Whether you like cocktails or specialty beer. Whether you want to usher in or close the weekend – or the week. Rotterdam has got you covered! The Dutch city is bursting with cool spots for having great drinks. We selected our favorite bars and cafes for you that serve amazing beer, drinks, cocktails or wines. In short: these are the best spots to have a drink in Rotterdam.
25 best bars in Rotterdam
# 1 NRC
NRC is one of the most popular spots in Rotterdam during the weekend. NRC stands for Nieuw Rotterdams Café, but also refers to the newspaper that once had a printing house and office here. NRC is open until 1 a.m. on weekdays and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. First a snack, then a drink and then on to the dance floor. I love coming here because of the extensive wine collection and the cozy terrace in the summer.
# 2 The Caretaker
A few years ago De Huismeester settled in the historic Timmerhuis on the Meent. Owners Chris and Roel serve delicious wines in their living room café and serve Spanish tapas and pinchos. Nice detail: with the old-fashioned rotary telephone upstairs you can order drinks and snacks at the bar downstairs.
# 3 The Yellow Canary
The beers are brewed in-house at De Gele Kanarie beer café on the Goudsesingel. The owners already had a lot of catering experience in Rotterdam – our favorites Bokaal and Weena are also part of that club – but there wasn’t a brewery yet. That became this popular beer café with a large terrace and hip interior. Part of that interior is also a glass floor, so that you have a view of the brewery in the basement during your beer.
# 4 Goblet
On summer evenings, this beer café at the Pannenkoekstraat is the vibrant heart of Rotterdam. The inside is more than attractive, but the terrace in particular is chock full of fun. Until well into late summer, all of Rotterdam gathers under this heat café at this city café for those last summer moments.
# 5 Thoms & Thoms City Brewery
The Meent was once a dull street, but it is now one of the most popular places in Rotterdam. And that is partly due to Thoms. This restaurant with bar, dance floor and its own brewery around the corner is bustling with fun during the weekends. That brewery – Thoms Stadsbrouwerij – is one of the later additions. Thoms has always had its own Thoms beer, which was made in collaboration with Brouwerij Noordt. But with its own brewery, Thoms now even has several of its own beers on draft.
# 6 Belgian Beer Café Boudewijn
Dutch beers may be delicious, but our southern neighbors really invented the wheel. You can taste amazing Belgian beers in Rotterdam at Boudewijn where you can choose from dozens of different beers on draft or in the bottle. Tip: the courtyard is a wonderful place to have a drink in peace.
# 7 Weena
Weena is the place where staff from all offices in the area come to close the working week on Friday afternoon. This hip place with urban jungle breaks through the concrete, chilly Weena. This city cafe is also a great place for lunch or dinner. There is a large terrace for the summer.
# 8 Noordt Brewery
One of Sebastiaan’s favorite Dutch brewers is this brewer in Rotterdam. In Rotterdam-Noord to be precise and that immediately explains the name of this specialty beer. The first beers from Brouwerij Noordt were only served in 2015, but the brand is now an integral part of Rotterdam. Noordt is located in an old fire station and has its own tasting room (especially open during the day).
# 9 The Cape Brewers
Another well-known Dutch brewer! The Kaapse Brouwers have perhaps the best location, located on the Maas with a view over Hotel New York and the Kop van Zuid. In the industrial Fenix Food Factory you can not only enjoy drinks, but also tastings. On draft are not only own brews, but also special beers from fellow brewers.
Update: At the time of writing, the Fenix Food Factory is closed. But soon a new Fenix warehouse will open around the corner.
# 10 Wine Bar The Property
This wine bar has already won several prizes for the best wine bar in the Netherlands. There are so many wines on the menu that it is a good thing that the staff can help you with your choice. Do not expect a hip interior, but a nice terrace, relaxed atmosphere and seriously good wine.
# 11 Supermercado
This colorful hot spot on the Witte de With serves South American dishes such as nachos, empenadas, ceviche and churros. You can choose between several, small snacks or a full dinner. In any case, do not skip the cocktails. All classics are on the menu, but you can make something tasty to every taste.
