I love drinking coffee in Rotterdam: so many places to go. Since it is almost impossible to find bad tasting coffee in Rotterdam, the atmosphere becomes more important for picking the right spot to drink the black gold. So here are my 6 favorite coffee shops in Rotterdam for those who want to enjoy their coffee with locals. (Updated: november 4th 2016)
Rotterdam is a great city for a weekend break. I already listed my favorite Thai restaurants, Italian restaurants and of course the best hamburgers in Rotterdam (my annual Hamburgertest is featured in newspaper Metro).
But I thought it would be nice to share my favorite places to start the day. Even though there are a lot of good franchise-chains for coffee in Rotterdam (like DE, Coffee Company, Bagels & Beans, Starbucks and Doppio) this list contains only the ones you won’t find in other cities in The Netherlands.
Oh, and just a reminder for visitors: if you ask people on the street for directions to the nearest coffee shop, you will probably end up at the mindblowing ones ;). So just explain that you are looking for a place to drink coffee.
1. Hopper Coffee, Schiedamse Vest 146, 3011 BG
This bar is definitely the place to go when you truly love coffee. Pick your beans and get a freshly brewed coffee, just the way you like it (filtered, espresso, frenchpressed, you name it). Hopper Coffee also serves nice lunches and to be honest they have the best croissants in the world! This places is great if you are in a chatty mood, as the acoustics probably won’t let you work quietly. Opened: there is a second Hopper in town at Zwaanshals 474, close to the heaven of sweetness: Lof der Zoetheid.
2. Urban Espresso Bar West, Nieuwe Binnenweg 263, 3021 GD
Urban Espresso Bar has two coffee shops in Rotterdam. One is in the citycentre, close to the old harbour (Oude Haven) and one in the western part of the city, which is my favorite. It is a clean and bright place, without hipster-like elements that would make it too fancy. UEB West (as locals call it) is great to read a newspaper, hang out with friends or just to enjoy watching the various types of people that come here.
3. Heilige Boontjes, Eendrachtsplein 3 – 3015 LA
Heilige Boontjes (Holy Little Beans) is a Dutch expression for people who behave well. Too well, one might say. And that’s what make this coffee bar different from all others. Ex-convicts roasting beans and taking care of their own business, their own chain of coffee shops; that is the concept of Heilige Boontjes. To make it even more inspiring, this coffee shop is located in a former police station. The Dutch have a sense of humour, right?
Also visit their street-cred neighborhood coffee bar Ookami in Rotterdam West.
4. Booon, Proveniersstraat 33 – 3033 CG
Great Italian sandwiches and a good Italian espresso, that is what BOOON is about. Nice to know is that BOOON is investing a lot in locally produced ingredients and social projects, but in a very fashionable way. What I like most about this place, is that it is cosy and attracts a nice crowd without being too arrogant.
This coffee shop is just 5 minutes away from Central Station, but the secret is that you have to exit the station at the backside. If you are here at the end of the afternoon you can also have great dinner at the neighbouring Blue Mekong (Vietnamese), La Cazuela (Spanish) or Dunya (Middle Eastern).
5. Koekela, Nieuwe Binnenweg 79A – 3014 GE
This place is famous for it’s cakes, that are sold all over the country. So yes, this is a must-go when you love to have something sweet next to your coffee. I would suggest to give the lemon-merengue pie a try, since it gives a nice extra flavour after a sip of coffee.
Koekela started out as a smaller branch a few doors down the street, but they grew so fast, that they moved into this lovely looking place. Be aware that on weekdays during the mornings, this place is packed with young moms and their babies. BTW you don’t have to wait to get seated, the people standing in line are just ordering cakes and cookies, so grab the first available seat you and relax!
6. Aloha Bar, Maasboulevard 100 – 3063 NS
Have you ever went to a tropical swimparadise and wondered what it would look like without water? Aloha Bar opened in a place that “Rotterdammers” know as Tropicana. During the 80’s and 90’s thousands of kids and adults would spend hours on wildwaterrides, slides and the waves of this swimming-‘paradise’.
Nowadays Rotterdam start-ups create small business in this building, but luckily they left a lot of the decoration untouched. So sit down in the retro-design chairs and have a coffee between the fake-palmtrees. AlohaBar also offers a nice view over the river. If you are lucky you can meet the owners of Rotterzwam, who grow delicious mushrooms in the basement.
Interested in how the rest of the world is doing with coffee shops, read this article to find out what’s going on.