Wondering where to eat in Rotterdam? Looking for a trendy hipster place? A gourmet experience? Or just want to enjoy some fine BBQ in Rotterdam?
Well, buckle up (or better yet, buckles off) and join us on our trip to 13 delicious dinner spots in Rotterdam.
From Afghan cuisine to vegetarian paradise, Rotterdam has it all.
1. Morgan and Mees
Just this summer, this classy hotel and restaurant opened up in the Mathenesserlaan, a short walk from the mesmerizing Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen.
They’ve got a nice terrace, so it’s suitable for summer dinners — but if you have the choice, check out the open kitchen!
Two dishes were a feast for the eyes (and tastebuds joined the party too), and in this case, I’ll let the picture do the talking for the burrata and ceviche.
The menu is simple, but with complex dishes with deep flavours. You can choose to share the merry food or just have a bunch of courses for yourself.
2. By Ami: Urban Bistro
By Ami is the brainchild of Ahmed Baglari (Ami for friends). He 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.
By Ami has a diverse menu with tons of things to choose from, and most of it is pretty affordable, too. The menu also includes extremely fancy and colourful cocktails in case you want to get your booze on (guilty!).
We had the scallops, which were literally smoking. The cauliflower and lamp chops were delicious too, and well, EVERYTHING looked the part.
It’s not very often that you come across a place like By Ami: Urban Bistro that checks all the boxes. Eet smakelijk!
If you want to combine comfort and delicacy, go some authentic Pugliese food made by Italian chefs at Panzerò!
Located near Rotterdam Blaak Station, the restaurant is very cosy and offers some amazing dishes that you won’t find at your regular ol’ Italian eatery.
We started with appetizers of burrata, tomatoes, and olives and tasty Aperol Spritz and Limoncello cocktails to go with the food. Cheers! 🥂
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! 🥘
After indulging in all that cuisine, we got the sweet pistachio puff pastry bun, the chocolate and pistachio lava cake, and even our dessert stomachs were satiated by the end of the night!
Pesca had been making a name for itself in Amsterdam. People flocked to the new 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, and of course, delicious seafood!
Luxury touches, classy interiors, a ginormous fully stocked bar and funky music, set the scene for a night out in the theatre of fish.
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 wine!
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.
5. Atithi Restaurant
Since the summer of 2023, Atithi has boasted a new spectacular interior and reinvigorated menu.
The staff is super friendly and speaks exclusively English and the place was packed with Dutchies and internationals (and Indian people, always a good sign).
They’re bringing an extensive menu to the figurative and literal table, and what stood out immediately was the GINORMOUS selection of vegetarian and vegan options. 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!
It was moderately priced and not that spicy at all! (but I’m sure they can accommodate awesome levels of spiciness). There’s also a terrace there if you want to dine outside in the summertime!
Sometimes a fancy name might just cover up what you’re in for when you’re visiting a restaurant. 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!
We visited MAAS on a chilly March evening and 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.
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). The empanadas stood out — made in-house and crispier than a certain fried chicken joint.
And of course, dinner is incomplete without a 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”.
7. Restaurant KITE
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.
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!).
We started with a delicious crispy samosa, along with a steamed dumpling that had an onion-mince filling and covered with a sauce of tomatoes and split peas. Yeah… it really did taste as good as it sounds and looks.
Next came lots of different dishes to try, which included curries, meatballs ‘kofta’, fried eggplant ‘banjan’, and potatoes in a tomato and garlic sauce, all with white and brown rice.
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 creme-roll and lava cake, and they were delicious. It was so well presented that we almost felt guilty tucking into it.
We tried a variety of cocktails and honestly, hand on heart, they were some of the best cocktails I’ve ever tried (and I love my cocktails).
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, this is the place to try.
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.
Chef Pelle Swinkels, young and talented, teamed up with Mario Ridder, who is something of a celebrity in the restaurant world of Rotterdam.
We started outside on their nice terrace — it was a joy to watch the street life pass by and enjoy those oysters, of course.
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 an abundance of seafood on the menu too.
We can say that the level of cuisine and cooking is absolutely great when you compare it to the prices. All dishes were well-crafted and combined many flavours for roughly €10 to €25.
If you’re looking for a place to eat in Rotterdam that is trendy and relaxed and serves up some delicious and refined dishes, then you can’t go wrong with Aji.
9. Restaurant Van de Leur Rotterdam
Welcome to Restaurant Van de Leur in Rotterdam, where we enjoyed a fab seven-course meal. It’s one delicious dish after another, paired with elegant wines in a fairytale decor.
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. 🍷
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. 💁🏻♀️
10. ROFFA Food
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.
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 Rotterdam North. Three: this place does meat really, really well.
They’ve got an epic smoker and all those great BBQ specialities such as brisket, spicy chicken wings, pork belly and some of the best smoked sausage I ever tasted.
They’ve got an epic mixed meat platter — mix it up with some of these crafted beers from Rotterdam, and you get one happy DutchReviewer.
If you’re looking for a place to eat some great bbq-meat (don’t worry, they’ve got some vegetarian options for you too), then we can definitely recommend the Roffa street food bar.
Not in the market for all that meat? This one is for you.
Bertmans has two locations, one in Rotterdam Noord and one in downtown Rotterdam at the Schouwburgplein (just a short walk from Central Station).
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.
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!
They change the menu every now and there’s bound to be something new there for you. Portions were pretty big, which is great, considering prices were fairly modest too.
If you’re searching for a hip and healthy spot to eat in Rotterdam, Bertmans is a solid choice!
12. Vessel 11
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.
We tried their V11 Indian Pale Ale and V11 Golden Blonde beers. The atmosphere is relaxed but lively, with everyone happily chatting away with each other over a few pints.
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 presentation.
The hamburger was equally delicious, with a generous portion of fries (chips, as the British call them). They get their meat from the local butcher Beter Leven, known for their ethical practices.
No meal is complete without a dessert to end it with. On recommendation from the staff, we tried their cheesecake and 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 host 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!
13. 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.
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. 😍
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.
Know any other great places to eat in Rotterdam? Tell us about them 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.