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Where to eat in Rotterdam: 12 trendy restaurants to go to in 2023

Wondering where to eat in Rotterdam? Looking for a trendy hipster place? A gourmet experience? Or just want to enjoy some fine bbq-food in Rotterdam? Well, buckle up (or better, buckles off) and join us on our foodie trip to 12 delicious spots to go for dinner in Rotterdam.

From Afghan cuisine to vegetarian paradise, Rotterdam has it all. We started our journey of eating out in Rotterdam at the chic Restaurant Van de Leur, which has its culinary roots in a familiar place. 😉

1. By Ami: Urban Bistro

By Ami is the brainchild of Ahmed Baglari (Ami for friends). Even though he’s a young guy, he already has 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry under his belt. So when this much-wanted spot opened up at the Kop van Zuid he jumped on it. Special shout out for the interior here, as this was as eccentric as it was colourful – well done not fearing colour Ami! We loved the unicorns, rainbows and parrots.

Wow, this colourful interior is a huge mood boost! Image: DutchReview

We were there for just two hours, so we had to stuff all of By Ami’s goodness in one round of shared dining, luckily that’s no problem as they’re totally into shared dining as a concept. By Ami has a diverse menu with tons of things to choose from, and most of it is pretty affordable too (for those new in the Netherlands, Rotterdam is generally more affordable than Amsterdam). The menu also includes extremely fancy and colourful cocktails in case you want to get your booze on (guilty!).

Good vibes only indeed! Image: DutchReview

We saw some insanely coloured dishes being served left and right, how could we resist? So we had the scallops which were literally smoking. The cauliflower and lamp chops were delicious too, and well, EVERYTHING looked the part.

Does the food taste as good as it looks? The answer: YES. Image: DutchReview

What can I say? Whether you’re after a chill spot to work during the day, looking for pre-show dinner or after-theatre drinks, creative colourful dishes, that Instagram-winning foodie spot or just a good meal it’s not very often that you come across a place like By Ami: Urban Bistro that checks all these boxes. Eet smakelijk!

📍 Address: Antoine Platekade 983, 3011 BN Rotterdam
🌐 Website: BY AMI
👍 Socials: Facebook, Instagram

2. Panzerò

If you want to combine comfort and delicacy, you can opt for some authentic Pugliese food made by real Italian chefs over at Panzerò! The restaurant is just a couple of minutes away from Rotterdam Blaak Station. It’s very cosy and offers some amazing dishes that you won’t find at your regular ol’ Italian eatery.

We started with deliciozo appetizers consisting of burrata, tomatoes, and olives. To top it off, we had some big and tasty Aperol Spritz and Limoncello cocktails to go along with the food. Cheers! 🥂

Pure Italian authentic cuisine in Rotterdam! Image: DutchReview

We were spoiled when the main dishes came to our table: Panzerotti, Polposition, and Parmigiana! The Panzerotti came with fresh bread, which was baked to perfection! The Polposition was also a great pick, for all the seafood lovers out there. 🐙

Did we mention this place is also suitable for vegetarians? The Parmigiana, filled with eggplant and layered with fresh tomato sauce, was my friend’s favourite! 🥘

Dessert never looked so good. 😌 Image: DutchReview

After indulging in all that cuisine, we got the sweet pistachio puff pastry bun, the chocolate and pistachio lava cake, and oh boy, even our dessert stomachs were satiated by the end of the night!

Panzerò prioritises fresh food, Italian dishes that aren’t your generic pasta and pizza, and their signature dish: the Panzerotti (one of our group favourites)! 🌱

📍 Address: Botersloot 50A, 3011 HH Rotterdam
🌐 Website: Panzerò
👍 Socials: Instagram

3. Pesca

What used to be a rather grey anonymous building with a school in it now packs a fancy hotel and a delicious fish restaurant (or, well, theatre) called Pesca. 🐠

For years Pesca had been making a name for itself in Amsterdam. People flocked to the new and interesting concept of a live fish auction where you get to pick your fish food before it gets served to you. Their new Rotterdam location is no different: creative concept, playful atmosphere, people flocking to it and of course, delicious seafood!

Ok, it’s not all the same, and that might actually be a good thing, this place just opened up at the end of 2022, and the decor is absolutely stunning! Luxury touches, classy material, a ginormous fully stocked bar and funky music set the scene for a night out in the theatre of fish.

