Rotterdam on Friday – blog #1
Summer has arrived which means it’s time to plan a drink at one of the many nice terraces in Rotterdam! Since the city is surrounded by lots of water (the river Maas and several canals) you can imagine there are plenty of nice spots to relax at the waterfront and enjoy some lovely views on the skyline and watch boats passing by. To make it a bit easier for you, I assembled a list of my favorite terraces in Rotterdam. Don’t hesitate to share the list with your friends. Enjoy and don’t forget to call me to join you for a drink!
L´Ouest – Wine bar, lunch and dinner
The neighborhood West-Kruiskade is a very lively one and is the most multi-cultural area in Rotterdam’s city center. The Van Oldenbarnevelt street is a side street of West-Kruiskade leading to the Central Station. Here you’ll find a couple of nice cafes and restaurants. One of my favourite places is L’Ouest, a trendy wine bar where you can have for lunch, dinner or simply order a good glass of wine accompanied by a platter of exquisite cheeses or charcuterie (hams, salami, etc.). L’Ouest is situated in a prewar building and has a nice terrace where you can spot a bunch of versatile locals walking by who live in the city.
Van Oldenbarneveltstraat 139
Location: Central Station area
Prachtig – under the Erasmus bridge
I used to visit to this restaurant/café when I was about 17 years old to dance at the great salsa parties they organised. Back then I was already amazed by the location of this place. ‘Prachtig’ has a very nice terrace with a fantastic view on the river Maas, the Willems bridge, Erasmus bridge, the modern quarter Kop van Zuid with the brand new building ‘de Rotterdam’ (designed by Rem Koolhaas) and Noordereiland with its Dutch town houses. In the summer, you can sign up for a nice barbecue, enjoy drinks and order good food from the menu.
A La Plancha – pop-up fish restaurant
Á la Plancha is a pop-up fish restaurant in the open air, situated on a remnant of the former Willems bridge and overlooking the river Maas. The spectacular view on Rotterdam’s city center, the skyline and the river is stunning. The restaurant has an open kitchen where fish barbecue is prepared. This place is by far one of the best spots to enjoy Rotterdam’s waterfront while nipping from a glass of sangria, beer or wine. Cheers mates!
When you’re living in Rotterdam you sure know Oude Haven. But for many tourists or people living outside Rotterdam, it’s not evident to get to this place. The Old Harbour is the oldest harbour of Rotterdam which was built in the 14th century already. During summer time, there’s practically no weekend that I don’t relax and have a nice cold beer or wine at one of the outdoor terraces. The great thing about this place is the fantastic view on the historic ships (people atually live here), the historic houses, the famous cube houses and the contrast between the historical White House and the ultramodern skyscrapers in the distance. There are many nice restaurants and cafés to be found here, yet my favorite terrace is Puerto Tapas y Vino (Haringvliet 637) and the terrace of the White House (Geldersekade 1C). When sitting on the terrace of the latter, you’ll have a full view on the old harbour and the funny cube houses.
ALOHA BAR – terrace at the former swimming pool Tropicana
The famous swimming pool Tropicana which used to be one of Rotterdam’s city icons, closed its doors in 2010. Since there was no development plan for the location, some clever undertakers presented a plan to transform the swimming pools’ terrace in a pop-up bar during summer time. And there it is, Aloha Bar, for the second year in a row it has become one of the most popular spots in the city. It attracts students, families, young professionals and former visitors of the pool who want to revive the memories of their childhood. The terrace has a splendid view on the river Maas and Rotterdam’s skyline. It’s decorated with second hand furniture which gives the place a cool look. Some days, there’s a pop-up pizza bakery for the hungry ones.
Address: Maasboulevard 100
POL & CAFE VAN ZANTEN – Binnenrotte area
One of my favorite places to stroll around in the weekends is the Binnenrotte, a vivid area with some nice restaurants, cafes and Rotterdam’s local market. In the summer there’s also a market on Sunday yet in a reduced form. In this case, the popular cafes Van Zanten and Pol adjacent to the Meent street extend their terraces. These are visited by both locals and tourists/day visitors seeking the sun and a refreshing beer. Cafe Pol permanently has one of my favorite beers (draft) namely the Triple Karmeliet (Belgium) and the Edelweiss (Germany). Van Zanten has exquisite flammenküchen on the menu (very thin pizza with different toppings, from goat cheese till ham and vegetables). This is a perfect bite to share with friends and to accompany a glass of wine or one of their many (draft) beers.
Location: Meent street
PIERRE – lovely French bistro with a sunny terrace
The Pannekoekstraat (pancake street) is not only lovely for its name yet also for its shops, restaurants and cafes. Pierre, a French bistro located has a great terrace which is strategically located: it’s sunny till the late evening. Pierre offers a very good menu both for dinner and lunch (French oriented dishes) and has a good wine list. A good place to have a drink and dessert (try the apple pastry)!
Address: Pannekoekstraat 38A