Tilburg, the Netherlands boasts many excellent restaurants ranging from lively student haunts to exclusive, gastronomic establishments located inside stunning historic buildings. Here are 10 of the best spots in the city for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Restaurant, European, French, $$$
This classy brasserie and restaurant serves a refined selection of international haute cuisine dishes. Its menu features recipes that employ ingredients and techniques associated with Japanese, Italian, and French cuisine, thus creating an eclectic assortment of dishes that pair wonderfully together. Kok Verhoeven lies just outside Tilburg’s historic city centre and welcomes walk-ins, private parties and smaller get-togethers. Aside from dinner and lunch, the restaurant also serves hors d’œuvre that are available as bar snacks.
Three brothers run this restaurant on Havendijk and have put together an incredible selection of seafood staples, ranging from full-blown fruit de mer platters to British-style fish and chips. Many of de Visserij’s dishes are meant for sharing and can be divided between two or more guests, making it ideal for romantic meals and small parties. The restaurant also has a stunning terrace that edges onto a wide canal.
This family-run Afghan restaurant was the first establishment of its kind in North-Brabant province when it opened in 2010. Its menu revolves around traditional Afghan recipes and features many delectable, mildly spiced rice dishes as well as classic appetisers like aushak and sambosas. The restaurant supports several socially conscious projects based in Tilburg and contributes towards programmes that assist refugees, people living below the poverty line and the elderly.
There are many creative organisations located in Tilburg’s Spoorzone district that have adapted their businesses around the area’s industrial architecture and historic ties to the Netherlands’ railway network. For instance, Eetbar de Wagon serves guests inside a charming railway carriage that dates back to the 1930s. This now static piece of rolling stock has been fully modified to accommodate modern culinary needs and can seat up to 80 guests.
This lively, down-to-earth bistro and café mainly serves hearty pub grub and its menu includes many time-honed, American and European staples such as schnitzel, hamburgers and meatballs. Polly Magoo has been in business for more than three decades and started out as a cosy, student hangout. Although it has changed somewhat since the 1980s, it is still very popular among students and organises parties every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Rather than hide its inner workings away behind closed doors, Restaurant Houtloods has centred its dining area around its kitchen, allowing guests to watch their orders being prepared, cooked then perfected by chefs in real time. Instead of dividing its menu by course, Houtloods groups entries according to their flavour and mainly serves dishes that are tailored around either fresh fish, meat or hearty vegetables. The restaurant lies within Tilburg’s innovative Spoorzone neighbourhood and is housed inside a former wood storage facility that was once owned by the Dutch national railway services.
Restaruant Hofstede de Blaak has won many awards over the years for its impeccable menu, location and service. The restaurant’s menu leans toward haute cuisine and features a refined selection of well-balanced dishes that mainly revolve around high-quality cuts of meat and fresh ingredients like Jerusalem artichoke, veal cheek and salmon fillets. The restaurant is housed inside a stunning English-style country manor, complete with exposed timber framing that was completed in the early 20th century.
Restaurant Monarh was built inside an historic former monastery known as the Sacred Heart, which accommodated an order of monks for over a century. Although this stunning building was renovated in order to meet modern culinary requirements, it still features many architectural elements that reflect its history such as vaulted ceilings supported by exposed, square pillars. Restaurant Monarh’s menu employs ideas drawn from modern French haute-cuisine and features superbly balanced dishes, which are prepared with utmost care and attention.
It is possible to purchase almost every piece of furniture located inside this restaurant in Tilburg. Even the chairs and table used by guests are on sale, and the restaurant regularly adds new items to its collection in order to keep things interesting. For Sale in Tilburg serves lunch and dinner and centres its menu around classic European recipes made from regional organic ingredients – for instance, black Angus steaks with seasonal greens or artichoke cooked with green asparagus and avocado. There’s also a table d’hôte menu available at For Sale in Tilburg that’s chosen by the restaurant’s head chef.
Tilburg’s only dedicated hotdog bar has plenty to offer when it comes to inventive fast food. Its back-to-basics, white-tiled kitchen serves an impressive number of gourmet dogs, ranging from classic pork wieners on bread topped with sauerkraut and mustard, to other more avant-garde creations like chicken satay hotdogs and one dish that’s served with hearty Dutch stampot (mashed potato and veggies). The restaurant also caters to vegetarians and will alter its recipes to include veggie hotdogs on request.