Bars Sorted By Rating

5 stars / 4 stars / 3 stars / 2 stars / 1 star

picture old-brown interior Ledig Erf
Tolsteegbrug 3
Biggest and most relaxed terrace in Utrecht. Inside people also play backgammon or watch soccer on TV, but if you like to play chess, you'll have to love this place. The old-brown interior and a relaxed atmosphere makes it a good place for a Sunday-afternoon beer. Recently the interior was reworked somewhat, but without doing any real damage to the atmosphere. 14 FEB 00
Our rating: ***** out of 5

picture Willem Slok
Korte Koestraat 2

Formerly owned by popular Dutch radio-host and pop star Henk Westbroek, this place might have been equally popular as him had it not been located somewhat off-route from other bars. It has a relaxed atmosphere, and all other features of a good bar (good music, nice interior, invariably friendly service and a terrace). Willem Slok has at least one very regular customer, who can be observed night and day sleepily staring at you from a corner by the window. Don't let him fool you--it's just a wax figure! Regulars may tell you about the turbulent life of the founder, Willem Slok himself, of whom a sketch can be found on the wall opposite from the bar. Used to be Maarten's favourite but has for some reason fallen from grace. Reportedly a hangout for the crew of the Stadsomroep Utrecht local radio station. Closed on Sundays. 14 FEB 00
Our rating: ***** out of 5

de Zaak
Korte Minrebroederstraat 9

A very popular meeting place for all sorts of people. The large terrace fills up early in summer. Despite the trendy-looking facade the interior is old brown. At the back they have a collection of comics and newspapers to read while enjoying your coffee, as well as a CD jukebox. The entrance is pretty drafty in winter; sitting at the bar or in the back is a better choice then. Latest and distressing news: de Zaak has quit selling nachos! Even later and uplifting news: the aforementioned nachos are back! And to top it off, de Zaak now offers free peanuts, the shells of which you are allowed--in fact, even encouraged--to throw on the ground. (Apparently, the oil left in them is good for the wooden floor.) 24 APR 99
Our rating: ***** out of 5

old-brown interior Binnenbest
Biltstraat 63

Great place to meet authentic locals. Cheap, very friendly service, and in summer you can sit outside and watch the cars roar by. Typical old brown interior with portraits of regular constumers on the walls. Famous for being the first place in Utrecht to serve beer after WWII. Did we already mention that the service is really very very friendly? 22 APR 99
Our rating: ****1/2 out of 5

old-brown interior Derat
Lange Smeestraat 37

Cheap place, never very crowded, with a loyal group of regular customers that you'll find there about every night. Featured in the novel Giph by Dutch writer Ronald Giphart. Its toilet walls are neatly decorated with porcelain tiles carrying many old Dutch proverbs; an eternal favorite is ``Een gast brengt telkens vreugde aan--zo niet bij het komen, dan wel bij het gaan''. In honour of their name they have real dead rats on display. Rumour has it that the building hid several members of the Dutch resistance during WWII--they couldn't confirm this though. The bar itself isn't nearly as old as it looks: it opened in January 1987. And yes, it's really called `Derat', not `de Rat', as the result of an administrative typo long ago. 23 APR 99
Our rating: ****1/2 out of 5

eetcafe cafe-sociëteit de Maartenshof
Loeff Berchmakerstraat 34

Unfortunately this place closed on July 31st 1996. Used to be one of the best places to eat in Utrecht at a great value, and had a good atmosphere for a coffee, beer or wine afterwards. The same owner opened a new cafe called de Tienhof that is definitely worth checking out. The building now houses de Kameel. 23 APR 99
Our rating: ****1/2 out of 5

picture eetcafe België
Oudegracht 196
Located near the popular het Wed, this place is frequented by a more alternative audience. In summer people are allowed to sit on the sidewalk in front, but be careful not to get hit by the occasional car. In honour of its name this cafe has a choice of over 300 different kinds of beer; the complete catalog (along with a list of last month's best-sellers) can be found on the huge chalkboard opposite the entrance. 9 FEB 00
Our rating: **** out of 5

picture Hofman
Janskerkhof 17

This cafe is located next to the theater academy and as such rather trendy. Nevertheless a very nice place to spend the evening as the decor will keep you from getting bored for hours--check out the oversized angel-like woman hanging from the ceiling and Tootsie, the plastic waitress serving draught beer. Usually very crowded from Thu-Sat. Tango-cafe on Tuesday; go there only if you like to tango, otherwise the loud piano music will leave you with a terrible headache. 14 FEB 00
Our rating: **** out of 5

