There are a lot of unique hotspots in Rotterdam that distinguish themselves from other average restaurants, bars and shops. Great if you want to eat at a unique restaurant or have a drink in a special place.
Let us take you on a journey of discovery along Rotterdam gems that are definitely worth a visit. From a utopian free state to arcades, from special vegan bakeries and restaurants to trendy cocktail bars.
With this list of unique hotspots in Rotterdam you will get plenty of inspiration to explore our city! Sometimes you also have to be quick, there are also temporary spots listed.
In a side street of Rotterdam’s MAHO Kwartier you will find the hotspot CRAVE, a bakery and coffee place.
What makes CRAVE unique is that all their pastries are 100% plant-based. The range includes almond croissants, dark chocolate babkas, cardamom rolls and red velvet cake. Cruffins and cookies are also part of their vegan menu.
In addition to all the delicious pastries, you can drink a nice cup of coffee from local roasters Giraffe Coffee and A Matter of Concrete. Order a cup of slow coffee or cappuccino. The default here is oat milk, but other types of milk are also available.
Prefer something else to drink? Then order a lemonade or, for example, an iced matcha latte.
CRAVE’s mission is to show that you really don’t have to miss anything if you eat plant-based. A more sustainable choice with just as much flavour is simply possible.
Owner Yunlai Ye, known for The Tea Lab and BACKYARD, wants to make the Rotterdam restaurant landscape more sustainable step by step.
Yunlai Ye: “I believe in a future in which it will become even easier and more normal to opt for plant-based. A sustainable world in which my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter also has a good life.”
Discover even more great vegan pastries in Rotterdam.
Vogelenzang 6, 3011 LN Rotterdam
2. De Kerktuin
This special pop-up terrace enriches the forecourt of the Arminius Church on Westersingel. During this summer you can enjoy a selection of specialty beers and cocktails, accompanied by tasty snacks.
You can stay informed about events and festive gatherings via their Instagram page. Think, for example, of Sushi Sunday, where Flip ‘N Roll presents their best sushi, or the cosy Sunday Hangout with BBQ.
The terrace welcomes you on sunny days, from Wednesday to Sunday, between 15:00 and 00:00.
Westersingel 76, 3015 LB Rotterdam
Have you ever tried Afghan cuisine? In Rotterdam there are only a handful of restaurants that offer this extraordinary culinary experience.
A hidden gem to try, for example, is Afsana in Rijnhaven. Enjoy traditional Afghan dishes here, including (my personal favourite) the Ashaak appetizer. This is a steamed dough, filled with fresh leek and spring onion, and served in a delicious lentil-tomato sauce. This dish really has a surprising flavour combination!
At Afsana they mainly work with two or three course menus, often with side dishes. But you also have the freedom to order separate dishes, although I personally found the menu a puzzle at times.
In the end, my table mate and I chose to share a starter and order a main course each.
The spinach dish (Sabzie) or the potatoes (Qorme Kachaloe) are worth trying. Each dish is served with qabuli palaw rice, so you won’t leave with an empty stomach.
Hillelaan 7, 3072 JA Rotterdam
4. Weelde and Club Sandwich
On the outskirts of the city, you’ll find a beautiful city farm. A creative, utopian free state: Weelde.
At Weelde music, theater, art, performance and food & drinks come together. It’s a place for both young and old, a place you can visit both during the day and at night for great adventures and little joys. Here you can find a lunchroom, restaurant, bar, garden, a big shed and huge greenhouse. So it’s a restaurant, party location and cultural meeting place in one.
Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to De Zure Bom, but a new gem has replaced it: Club Sandwich. This cute spot is located on the grounds of Weelde. Visit this new hotspot for breakfast, lunch and drinks. The menu includes, among others: tasty sandwiches, a fried egg with waffles, and various snacks.
Don’t wait too long to visit them, because this is Weelde’s last year.
Marconistraat 39, 3029 AG Rotterdam
Keilecafe is located near Weelde, in the M4H area in Rotterdam West. It’s great place to chill and enjoy drinks, woodoven pizzas and music. There is always a casual atmosphere, so you can easily forget that you in busy Rotterdam.
Keilecafe calls itself a permanent festival where you can celebrate life and dance away the day and night. It is not for nothing that it is a favourite among many locals.
Vierhavensstraat 46, 3029 BG Rotterdam
If you are looking for a restaurant in a unique location, Vessel11 is definitely recommended! The restaurant is in fact a boat docked in the centre of Rotterdam.
