Games, 2 Volcano Digits, scales, mags
and a microscope for customer use
De Kuil (pronounced "cowl") retains a traditional cafe-bar look, known locally as a "brown café". In continental Europe, café tends to mean a bar or what we English call a pub. In Amsterdam, a café-coffeeshop is, or rather was, a place where both alcohol and cannabis were available. Sadly, since 1st April 2007 no coffeeshop is allowed to sell alcohol and no bar is allowed to sell cannabis. Now only a coffeeshop, it's also changed its name. It's often called itself 420 Cafe (or occasionally Cannabis Cafe) over many years but the transformation seems to be complete now with all of the signage changed.
It's an old building with beams across the ceiling. There is a small seating area by the window and then a long bar along the left wall. Behind the bar is a big, smart wooden cabinet and opposite the bar are some tables with tall bar stools. At the far end of the bar is the dealer's counter where a range of quality weed and hash is available. Beyond the bar is a lower section where there used to be a pool table and is now more seating. On the end of the counter are 2 Volcano vapourisers. There is also a microscope to examine your buds.
Music is pre-programmed from a selection of hundreds of tracks. Classic rock is the order of the day with a special place for Frank Zappa. His initials are on the window and there are 4:20 signs around the place reflecting de Kuil's popularity with American tourists. Another distinctive feature is the friendly bring-your-own food policy. This is cool because Oudebrugsteeg, where de Kuil is located, has a good selection of take-away food and cake shops (some open very late).
Freewheelin' Franklin from UK. Sent 30 Nov 2014.
Doesn't look good for this former top place, with the law regarding its proximity to schools meaning it may close permanently when its license expires. Currently open at 6pm.
Paul P from UK. Sent 5 Sep 2013.
This was my first ever coffeeshop experience. Arrived in Amsterdam about 10am in November 2012 with my girlfriend. She had been to Amsterdam before so she knew her way around and where a few coffeeshops were etc. She took me to 420 cafe, as it was her first coffeeshop and it's just 3 mins away from Centraal station. When entering the coffeeshop, was greeted by a very friendly Dutch lady who told us straight away where to get our gear from. We headed over to the counter and picked up some White Widow at €9 pg. The bud tender was really helpful and showed us several different strains. As I'm used to smoking English weed which is full of chemicals and fertiliser and is really strong, I completely underestimated the strength of the White Widow, which I proceeded to roll up 0.5 into a joint for myself. The bud was really hard and covered in crystals and crumbled into dust without even the need for a grinder. Had a fruity but really harsh throat hit and burnt really smooth. You could tell the weed was properly grown unlike at home, and I walked out of the coffeeshop feeling the highest I'd felt in a long time, which was extremely fun dodging bikes and trams as I wasn't familiar with the bike lanes etc. I came back to Amsterdam in March 2013 and this was again my first coffeeshop of the trip. My girlfriend bought some 420 Haze, really fruity, strong effect and was €11 per gram, I bought some Caramello hash for €12 which was really dark and squishy and had a very chocolatey taste. Good effect as well. Later in the trip bought some of the New York City Diesel as well for €12 and this was one of my top buds of the whole trip! I was greeted the same as before upon entry! Warm welcome! Smiling staff who were more than happy to help with anything we needed. The interior of the coffeeshop is all wooden with a big long wooden bar, enough light so it's not too dark but not too light, and this place always gets full. The big 'joint lamp' on the wall toward the rear of the coffeeshop made me wish I had one in my bedroom haha! This is my number 1 coffeeshop for the fact I feel safe here and the coffeeshop is so cozy and the music is very good! I recommend this coffeeshop for the older age group (even though I'm 22) or for any classic rock fan! You'll feel right at home: Hendrix, Pink Floyd etc, and no Africans trying to sell me 'Charlie' or 'crack' as I walk toward the coffeeshop which happens often in the Red Light Area. If you want to experience a real 'coffeeshop' this is the one! No idiots, no trance music and if you don't want to feel ripped off like in the Bulldog or Grasshopper and you enjoy a nice coffee or tea at reasonable prices (we paid one day €2 per coffee or tea) with some quality products for sale! This is the coffeeshop for you! Ps the cappuccino is to die for here! Great with a nice joint of Hash! 10/10 for 420 Cafe! This will always be my first coffeeshop upon arrival in Amsterdam! See you in November 2013 ;)
Matt H from Canada. Sent 5 Jul 2009.
