Bulldog 90 coffeeshop is located in the Red Light District, close to The Oude Church (The Old Church). This is the heart of Amsterdam, one of the busiest sections of the city center. As such, the area is heavily trafficked by visitors. Expect a lot of activity.
Also known as “Bulldog The First”, this coffeeshop was officially founded in December 1975. Depending on how you qualify it, this is either the longest or second-longest running coffeeshop in the city. At one time Bulldog 90 was actually an illegal establishment, selling cannabis in violation of Dutch law. They were, unquestionably, pioneers in the cannabis movement. We can see tribute to this controversial history throughout the shop.
One of the most notable features is the “Orange Raid Alarm”. The bartender upstairs would drop an orange down a dumbwaiter shaft in the event of a police raid. This would serve as advance warning to everyone in the basement consuming (and selling) cannabis. This usually provided enough time to stash or dispose of the illegal goods before the officers made it down the steep narrow staircase. The shop is filled with historic photos and memoirs like this for modern day visitors to enjoy. And in spite of much expansion, cannabis is still sold in the basement, in a tribute to the shop’s roots.
The shop itself is quite impressive in its décor. The interior consists of polished old wood and accent fixtures. It almost has the feel of an upscale bar or steakhouse. In spite of heavy visitor traffic and use for years, the interior of the shop has been beautifully maintained. The outside is no exception. At some point, the shop was even able to add a large area of canal-side seating which offers breathtaking views on sunny days.
Art is a major theme in this coffeeshop. A lot of tourists visit The 90 specifically to see its famous painted façade, created by Harold Thorton. He became well known in Amsterdam in the early 1970s. The mural was painted back in December 1975 and has made The Bulldog Nr.90 impossible to walk past without noticing. Many of Thorton’s paintings also adorn the Bulldog Hotel in Amsterdam, and are certainly worthy of a visit.
Bulldog moves a lot of cannabis, and has a lot of buying power with growers. They sometimes get flack for being “too commercial”, but in our experience you can usually find quality flower on the menu here. However, by their own admission they are not contemporary strain hunters. If you want 38% THC Gorilla Glue, this is not the place. The stock usually reflects traditional genetics, with a focus more on flavor and experience. If that is what you seek, you would be remiss to overlook this shop.
- Outdoor Seating
Want to experience a bit of what it was like in Amsterdam when the coffeeshop scene first started? Bulldog 90 takes credit as the first and longest operating coffeeshop in the city. Management has preserved its legendary history on the walls and in the decor, putting this high on the list of “must see” establishments.