de Luifel
Neude 35

The main goal of your visit should be the food; they serve plenty of it for little money. Attracts the students field hockey crowd, especially on Sundays. If the weather allows you can sit outside. 24 APR 99
Our rating: **** out of 5

eetcafe de Maan
Twijnstraat 3

After a fire some years ago, the former old-brown interior was replaced by something more up-to-date; whether it adds to the atmosphere we'll leave for you to decide. Very friendly service, cheap food, a nice billiards table and several dart boards. Supposedly a hangout of the Utrecht Harley Davidson club, although this is only reflected by broken Harley parts covering one wall. 9 FEB 00
Our rating: **** out of 5

Lucasbolwerk 1

A nice ex-cafe currently missed by its former varied group of customers. Changed owners and name and we haven't checked the new place (by the name of Heerenplein) yet. Periodically a dance event called Navratilova, the Next Generation is held at AXL (at the Stadhuisbrug). 24 AUG 00
Our rating: **** out of 5

picture 't Neutje
Neude 30

Great place to smoke--you'll never fill the enormous ashtrays. Old-brown interior, hidden behind a modest front. 24 APR 99
Our rating: **** out of 5

picture Orloff
Donkeregaard 8

Trendy but pleasant cafe, and definitely to be preferred above its neighboring bar Bartje. This is where world-famous children's book writer Dick Bruna enjoys his daily coffee and paper. And why not? Their capuccino is wonderful, and brought to your table with a smile. If you want to enjoy their terrace, do so in the morning--the sun will be blocked by other building after around noon. If you're tall you might have a problem climbing the cramped stairs leading to the toilets. Despite the good atmosphere, we advise you not to eat here if you are hungry; go to de Luifel instead. Interestingly, this is one of the very few cafes in Utrecht that have no cigarette vending machine (Marktzicht is another). 14 FEB 00
Our rating: **** out of 5

't Pandje
Nobelstraat 193

The main advantage of this place is that it stays open until 4am during the week and even later in the weekends, and you can even get hot drinks all night here. Meeting place for foreign students. Women should be careful about harrassment by drunk customers, although any customer found guilty of harassment will be unceremoniously asked to leave. Holland's reputedly most famous bartender works here--see if you recognize him. 24 FEB 00
Our rating: **** out of 5

picture old-brown interior eetcafe Springhaver
Springweg 50

Great koffie verkeerd (milk with drops of coffee) and the best (and largest) capuccino in town. Generally known for its relaxed atmosphere, save for a few weird regulars; very crowded all day on Sundays. Next to one of Utrecht's finer non-mainstream cinemas, renowned for its closet-sized theatre. Don't sit near the front entrance as it's often rather drafty. 9 FEB 00
Our rating: **** out of 5

Uithof Inn
Heidelberglaan 1-A

Located at the university campus, this is the the perfect place to meet lazy alcoholic PhD students going at it during working hours (and UNIX system administrators--outside working hours). Lots of space and meadows to sit outside and watch the cows go by. Don't go there if you don't have any business at the university. Friendly service and they have a billiards table (fl 1 for 15 minutes). The Uithof Inn closed down on April 1st, 1999--this is not a Fool's Day joke. 24 APR 99
Our rating: **** out of 5

het Witte Haantje
Voorstraat 4

(Also popularly knows as de Zwarte Kip or de Paarse Paradijsvogel.) It appears that the bartender opens the place when he is thirsty himself. From the outside the place looks rather vague, but inside you will instantly feel at home. Good music and friendly service, but it might take you some time to order because the bartender has to finish his own drink or his conversation with one of the drunk regular customers. There is a pooltable, but don't expect all the equipment to be complete; currently you can play for free because the coin machine is out of order. Bring your own crowd (or show up after 4am). Another place gone to the dogs (that is, it closed down). 24 APR 99
Our rating: **** out of 5

de Bastaard
Jansveld 17

This used to be Jules' favorite hangout a long time ago, but a couple of years ago they completely reworked the interior--not a great improvement in my opinion. Aluminium chairs and tables add little to the atmosphere. At the entrance you'll find four stalls which are nice to sit at; if they're already taken, go someplace else. On the up side, the personnel is friendly, the place hardly ever too crowded, and the audience quite varied. They have a pool table (fl 2 a game) and a small outdoors at the back. If the pool table jams after you insert the coins, hit it hard immediately to the right of the coin insertion slot. If this doesn't work, the bartender will happily hit it for you. 23 APR 99
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

