Rotterdam Restaurants and Cafés
From: Rotterdam Travel Guide
ABOVE: Appeltaart (right) at the Grand Café Dudok is a Rotterdam culinary institution.
Where to eat in Rotterdam
Rotterdam isn't Lyon, and South Holland isn't Tuscany, but you can eat decently in the city--or even well, if you dine at top restaurants like Parkheuvel, Amarone or La Villette, which have earned one or more Michelin stars.
If--like us--you don't charge meals to a corporate expense account, you may be happier (as the Dutch sheepdog at right was) with the 60+ midpriced eateries that are reviewed at Peter Hilton's Rotterdam Cafés and Restaurants guide.
Rotterdam Marketing's Food and Drinks page is also useful: While it lacks comprehensive listings, it does describe the city's main dining districts and mentions a few places like Alcatraz (a dinner theatre where you eat behind bars) and the Café Rotterdam in the Rotterdam Cruise Terminal.
In warm weather, Rotterdammers flock to the Oude Haven for alfresco dining at bar-restaurants like Weimar 1890, Villa Kakelbont, and Kade 4 with tables overlooking the harbor, its vintage boats, and the adjacent Cube Houses. (Tip: If you don't read Dutch, use Google Translate to decipher the Web sites.)
Downtown, the Grand Café Dudok is an institution with Rotterdam citizens of all ages, and its appeltaart or appelgebak (see photo at top of page) is so popular that other restaurants in town serve it. Stop in for breakfast, an afternoon pastry and coffee, a drink, or a full meal.
The Witte de Withstraat, just west of the Harbor Museum and downtown, is the center of a trendy area with a number of popular bars and eetcafés--including Opa (the name means "Grandpa"), where we had an excellent sidewalk dinner with a neighborhood cat playing at our feet.
A bit farther west--and a lot higher up--the Euromast Brasserie offers lunch, dinner, or snacks at an elevation of 100 meters (328 feet). Prices are reasonable, and menu items range from international entries like tagliattele and "Spaceburgers" to croquettes and other Dutch specialties.
With Rotterdam being Europe's busiest port and the world's second-busiest port after Shanghai, it makes sense to dine on the water when you can. The city has several floating restaurants, including the pleasantly old-fashioned De Pannenkoekenboot ("The Pancake Boat"), which offers an all-you-can eat pancake meal with a sightseeing cruise at an affordable price.
For outdoor eating at a rockbottom price, try one of the Doner Kebab take-outs that have outdoor tables where you can eat Turkish fast food or local spinoffs such as kapsalon (French fries beneath layers of kebab meat and melted cheese).
In the downtown shopping district, two Bram Ladage snack bars--one on Binnenwegplein, the other on Hoogstraat--serve patat, hot dogs, and other grab-and-eat items. Warning: The Hoogstraat branch of Bram Ladage is next to a canal, so be ready to share a few of your French fries with panhandling seagulls.
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