Looking for the best cafes in Groningen? Groningen is Holland’s under-the-radar gem. So much awaits you in this beautiful Dutch city. There’s plenty to discover in its centuries-old streets and tons of amazing views to see from the highest Martinitoren tower, 97 metres above the city. The sights and sounds of the Netherlands that you came to discover are all here in Groningen. There is no shortage of canals, monumental buildings, historic sites, and cafés and restaurants.
Historic Groningen is popular today for its many leading universities. The University of Groningen, NHL Stenden University of Applied Science, Protestant Theological University and many more attract students from all over Europe and the world. And thanks to the youth, the city is one of the country’s most vibrant and hip destinations.
Locals, international students, and tourists will tell you one thing about this city – that it is a Valhalla for foodies. You can find a quick bite, hearty breakfast, coffee and tea in one of the city’s many gastropubs, food spots and cafés, from food truck festivals to traditional experiments.
You will not run out of different food choices from the city’s numerous public houses, breweries and coffee bars.
Here are just some cafés in Groningen you should try, amongst many others.
DOT Groningen is one of the most popular hangout places in the city. Everyone in Groningen knows about the white dome. More than just a café located in the pleasant Ebbingekwartier, DOT is a multifunctional and creative gastrobar that serves some of the best breakfast, lunch, coffee, dinner, drinks, and coffee and tea.
While waiting, you can watch the chef preparing your food in the charcoal-fired Josper grill, while listening to cool music from one of the DJs or live musicians.
You will be drawn here by the beautiful white dome, which really is a huge film and theatre hall, furnished with 234 luxury seats. You can watch movies and planetarium shows every week, both in 2D and 3D, as well as a high-tech 3D digital sound system and a programmable lighting system. How’s that for a café?
DOT also has an atmospheric terrace and an arcade that features video games from the 80s, and just outside is the famous DOT city beach of Groningen.
Fresh Today Carolieweg
Fresh Today Carolieweg is a cosy café and restaurant located next to the Herestraat (city centre). Exuding a casual atmosphere, here you can relax on a lounge sofa while enjoying a gluten-free meal. Fresh Today is famous for its fresh lunch, healthy smoothies and rich homemade cakes and patisserie. You could also try the bread specialities, salads, homemade soups and a delicious Latte Macchiato or fresh mint tea. Also try their organic coffee specials.
Fresh Today serves French, Greek, Israeli, Italian, Mediterranean, Spanish, and Turkish dishes to satisfy your international cravings.
The best draws are the fireplace and the beautiful garden terrace.
When travelling with kids, there’s a children’s menu to satisfy the little ones. They would love healthy banana pancakes. There’s also a kids room where they can play while you enjoy your coffee and tea after dinner.
The Pintelier Belgian Café
The Pintelier Belgian Café has been a household word in Groningen for years. All roads lead to Pintelier Belgian Café located in one of the oldest entertainment areas in Groningen. This café, associated with the Alliance of Beer Houses (ABT), is tucked away on a side street very near a university. Expect to share the place with students and university people.
Take your pick from an extensive list of drinks, including 23 draught beers and 80 bottled ones, plus abbey beer or Trappist beer. Other than for the food and drinks, locals love this place for its history and an old, local Dutch club atmosphere.
The café regularly receives good reviews, and here is one: “Visited the place on a busy Friday evening. Great pub for a beer buff. Multiple, multiple draft choices, mainly Belgium, a few German and Dutch. The servicing staff is knowledgeable and helpful. It can be busy at times.”
Black & Bloom
Black & Bloom is a coffee highlight that you should definitely visit. Make your way to Oude Kijk in ’t Jatstraat 32 to sample their fantastic black coffee. The owner and staffers here love their coffee and admit to being coffee nerds. This becomes very clear with their willingness to talk to you about the coffee trade. In other words, if you love coffee and talking about it, this is the place for you.