eetcafe Boslust
Mariastraat 31

Interesting cafe in the shopping-area with a nice interior, including an extremely lazy cat named Frits. A good place for passing sleepy Sunday afternoons. (Ehrm. It was recently pointed out to us that Boslust is, in fact, closed on Sundays. Luckily, Saturday afternoons are very pleasantly spent there as well. We apologize for any inconvenience.) The varied food is rather good, and includes a large selection of dinner salads. The small terrace is not very exciting. 9 FEB 00
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

le Carafon
Hamburgerstraat 14

A bar reputed for its exciting and irregular night life (think gun fights), although Rani (the owner) vigorously denies any such rumors. Usually rather desolate before 4 o'clock at night. Fills up after Tivoli and België close, and remains open as long as there are enough people present and Rani feels like it. After recent visits we were so impressed with the atmosphere and Rani's friendliness that we felt obliged to drastically upgrade this bar's rating. 24 APR 99
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

de Flitz
Rozenstraat 15

A nice and cozy swing cafe with a ditto atmosphere to spend the late hours on a desperate night, especially on weekends. It attracts many different people as almost all kinds of popular music are played here (apart from house freaks for whom the dance floor is too small). In the early evening this is a nice place to drink a few beers or perhaps a `borrel' with your friends, play some darts, or just hang around at the bar while having some of the free lollipops (they're usually finished before 10pm though). A word of caution: for some reason the Dommelsch beer they serve here gets one drunk much faster than elsewhere. (Two popular--but rather unplausible--explanations are that either they add extra alcohol, or all other bars dilute their beer.) For some unclear reason they don't want you to park your bicycle in front of the cafe; park it around the corner instead. Although they close much later, you're not allowed in after 3am--unless you're not above a little bribery (depending on your social skills, fl 10,- to fl 15,- should suffice). The bulldog guarding the front door will tell he's taking a risk admitting people after 3am, but don't let him fool you: he is the owner. As a final word, some people say that if you haven't been to `De Flitz', you haven't been in Utrecht at all; that may or may not be true. 23 APR 99
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

old-brown interior Fokus
Koekoekstraat 25

Old-brown cafe, and a good place to meet locals, talk about soccer and play a few games of pinball. 23 APR 99
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

picture de Gasterij
Trans 7

A typical, yet very attractive old-brown interior; the kind you'd expect to find on a postcard. Has a billiards table in the back. 23 APR 99
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

't Hart van Utrecht
Voorstraat 10

Currently considered the place to be. The new interior leaves us with nothing to add. Be sure to sample their Finlandia vodka. 23 APR 99
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

picture 't Heen en Weer
Donkeregaard 13

Popularly referred to as Utrechts smallest bar with the biggest dog, this is in fact only the third smallest--it is beaten by De Deugniet and A.S.P.--but a real classic nonetheless. The terrace has three times the size of the interior. Great place to watch people biking by. 10 FEB 00
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

picture Jazz Alley
Mariaplaats 8

Although the name suggests a smoky bar with 50's jazz music, this is in fact a modern suburb alley (complete with street lights) with hip jazzdance and related styles. At least half of the decoration consists of steel pipes, plates, barrels, and fences. An interesting detail is the condom-selling machines in the ladies' room: pick your favorite taste from strawberry, peppermint, and drop (licorice)--fl 5 for two. Open until 2am during the week, 3am on Friday and Saturday. 23 APR 99
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

picture old-brown interior eetcafe Joop's
Domplein 8

Another old-brown pub located on the popular terrace in front of the Dom tower. The walls are lined with portraits of frequent visitors, among which you'll find Duke Ellington and Count Basie. Lots of interesting old kitchen furniture--look for the multi-lingual salt cabinet. From the cafe you can keep an eye on the chef while he's cooking your meal. 9 FEB 00
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

old-brown interior eetcafe de Knipoog
Lange Jansstraat 28

A modest cafe that also serves extremely fine foods. Rather small, but not stuffed. Drafty entrance. Check out the cute waitress with the disarming smile. 23 APR 99
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

eetcafe O'Leary's
Adelaarstraat 23

A nice Irish pub located near Utrecht's only windmill. Fairly new place, although their interior is made to make you believe otherwise. A friendly place with Guinness on draft, surprisingly many Irish customers and good Italian coffee. Not the best place to go if you don't like soccer: they have no less than two huge televisions showing important matches. 9 FEB 00
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