Vessel11’s tasteful menu takes you on a culinary journey inspired by British cuisine, with a contemporary and seasonal twist.
They recently updated the terrace on their deck, which is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a refreshing drink and tasty snacks. As icing on the cake, there is sometimes live entertainment at Vessel11, which makes it even more fun.
Wijnhaven 101, 3011 WN Rotterdam
7. Studio Unfolded
This is such a gem: Studio Unfolded.
Photographer Sophia van den Hoek, known from Instagram account @un_fold_ed, has her own studio on the Nieuwe Binnenweg. It is a shop, coffee place, event location and creative agency. A super fun creative place with a great vibe and minimalistic style.
On a sunny day you can take a seat in their lovely garden (possibly with a parasol against the sun) and enjoy an (ice) coffee, chai latte or homemade iced tea. You are also welcome here for brunch, which is really worth it.
Nieuwe Binnenweg 305A, 3021 GH Rotterdam
A real arcade with iconic pinball machines, karaoke and a traditional dance machine!
At POING you can entertain yourself with various games, have drinks with friends or order dishes from their Asian kitchen. It’s a place with an amazing vibe, where you can catch up with friends and maybe even stay for a party in the basement.
In addition to POING, there are many more great spots for a fun afternoon or evening. For inspiration, we recommend our article with fun activities in Rotterdam with your friends!
Schiekade 201, 3013 BR Rotterdam
9. Mooie Boules
Mooie Boules is a very unique hotspot, as it’s the first food hal in Rotterdam where you can play jeu de boules (lawn bowling).
You can find this hotspot in an old metal factory in the emerging ZOHO area. The old factory has been completely transformed into a typical French village square.
Dishes from local restaurants are served here, accompanied by an extensive selection of wines and a range of specialty and regional beers. Mooie Boules is the ideal place to enjoy a pleasant evening with friends, colleagues, or even for a special date.
Vijverhofstraat 45, 3032 SB Rotterdam
10. Cloud One Bar in Motel One
Motel One, the successful budget design hotel group from Munich, opened its doors in the heart of Rotterdam in early 2023. The hotel is located on the Hoogstraat, between the Markthal and Laurenskerk.
The eye-catcher of the Rotterdam design hotel is the Cloud One bar. As a guest you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city from the fifth floor. Attached to the lamps above the bar table you will find labels of different types of gin, including the most important information about different types of gin. With ceiling-high windows, the bar has a unique view of the city from three sides.
Step outside and enjoy the view from the huge roof terrace, with a 360 degree view of the city.
You don’t have to be a guest of the hotel to visit! So are you looking for a nice roof terrace where you can enjoy a drink? Then you are in the right place. While enjoying a Gin-Tonic you can end the day on the roof terrace of the Cloud One bar.
Read more about the opening of Motel One here!
Grotekerkplein 70, 3011 GE Rotterdam
11. Madam Chen
Do you fancy a nice evening in our city? At Madam Chen you can order Asian street food snacks and all kinds of tasty cocktails.
But what makes this place unique is the fact that you can sing karaoke here. There are several rooms that you rent with your friends for a night of karaoke!
If you’re not a fan of karaoke, Madam Chen is still worth a visit. It is possible to have lunch and dinner here and when the sun is shining, take a seat on their terrace for a snack and a drink.
Kolk 50B, 3011 MD Rotterdam
Calaboose, located in Kralingen, is a great place for cocktails and snacks. What makes this hotspot stand out is the spacious garden where there’s enough seating for large groups.
In addition to a cocktail, try one of the Indonesian dishes from the menu, such as the saté or gado gado. A fun night is guaranteed!
Curious about more places to spend a sunny day? Read our article with sunny terraces in Rotterdam!
Oudedijk 273, 3061 AK Rotterdam
13. De Harmonie Restaurant 23
De Harmonie Restaurant 23 is a very special restaurant where you can choose from the seasonal a la carte dishes or from the four, five or 23 (!) course menu. For chef Marco Somer, nature is a constant source of inspiration and you can taste that in his culinary dishes.
It is especially a unique place when the sun is shining, because then you can take a seat in the beautiful, lush garden. For an experience at De Harmonie you must have a high budget available…
Be sure to read our article about restaurants with a garden in Rotterdam for even more special places!
