie is an infant in the Amsterdam dining scene, having been around only since the 1980s, but its prime location, all day fare, and excellent service set it apart.
amsterdam day 2 013 Sauvignon Blanc

From France, with a relatively low alcohol content in relation to American wines. Very soft with a light lemony scent and taste. Ideal for the afternoon as you…

amsterdam day 2 012 people watch. Sit in what my fiance calls “stadium seating.” You sit beside your dining partner, not across from him/her. This lets you talk or sit quietly and just look at the people on bicycles, young lovers strolling lazily, and busy people hurrying home to take off their pinchy shoes. They want to join you at the cafe. And this is why:
amsterdam day 2 016 Taste of Amsterdam Plate

Well, hello land of a kajillion canals.

Hello soft, spicy, buttery uncured sausage known as Amsterdam ossenworst.
amsterdam day 2 017 Hello, tiny fried croquette.

Oh what is beneath your thick, nicely crunchy crust?

amsterdam day 2 020

OH, it’s an incredibly awesome creamy, meaty filling that is like shephard’s pie gone Dutch. With some piquant grainy mustard, it’s the ideal bar food.

amsterdam day 2 019 Don’t miss the liverwurst either, which is a bit firm but not too bouncy, and is as mild as chicken liver pate without any of the mineral-y aftertaste.

Don’t worry, there are also 2 kinds of cheese, cornichons, and a few other tasty nibbles on this plate.

This plate is much like the restaurant – quintessentially Amsterdam. It’s quirky, it’s specific to the city, and it’s unapologetically laid back. No fussy utensils or molecular gastronomy. Just tasty nibbles and freshly draughted beers while you watch the world go by. This casual stop is ideal for lunch but really…

It’s so relaxing, you might as well find yourself staying there straight through dinner.