Breedstraat 4

A cafe without any pretentions, plain and simple, but they serve you at your table with a smile while you enjoy the good ol' classics from the 60's and 70's. The waiters and waitresses are in general very friendly and the various beers are rather cheap. Usually not very crowded, and as a bonus it offers a great view on the regular car accidents at the Predikherenhof while playing a game of billiards. If you smoke and you run out of cigarettes, you'll have to resort to the neighboring coffee shop for a fix as there's no cigarette vending machine. 14 FEB 00
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

old-brown interior Postillon
Lijnmarkt 50

Old brown and beautifully located next to a bridge crossing the Oudegracht, with splendid glas-in-lood (stained glass) windows on three sides. Among the (mostly local) regular customers sitting at the bar you can sometimes spot a dog lost in thoughts over his glas of beer. The nice terrace and the very friendly, very professional, and very well-dressed owner make this place definitely worth a visit. Descend the stairs to the bathrooms for a touch of that german-guesthouse feeling. 4 SEP 00
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

picture eetcafe Toque Toque
Oudegracht 138

A pretty, but small cafe, located on one of the busiest corners of downtown Utrecht. Downstairs you'll find plenty of more space, though. Also serves (rather good) food and therefore a popular place to have lunch. 9 FEB 00
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

Burgemeester Reigerstraat

Old brown interior with a classic bar front window, which looks pretty filthy from outside. Place where locals mix with students, as genever mixes with beer. Not too trendy, but the best bar to watch important soccer matches while dancing on the tables. And they have a great fireplace! 10 FEB 00
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

picture old-brown interior van ouds de Vriendschap
Wed 1

The oldest of all the bars located on the popular het Wed. Old-style typically Dutch bar. Place where the Utrecht Student Rugby Society hangs out. See the bartender serve you from within a closet. Absolutely fabulous uitsmijter and coffee served for reasonable price after 8am, including the fresh daily paper. 24 APR 99
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

eetcafe Winkel van Sinkel
Oudegracht 158

A truly grand cafe located at a prime location inside the magnificent building of the former AMRO bank. (The name dates back to the original Winkel van Sinkel housed there, which was the first Dutch warehouse.) Only the small outside is visible from the streetside; the huge statues somewhat limit the view, and unfortunately the place is lit like a construction site. The interior is definitely the more interesting part of the building: a staggeringly huge hall filled with wooden tables and classic red leather benches at the sides. The mirror-ball on the ceiling is the only reminder that the place sometimes hosts a disco as well as gala evenings. Despite ample personnel, it is at times hard to catch a waiter's or waitress' attention in this huge place. (The waitresses are certain to catch your attention though--be prepared to learn the true meaning of the word mini skirt.) Make sure to visit the bathroom downstairs; to get there, you'll need to walk through a few medieval-looking vaults. Relatively expensive, but definitely worth it. 9 FEB 00
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

eetcafe Zeezicht
Nobelstraat 2

Used to be a very popular and somewhat trendy place. It was unfortunately sold, is now part of a chain of `English pubs' with a horrible fake old-style facade. 9 FEB 00
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

de Zes Vaatjes
Mgr van de Weteringstraat 32

Located in the owner's living room and officially for invited guests only, to enter this place you have to ring the doorbell first. The owner will welcome you to a nice quiet cozy place with a large table for groups of people. The two elderly bartenders (Albert and Bert--they're father and son!) are very kind and will serve you at your table. They offer a great and extensive selection of whiskies. 24 APR 99
Our rating: ***1/2 out of 5

picture eetcafe kafee de Baas
Lijnmarkt 8
Formally an eetcafé (a cafe where you can have dinner), De Baas serves environmentally non-destructive food at good prices (around fl 15). Often crowded during dinner time, but don't forget to check upstairs for additional tables. Run by volunteers, the proceeds are donated to the charity of the month. On Sunday afternoons you can unfortunately no longer listen to live jazz music, but on Thursday thru Saturday the bar now stays open late--no food served after 10pm though. And last but not least, smokers need no longer worry: de Baas has finally installed a cigarette vending machine (it's upstairs). This non-profit bar is always looking for a helping hand. If you are interested in working there, call them at 030-2315185. 9 FEB 00
Our rating: *** out of 5

het Dorstige Hart
Lange Nieuwstraat 47 bis

After having been swallowed in a blazing fire some years ago, this place was completely rebuilt and to be honest we haven't been there since. 19 MAR 98
Our rating: *** out of 5

old-brown interior kasteel de Leugen
Loeff Berchmakerstraat 10

A tiny old-brown pub just off het Neude. Very quiet during the day and often very crowded at night. With every first coffee ordered before 6pm you get a free coffee liquor--a great thing in winter. Offers a large selection of newspapers for reading. 24 APR 99
Our rating: *** out of 5