Ever seen a theatre of fish? Image: DutchReview

So let’s talk about this theatre; when your sardine case number (it will make sense when you’re there) is up, you can have your pickings at the fish auction. Prices are on display, and the upbeat Pesca staff happily presents you with all the possible options for three rounds of seafood: cold, warm and big complete fish. After selecting all that, it’s time to pick your wines in the, you guessed it, the theatre of wines!

It all comes together for a fun night out, some real winners among our choices were the oysters, the scallops and definitely the turbot in butter sauce.

Hold on, we are drooling over this fish! Image: DutchReview

📍 Address: Botersloot 125, 3011 HE Rotterdam
🌐 Website: Pesca.restaurant
👍 Socials: Facebook, Instagram

4. Atithi Restaurant

Indian people are definitely one of the biggest groups of readers of DutchReview. But for unexplainable reasons, we never did a proper review of a nice Indian restaurant. Well we do now, and it so nice we visited twice! (also, because since the Summer of 2023 Atithi is boasting a new spectacular interior and reinvigorated menu)

Atithi has more than one location actually, with the other prominent one being in The Hague. Its decor just got an upgrade, and the ceiling is absolutely stealing the show, even a visit to the loo has some stunning visual features (you’ll see). The staff is super friendly and speaks exclusively English (didn’t expect otherwise actually) and the place was packed on a Sunday evening with Dutchies and internationals (and Indian people, always a good sign)

They’re bringing an extensive menu to the figural and literal table and what stood out immediately was the GINORMOUS selection of vegetarian and vegan options. Honestly, it was 50/50 so that makes Atithi a solid choice for an evening with your veggie friends.

But you’re here for the food and that was delicious! Three things caught our eye especially:

  • The paneer! This young, marinated Indian cheese was very smooth, making it a nice starter
  • The butter chicken. Can’t go wrong with this classic, and they certainly got it right
  • The Josh Rogan Lamb. My favourite of the night! A must-have!
The food is also really pretty and colorful, and that’s always a good thing! (Image: Abuzer van Leeuwen)

And for those honestly wondering, it was moderately priced and not that spicy at all! (but I’m sure they can accommodate awesome levels of spiciness). Oh and if you’re reading this in the summertime, there’s also a terrace there if you want to dine outside. Namaste!

📍 Address: Vasteland 5a, 3011 BJ Rotterdam
🌐 Website: Atithi Rotterdam
👍 Socials: Instagram, Facebook


Sometimes a fancy name might just cover up what you’re in for when you’re visiting a restaurant. But Rotterdammers are straight talkers and get to the point — even more than other Dutchies. And what you read is what you get right here: unlimited gorgeous views of the Maas!

How could you say no to a view like this! Image: DutchReview/Supplied

We visited MAAS on a rather chilly March evening, and even then, the views were to die for. The skyline basking in the sunset, Rotterdam’s water taxis speeding past, and the big ships passing by — all good entertainment and MAAS’ terrace in the summer is surely a must-do.

Views won’t fill your stomach; food and drinks do, though. They’ve got a solid and affordable menu with a couple of items that I can recommend. 

As the main course, they had a Latin-American sharing platter (which was a tower). All the was delicious and looked the part. The empanadas stood out — made in-house and crispier than a certain fried chicken. 

Not all food is Instagram worthy, but we can certainly say this food tower is. Image: DutchReview/Supplied

The restaurant is located right next to the old classic peanut butter factory, so of course, they had to serve a peanutty dessert: the butter cheesecake was off-the-charts delicious — you definitely don’t want to miss out on this one. 

They’ve also got a nice menu of local Rotterdam craft beers to choose from; the ‘Je Moeder’ (Your Mother) was both funny and delicious. So plenty to enjoy while you’re “sitting on the dock of the bay, watchin’ the tide roll away”. 

📍 Address: Nijverheidstraat 2, 3071 GC Rotterdam
🌐 Website: Restaurant MAAS
👍 Socials: Facebook, Instagram

6. Restaurant KITE

We were eager to try something out of our comfort zone and this was just the thing. Being a fussy eater, I was intrigued about trying Afghan food and it did not disappoint. We rocked up and found restaurant KITE near Witte de With, the life and soul of Rotterdam.

Cosy, trendy and modern, KITE is just the place to go if you’re looking for some delicious meals.