By far my favorite coffeeshop. Plays a great collection of rock specifically Canadian rock seems to dominate the playlist. The layout is of classic bar style reminds me of the biggest vapor lounge in Toronto Vapor Central. The Super Silver Haze was the most potent weed I have ever had in Amsterdam. I have sampled the best award winning strains and the SSH is the best kept secret in town. The tricombs just glisten off that spotlight on the scale.
Jason from USA. Sent 2 Jul 2009.
Great place, nice sized, quality menu full of weed (hi to low) hash (hi to low) and pre rolled joints. You can use a microscope to check your weed, and you can use a vaporizer to smoke. The weed is weighed in front of you, which is always a nice decency.
Glenn from Canada. Sent 14 May 2008.
The music in this spot was a good mix of rock which is a bit rare to hear in Amsterdam. The dealer was really busy with a bunch of indecisive travellers and served me ahead of them (thanks). I had a gram of Parvati Creme for 13E. Very enjoyable buzz and a smooth smoke.
Ganjwarrior from Canada. Sent 19 Jan 2008.
This place is special to me for a couple of reasons. Number one, it was the first coffeeshop I visited on my first trip to Amsterdam a few years back. Second, and more importantly, it has repeatedly gotten me higher than any other shop. The Blueberry is actually a nice shade of turquoise, and left me flying back to the hostel two years in a row. Newbies beware, the Neville's Haze is the strongest weed in A'dam in my opinion. I once bought a gram, rolled half of it up and smoked it while reading a book. Three hours later I was still blitzed but decided to smoke some more before catching the tram home. Halfway through the joint I felt too stoned to finished it, then looked down and realized that I'd only smoked half of the first! I'm an every day smoker and it still left me so stoned that I slept for fifteen hours. I will, however, be going back for more.
Kenny from UK. Sent 6 Sep 2006.
This place is good for a smoke and a chat, great atmos, me and my m8 walked in got a drink and some bud. My friend got a gram of Nevilles Haze which he loved, and I got a gram of Blueberry, one of my favourite indicas of the trip, very tasty. Anyway we were both smoking away at the bottom end of the shop and getting happily stoned when there was this big crash! We both shit one and jumped up but did not have a clue what it was at first, but apparently there was a big 4ftx3ft picture on the wall with 1cm thick glass in it, the thing had fallen off the wall and just missed someone at the bar by a whisker, the staff were very good though and apologised to everyone especially the customer who nearly ended up in hospital, apart from that the cafe is spot on, highly recommended!
Nibes from USA. Sent 16 Jul 2006.
Stopped in here one night, bought a gram of AK-47 (10€ish) and stuck a third of it in a bong. Was blitzed for the next 3 hours. The interior seemed nice, though I must confess I remember little other than buying my weed and smoking it.
Doody from USA. Visited May 30-June 7. Sent 27 Jun 2006.
Just South of Central Station, off the Damrak on an interesting little alley type of side street, Oudebrugsteeg. It is very brown bar- ish inside, lots of wood, and a large front window to look out. A long bar goes down the left side of the room with several stools, and tables with stools along the other wall. In the back there is a lower level with tables and chairs and a pool table. The back part of the bar is where the menu is, everything looked very lekker (nice); 6 wiet, and 4 hasj choices. They also have very good pre-rolled joints; I tried the puur-mixed at 6 euro, it was a little expensive, but very fat and stoney for this central part of town. My friend tried the most expensive haze on the menu and it was great. The staff was amazingly friendly, got served a cold bier with a big smile! The music is the best just about anywhere. As the sign says, "Classic Rock & Frank Zappa," that's what we got. The ambiance is very "Gezellig", the Dutch term to explain just the right amount of lighting, music, decor etc. They had large framed paintings on the walls, dimmed lights and candles, but not too dim due to the window, and the sound system is very nice, not too loud. A great place for bier and buds, not to miss.
Tyler H from USA. Sent 16 Jun 2006.
This place is more for the locals I think. It had nice buds at fair prices. I would get the Neville's Haze and Super Silver Haze as they were both quite nice. This place just gave me a weird feeling, and the bar tender didn't let me touch the volcano instead he gave me the bowl to load, and then filled the bag (once) for us. It was quite a strange man running the place, bud was good however.
Beth from USA. Sent 15 Mar 2006.