# 12 Reijngoud & Brewpub Reijngoud
Reijngoud is one of the most popular beer cafés at the Witte de With. The terrace is packed here every summer evening. And good news: a new location has opened. And in a very special place and with a new concept! The Brewput is located in the Hofbogen, the old railway arches on which the train ran from Rotterdam to The Hague. And the concept? Reijngoud brews its own specialty beers here.
# 13 Biergarten
Biergarten is the summer terrace of Rotterdam. This popular outdoor café is opened in the spring near the central station. Live music is often played in the beer garden, because then your beer and burgers taste just a little better.
# 14 Ayla
A small terrace in front and behind, but above all a beautifully decorated restaurant. Ayla even has a toilet that has been styled to perfection. The wine list is extensive and the dishes on the menu are also highly recommended. The style of the kitchen is Mediterranean, so expect fine and original tapas.
# 15 Cape Maria
This living room style café is the younger sister of Kaapse Brouwers. Here you can also go for your favorite Rotterdam beer. There are always dozens of beers on the home-built tap, so you have plenty of choice here. Unlike Kaapse Brouwers itself, you can also go here for a bite to eat.
# 16 Hotel New York & NY Basement
Hotel New York is a classic in the Rotterdam cityscape that even my grandfather still has stories about. You can enjoy a drink on the terrace, but later in the evening you descend one floor later to the basement. In NY Basement you can eat very fine food, but also very nice cocktails.
# 17 BIRD
BIRD can be found in the Hofbogen, in the first part where Rotterdam station was once. Here you are good for food and drinks, but also for music. In the first place, BIRD is a pop stage and traditionally even a jazz café. In the summer, the atmosphere moves to Garden of BIRD, where you can have a nice drink in the city garden. With pizza and often live music.
# 18 Gym & Gin
In an instagrammable interior with a green tiled bar, you will recognize the hippest restaurant in Kralingen. The gym does not represent the gym next to the restaurant, but the healthy dishes on the menu. So the perfect balance for that drink. Because it may be clear what that gin means.
# 19 Kino
Our favorite cinema in Rotterdam! Here you will not only watch cool house movies, but you can also spend the entire evening. The kitchen serves tasty dishes and you can have a nice drink here. Special beers are often on draft, such as Japanese specialty beer when Japanese films by Studio Ghibli were showing.
# 20 Café Rotterdam
Café Rotterdam is perhaps the best place for drinks with a view. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer a view of the Maas and the Erasmus Bridge, the most Rotterdam icon. A nice place to have a drink or to have some food.
# 21 Botanero
Anyone who has been in Mexico knows the concept of a botanero: with every drink you get a snack. This is how it works at the brand new Botanero cocktail bar in Rotterdam. You can eat delicious food, but the highlight is the cocktails that come with a small dish. Tip: Botanero’s paloma blanca, a home-made cocktail on tap, makes you forget George Baker’s song.
# 22 Foodhallen
The Wilhelminapier is getting more fun every year. The Foodhallen were opened just when we thought that this part of old Rotterdam cannot become hip. This modern food court was opened in a historic warehouse with countless stalls of Rotterdam finest. Of course there is also a good bar. Or even two. Cheers!
# 23 Bier boutique
It really can’t go wrong with a name like this. You can’t imagine it if they have it here on tap. This café in the Witte de Withstraat combines specialty beers with a stylish interior. Not a standard pub, but a boutique for beer.
# 24 Annabel
In addition to the Biergarten beer garden, you will find another icon in Rotterdam’s nightlife: pop stage Annabel. In addition to music, this is also a great place for a drink. On the terrace or during a festival.
# 25 Amehoela
The classic tiki bar may be out, but Amehoela takes this old school concept to a higher level. Think of a lot of green and bamboo chairs, but also tropical street food with a South American touch. Of course, this type of tropical atmosphere also includes colorful cocktails and Amehoela has specialized in this.