old-brown interior 't Lieverdje
Nobelstraat 10

Old brown interior with not-too-comfortable benches--the chairs are ok though. Often serves homemade sangria in summer, glühwein during the colder months. They have a small garden at the back. Formerly Chantal's favorite, but for some reason the public has changed lately. Don't be surprised if everyone is singing along with some terrible Dutch songs that are played too loud to make a conversation possible. In the weekends visited by young highschool students. Despite all that, the bartenders are excellent, though. 24 APR 99
Our rating: *** out of 5

picture de Morgenster
Oudegracht 323

A pub filled mainly with regular customers, located some hundreds of meters off het Wed. Although the interior is quite uninteresting, the barmen, barwomen, and regulars can (and will) make you directly feel at home. 24 APR 99
Our rating: *** out of 5

stadskasteel Oudaen
Oudegracht 99

A grand cafe and brewery located in a very old castle (guided tours can be arranged on request). Extremely nice interior, fitting the original building, you really feel like being in a castle. In weekends it attracts mainly yuppies trying to find a companion for the evening by showing off with their well-stuffed wallets. The home-made beer is good, but it shows in the price. Friendly service, but be in time to prevent them from putting ice in your w(h)isk(e)y. Oudaen started its own homepage. As rumor has it, Oudaen has recently been saved from bankruptcy by Krasnapolsky after the former owner had made a mess of the financial situation of the castle and fled to a far country. 24 APR 99
Our rating: *** out of 5

picture Stichtse Taveerne
Twijnstraat 43

A nice place to play billiards (four tables), pool (two tables), or darts, the main drawback being that you have to endure a Brian Adams CD at least twice every evening. Other than that, the service is friendly. 24 APR 99
Our rating: *** out of 5

eetcafe het Weeshuis
Domplein 16

A good place to spend your summer evenings on its big terrace with an excellent view on the Dom tower. Since it is usually crowded when the weather is good, you might have to wait endlessly before being served. Downstairs (not the regular place to sit, but a room that can be reserved for special occasions) are the remains of an old Utrecht orphanage (hence the name). 9 FEB 00
Our rating: *** out of 5

old-brown interior A.S.P.
Achter St.-Pieter 3

Utrecht's smallest bar, named after the street it is located in. A place with a particularly loose interpretation of closing times: the door closes at 6 AM, which doesn't imply anything about the time you should actually leave. It attracts a mixed crowd of customers, and often Dutch music is played. Among the strange snacks served at the bar are carbonade (pork chops), bal gehakt (greasy meatbal), and BiFi worstjes (try them--it's a way of life!). Surprisingly unknown, given its central downtown location. The Dutch association of translators meets here every first Wednesday of the month. 10 FEB 00
Our rating: **1/2 out of 5

Hamburgerstraat 17

Straight across from Utrecht's court building, you would expect many a customer drinking in joy or despair. However, the small cafe with a somewhat out-of-touch old-brown interior offers no such excitement. It's a fine bar, in a typical Utrecht-style street, but nothing special. Either closed down or changed both interior and name. 22 APR 99
Our rating: **1/2 out of 5

eetcafe Broers
Janskerkhof 9

Has a nice terrace, especially if you like watching car-races three feet from your chair. (We're being sarcastic here.) Somewhat absent service. Reputedly mice have been spotted running around the place--and there's a lot of space to run around! The interior is somewhat reminiscent of Vienna during the twenties. On Sunday mornings during high season they serve an unbelievable champagne brunch for approximately fl 25. 9 FEB 00
Our rating: **1/2 out of 5

eetcafe la Comedy
Janskerkhof 22

Nice large place with trendy interior. Every other week on Monday you can watch stand-up comedians trying out (10pm). The place is really stuffed then, so be sure to arrive in time or have dinner beforehand (relatively expensive; this goes for drinks as well). On Saturdays it is supposedly a place to dance, but there is not much space to actually move. Go there only if you like meat-markets. Expensive. 9 FEB 00
Our rating: **1/2 out of 5

Dikke Dries II
Oudkerkhof 36

A classic among Utrecht's bars. It is run by the son of Dries, whose original bar still exists (Waterstraat 32). Its interior is what you might expect from any Dutch bar. Formerly a popular place among students, it is now mostly visited by young folk of different backgrounds. Usually pretty crowded, especially during the Utrecht Blues and Jazz nights. 10 FEB 00
Our rating: **1/2 out of 5

