There are around 250 licensed coffee shops in Amsterdam, so it’s not difficult to find a decent spot to buy or consume cannabis products. Many coffee shops make their own edibles and sell home-made cookies, cakes and brownies laced with THC – the psychoactive compound in the plant that gets you high. Fancy a trip in Amsterdam? Here are the best places to try space cakes.
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This down-to-earth coffee shop in Amsterdam’s laid-back Jordaan district is renowned for its charming historic architecture and cafe culture. Like many other venues in the neighbourhood, Paradox is housed inside a renovated old building – in this case, it’s an old stable that was once owned by Amsterdam’s fire department. Besides selling some of the finest space cakes in the city, Paradox also serves a wide variety of beverages such as home-made milkshakes and hot chocolate topped with whipped cream. The owners are eager to support Amsterdam’s local art scene and organise small on-site exhibitions throughout the year, which means there are usually a number of artworks on display.
420 Cafe, like the vast majority of coffee shops in Amsterdam, is right in the bustling city centre. Even though it’s surrounding by busy shopping streets, this cafe is famously laid-back and features a charming smoking lounge that’s decked out in brown wooden decor with posters of rock musicians. You can easily spend entire evenings chilling out inside this rustic, pub-like lounge while sampling the many types of weed, hashish and edibles available from the bar. The coffee shop tends to play classic rock music through its stereo system, which matches perfectly with the general ambience.
Amnesia, on the Herengracht canal, offers guests a wide range of standard, connoisseur and award-winning strains of cannabis. Home-made space cakes are also available from the bar, alongside non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. The smoking lounge is set out like a smallish regular cafe and features several spots that are suitable for groups, couples or solo visitors, while there is also a small terrace where you can hang out during sunny spells.
Original Dampkring is a welcoming coffee shop near Amsterdam’s floating flower market that’s renowned for its living room atmosphere, friendly cat and excellent cannabis menu, which includes several types of space cakes. The coffee shop famously appeared in Ocean’s Twelve (2004) in a scene in which Brad Pitt, George Clooney and others discuss an upcoming heist.
This adults-only coffee shop and hotel, wedged inside a towering, narrow building on the northern edge of the Red Light District, looks almost directly onto Amsterdam’s Centraal station. Voyager’s is located on the building’s ground floor and sells around eight strains of cannabis, as well as pre-rolled joints and space cakes. There are 10 rooms available inside the hotel, most of which feature windows that look onto Amsterdam’s historic centre and canals.
The Plug Coffeeshop, just a few steps north of Madame Tussauds and the Royal Palace, was previously known as Utopia before the new owners renamed it to align with their other cannabis club, the Plug in Barcelona. New and returning patrons will still enjoy a large lounge with comfortable benches and booths, and a menu of high-quality domestic and imported weed and hash. Large enough to be comfortable yet too small to draw a massive crowd, the Plug is a great central cannabis shop to sit back with a pre-rolled joint or space cake, day or night.
Boasting canal views and delicious space cakes, and a little less touristy than some of the other well-known cafes, Basjoe has a fine selection of cannabis, as well as coffee and hot chocolate. It’s only a five-minute walk from the Rembrandt House Museum, and is a relaxing place to sit and chat with the friendly staff who are in no hurry to shoo anyone away.
With three locations creating a triangle around Dam Square, it’s easy to find a Kadinsky Coffeeshop. All three boast a collection of iconic artwork by names like Herman Brood and Andy Warhol. Coffeeshop Zoutsteeg, a small stroll away from Centraal station via the Nieuwendijk, is their sophomore effort and offers a unique incentive – directly across from the coffee shop is their Cafe Zoutsteeg, one of the few remaining places in the city where you can indulge in both space cakes and alcohol.
Who could resist sampling a space cake in a former police station? Not Snoop Dogg, nor a host of other celebrities who have popped into the Bulldog Ex-policestation, in the bustling Leidseplein Square, over the years. It was opened on April Fool’s Day 1985, but this coffee shop is no joke. You can spend hours here people watching, lounging about and generally enjoying a true Amsterdam cannabis experience. The Leidseplein tram stop is only steps from the front door, making Ex-policestation an effortless visit.
World travellers may have spotted the Bulldog in Spain, Aruba, Italy or British Columbia, but there’s nothing quite like the original. The Bulldog First Coffeeshop in Amsterdam sprouted up in 1974 as a secret smoking spot for locals hidden within a sex shop. This cannabis shop now enjoys a legendary mythology as the first five-star hostel on the planet. Stay the night, spend a little time munching on space cakes in their cafe and relax with a little cannabis right around the corner from the Red Light District.
Nick Dauk contributed additional reporting.
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