Everything is better with beautiful weather. The forecasts for the coming time are positive, it’s going to be tropical. But where should you head to cool down? Chill in the park, take a dive in cold water, or is terrace hopping the thing for you? I choose to go sit on a terrace with some delicious wine and do some people watching. So good! You can discover my favorite terraces in the city in this post.
Ledig Erf, Wester- & Oosterkade and Rotsoord
Slightly hidden away on Rotsoord is Klein Berlijn, unfortunately it’s not next to the water anymore, but it still has a good terrace. Order a German beer and grab a seat on the cozy terrace. A bit further along the Vaartsche Rijn is the terrace of Camping Ganspoort. They have wines and you can combine them with a snacks or opt lunch or dinner.Boats sail by and people cycle hurriedly towards the city while you get to chill. Then there’s also LE:EN, one of the coolest lounge places in Utrecht. The terrace is the perfect place for a rendezvous with friends or to enjoy the sun in peace alone. A bit further along in the former Pastoe factory, you’ll find De Zagerij. Hello, cool new place! You can also sit by the water here with a cold beer in hand. And they have good food too, so there’s no need to hurry back to the centre.
The quay on the Oosterkade is the perfect place for sun lovers who would rather bring something delicious from home. But you can also order a coffee to go or a take-away meal of course. Chill on the quay and wave to the boats that sail by. A great place to grab coffee is Koffieleute. But you can also take a seat on the small terrace and order something delicious on the side. Another location to get good coffee is De Boekenbar. If you forgot to bring along a book, you can surely score one in the shop. On the other side is Broei, the coziest living room in Utrecht. But there’s also a party going on outside. Broei has a good lunch and dinner menu, but also homemade drinks and baked goods.
A bit further along, in the direction of Twijnstraat, is Café Ledig Erf, right on Ledig Erf, with colorful chairs right on the park. Across the street is the terrace of Louis Hartlooper Complex, a former police office and now a movie theatre. Or go to Eetcafé de Poort for a simple meal and a view of Twijnstraat aan de Werf.
City Center (Domkwartier & Stadshuiskwartier)
De Rechtbank has an enormous terrace right in the center of Utrecht. The terrace is a nice place if you’re on your way to the center to shop or hitting a museum. If you’re sitting there anyway, the Utrechts Archief is worth a visit as well.
The terrace of Karel 5 Bistro, part of the Karel V, is beautifully sheltered and located in the back garden of the hotel. There’s a French vibe to this terrace. The garden is beautiful, especially in the spring and summer, when everything is in bloom and smells amazing. You can take some rest here and enjoy a Karel V beer from their own brewery. In the shadow of the Dom tower you can find Carla’s Conditorie, with a super cute terrace. Those with a sweet tooth will be right at home here and can enjoy Swedish treats and yummy drinks.
De Beurs on Neude is a well-known one, it shares the square with neighboring restaurants. Here it doesn’t matter where you sit, because the terrace (really the whole square) is enormous. Let yourself be surprised by choosing any place to sit and seeing which restaurant your chair belongs to…
Café de Zaak is in the middle of the city, on the Korte Minrebroederstraat across from the city hall. The terrace is always packed! The atmosphere is relaxed and down to earth. At Café de Zaak you can bring your own lunch or dinner, as long as you keep ordering drinks. Next door you can find Daens, a concept store with a hotel and a café with a big terrace. At Daens you can enjoy freshly baked goodies on the colorful terrace, and then shop in their store. And a few steps away is Ubica, which also has a good terrace.
ROOST set up its terrace in the Park Paardeveld, right in the bend of the canal again for this year. Sit one a beanbag with a beer in hand. Order some tasty treat from the BBQ. ROOST will take care of the music so you can celebrate the start of your weekend.
Spots located outside the city center
Goesting in the Veeartsenijpad, is about a 10 minute bike ride from the center. The small terrace at Goesting – which is a restaurant, wine bar and neighborhood pub – is gorgeous. This flowery terrace is on a small park along the water in a friendly neighborhood. After a drink you can wander through the area and grab some ice cream at Roberto Gelato.
Buurten is a very popular restaurant. It is located in the East of Utrecht and is always cozy. Head here for a simple meal for a decent price. In Oog en Al you’ll find Buurten (fabriek), with a bigger terrace. You could even say it’s a ‘huge ass’ terrace. And since you’re in Oog en Al anyway, check out SOIA, Utrecht’s city beach. Don’t want any sand between your toes? Then go to the newest hotspot in the area: Mr. Black & the White Ox. The old staff canteen of the Douwe Egberts is turned into a great new restaurant with a large terrace at the back. Yes, a terrace with beach chairs and good cocktails. If you’re a nature lover then Landhuis in de Stad is a better option. After a walk through Park Oog in Al you can sit on the small terrace near the water. A little further on you’ll find Kantien. A restaurant, located in the old canteen of the Municipality of Utrecht, is one of Utrecht’s best hidden gems. The terrace, with lots of sunshine, is one of the largest in the city.
The nice terrace at restaurant De Klub, located by De Vechtklub XL. It’s a bit of a bike ride but definitely worth a visit. In the afternoon it’s awesome to sit there with some coffee and homemade treats. In the evening it’s pleasantly full and you can also dine. And a bonus terrace: the one at the De Kromme Haring brewery. The cozy neighbors of De Klub, just a few steps away you can enjoy some well brewed beer.
Behind the station you will find Metro Kitchen, the restaurant has a large terrace, overlooking the buses. But you can’t tell when the sun is shining and you’re enjoying a delicious glass of wine. The menu offers a good selection of snacks to go with the fun. Or what about fruit de mer? Not far from Central Station you will find De Pomp. An old station has been converted into a restaurant with a large terrace. Yes, you have to dare. But the project has succeeded and De Pomp is a wonderful place to recover from a busy day.
My last tip is Op Zuid Bar & Bistro in Hoograven. A New York style bistro along the Vaartsche Rijn. A nice place for everyone in the neighborhood, but certainly if you want to swim worth a visit.
Enjoy all these lovely terraces!
Photos by Daniel Versteegh & Susanne Sterkenburg