Nachtegaalstraat 61

A pleasant, but fairly nondescript bar just outside downtown Utrecht. Not your typical rowdy student gathering, but suitable for a good conversation. Take note of their collection of old radios on display. 23 APR 99
Our rating: **1/2 out of 5

picture Flater
Oudegracht 140

The first thing you notice when you enter this pub is darkness. Pitch-black absolute nothingness. When your eyes have adjusted to the rather sparse lighting conditions, you'll be able to make out a tiny room with a few candles and two dimmed bulbs behind the counter. The walls are lined with images from the comic Guust Flater and the tables are wobbly but somehow this adds to the atmosphere. To get to the restrooms you'll have to climb a long way up the steep and narrow stairs--not the safest way to get home. Drinks are relatively cheap but unfortunately this place is frequented by young high school students later in the evening. 10 FEB 00
Our rating: **1/2 out of 5

the Frog
Adriaen van Ostadelaan 39

Fat bartender and a dark brown interior. The only interesting thing about the place is that it is facing one of Utrechts best ice-joints. Sources tell us that the Frog has recently changed owners and is now christened de Utrechter. 10 FEB 00
Our rating: **1/2 out of 5

Graaf Floris
Vismarkt 13

Old-fashioned interior with corresponding waiters and waitresses. Not the place to hang out with your friends and get really drunk, but a suitable place to take your parents to and drink coffee. Enjoy their delicious warm appelbol. 23 APR 99
Our rating: **1/2 out of 5

eetcafe het Polman's Huis
Keistraat 2

Incredibly spacious main room--the ceiling is at eleven meters--but very snobby and chique. A good place to take your (soon-to-be) parents or soon-to-be business partners for a coffee. They serve incredibly good food as well. 9 FEB 00
Our rating: **1/2 out of 5

picture old-brown interior eetcafe het oude Pothuys
Oudegracht 279

Located in a cellar at the canal, the atmosphere is not very fresh here. Live-music nearly every evening, but not always worth a visit. From half of the tables you can not view the bands, but they will disturb your conversations though. Good food, also served on their canal-side terrace. 9 FEB 00
Our rating: **1/2 out of 5

eetcafe de Reünie

Located on the popular het Wed but not as crowded as the other bars around. Rumour has it that their vegetarian dishes aren't always up to standards. Popular place for larger groups of people. Cozy interior. 9 FEB 00
Our rating: **1/2 out of 5

picture Stairway to Heaven
Mariaplaats 11

This place used to be one of Hollands most famous discos, it still looks a bit like that and is quite huge. Gathered its fame partly from the fact that the owner, and founder, is the popular radio-host, pop star, and Utrecht lover Henk Westbroek. The interior somewhat resembles a Hardrock Cafe, but is much nicer, and decorated with tons of attributes (mainly signed guitars) of famous rock artists. Frequent live performances of Dutch and international bands. There is a very interesting painting in the back, featuring famous rock artists enjoying themselves in heaven. Usually the place is not really very crowded. Best, cleanest restrooms we have seen in a cafe so far, but you have to pay for your visit. Also take care to leave immediately after the last orders--they have their not-so-subtle ways of making you leave. 13 APR 00
Our rating: **1/2 out of 5

old-brown interior eetcafe de Vingerhoed
Donkeregaard 11

A very plain cafe. Gathered its fame merely from being located on het Wed, not from being special in any way--this isn't meant to sound negative. Just sit, drink, and talk there. Good but plain and unimaginative food served on weekdays (approx. fl 18). 10 FEB 00
Our rating: **1/2 out of 5

stadscafe de Bacchant
Vinkenburgstraat 20
A new pub in the very center of town with an uninspiring interior and two levels. Serves lunch and a reasonably-priced dinner, along with a huge selection of different teas--there's even a separate tea list. Features regular live performances (mostly jazz dance) and on Sunday afternoons there's live jazz. Apparently a good place to go dancing at night, but during the day you often have to endure muzak. Cheap beer in large quantities every Thursday evening. 5 APR 99
Our rating: ** out of 5

old-brown interior Bartje
Donkeregaard 6

Always packed to the roof with fratboys and sorority girls--young people who prefer standing outside, showing off and talking loud. Their capuccino is pretty good though. 10 FEB 00
Our rating: ** out of 5