Westersingel 95, 3015 LC Rotterdam
Rainaraï can be found on the Middellandplein in Rotterdam-West. There are beautiful rugs and cushions on the sofas and because the terrace is surrounded by tropical trees, it feels a bit like you are in an oasis.
It is a wonderful place to have a drink or have an extensive dinner.
Order a nice beer or a glass of wine and enjoy an Algerian pizza from the wood oven or one of the Nomadic dishes. Delicious!
Check out these spots in Rotterdam West.
1e Middellandstraat 134, 3021 BJ Rotterdam
15. Wijn bij Henk x Studio Le Beau
Are you familiar with the cute wine shop Wijn bij Henk in Blijdorp? Without a doubt, this is already a very unique shop in our city, partly because of Henk himself (nice guy) and the delicious bottles of wine he sells. But did you know that in the cellar you will find something other than wine?
That’s where Studio Le Beau is located. That means that you can also score vintage gems here in addition to beautiful natural wines! Think of cool interior items and design classics from beautiful brands such as Vitra, Knoll, Herman Miller, Flos and more.
The store is open Wednesday through Sunday. Are you not able to go then? It’s also possible to make an appointment.
Bergselaan 317A, 3038 CH Rotterdam
At Rozey you can eat unlimited vegetarian and vegan dishes, including drinks, for €32,50 (€37,50 euros during the weekends).
It’s definitely a unique concept, since Rozey is the first restaurant in the Netherlands where you can eat unlimited vegetarian and vegan meals for a fixed price.
The menu is filled with various dishes, all without any meat. Vegetarian burgers and fries, but also lesser known dishes, such as carpaccio made of beet, pulled jackfruit and Kentucky fried cauliflower.
Looking for more cool hotspots where you can eat vegan? Then read this article with the best vegan restaurants in Rotterdam!
Wijnhaven 85, 3011 WK Rotterdam
17. Vegan Junk Food Bar
Another vegan spot on this list of unique spots in Rotterdam!
The Vegan Junk Food Bar is a place where vegans and non-vegans can eat 100% plant-based snacks.
Expect a colourful interior and creative, tasty vegan snacks. They serve vegan junk food dishes, such as the Original VJFB burgers, flash fries with vegan dipping sauces, velvet cakes and so on.
So, if you’re craving a greasy bite, but want to satisfy it responsibly, visit the Vegan Junk Food Bar!
Schiedamse Vest 144, 3011 BG Rotterdam
18. De Maaskantine
A great terrace on the water? Then the colourful Maaskantine is the place to be! Here you can enjoy tasty BBQ dishes and refreshing drinks.
The Maaskantine is located on the Esch in Rotterdam East. It is always summer in this outdoor restaurant, with a beach and a view of the Maas. ‘Beach, bar and BBQ’, that includes De Maaskantine.
In this summer hotspot you will experience the relaxed mix of culinary delicacies, fresh drinks and a great vibe. The menu features BBQ dishes inspired by the East Coast of America.
Plantagelaan 2, 3063 NG Rotterdam
19. Pele Surf Shack
Pele Surf Shack is the first plant-based beach place in the Netherlands. Even though it’s not in the centre of our city, it’s well worth to travel to the Hoek van Holland and try out one of their amazing dishes and taste their great coffee. And this all while you’re enjoying a sunny day at the beach!
Pele Surf Shack will be open the whole summer, seven days a week. During the winter they will be open in the weekends.
Rechtestraat 24, 3151 HN Hoek van Holland
At the Krozant bakery, they give the croissant a completely new look. For lovers, the timeless classics are available, such as the chocolate or coffee roll, but there are also a lot of unique creations.
Think of a croissant with chicken thigh and mango chutney or a croissant BLT with lemon mayo. In addition, the menu also offers other sweet and savory pastries, but also sandwiches and coffee from Rotterdam Giraffe Coffee Roasters.
Krozant can be visited in the Groot Handelsgebouw, unit AK.207 floor -1.
Stationsplein 45, 3013 AK Rotterdam
21. ss Rotterdam
Dining on a ship definitely belongs in the category of a unique experience, certainly in a port city such as Rotterdam. The ss Rotterdam has sailed all over the world and is now docked at Katendrecht, where it is open to visitors. As soon as you set foot on this special Rotterdam ship, it feels like you are going back in time.
On the ss Rotterdam you can find the Lido grill restaurant on the Promenade Deck. Here you can sit inside or outside on the terrace. At Lido you can go for a grilled piece of meat, fish and vegetables with, for example, a special beer.
