Traditional Dutch taverns or "brown cafes" are great places to mix with resident Amsterdammers, as they are the very embodiment of gezellighied, that particularly Dutch mixture of charm, conviviality, and comfort all wrapped into one splendid welcoming package. Some brown cafes are ancient, all are warm and cheery, with dark interiors and simple wooden furniture and bars; most have kitchens where short-order chefs rustle up moderately priced breakfasts, all-day dishes, broodjes (sandwiches), and simple suppers. Opening hours are anywhere between 8 and 10am and 1 and 3am the following day.

On the edge of the cute Jordaan area, ’t Smalle is an exceptional locals' brown cafe decked out in wood and glass and offering a small menu of snacks such as Gouda cheese, hams, and bitterbollen (traditional Dutch meatballs). The primary business here is the beer, so grab a glass of a local brew and join the hardened drinkers at the bar, or on warm evenings sit outside on the decking over the canal.