Boothill Saloon
Twijnstraat 5

A Wild-West-styled bar that opened somewhere during spring of 1996. Yeehaaaw interior, complete with saloon-doors, huge cactus in the front window and boots hanging from the ceiling. Strangely enough, the only American beer they serve is Budweiser; however, they do have their own brand of beer. Good atmosphere, unfortunately no nachos--but a pool table to make up for this. 23 APR 99
Our rating: ** out of 5

eetcafe 't Hoogt
Hoogt 4

Semi-artistic crowd filling the extremely trendy, yet somewhat sterile, interior. Associated with a cult movie-theatre of the same name. Some time ago the interior was reworked completely and in some indeterminate way now reminds of an office cafeteria. 9 FEB 00
Our rating: ** out of 5

picture Jerome
Oudegracht 148

The designer must have been very fond of swimming pools. After 6pm you won't find more people than shown here. Actually you won't find any people anymore because they closed down a year or so ago, and reopened under the name Tropen. 24 APR 99
Our rating: ** out of 5

old-brown interior eetcafe de Kijker
Lange Jansstraat 16

Large fashionable bar and restaurant. Popular place for large groups to have dinner, although quite expensive. Often either packed to the roof or (for no apparent reason) very quiet. 23 APR 99
Our rating: ** out of 5

theater Kikker
Ganzenmarkt 14

Only opens when there is a theatre performance or concert. To get to the cafe, follow the hallway all the way to the back then turn left. Alternative and semi-artistic audience; wear black and look depressed if you want to fit in. Usually not very crowded (even on weekends) and a large terrace cornered between four-storey buildings. Currently closed for construction. 23 APR 99
Our rating: ** out of 5

de Lindebar
Nieuwegracht 197

A small bar with a very ugly dark interior. Not a great place at first sight, but don't leave right away; wait until you've met Henk the senior bartender (age 58). He'll make you feel at home and teach you more about life and what's important while you're at it. (Large group sessions lack personal touch and are therefore not recommended.) Distressing news has reached us: Henk has left! Used to serve cheap lobster dinners for a while, but we're not sure if they still do. Actually, we're pretty sure they don't anymore. 24 APR 99
Our rating: ** out of 5

't Pakhuis
Janskerkhof 21

A bar that, as many others, also serves food. But this place specializes in saté, and does rather well in that respect. Said to be frequented by members of Utrecht's female student society. In honour of their name, usually packed to the brim with students at night. 24 APR 99
Our rating: ** out of 5


A self-proclaimed ``student cafe'', it seems to suffer from the same lack of students as De Zotte. Moreover, it suffers from a lack of customers in general. On Tuesdays the beer is very cheap. If you order a glass of port-wine don't be surprised if it is served to you in a Genever glass. Latest news: apparently the lack of customers did not exist only in our imagination--Soestdijk has been closed down. 24 APR 99
Our rating: ** out of 5

Cafe Zanzibar
Willemstraat 51

Not exactly the place to meet fellow students, this very spacious bar is the hangout for Utrecht's Carnival Society. Typical and extremely distasteful interior--the plastic neon-lit `stained glass' window near the entrance makes brave men weep--with photographs of carnival members in ceremonial costumes on the walls. We must say that the bartenders and regular customers are very friendly though. This bar usually features a pool table but it's `on vacation' at the moment. (We inferred that this must be local slang for `in repair'.) 14 FEB 00
Our rating: ** out of 5

old-brown interior eetcafe 1902
Bollenhofsestraat 2

Formerly known as Koningslust, this used to be the place to go if you wanted to achieve a greater insight in the habits and daily lifes of the locals. You can no longer hear them scream profanities and enjoy them singing typical Amsterdam songs (mostly by Andre Hazes, Tante Leen and Willy Alberti) in their inimitable Utrecht accent, because it has recently been transformed into a very neat and proper eetcafé. 8 FEB 00
Our rating: *1/2 out of 5

de Beurs
Neude 39

Although the concept of this café was quite interesting, its terrible and noisy audience spoils it all. Just like at a real-life stock market, you could proffer your bids--but it's drinks you're buying, not stock options. If you were lucky (or either smart or fast enough) you would have ten beers for only fifteen guilders; but with some bad luck you might as well have paid sixty. On Fridays and Saturdays there is disco for students only. You have to show your OV-kaart or collegekaart if you want to get in, but a ten-year-old Woo-pass (the Woollomoolloo is a students-only disco) will do the trick as well. 24 APR 99
Our rating: *1/2 out of 5

