Where to eat and drink in Zwolle.
Since my city trip to Zwolle was just two days and one night, of course I was not able to try out dozens of restaurants, cafes and bars.
But hey, that’s not necessary, izzit now? There are review sites, blogs and referrals from friends through which we can still come up with a relevant list of all the hotspots and yummy places.
And that’s exactly what I did for you, on my Google map of Zwolle. Click here to see my map and find out where to eat and drink in Zwolle. In the legend on the left, check out the ‘group’ named: eat, drink, coffee.
Here are the places I DID visit (or pass by) and my opinion about these places.
My recommendations and reviews
I visited Blauwdruck/DeliRoos, but I did not eat or drink anything there. It was too early for lunch. But I love the look of the place. Hip, arty, informal.
Concept-stores and stores where retail and food or coffee are combined are quite popular theses days and I’m a fan for sure.
I had my one and only dinner here and my next blogpost will be all about this restaurant and my experience there. Spoiler alert: I loved everything about it!
We intended to have lunch here, but it was fully booked. The location is great, right next to Museum De Fundatie. It must be especially nice in summer, with the terrace in front of the villa.
I’m guessing the food is good there too, but to be honest, the setting looked a bit too formal for my taste.
We did not go there, but it deserves a mention, since it is Zwolle’s most famous and best restaurant. Michelin-starred and a true phenomena. Famous not only in Zwolle, but in the Netherlands and beyond.
If you’re a foodie, be sure to have lunch or dinner there.
It’s not cheap and the setting is luxurious and formal, and again: I’m sure the food’s fabulous.
For me, I’ve had so many super-formal dinners with my parents, that I grew an aversion against these type of restaurants. They make me feel highly uncomfortable. Having said that, I might still have lunch or dinner here one day, because the couple that runs Librije delivers top quality in gastronomy and hospitality.
We walked past this popular burger-restaurant and it looked appealing to me. I’ll keep it in mind for my next visit to Zwolle.
We took a coffee and cake-break in Hier en Daar, also to warm up from walking through the freezing cold.
I love the look and concept. Hipster, vintage and informal. And almost all the furniture is for sale. How cool is that?!
The place was packed when we were there and the acoustics is bad. Very noisy!
But the coffee and cake were good. Really good.
I wrote about this concept-store in my post about shopping in Zwolle.
Pistache has several food and drink options in house, in particular a coffee bar with coffee (duh!), pastry and lunch and a yoghurt bar.
We did not eat or dink here either, but I like the hip look and the mix store-concept.
We passed here just after closing time, so we could not visit De Gillende Keukenmeiden. It is a health food restaurant.
I’m not a health food fan, but it looked cool, so maybe next time….?
Another defrosting-stop for us during our city walk. We chatted and had tea, and I loved the vibe here.
Warm, relaxed and informal. Works for me!
We had lunch here and the food was good.
The villa stands on a prime location and has an enormous outdoor area in summer.
Clearly a very popular place, but a bit too conventional and formal for my taste.
We went in with the idea to have a tea or lunch there, but once inside we quickly changed our minds.
The ambiance and audience seemed a bit dated, sleepy and ‘elderly’. On my next trip to Zwolle, I will give this place a second chance. Maybe I like the atmosphere better then, who knows…
What I look for in a restaurant, cafe or bar
After reading my comments on the restaurants, cafes and bars that I visited or saw, it must have become clear that serving good food, coffee or drinks is not necessarily key or enough for me.
- I look for ‘gezelligheid’ , as we call that in the Netherlands. Aka: cosyness.
- Comfort is important too. High bar seats, no thank you. Stools, nope. Wooden benches, no. I prefer comfy chairs, lounge seats or snuggly couches.
- Peace and quiet. Loud music, bad acoustics…not for me, thanks. I want to be able to have a conversation with my company. Without having to scream.
- Nice design, art decor, kitsch interior; yes, please. Colorful, quirky, different. Cool, hipster vibe. These things make me so happy.
- The right temperature inside; not too hot and definitely not too cold.
- Space. Too many people in a too small space; where’s the exit??? Your neighbors sitting practically on your lap; no thanks.
- Friendliness and kindness. Staff that treats you well is highly appreciated! Being attentive, smiling, making you feel welcome and important.
- A relaxed and informal ambiance. No staff in outdated uniforms. No dishes with pretentious, long and incomprehensible names and descriptions. No real (fabric) napkins that are folded open in your lap by the waiter. Paper napkins will do just fine, thank you.
- Free tap water. If we order food and drinks and ask tapwater next to that, be a sport and give it to us, if possible with a smile on your face.
- Bubbly by the glass. In some countries, e.g. Argentina, offering prosecco, cava or champagne by the glass is as common as serving wine by the glass. Unfortunately this is still not the case in many places. I love restaurants and bars where I can order bubbles per glass.
- Delicious food and drinks help too. Hahaha….
How about you? What do you like in a restaurant, cafe or bar? What do you look for?