What to eat:

When we arrived we had a set menu, which was perfect for two people who were completely new to the cuisine (but don’t worry, on the menu you can pick whatever you want!) As a starter, we had the most delicious crispy samosa, along with a steamed dumpling that had an onion-minced filling and covered with a sauce of tomatoes and split peas. Yeah… it really did taste as good as it sounds and looks.

Steamed dumplings and crispy samosas
Image: DutchReview/Supplied

Next came lots of different dishes to try, which included curries, meatballs ‘kofta’, fried eggplant ‘banjan’, potatoes in a tomato and garlic sauce, all with white and brown rice.

Food to die for! Image: DutchReview/Supplied

The food was so good that despite being full we tried our hardest to try and eat it all. But of course, you’re never too full for a dessert…

We both went for the cremeroll and lava cake and they were delicious. It was so well presented that we almost felt guilty tucking into it.

Just when you thought the food was enough to sway you, the cocktails are also something bringing people to restaurant KITE. They are all made from trained cocktail makers who really know their stuff. We tried a variety of cocktails including ‘on the leash’ and ‘pink is the new black.’ Honestly, hand on heart they were some of the best cocktails I’ve ever tried (and I love my cocktails).

‘On the leash’ even came top eight in a cocktail competition in the Netherlands and you can see why.

Image: DutchReview/Supplied

If you’re looking for an authentic and trendy restaurant, with amazing cocktails, the most lekker food and friendly staff, all in a great location in Rotterdam, then THIS is the place to try next.

📍 Address: Westblaak 160, 3012 KM Rotterdam
🌐 Website: Restaurant Kite
👍 Socials: Facebook, Instagram

Next, we headed to another trendy area of Rotterdam, the Pannenkoekenstraat, to Aji, which offers fusion in the truest sense. Influences from Asia and Europe dominated, along with a healthy dose of seafood.

7. Aji funky fusion in Rotterdam with fabulous food

Aji is located in the ‘Pannekoekenstraat’ which is on the verge of being the new ‘Witte de Wit’ when it comes to its offerings of restaurants. We didn’t know what to expect when we entered Aji, except that the chef Pelle Swinkels, young and talented, teamed up with Mario Ridder, who is something of a celebrity in the restaurant world of Rotterdam.

Image: DutchReview/Supplied

As you can see, we started outside on their nice terrace. It was a joy to watch the street life pass by and enjoy those oysters, of course.

Image: DutchReview/Supplied

The interior of Aji suits its name: it’s decidedly jungle-trendy (we may or may not have just made that word up, fight us) and is filled with (faux) trees, leaves and flowers, which we loved! it also has a nice open kitchen to look at. The staff were young, polite and helpful.

Image: DutchReview/Supplied

When it comes to the food, Aji refuses to fit neatly into one box. There are Asian influences, European gourmet food and Latin American touches. I guess you could call it ‘fusion’, with no shortage of seafood on the menu too.

But we can say that the level of food and cooking is absolutely great when you compare it to the modest prices. All dishes were meticulously crafted and had many combined flavours, it’s the kind of stuff you don’t expect for these kinds of prices (roughly from €10 to €25, share or not your choice).

The menu changes every now and then, so I’m not going to talk you through every dish. Instead, I’m just going to tickle your tastebuds with this picture.

Image: DutchReview/Supplied

If you’re looking for a place to eat in Rotterdam that is trendy and relaxed, and at the same time serves up some delicious and refined dishes, then you can’t go wrong with Aji.

📍 Address: Pannekoekstraat 40A, 3011 LH Rotterdam
🌐 Website: Restaurant Aji
👍 Socials: Facebook, Instagram

Next up, it’s time for some good old-fashioned Rotterdam street food: BBQ smoked meat.

8. Restaurant Van de Leur Rotterdam

Just around the corner of the epicentre of Rotterdam’s wine & dine street, the ‘Witte de Wit’ is a somewhat unassuming building with a modest entrance to a restaurant in a souterrain. But after that, it’s one delicious dish after another, paired with elegant wines in a fairytale decor. Welcome to Restaurant Van de Leur in Rotterdam, where we enjoyed a fab seven-course meal. 🤤

Just take a look at that this dish. 😍 Image: DutchReview/Supplied

The Van de Leur family started out like we here at DutchReview in Leiden. But they ventured out to The Hague and Rotterdam as well. Still bringing quality food to their guests, a good portion they prepare in their open kitchen on Big Green Eggs BBQs is a signature move which I appreciate.