Laid back atmosphere, good music, and great smoke. The people were so friendly and helpful. I think you are allowed to have beer there too, but I could be wrong. But it looks like an English bar on the inside, and really nice deals on their menu. Plus, it is like right off of Damrak.
Doctor Jim from Canada. Visited Oct 22-29. Sent 25 Dec 2005.
Our favorite night destination, 420 was the perfect vibe for us. Mostly mid-40 crowd including the staff. Safe, warm and mellow with 70's & 80's Rock and great beer. 420 Haze was a real buzzy high, pure pre-rolled joints were a mix of everything and excellent to flatten out.
Wilson from UK. Visited 24-26 April. Sent 27 Apr 2005.
This was my favourite shop of the trip. I am getting a bit older and appreciated the more mature atmosphere. No banging house music or gangs of loud mutants. Very much a good bar with smokables and singable rock-n-roll. Bought some Sage to try the taste which was great. Cool smoke and great head high. Dealer was really friendly and took time to show us the wears. They had some White Widow that looked superb, covered in frost, but we were already stoked. Wished I had tried it now.
Rici from USA. Sent 23 Mar 2005.
Great if you can get in. Really close on the main Centrum strip. Had some really nice Blueberry, and the music was sick. There is a pasty shop across the street that is unbelievable. So get baked and feed those munchies.
Fatboy Scouse from UK. Sent 2 Mar 2005.
Classic rock, friendly staff, very "brown cafe" feel, excellent (if a little pricey) smokeables, lots of Americans, a great place right in the centre of town where you can get a cold beer and smoke a joint. Perfick.
Matthew from England. Visited 14-18 Feb. Sent 22 Feb 2005.
Seems to be changing to the 420 café, best place to drink and smoke, great atmos.
TrippingOverGod from UK. Sent 6 Feb 2005.
The Frank Zappa Coffeeshop had to be our first visit, especially as we were staying a stones throw away - despite the slightly incongruous nature of it being Zappa themed despite his hatred of all drugs, a good venue with friendly staff, especially the long-bearded guy. Great Blueberry, one of the highlights of our trip.
Dave S from England. Visited 17-20 Dec 04. Sent 4 Jan 2005.
I sought this place out after reading many of the reviews and being a big Zappa fan as well didn't hurt. The first night I entered to the sounds of "Yes" playing over the sound system - a good start, which I commented on to the friendly and helpful dealer. I was sitting at the end of the bar, near to the window toking on a very nice 420 Haze pure spliff when an English couple sat down next to me, and within minutes started moaning about how some people (meaning me presumably) shouldn't be smoking in regular bars and clubs but should save it for the proper coffeeshops so as not to offend normal people?? I couldn't be bothered to argue the toss with them, so I finished my spliff and left. I think they may have been confused as most coffeeshops don't sell alcohol, but it wasn't worth losing my vibes over. The next day, the vibe couldn't have been more different - got down and serious with the volcano vaporiser and all my troubles faded away.
John & Jo from England. Sent 19 Dec 2004.
This was definitely our biggest disappointment of our trip. Felt more like a bar than a coffee shop, it was really busy with just guys mainly drinking beer! Don't get me wrong, nothing against it, just isn't what we went for.
J.C. from USA. Sent 19 Nov 2004.
Top honors. They get my vote for best coffeeshop. Nice sound system and great music. Not too loud, keeps the conversation flowing. Beautiful wood bar, Amstel, nice clean glass bongs, beautiful Australian girl at the bar. It was just the nicest place to be.
Lee and Deb from South Africa. Sent 17 Oct 2004.
Situated in the main part of the circus, I expected this place to be heaving but on the two occasions that we went here we managed to get a cool spot by the front window. I loved the way the dealer actually weighs the goods in front of you. We bought most of our weed here. Not a huge choice of beer in this place Amstel, Amstel or Amstel. The brightly coloured cakes and doughnuts across the way are very suggestive.
Kyle from UK. Visited 6-9th Aug.. Sent 19 Aug 2004.
A great coffeeshop to just chill with a nice fat joint and a nice pint of Amstel. I can't remember which bud I bought there but I remember it being very good. There was also a microscope near the pool table to examine your buds. The only bad thing about De Kuil was that it was too so hot in there that you have to go out and come back in to cool down but overall a very good coffeeshop.
Anon.. Sent 22 Feb 2004.
