Amsterdam is known for many things, but a good steak is definitely not one of them. But there is a gem to be found just south of the city centre named Café Loetje. Skip the dime-a-dozen "Argentinian steakhouses" that dot the tourist areas - they don't come close to matching Loetje (pronounced "loot-yuh").
Cooked only one way – rare (you could ask for it differently, but you then risk betraying your outsider status) – and served in a light gravy with fries and a side salad, the steak is a favourite among locals and the location in a residential neighbourhood provides a respite from the tourist masses. While everyone else ambles back to the centre or the city, head here after a day at the nearby Van Gogh museum. Price-wise, it is quite reasonable.
The staff are busy but refreshingly friendly, the atmosphere casual, noisy and clean, and they won’t take reservations for less than six people, but standing around with a beer or wine while waiting for your table to become available is part of the fun. To add to the casual atmosphere, you may see a dog or two lying around. As for what to order … other menu items look just as tasty, but you don’t want to make a mistake and miss steak.
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