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Le Clochard | Oldest Bistro in Utrecht

I always end up in the best places when I take a wrong turn! This time I took a wrong turn leaving from Lepelenburg heading back to Mariaplaats and ended up in the Ridderhofstad, a narrow street near Lepelenburg park. Before this happened I saw a sign promoting a late breakfast from 10:00 – 15:00 during my Bootcamp sessions. What a very odd time frame I thought, but didn’t think of it again. Until I wanted to have a late breakfast and didn’t feel like making it myself. So off I went to the Bistro, located in the narrow and short street.

Le Clochard is the oldest Bistro in Utrecht, it opened its doors in 1973. The bistro is dark inside as it should be and has a very warm and welcoming atmosphere. A few seats along the small windows facing the street and a large table with a few smaller tables around it in the back. Also a huge fire place with comfy lounge pillows. The place looks and feels old but at the same time familiar and friendly. (Actually it reminds me a bit of the cafe in the Harry Potter movies. Now you must think I’m a big nerd. So be it!) There’s a good collection of business cards pinned on top of the bar. And pictures of staff and customers throughout the 40+ years.

Le Clochard is famous for its simple but tasty dishes, like chicken sate or spare ribs. Of course many students discovered this hide away bistro for a simple and cheap dinner. While I was visiting students dropped in by the bike load to have breakfast. Locals also visit frequently for the mussels and beer. And of course tourists, whom probably took a wrong turn as well. 🙂

Le Clochard is a very pleasant surprise in the Ridderhofstad! The menu is simple but good. Staff is friendly and happy to chat. Having what we locals (Utrechters) call ‘een uitsmijter’ at Le Clochards adds to the experience. In English it would be: sunny side up. Although I like my eggs ‘over easy’. I hear the spareribs are very tasty. So I will return for dinner in front of the fire place.