De Kuil was on my must do list on my latest mission to Amsterdam. I have been making the visit to Amsterdam once a year for several years now. I have always heard great things about De Kuil but for whatever reason I never visited. It is very easy to find and only a 5 minute walk from the train station. This place has the best atmosphere of any coffeeshop I have visited. I sampled some form of Haze and also took the infamous vaporiser hit (highly recommended). The bartender was chatty and helpful and the dealer was as well. De Kuil will now become my first stop when I arrive in Amsterdam.
Dil from Scotland. Sent 30 Jan 2004.
Just great for an old dude like me who enjoys a beer, old tunes and pool with his spliff. Went for the "420" skuff at 60 euro for 5g. It's not bad at that price but better can be found elsewhere. Anyway go for a beer and tip the pretty barmaids well and you will be rewarded with a sunny smile.
Dirtyfloyd from USA. Visited Halloween '03. Sent 12 Dec 2003.
I cannot recommend this shop enough. One of the few coffeeshops that combine cannabis, booze, and music to perfection. Make sure and try the volcano (you'll get hooked) and chat with the friendly dealer from New Jersey, he's got some funny "hit by tram" stories and is all too happy to share his "how and why I work in a coffeeshop" story. I bought some creeper haze based on a previous review and found it to be quite nice. Also enjoyed the 420 skuff and the beer, and leering at the all too hot barmaid.
Dave from UK. Visited 10-11 Oct 03. Sent 13 Oct 2003.
Another well recommended C-shop, and another that lived up to billing. Can't remember too much about it, other than the very chilled atmos and the stunning girl behind the bar on Saturday. The reason I can't remember is that darn vapouriser. Dear God that thing is wicked. We bought some White Widow and pretty much did the lot of it on the Volcano. Smoothest way of getting caned I've ever known, and always passed to us with a sly grin and a warm word by Captain Birdseye the dealer-man. Bought some Phazer on Fri night, which all but finished me off. Fantastic place, all the staff were cool over the weekend, basically a fine shop to pass the time, get high, and groove to the 70's rock tunes that caress your ears as another balloon slides down. Go there.
Rhys from UK. Visited 26, 27, 28 Sept 03. Sent 30 Sep 2003.
What a coffeeshop, it's got the lot, great bar staff, knowledgeable pleasant dealers, booze, great music, a Vaporiser and of course great smokes. My personal favourite of the whole trip came from this shop, 420 Haze, fantastic, just the right amount of head and body high combined with a lovely sense of well being. The NL5 Haze was pretty cool but the Creeper Haze was way too intense for me. The Vaporiser was a surprise, I was a bit scared of it at first if I'm honest but eventually with my resistance lowered by various hazes and no small amount of pier pressure I went for it, WOW, what a clean high, especially with Sativa's... I tried a friends Blueberry in it, way to heavy, reminded me why I don't smoke many Indica's. The people who work here are really cool, they even Vap'd some of my mates weird mix for him (combination of 10 or so different products) that was a head tingler. All in all for me the number one coffeeshop in Amsterdam.
Zunki from UK via South Africa. Visited Frequently. Sent 21 Sep 2003.
This is my new favorite. The whole package is great, good bud (particularly the Phazer and Blueberry) they also have a good selection of hash which I haven't tried (I only smoke grass). The beer is cold and the staff very helpful, friendly. The atmosphere in the shop its self is very relaxed and friendly. Top marks for this "Cheers" type coffee shop, If I was fortunate enough to live in Amsterdam this would be my local
Ant and Saz from UK. Visited 5 - 7 Aug 2003. Sent 8 Aug 2003.
Might look uncomfortable, but a nice stopping off point in a central location which has a nice menu, recommend the haze's. Would always make a point of coming back here, stick to the grass & sit off in the window to watch the freaks go by....
Pete and Stu from UK. Sent 20 Jul 2003.
Yeah, we liked this place a lot. After Homegrown Fantasy this was our favourite, in fact once we'd sussed the city out properly we'd go to Homegrown in the day and this place at night. I'd say this is more of a nighttime place, and it serves alcohol, which is excellent. You can bring your own food, which again is great, and they have seats right up against the big front windows so you can stare out at people - very good way of passing the time whilst smoking and having a beer.
Like someone else said, it isn't massively friendly in here, but it's pretty laid-back. It's the coffee shop equivalent of an old-style British pub basically, and is decorated as such. You will not find any neon signs of cartoon characters smoking spliffs in here, haha! They also like their old-school rock, which made a refreshing change actually. We didn't encounter any of the loud Americans of the annoying, obnoxious type people complain about, in fact everyone was very chilled.