3e Katendrechtse Hoofd 25, 3072 AM Rotterdam
22. Healthy Pairing at UMAMI
A unique hotspot because of its surprising kitchen. At UMAMI – which is also the name of the fifth basic flavor in addition to sweet, sour, salty and bitter – you dine according to the social dining principle and it is really about the experience, completely according to Chinese culture.
You can order the Health Pairing here, in which the ingredients of the served drinks not only enhance the flavors of the dishes, but also give your health a boost.
The chosen tea or mocktails have all kinds of health benefits, entirely in accordance with the health philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
A very special experience if you want to become acquainted with Chinese cuisine and enjoy Asian fusion!
Binnenrotte 140, 3011 HC Rotterdam
23. Afternoon tea at Shanghai Papa
A high tea is already a unique experience, but at Shanghai Papa it is even more special! Here they serve a Bao of choice, 5 dim sums, 4 sweets and a whole lot of tea; all designed by their pastry chef with ingredients such as ginger, green tea and sesame. That is something different than scones and apple pie, right?
Want to know about all the other afternoon teas in Rotterdam? Read our article with the best places for a high tea in Rotterdam!
Botersloot 24-28, 3011 HG Rotterdam
24. Gastrobar Elvy
Looking for a cocktail bar with a breathtaking view? Then Gastrobar Elvy is the place to be.
Here you will be amazed by the panoramic view, while you sip refreshing cocktails, feast on delicious bar bites and indulge in an extensive all-day menu.
Enjoy the beautiful view of Rotterdam, refreshing cocktails, tasty bar bites and an all day menu. Think of a triple cheese burger, Asian ribs, pork belly and many delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes such as Loaded fries, Falafel bowl or pumpkin cheese fondue.
Also read Fatima’s article with hidden roofs in Rotterdam.
Schiekade 189, 3013 BR Rotterdam
Located in the former carriage house in the Park, Parqiet is an ideal place to escape the bustle of the city.
The front garden of this beautiful building is the park next to the Euromast, where they have placed beach chairs and tables so that you can enjoy a snack or drink in the sun.
Think of tasty French toast, flat bread, grilled cheese sandwiches and snacks.
It’s the perfect place for a breakfast in Rotterdam!
Baden Powellaan 20, 3016 GJ Rotterdam
26. A la plancha
Pop-up restaurant A La Plancha is open again this summer on Noordereiland. There is more space on the quays and more diverse distribution points for food and drinks.
This year A La Plancha is working with several local entrepreneurs who are struggling because of the current measures. In addition to culinary products, this also includes local cultural initiatives, so that visitors to A La Plancha & Amigos are with art, culture and music whilst enjoying a delicious meal.
Maaskade 74, 3071 NC Rotterdam
27. Soufflé Café
One of the most popular Instagrammable hotspots in Rotterdam has to be Soufflé Café on Mariniersweg. Here they serve light Japanese soufflé pancakes!
These pancakes are already a hit in New York and London, but now they are also available in our own beloved Rotterdam.
Do you already know these spots for pancakes?
Mariniersweg 80A, 3011 NT Rotterdam
28. Wine bar Walsjérôt
A unique hotspot that wine lovers should not miss: Wine bar Walsjérôt in Blijdorp. Whether you are just a casual wine drinker or a real wine connoisseur, with a choice of more than 70 wines you are in the right place!
The unique concept of Walsjérôt works as follows: upon arrival you put an amount of your choice on a card. With this card you can then go to the tap wall. Yes, you heard that right: this bar has a wall where you can pour your own wine!
After you have chosen the wine, hold your card for the wine taps and choose from a sip, a whole glass or half a glass and tap the wine you want yourself! Tasting is encouraged at Walsjérôt.
Each wine is provided with a card with a description of the grape variety, origin and taste.
Read more about great wine bars in Rotterdam.
Bentinckplein 5, 3039 KL Rotterdam
Are you familiar with this special fish restaurant on the Botersloot?
Pesca is a concept with an innovative view on the experience and business model of a fish restaurant. They have the mission to still be able to sell fish in 100 years.
That is why they have a foundation that supports causes that are committed to clean drinking water, healthy fish stocks and a plastic-free ocean.
Botersloot 25, 3011 HE Rotterdam
30. CÉNO classics
You will find several vintage clothing stores on the Zwaanhals. What makes this place special is that in addition to being a vintage store, it is also a record store. CÉNO Classics and Offbeats Records share the same building here.