Van de Leur serves a few courses in a sitting; you can choose between four courses (€60) up to seven (€105). The menu is updated frequently, so the food is always fresh, and if you’re not into meat or fish, you can indicate that, and they will adapt accordingly — no probs for your veggie/vegan friends. 🤗

They also offer paired wines and beers(!) for every course, which developed into an excellent culinary and alcoholic adventure for us. 🍷

Who doesn’t love a good ‘ol red? Image: DutchReview/Supplied

The decor is tasteful with a gazillion lights bulbs hanging from the ceiling, chill music and a friendly staff that takes their time. You should take your time as well, as you see the dishes are little works of art and it takes some time to serve them out. We were there for four hours, and it’s not a quick bite before you see a movie or a play. Totally worth it, though. 💁🏻‍♀️

📍 Address: Eendrachtsweg 27B-SO, 3012 LB
🌐 Website: Restaurant Van de Leur
👍 Socials: Facebook, Instagram

9. Roffa street food just the best smoked BBQ meat in ‘Roffa’

This one was on my to-feast-at list for a long time. BBQ meat, smoked specialities and craft beers from Rotterdam? Sign me up! So together with a few friends, we went to Roffa.

Image: DutchReview/Supplied

Now there are three things you should know about this one. One: Roffa is slang for Rotterdam and it goes without saying that the Rotterdam-vibe is definitely there. Two: they’ve got two equally tasty locations in the ‘foodhallen Rotterdam‘ and in Rotterdam North. Three: this place does meat really really well.

Roffa is bringing the works. They’ve got an epic smoker, some serious bbq skills, all those great bbq-specialities such as brisket, some excellent spicy chicken wings, pork belly and some of the best smoked sausage I ever tasted.

They’ve got an epic mixed meat platter which is just the perfect thing to get stuck in at with friends. Mix it up with some of these crafted beers from Rotterdam and you get one happy Dutch-Reviewer as you can see.

Image: DutchReview/Supplied

The place and food look better than the pics, which is my fault because I forgot the DSLR that night. And now when writing this, I’m texting my friends to ‘meat’ up again because it was so awesome! (sorry for that pun)

So if you’re looking for a place to eat some great bbq-meat (don’t worry veggies, they’ve got some options for you too) then we can definitely recommend the Roffa street-food bar.

Because vegetarians are people too, we decided we had to go to Bertmans. This iconic Rotterdam restaurant is not a “vegetarian restaurant”, but boy, does it have some absolutely delicious options for those of us who have seen a vegetable before.

📍 Address: Scheepstimmermanslaan 31B 56, 3016 AE Rotterdam
🌐 Website: ROFFA Food
👍 Socials: Facebook, Instagram

10. Bertmans (veggie deluxe at the Schouwburgplein)

Not in the market for all that meat? Well, this one is for you then. Bertmans was already loved and popular in Rotterdam-Noord, and for a while now they’ve got a massive second location in downtown Rotterdam at the Schouwburgplein (near the Pathe cinema and just a few minutes walk from Central Station).

Image: DutchReview/Supplied

The ‘Schouwburgplein’ (douze points if you can pronounce that one as a non-native speaker) is enjoying something of a revival in which Bertmans is also playing a role. Out go stuffy establishments and in come the funky and delicious hotspots of Rotterdam. So sit down on their nice (and heated) terrace and watch the colourful people walk by. Or sit inside, their interior is also done with taste as you can tell:

Image: DutchReview/Supplied

Bertmans is not a vegetarian restaurant by definition, but if you’re a veggie or just into healthy and organic food then you definitely came to the right place. They boast an awesome selection of healthy dishes and make them look good too, plenty of choice!

Duck salad. Image: DutchReview/Supplied

They change the menu every now and then so there’s bound to be something new there for you. Portions were pretty big, which is great, considering prices were fairly modest too. So if you’re searching for a hip and healthy hotspot in Rotterdam with good portions and affordable prices; Bertmans is a solid choice!

📍 Address: Karel Doormanstraat 292, 3012 GP Rotterdam
🌐 Website: Bertmans
👍 Socials: Facebook, Instagram

11. Vessel 11 the red ship has a new menu

DutchReview made it to Vessel 11 in Rotterdam to try out their new spring and summer menu! The restaurant is hard to miss because it’s a refurbished red boat, fully equipped with a deck that overlooks the water. They have an assortment of beers, great choices in meals, and delicious desserts. They are a British gastro-pub, so you can expect traditional British dishes and alcohol.

