Commuting is the thing nobody will say they like most about their day. No matter if it is an hour-long train ride or a twenty-minute bike ride, it is always time in between and never the thing itself. For me, there are three things that make my commute worthwhile: the espresso, the ferry, and the Nijlpaardenburg. So let’s start with the first one: Al Ponte.
This Italian coffee place is located at the IJplein-stop of the ferry taking you to the Central Station is run by Sylvia, the owner, and her motto is ‘Make coffee not war’. She knows all her returning customers by name and so a welcoming ‘buongiorno Barthe, espresso?’ is what I hear every morning.
One important thing to remember is that civility is demanded upon at Al Ponte, and rightly so. A sign on the counter reads that coffee is more expensive when you don’t say please and Sylvia will not serve you when you have headphones in or when you are trying to order ‘Starbucks-style’ in the midst of a phone call.
The quality of the coffee you ask? The best: it will make the coffee at work taste bad. Must-haves are the freshly baked Italian croissants or the lemon cake that you will smell when approaching Al Ponte. And when the weather allows it, you’ll see people from the neighborhood gather for coffee dates, open their laptops on the terrace or just enjoy their coffee with a view over the water.