Follow the orange stairs to the basement for the Offbeat Records vinyl collection. Here they sell second-hand records in all kinds of different genres.
There is, however, a focus on DJ material in the broadest sense. Think for example of 90’s west coast electro and detroit techno, 80’s wave and boogie 12’s, 70’s disco and soul, 60’s post bop and modal jazz and under the radar 7” cosmic disco.
In the rest of the store you will find vintage clothing and accessories, selected by CÉNO CLASSICS. Expect high quality vintage clothing, sunglasses and shoes. On the loft you will find racks with beautiful items from Italy, selected by Esile vintage.
Do you already know these vintage shops in Rotterdam?
Zwaanshals 283-A, 3035 KH Rotterdam
31. Sound Kitchen
This unique hotspot is the place for music and coffee lovers!
Sound Kitchen is a espresso bar, located in Little-C in Rotterdam West. What makes this place special is that it is an espresso bar and a headphone shop.
In the espresso bar you can enjoy local products. Think of high quality coffee from Manhattan Coffee Roasters, delicious tea from Twenties Tea and Jing Tea and refreshing lemonade from Loopuyt Lemonades. There is also something for the appetite, namely pastries from Harvest Cafe and Bakery and sweets by Francois Geurds.
In the store you will discover an extensive range of headphones. There is a wide choice of brands, available in every price category. Specialists are also present to advise you on your choice.
Samuel Soesmanstraat 52, 3015 GL Rotterdam
32. The Rooftop
In July 2023, a vibrant new place opened on the roof: The Rooftop.
Here you can enjoy culinary dishes, refreshing cocktails and the beautiful terrace with a view of the centre of Rotterdam.
In addition, there are also fun activities to experience. Play fun arcade games, table football, mini golf and get lost in a life-sized maze. There is also a photobooth to capture all the memories.
Read more about The Rooftop here.
Stationsplein 45, 3013 AK in Rotterdam
For this unique place we leave Rotterdam and head to Schiedam. Eurobrouwers is Schiedam’s first brewpub and the largest beer garden in the region with a terrace that covers no less than 2000 m2.
Eurobrouwers is an innovative brewery and restobar concept on the glass factory site in Schiedam. This raw location is in the middle of the Distillers District, where major gin and beer brands used to be produced. Now Schiedam beer is brewed here in an industrial hall with a mega terrace and indoor and outdoor kitchen.
The beer is combined with a varied selection of large and small dishes. During the summer, the BBQ is central, with dishes such as Polish Kielbasa sausages, BBQ Chorizo, Chicken Kiev (proceeds from this dish go to Ukraine), grilled white asparagus, BBQ watermelon and grilled clams, razor clams and mussels in wine with French fries and sour mayonnaise.
Also nice: every Sunday Eurobrouwers serves Zeeland oysters for one euro, in combination with game beers. This is a nod to the Rotterdam sister of Eurobrouwers, Café Marseille, where every Sunday is oyster day.
Buitenhavenweg 142, 3113 BE Schiedam
34. De Euroscoop
The Euromast is perhaps not very unique. All locals are familiar with this iconic watchtower.
Why it is on this list? The Euroscoop has recently been renewed. Even as a born and raised Rotterdammer, you may not have experienced this new attraction yet!
As you are taken on this exciting ride, you will see the city and its surroundings from all sides. But that’s not all: the brand new, intelligent glass floor goes from matt to transparent. This makes the experience extra special.
In addition, other cool elements have been added, including a light show, sound effects and music, until you reach the top at 185 metres.
During this 7-minute ride you will see Rotterdam in a 360-degree perspective. Meanwhile, a voice-over tells you more about the city, its inhabitants, the diversity and the impact of the enormous port area.
Even if you have taken a ride with the Euroscoop in the past, it is now a completely new experience.
We have already taken a ride with the new Euroscoop. Check out our TikTok to see what it was like!
TIP: Buy your ticket here to go up the Euromast. The ticket price is higher if you buy entrance tickets on the day of your visit. Don’t forget to click on the option of the Euroscoop tickets!
Parkhaven 20, 3016 GM Rotterdam
And that were the unique hotspots in Rotterdam! Looking for more inspiration? Check our Instagram page to stay up to date with all the new hotspots in Rotterdam.
Do you have a tip for a fun, unique restaurant in our city? Just let us know in the comments below!