Centrum Bars & Nightlife
Singel 460, Centrum
This glitzy, "American-style" bar is a central part of the newly revived Odeon building, a historical building that's been standing along Amsterdam's central canal since 1662. The bar has two identities, depending on when you arrive. Before dinner, it's a classy cocktail bar with a jewel-toned Art Deco vibe. Later on, things get a little more raucous, as it stays open until the wee hours. Check out the cocktail "laboratory" in the back, where bartenders prepare craft cocktails under an operation lamp.
Hiding in Plain Sight
Rapenburg 18, Centrum
If you looked up "hipster" in the dictionary, it's likely there'd be a picture of Hiding in Plain Sight (or HPS, as locals call it)—and the clientele here would be the first to acknowledge it. Before you roll your eyes at the waiters in vests with waxed moustaches, take a sip of your cocktail; it's likely one of—if not the—best in the city. HPS is also a hangout for local musicians, so check the calendar in advance to find out if anyone's playing while you're in town.
Handboogstraat 17-19, Centrum
Don’t let the creepy cannibal theme throw you off—it actually kind of works. As for the food, the charcuterie plates and simple salads are delicious and easy, and the long draft list features some of Europe’s best craft beers. They serve food late even on weeknights, making it a god-send after delayed trains and planes. There's a second location in De Pijp.