Predikherenstraat 19

A self-proclaimed `student bar', doubling as a karaoke bar and hotel. This Chinese-run location has the appearance of a cocktail lounge, with sofa's scattered around and posters of centerfold models on the walls. Never crowded, as far as we can tell, and no reason it would be. If you're lucky, the owner will play you some Chinese erotic movies--but not until the occasional Chinese guests have finished their (you guessed it: Chinese) Karaoke. Drinks are on the expensive side, but definitely a recommended place in case you're looking for something different. 22 APR 99
Our rating: *1/2 out of 5

Nobelstraat 207

Formerly called the Dikke Dom, now known as Janssen en Jansen. 19 MAR 98
Our rating: *1/2 out of 5

Janssen en Jansen
Nobelstraat 207

Formerly called de Dikke Dom, then Dommel and now named after two detectives in Kuifje (Tintin) comic books. A small bar, with a little upstairs area where a few additional tables are found. Not very cozy. Loud music, usually house or Dutch. 23 APR 99
Our rating: *1/2 out of 5

picture eetcafe Lofen
Domplein 17

A very large, nicely decorated place. Many, many, many dinner tables at the back, but somehow not quite the place for after-dark drinking. Enjoy a great lunch in front of the window, overlooking Dom square. 9 FEB 00
Our rating: *1/2 out of 5

de Nobel
Nobelstraat 283

De Nobel no longer exists. It is now called De Dijk. 24 APR 99
Our rating: *1/2 out of 5

old-brown interior Jan de Winter
Oudegracht 170

Home of fraternity boys and students from Unitas (wanna-be fraternity boys). Regulars drink a lot and put things on tab. Although they're not always able to pay afterwards, it makes the owner a popular person. 24 APR 99
Our rating: *1/2 out of 5

picture de Witte Ballons
Lijnmarkt 12

A low-profile bar located next to cafe De Baas. About the only interesting feature of the place is the bartenders incredible moustache! 24 APR 99
Our rating: *1/2 out of 5

City Bar
Typical Dutch bar located in a section of Utrecht which is mainly populated by Turkish and Moroccan families. Incredibly boring interior, fat bartender, nice pooltable and music from Holland's worst singers. On Saturday night they offer stripteas [sic]. 10 FEB 00
Our rating: 1/2 out of 5

le Journal
Neude 32

A quiet place for breakfast, especially on Sunday mornings and afternoons; often packed in the late afternoon and evening. The interior reminds of a grand cafe and service is often slow. Really big terrace that looks even bigger because of the neighboring tables of De Luifel and 't Neutje. Be careful in what you order: the prices are high and the red wine's not very good. Apparently not contend with some of the customers it was attracting, le Journal now resorts to an (if not illegal, then at last highly questionable) policy of marking unused as `RESERVED', thus allowing the staff to refuse entry to unwanted clientele. Needless to say, we highly disapprove of said policy. 14 FEB 00
Our rating: 1/2 out of 5

picture de Karseboom

A five-minute visit is already too much for this place. After the trouble of getting in (you are not allowed to wear a baseball-cap, but a motorped-helmet will make you popular), you will find yourself among a crowd of 14-15 year old high school students. Not exactly our idea of having a good time. Check out the sign next to the entrance and you'll get what we mean. 23 APR 99
Our rating: 1/2 out of 5

picture old-brown interior eetcafe de Poort
Tolsteegbarriere 2

Terrible food. Terrible, terrible, terrible. Don't get tempted to have dinner here: their al dente pasta is impossible to tell from mashed potatoes. Anonymous but reliable sources tell us that the toilets are cleaned only very rarely. However, the last time we visited the toilets were on the good side of immaculate. In fact, we've never seen toilets that clean before. Recently voted ``the country's second best bar'', obviously without consulting the authors of this list! 9 FEB 00
Our rating: 1/2 out of 5

Willemstraat 37

Fully known as Gay Cafe Tomorrows, this (much like its predecessor Willem II) is a place only the brave at heart dare to enter. Unless you're a regular, don't expect a hearty welcome; it is visited only by locals who apparently enjoy nothing but popularized Latin music (think La Bamba and the like). Red lights do little to enhance the atmosphere. (Don't get us wrong here: the fact that we dislike this bar has nothing to do with the apparent sexual preference of its clientele, it's the atmosphere that we simply don't like.) 14 FEB 00
Our rating: 1/2 out of 5

Willem II
Willemstraat 37

Now houses Tomorrows. 14 FEB 00
Our rating: 1/2 out of 5

de Zotte
Nobelstraat 243

Pretends to be a student-bar, but stay away if you're over 16 years old. Dark and crowded interior with some extra space in the back; often loud customers. 24 APR 99
Our rating: 1/2 out of 5