The Eastern side of Amsterdam is not on all tourist itineraries, but there are a number of attractions in this part of town. One place which all Amsterdamers know but which surprisingly features in few guide-books is ‘Brouwerij het Ij’, the brewery located in an old bath-house attached to one of the few windmills in the city. Directly in front of the windmill and alongside the canal is Eetcafe Langendijk.
The outside terrace overlooks the canal, making it a popular spot for boaters to pull up alongside for a drinking or eating stop. We visited on a Friday evening and there were empty tables outside, but reservation would be recommended if you prefer to dine inside especially as a large group. The waiting staff were friendly and let us know when a table did become free indoors so we could move inside before the evening chilled.
Langendijk Eetcafe offers different menus depending on time of day. Lunch is served between 11am to 4pm (breakfast dishes plus rolls, toasties or eggs), while hamburgers or salads are available from 12 to 6. Tapas dishes can be ordered from midday to midnight, and range in price from cashew nuts for €3 and bread or olives at €3.20 to jalapeno peppers served with tomato salsa at €5.20 or fried shrimps for €6. The evening menu runs from 6pm until 11 and included two vegetarian soups at €4 as starters; main courses include steak with fries and lettuce for €16.80, or pasta of the month which during our visit was tagliatelle in creamy tomato sauce with seafood. Wine is available by the glass or bottle, and ranges from €18 to €22.60 per bottle, with a choice of two or three of each colour, and champagne or cocktails are also available. Draft beers start from €2.10, bottles from €3 and a full range of hot and cold soft drinks are also available.
We went for potato wedges with garlic mayonnaise (€4) from the tapas menu as our starter, followed by two dishes from the dinner menu – goat’s cheese salad (€8.20) and Dover sole with chips and salad (€14.80). The food arrived quickly, and despite the bar getting busy as the evening progressed, the staff remained attentive. The salad came drizzled in a tasty pear and walnut dressing, and the goat’s cheese was the soft spoonable variety rather than the sliced version with a rind. The fish had been cooked in a buttery sauce, and came easily away from the bone. Our meal was accompanied with Leffe beer (€3.20 per glass).
The total bill came to €43 for five beers, a shared starter and two main courses. This is a great location to eat for anyone visiting the brewery, but also a short walk from either the Oosterpark or Artis as well as being an easy place to find and pull up by with a rented boat. Live bands play on Sundays, with barbecues on Friday, Saturdays or Sunday weather permitting. Langendijk Eetcafe offers value for money with friendly staff, and the great feeling of sitting in front of a windmill next to a canal, something you would be hard pushed to find anywhere else in Amsterdam.