GRONINGEN FOR THE CURIOUS

A curated guide of 20 places and things to do in Groningen, recommended by locals


All good in the hood: local spots you must check out around the city

Smaller European capitals have their advantages, namely the smaller distances to walk- but that doesn't mean there are smaller treasures to find though. Use this neighbourhood guide to help you hack Groningen.

show map

  • photo: OFFICIAL FACEBOOK

    Café de Toeter

    Beer • Bar • Student

    OK let's get things moving. De Toeter is a student favourite that never seems to lose its appeal - a vintage bar known for its fantastic choice of bottled beers. Need some help with that selection? Try the Grolsch Amsterdammer on tap, or the Double Dry-Hopped Galaxy IPA bottled in Utrecht.


  • photo: OFFICIAL FACEBOOK

    Black & Bloom

    Coffee • Roasters • Fairtrade

    For some, coffee is a necessity. For Black & Bloom, it's much more than that. The very first artisan espresso bar in Groningen, their mission is to introduce a new level of 'coffee nerdiness' to the scene. And if this sounds borderline pretentious to you, don't worry. That's not the Dutch way. Gerben and his team are totally down to geek out with you on their coffee brewing process and philosophy.


  • photo: Hester van Wijk

    Feel Good

    Breakfast • Smoothies • Coffee

    At Feel Good they’re all about pure and real food from nature. So no chemical additives or refined sugars. Just pure, unprocessed products such as fruit and vegetables, nuts and grains. Whole foods that make your body happy: Vegan sushi, awesome avocado toast, mushroom truffle salsa. All prepared daily.


  • photo: OFFICIAL FACEBOOK

    Roezemoes

    Traditional • Dutch • Dinner

    When we want to show our friends what real Dutch food is like - or just remind ourselves of how much we love it - Roezemoes it is. Think Mustard soup, Rijsttafel (an Indonesian rice dish), Stamppot Mous (mashed potatoes and sausage). Perfect cold weather food. Amazing value for money and a totally Dutch experience.


  • photo: OFFICAL FACEBOOK

    Konbu Street Food

    Asian • Fusion • Ramen

    OK, this place rules. They specialize in all of our favourite South-East Asian dishes. Think Vietnamese Pho and Japanese Ramen. But it’s also a super chill spot to plug in your laptop and sit with a Sapporo or a matcha green tea. In the mood for a light snack? Try the Octopus Balls and the savoury Apple Gyoza.


  • photo: OFFICIAL INSTAGRAM

    Bistro Vive La Vie

    French • Gourmet • Tasting Menu

    It's true. The Dutch really do everything better, including French food! Gourmet Groningen with a funky twist, somehow the innovative spirit never stops here. Just consider this starter - Haddock and Oysters with Seaweed, Dashi, and Bergamot (pictured here). With a cosy, relaxed and elegant atmosphere, we've sent many friends here for special occasions and always received rave reviews. Don't know what to order? Go with the 'Surprise Menu' and you'll be in safe hands.


  • photo: OFFICIAL FACEBOOK

    Gustatio

    Pasta • Michelin • Dinner

    When in the mood for REAL Italian in Groningen, we always pay Gustatio a visit. Michelin rated, the homemade pasta dishes make you feel as though you're on the other side of Europe (they also have a spot in Rome). The gnocchi, in particular, is a winner - but if the ragu with swordfish is on the menu, it's a must! Reservations highly recommended


  • photo: OFFICIAL FACEBOOK

    Het Concerthuis

    Bar • Coffee • Music

    A bar, a brunch spot, a coffee roaster, and a meeting spot - but we know it most of all as a music venue. See local bands and DJs and drink imported beers from all over the world. The people watching on the main square is some of the best in Groningen. If you're hungry we recommend the XXL Tosti (chilli con carne with cheese on a Turkish flatbread). Yum!


  • photo: OFFICIAL FACEBOOK

    Bla Bla

    Vegan • Indian • Vegetarian

    Only the Dutch would name a restaurant Bla Bla. This unpretentious spot is just a few steps away from us and therefore a very reliable stop for comfort food. Their menu borrows freely from Indian, Moroccan, Greek and Mexican cuisines, and is both vegetarian and vegan-friendly.


  • photo: OFFICIAL FACEBOOK

    Groninger Forum

    Cinema • Culture • Architecture

    A striking piece of contemporary architecture, this cinema and cultural centre is an icon of the new Groningen. If you want to see the new Marvel movie, try the Pathé around the corner - but for an expertly curated selection of films, Groninger Forum is where it's at. Watch a movie, read or borrow a book, study, drink a good cup of coffee or a cocktail, attend workshops. This place is always buzzing.


