A tour of the city in 12 modern-classic pubs

The Great Rotterdam Pub Crawl

The Rumah - 51northphotography

A tour of the city in 12 modern-classic pubs

These days, a good pub offers more than a decent glass of beer (poured with 2 fingers of foam in the Netherlands!), a stool and a listening ear behind the bar. Some brew their own liquid gold, and others mix excellent cocktails or combine a drink with vinyl or vintage sales. And in some places, you can spot young talent during live performances. Plenty to enjoy and discover at these pubs, bars, cocktail pubs and restobars that effortlessly combine timeless and innovative. We selected 12 of them, spread across the city.

Bakeliet, an experimental entity

The title ‘modern classic’ fits Bakeliet like a glove. Here, on Nieuwe Binnenweg, you come for the combination of ‘drinks, vinyl & food’. The owners opened Bakeliet to meet the need for something new in Rotterdam’s catering industry. A step that unites food, (world) music, art, drinks and dancing. This place is both accessible, progressive and experimental. Step into a comfortable atmosphere, only to be surprised by new music, flavours, mini-concerts, exhibitions and performances!

Dizzy, live jazz for years

Jazz café Dizzy has been a household name in Rotterdam since 1977, called after jazz trumpeter John Birks ‘Dizzy’ Gillespie. Many famous names – Chet Baker, George Coleman, Art Taylor – performed here. There is also funk and Latin jazz and young (inter)national talent through a collaboration with the World Music School. Pop in for lunch or dinner and be wowed by live performances on Monday and Tuesday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Tip: in summer, relax in Dizzy’s courtyard garden.

Amore, celebrate the surprising Italian way of life 

An extravagant restobar where you can discover something new every time! When visiting Amore, anything can happen. You may pop in for a glass of natural wine on the terrace but end up on the dance floor until late at night! If you come as a couple for Italian shared dining, you could find yourself on the terrace with a bottle of cider and a large group of friends. Amore – inspired by Italian food customs and lifestyle – is all about surprises. In fact, it encourages an evening with quirky twists!

LaBru: welcoming, vintage and for everyone

Be it the the gin & tonics or the vintage interior, LaBru attracts a variety of regulars for different reasons. Head there on Wednesday nights for live (jazz) bands. Or pop by for late-afternoon drinks with tapas and cocktails or a shot of tequila at the bar. The interior is offbeat; lots of eighties and nineties vintage and art on the wall. Like it? It’s for sale!

The Rumah, where everyone feels at home

This neighbourhood cocktail bar gave a new name to an obvious-feeling concept. Rumah means ‘home’ in Indonesia, and that is exactly what the founders want to offer their guests: the feeling of home, but with better cocktails, good rum and tasty classics on the menu.

Brewpub Reijngoud, brimming with freshly brewed beer

Brewpub Reijngoud is in Rotterdam’s monumental Hofbogen building. That alone is a reason to visit this place, but so are the 40 different beers on tap and 100 in a bottle! The ideal spot for a beer tasting, but be sure to eat something too, like pizza from the wood-fired oven, or dishes from the Smoker and fresh sourdough bread. You can see where the beer is being brewed. If you want more than just a taste, you can go on a guided tour and buy the best beer you tasted to enjoy again at home.

Proefkokaal Faas, traditional Dutch (brown) pub

Proeflokaal Faas is known as Rotterdam Noord’s best living room. This typical brown pub – with high ceilings and stained-glass windows – on the popular shopping street Zwaanshals serves over 100 speciality beers. Many regulars from the neighbourhood gather here daily for a beer and a chat. You can also join the monthly pub quiz or enjoy live music; bands perform here regularly.

Bierlokaal Locus Publicus, ‘medieval’ beer tasting 

The Romans knew Locus Publicus as a meeting place where, before battle, people would toast to a successful outcome. Our contemporary struggles are different to those days but toasting a happy ending is always a good idea. You can do that here with 15 varying beers on tap. Bierlokaal Locus Publicus has been a household name in Rotterdam for years, located in a beautiful historic building on the Oostzeedijk. Enjoy a beer by the fireplace or at the bar, or rent the ‘medieval’ attic for a beer tasting

Botanero, muy bueno mezcal and classic cocktails

Botanero on the Mariniersweg serves Latin American drinks. From bar and restaurant to cantina and tasting room, this swinging mix offers beers, cocktails, botanas (snacks) and other South American dishes. This is the place to come for craft spirits from small producers in particular: Mexican drinks like mezcal, tequila, Jamaican rum and Schiedam gin. Delicious with Tacos or Botanas Frito!

Fenix Food Factory, an artisanal experience

When crossing the Rijnhaven bridge (‘the Hookers’ Bridge’) connecting Kop van Zuid and Katendrecht, you look out on the award-winning residential building Fenix I which houses the Fenix Food Factory. Several Rotterdam entrepreneurs united here to bring you a wonderful Rotterdam experience: sample a Rotterdam-brewed beer from Kaapse Brouwers, an enticing natural wine from Blije Wijnen, cheese from Booij Kaasmakers or crisp bread from Jordy’s Bakery. Afterwards, stroll further to Deliplein square for pubs and restaurants like De Matroos en het Meisje (set menu), Bistro du Bac and Delibird (Thai).

Ouwehoer, the feel of an old sailors’ pub

Since opening in 2015, café De Ouwehoer has been a staple. So much so that it feels like this place has always been around. The subdued light, dark red walls and a wall full of antlers and paintings contribute to this. You can feel that Katendrecht used to be a sailors’ neighbourhood here. You can choose from 150 whiskies, but beers and classic cocktails are also available. They have live performances a few times a month: including blues, punk and country, but definitely no pop music.

Kopi Soesoe, creative all day café

Kopi Soesoe believes in ‘Coffee and music for life’. Kopi Soesoe is Indonesian for coffee with milk. Coffee and music are the main ‘ingredients’ here, but they also serve (speciality) beer and wine. This small but delightful establishment has a small stage for intimate live performances by up-and-coming musicians, but it’s typically one of those places where you can hang out all day. With a good and creative breakfast and lunch menu (with an Indonesian twist), a variety of cakes (and spekkoek!) and a board for games to play at the table.