About this café, Black & Bloom is the very first artisan espresso bar in Groningen. They serve good coffee from all over the world, which is perfect with their homemade cakes and bakes.
You should know that the mission of Black & Bloom is to provide you with complete coffee and tea experience in a surrounding where knowledge, atmosphere, craftsmanship, skill, training and service are part of the total experience.
Guests appreciate the effort put in by the owner and staff. A recent guest review said, “We had the nicest service, we said we are first-timers there, he’d recommended us a coffee, but could easily make the decision without it. The store looks nice; it has a friendly vibe. One of the best coffee in Groningen, which is finally speciality!”
The Grand Café Groningen
The Grand Café Groningen is housed inside a stunning 19th-century building located at the Gedempte Zuiderdiep 56. The place was once owned by the Steenkolen Handels Vereeniging (coal trading association).
Grand Café Groningen is known to use only regional and sustainable products, ecological if possible and low in food miles. Their coffee is delicious, especially when paired with homemade cake, a lovely breakfast, high tea or a delicious meal.
In case you’re planning an event, you can hold your gatherings, business meetings, parties, high teas or celebrations here.
Diep Dinner Café
Diep Dinner Café is nestled in a historic building, which is clearly what Groningen is all about. The building is the magnificent Groningen Schuitendiep where ships used to unload peat and where monks used to live.
This café serves delicious dinner with your coffee and seasonal delicacies from around the world, using regional products.
What’s more, is that Diep Dinner Café offers a cruise of Groningen’s canals or through the province to make you better appreciate the place.
De Groene Stoel
De Groene Stoel or the Green Stool on Gedempte Zuiderdiep 26 is well-known for its homemade pie and a nice hot cup of coffee. This is where you should go if you wish to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Like most food places in Groningen, this café serves international options and uses only organic and local products to promote good health and conserve the environment. They change their menu every other week, including vegan, vegetarian, organic meat and fish choices.
Here’s a good way to enjoy your cup of coffee here. Understand that through The Groene Stoel, you are also supporting the restaurant’s programme for the education of refugees to help them get a job in the hospitality sector. You can help refugees regain their self-esteem and build a good future in a foreign country.
World of Barista
World of Barista is located in the lively and ultra-popular Grote Markt. Expect to meet other people enjoying their cup of coffee.
As you sip your cup of delicious coffee here, you will be introduced to the world of baristas. The staff will teach you interesting things about your cup and coffee as a whole. They actually offer workshops and training courses if you are really interested in immersing in the aromatic world of coffee.
While here, you should know that Grote Markt is Groningen’s vibrant and exciting town square where people come to drink and dine. It is the beating heart of the city. Here you will see interesting shops, cafés and restaurants, the Martinitoren tower and the old city hall. You can also visit bustling food markets on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays to buy fresh local meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and cheeses.
Palazzo Coffee is widely known for serving the best Italian coffee. Come to Zwanestraat to enjoy coffee the Italian way.
As you arrive here for the first time, don’t be confused about the place. Yes, it is a clothes shop and a café at the same time. Their wide selection of Italian coffee specialities and cake makes it easy for people to forget that this is a clothes shop.
You can enjoy your coffee in the coffee corner or at the outdoor café, served personally to you by their barista.
Groningen residents love coffee and you would be convinced easily that this is true as you walk around to see the many coffee shops, cafés, restaurants, and even clothes shops that serve coffee. When leisurely strolling around, you would almost always stumble upon one or two cafés in Groningen. The individualistic Groningen hospitality works perfectly as you enjoy your privacy sipping a delicious cup of hot coffee while watching people in the busy streets.
How to get to Groningen
You can fly to Groningen Airport Eelde, which is situated about 15 kilometers outside the city. It is a small airport, and from there you can take the train, bus or taxi to reach the city centre.
If not in a hurry, traveling by public transport is quite easy too. There are several trains that travel directly to Groningen from Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Rotterdam. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has a direct train connection to Groningen.