  • photo: OFFICIAL FACEBOOK

    Noorderlicht Photography Foundation

    Photography • Art • Culture

    Originally founded as a centre for documentary photography, the Noorderlicht has since branched out to include all forms of photographic storytelling. They're best known for their photography festival, which they've been putting on annually since 1996. They also organise lectures, discussions, screenings and classes. Want to take a workshop? Their 'Euroclasses on Documentary Photography' are a great place to start.


  • photo: OFFICIAL FACEBOOK

    Sign

    Art • Museum • Gallery

    Sign organises interdisciplinary exhibitions in its own space and elsewhere in Groningen. Their projects move around the city, on the edges of the art world and society. Proceeding from the surprising points of view of the artist/curator they like to play with the social spot, function, and meaning of art. In this way, their residencies, publications, performances, cognitive actions, interventions, audio-visual combinations, and new & old media all fall under one funky umbrella, ella, ella...


  • photo: OFFICIAL FACEBOOK

    Block & Barrels

    Sports • Bar • Meat

    If you dream of nothing more than a place to watch the football match while feasting on aged beef with your mates, then this is your spot! A unique pub experience where the butcher meets the brewer. A great place to enjoy craft beer and the finest cuts of meat, charcuterie, snacks and sausages from Groningen’s best butcher. As you walk in you go past a small butchery being used as a kitchen where the dry aged meats are hanging!


  • photo: FACEBOOK

    NP3

    Art • Museum • Gallery

    NP3 is a gallery space that differs drastically in from others you may have seen. As of 2019, their ‘RE:Search:Gallery’ programme offers up an exhibition space in which artists make their process and product accessible to the public. From the surface to a deeper field in search of more elementary, dynamic and ‘multidimensional urgencies’. To be honest, we’re not sure what that means either, but the results are always breathtaking.


  • photo: OFFICIAL FACEBOOK

    De Uurwerker

    Bar • Pizza • Chill Out

    Join the after-work crowd for a drink and a slice of pizza at chill-out zone De Uurwerker (or Clockworker, named after the street it’s on). Open 7 days a week, there is enough space to work, consult and meet your friends to pre-game for an epic night out. They bake the tastiest pizzas in a wood-fired oven, notorious throughout Groningen. Is the weather nice? Then sit outside on their large, cosy terrace.


  • photo: OFFICIAL WEBSITE

    Vera

    Concerts • Movies • Dancing

    If you're looking for a hipster spot to soak up some real culture, this place has your number. Vera is 'the club for the International Pop Underground'. They organize concerts, movie- and dance nights, and all the cool bands have been coming through here recently. This place is seriously buzzing.


  • photo: OFFICIAL FACEBOOK

    VRIJDAG

    Theatre • Workshop • Community

    VRIJDAG describes itself as the home of amateur arts in Groningen, but it's a place where you can create under total professional guidance. They offer subsidized, bilingual courses in goldsmithing, textile weaving, life drawing, sculpture, painting and music - only Drama is exclusively in Dutch. Semesters run September-February and February-June (approximately €160).


  • photo: OFFICIAL FACEBOOK

    Kaashandel van der Ley

    Cheese • Shop • Food

    At this yummy palace of dairy goodness you will find the special kind of cheese you’re looking for - as well as a few kinds you didn’t know you needed in your life! They can even advise you on how to put together a cheese board or which cheeses fit in the fondue. You can come to them for different types of Raclette cheese. Don’t know what that is? It’s a divine Swiss dinner of ooey-gooey cheese melted over potatoes. They can even rent you a Raclette set for the night!


  • photo: OFFICIAL INSTAGRAM

    Paradigm

    Dance • Club • Festival

    Paradigm is a mega-club, but it’s also a festival that takes place in August. They’re all about creating that feeling you get when people come together for music, art and creativity in an open-minded environment. They stand for ‘unity and togetherness, and wish to share this inclusion with anyone willing to partake.’ To get liberated: take a 1km stroll just over the canal to this rave-like space.


  • photo: OFFICIAL FACEBOOK

    Café De Sigaar

    Cafe • Brunch • Canal

    With a canal-side view, this deco cafe is still one of the most popular brunch spots in town after all these years. The menu is best known for its burgers, but "Oma Bob's Bites" give you an opportunity to sample typical Dutch snacks like croquettes, the perfect hangover food.

back to guide