Kef is a treasure trove for cheese lovers. The shop is sandwiched between a coffeeshop and beauty salon on an otherwise deserted stretch of Marnixstraat, but it's worth a special trip.
The distinctive stench of cheese hits you several metres from the front door. Inside, shelves groan under the weight of wheels of Dutch cheese and a glass display is filled with predominantly French cheeses from small producers. These include oozing Brie aux Truffes, blue-veined Bleu d’Auverne, Abbaye de Tamié, an Alpine cheese with a saffron crust, and Mimolette, a striking orange French Edam.
In addition to cheese, Kef sells plenty of things to go with it: baguettes and fig bread from French bakery Gebroeders Niemeijer, rillettes, paté, dried sausages, olives, wine and sticky quince paste.
Kef was opened in 1953 by Abraham Kef. He passed away several years ago and the shop is now run by Marike van der Werff, an unassuming Dutchwoman with an encyclopaedic knowledge of cheese.
Prices are lower than Tromp, another of Amsterdam’s top kaas mongers, but the location makes Kef a largely undiscovered gem.
Kef also supplies cheeses to a number of Amsterdam restaurants. If you can't make it to the shop, look out for them on the menus of Le Restaurant, Aan de Poel, Gebr. Hartering, Dauphine and Merkelbach, amongst others.
Wed-Thur 11.00-19.00; Fri-Sat 10.00-18.00; Sun midday-18.00
Telephone: 020 420 0097
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