3 Ways to Warm Up This Winter

 By Melinda Kujawa for Amsterdam Spoke

We know winter is upon us when the temperature drops and the sky looks grey for the few short hours that the sun is up. Instead of waiting for the season to pass tucked inside your heated homes, pull on those parkas and head to these 3 hot spots where you will be sure to warm up in a flash and forget that winter has just begun.

Het Karbeel
Warmoestraat 16
Located in a historical location not far from Central Station sits Het Karbeel. The restaurant’s unassuming exterior may lead one to believe that the place is just like all of the other cliché tourist restaurants in the area, but they would be wrong; this place is a true Dutch restaurant. The kind staff greet you at the door and will lead you to a table where you start to warm up immediately in the cozy interior by the glow of candles. One look at the menu will show that they have a lot to offer, but only one section will provide the most efficient way to warm up this winter: cheese fondue. The lunch menu provides a choice of three different types of cheese fondue to choose from with a slightly bigger selection in the evening hours. Order one up and wait while the server brings out the fondue pot filled with warm, velvety cheese heated over a fire at your table. The means offered to get the cheese from point A (fondue pot) to point B (your mouth) include bread, vegetables, and some fruit. The servings are huge and meant as a meal for more than one person so make sure you go hungry.
Amstelstraat 18-20
This small chocolate cafe located near Rembrandtplein only has 8 tables, but is a wonderful place for people watching- it usually happens in the following order: Customers slip into the chairs, eager to look at the menu filled with numerous amounts of chocolate items including cookies, cakes, waffles, milkshakes and hot chocolate. A staff member comes to take the order and while waiting for it to be brought out is when they get a look at their surroundings. The walls are a soothing chocolate brown color and the floors are warm wood. Pictures of chocolate bars and coco beans are displayed on the wall along with a large flat-screen with a continual loop playing the process of chocolate making. The smell of chocolate wafting through the air makes the wait even harder. Finally, the order arrives. It most likely consists of a small bite to eat along with one of the 7 different kinds of hot chocolate offered. The hot chocolate has a thick consistency and a gooey taste that can be best described as a liquid brownie. As the last of the small meal is finished and the warmth of the chocolate overtakes the body, the bill is paid and the customers slip back out into the winter. The table is soon filled with another bunch of chocolate-lovers and the guilty-pleasure process begins all over again.
Pulitzer’s Bar
Prinsengracht 315-331
The list wouldn’t be complete without an option to warm up with alcohol. That’s where Pulitzer’s Bar comes in. Located in the Jordaan with extremely scenic views overlooking the Prinsengracht, the bar looks like an elitist’s library from a century passed. The walls are rich colors of deep red and dark navy, hard-covered books are neatly placed on shelves lining the walls, and soft leather chairs hold guests as they enjoy a glass of wine. The bartenders stand behind the massive bar that holds a fresh arrangement of flowers to bring a slightly feminine touch to the very masculine room. Every table holds small snacks including mixed nuts, a piano sits in the corner waiting to be played, and the bartenders whistle as they work and they serve with a smile. Lastly, the prices are reasonable so you can stay and warm up throughout the entire chilly evening.