by Red Mezz
Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom
April 17, 2006
Welcome to the Amsterdam coffee shop. For all that there is to see and do in Amsterdam that doesn't involve coffee shops and sampling the unique experiences that Amsterdam offers legally, there are also places to enjoy these rare experiences, and The Bulldog is at the top of this list. For the ultimate experience of Amsterdam's coffee shops, be sure to check out The Bulldog. You can easily spot it by the big circular sign outside the shop.
There is more than one Bulldog in Amsterdam... one of the first coffee shop chains to offer the atmosphere and experience of a coffee shop, with a relaxed and safe venue. But for the best of the atmosphere, I highly recommend the Bulldog Energy on Oudezijds Voorburgwal. It's not far out away from the centre of town, and there are no dodgy back streets you need to cross to reach it. One step inside and you've left the cruisy Dutch atmosphere of the canals and architecturally brilliant streets and are in another world entirely. The lights are low and red, and the entire dive is painted to make you feel as if you're in a little underground cove, enhanced by all the carvings of gnomes and gargoyles and barstools fashioned after mushrooms and some covered in cowhide.
The bar itself is extraordinary, the carving of the wood is excellent, and adds to the great feel of the place, domed and even the ceiling has the feel of root work from giant trees above. I wish I had pictures to show to do the place justice in this review... but they ask you not to take photos inside the shop. But to get an idea of just how fantastic the interior is, check out their website: http://www.bulldog.nl/locales/Gallery-Energy.htm.Even if you have no interest whatsoever in sampling the coffee shop's infamous stock... you must pop into the Bulldog while in Amsterdam for a look see. It really is one of the coolest places I've been in to date. And if you do want to sample, there are an array of choices. Simply go up to the bar and look at their selection of very reasonably priced goods.
But I warn you, if you do try them, beware that it is very very strong indeed. Even if you are used to it. So stop into the Bulldog for a look at the place, or a taste of the local merchandise. You won't regret it.
From journal January in Amsterdam