This is a great place to relax in the evening basically, and they have internet access here too: another bonus! We didn't sample the 'menu', but the beer was nice and cold, and reasonably priced considering the place's location. The one thing that really won me over here though, was one night when I was just resting my head on my hands at the bar, having consumed many j's and many beers... and just fell asleep. This, obviously, was totally embarrassing and it must piss off coffee shop staff constantly, but the girl at the bar just gently shook me to wake me up and asked if I was ok. To take pity on someone who's clearly being a bit of a loser in your establishment - i.e. me - was pretty decent of her, so for that, and everything else of course, this places gets top marks!
Jeremy from USA. Sent 15 Jul 2003.
Can you say Frank? This is ZAPPA heaven. Come here after a long day of trans or dance or whatever they're calling that crap now. Located right in front of Central Station this shop has everything you'll need. Once you step inside pure joy will spread over your face and your ears will have the pleasure of fully opening. Behind the bar if you peer hard enough you'll notice the whole Zappa catalog (among lots of other rock oriented albums) queued up and ready to go. Real wood adorns this place instead of plastics, formica and vinyl. There's a pool table at the back and a nice huge American flag hangs from the tallest wall. Get almost any type of spirited drink you could desire here.
I thought the strain "Knockout" was decent but definitely did not hold up to its name.
Kind Bud Kid from USA. Sent 18 Jun 2003.
Kinda dark uncomfortable place in my opinion. The people seem OK, not overly friendly. But the Phazer is insane.
Jamie from UK. Sent 29 Apr 2003.
Rating: 8/10 From the outside of the coffeeshop I really didn't expect to like this place (I was especially put off by the notoriety it has for being a hang out for loud American potheads) but with the added help of a pool table at the back I was pleasantly surprised. When you enter the coffeeshop you are first met by a big wooden bar with lots of stools lined along it. There was a beautiful bar maid working there last time who had the attention of a lot of male customers, one of whom tried to be a bit over friendly and found himself the victim of a very hard slap across the face! There is an extensive range of alcoholic drinks on offer and a good variety of teas and coffee to quench that inevitable drought in your mouth. Further along this bar there was a tall, plump bearded man who looked like a cross between a hippy and a Sea Captain who turned out to be the dealer. He was perfectly friendly and informative about the rather small menu on offer but seemed in a rush to make the transaction and have that be that. I ended up purchasing some Moroccan hash which was average but nothing more. The Jack Herer on the other hand was something else! Quite simply the best Jack Herer I've ever had in 'Dam or anywhere else. I'm sure there must be other places in 'Dam selling as good as if not better but I haven't found it. Other than that the place is heavily built around one theme: a lot of wood! The chairs are hard and not particularly comfortable but I literally only used this for skinning up and to temporarily recover once the Herer had been sparked up! Next to the pool table area which is at the back (lots of space to play and a good sized table for you pool fans who are interested) is a microscope set up for you to inspect your dope so closely that the buds look like fields cove red in snow. Had me fascinated at one point. The only downside to report on this c'shop is the high prices on the menu, surprisingly beer is reasonably priced, and the fact a hash I purchased was of really average quality for an over average price. But check it out, it's very central and a nice, pleasant hang out and ignore the stigma; the Americans in there that day were like everyone else; chilled and respectful.
Zunki from UK via South Africa. Visited Frequently. Sent 15 Dec 2002.
Lovely little shop that plays great music and is a nice place to chill and play pool. Unfortunately not very comfortable seating (all high stools). They do have a vaporiser which I tried on my last visit with some of their Jack Herer. That was the best buzz for a long time.
Fred. Sent 7 Dec 2002.
Used to be a favourite - good vibe & bud. However, in July '02 I was ripped off with 5 gr. of "Caramello" - when burned, it bubbled, smelt really bad; no stone whatsoever, just a sore throat & headache. Will never darken their door again
Christopher from USA. Sent 10 Jan 2002.
The proprietor is a quite charming fellow, and the smokes are top flight.
Brian from USA. Sent 26 Oct 2000.
Basically lived there - what a great place. Really, really nice staff, friendly clientele, great smoke and smoke-assistance from the weed-tenders, and a couple of the prettiest girls I have ever seen working the bar, open 'till 3:00AM on weekends - who could ask for more? Anyway, just a great place to hang out. My new favorite.
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