Image: DutchReview/Supplied

We were given a table which had the ideal view to look over the deck. They have different seating places, and we were seated right on the terrace!

Of course, we had to try some of their home-brewed beer, which is reputed to be really good. We had their V11 Indian Pale Ale and V11 Golden Blonde. Having beers here after a long day at work was idyllic. The atmosphere is relaxed but lively with everyone happily chatting away with each other over a few pints.

Image: DutchReview/Supplied

We knew we were going to be in for a big meal, so we kept the appetizer small with their simple bread and butter to loosen those stomach muscles. We didn’t have to wait too long before our main courses arrived: their Vegan Hot Pot and their Herefordshire Hamburger.

The Vegan Hot Pot came in a small dish but I was positively stuffed! It came with a side of sourdough toast, with lentils, some good ol’ veggies and topped with chives. It was perfect for one person, and it ticked all my boxes for nutrition, deliciousness, and of course the presentation.

Image: DutchReview/Supplied

The hamburger was equally delicious with a generous portion of fries (chips, as the British call them). They get their meat from the local butchers Beter Leven, who are known for their ethical practices.

Image: DutchReview/Supplied

Of course, no meal is complete without a dessert to end it with. On recommendation from the staff, we tried their cheesecake and it was great! It was the perfect way to end the meal, with its biscuit base and sweet top.

All-in-all it was a positively enjoyable experience for us! They also play host to many live musical acts. Unfortunately, there wasn’t one scheduled for the evening we were there, but their agenda for the coming months looks promising! Check out the Vessel 11 website, so you can reserve a table for dinner, and then maybe go enjoy some music after!

📍 Address: Wijnhaven 101, 3011 WN Rotterdam
🌐 Website: Vessel 11
👍 Socials: Facebook, Instagram

12. Koffiebar Namasté

Founded by the friendly Dutchie Jordy, Koffiebar Namasté opened its doors in May 2020. Located in the hip area of Katendrecht, it’s the perfect place for a weekend brunch. 

photo-of-the interior-of-koffiebar-namaste-in-rotterdam
The cosy interior of Koffiebar Namasté in Katendrecht. Image: Jana Vondráčková/Supplied

Next to delicious coffee from a local coffee roaster, Namasté offers a wide selection of teas and homemade beverages. Their menu boasts dishes from all across the world — from Rotterdam toasties to Middle Eastern foods. 

Our personal recommendation is the delicious shakshuka. You can either go for the classic one with tomatoes and roasted paprika, or the green one with spinach, lentils and dill — with some feta cheese on top. 😍 

You can’t go wrong with the delicious shakshuka. Image: Jana Vondráčková/Supplied

To satisfy your sweet tooth, there’s a generous selection of homemade cinnamon buns, muffins, brownies and cheesecake.

The café has a spacious outside terrace, perfect for warm sunny days. Come with your family or friends for lovely moments spent together or by yourself for a little study session.

📍 Address: Sumatraweg 13B, 3072 ZP Rotterdam
🌐 Website: Koffiebar Namasté
👍 Socials: Instagram

Know any other great places to eat in Rotterdam? Hotspots that opened up in 2023? Trendy places in Rotterdam? Let us know in the comments!

Editor’s Note: Emma Brown, Abuzer van Leeuwen, Kavana Desai, Veronika Licheva, and Jana Vondráčková from DutchReview all went to various places 🙂
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in January 2020, and was fully updated in March 2023 for your reading pleasure.

Feature Image:Emma Brown/Supplied
Abuzer van Leeuwen 🇳🇱
Abuzer van Leeuwen 🇳🇱http://www.abuzervanleeuwen.nl
Founded DutchReview. Rotterdammer living in Leiden. Politics, innovation and epic food-reviews are his thing. Interested in doing anything with DutchReview? Contact him at abuzer[at]dutchreview.com

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  1. It’s was my birthday and I travelled alone and decided to follow your suggestion and went to have a drink at Vessel 11. As an Aidan and quiet young looking guy, I was treated that I was actually don’t exist, don’t know if it’s being alone or being Asian that
    Add them snobbery me as a customer as I can see how graceful they are to white people coming in to the entrance. Such a worst experience.


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