Searching for an authentic, local watering hole in Leeuwarden? Or maybe somewhere fun to chill out and drink a cold one? Then make sure to take a look at our guide to Leeuwarden’s best bars and pubs.
De Stee, Leeuwarden
Pub, Dutch, $$$
This down-to-earth pub opened its doors over 40 years ago and has catered to Leeuwarden’s (drinking) population ever since. De Stee keeps an impressive selection of local and international brews behind its bar including a local amber beer that’s named after Leeuwarden’s iconic Oldehove tower.
This expansive grand café is housed inside a former post office in Leeuwarden’s historic city centre. The building still features many stately design elements, including high ceilings, exposed wooden beams and hard stone floors that match perfectly with the café’s vibrant, yet cosy atmosphere. The café centres around a large, open bar that serves a large range of coffee, beer, wine and cocktails throughout the day. It is also possible to spend the night inside this magnificent building (or an adjoining historic bank) by booking a room at Post-Plaza’s boutique hotel.
Looking to try some tasty local craft beer while exploring Leeuwarden? Then make sure to stop by this charming special beer café on Groot Schavernek, which stocks a wide range of Frisian brews and many other delicious ales, lagers and stouts from the Benelux region and beyond. Like all good Dutch beer café, de Markies serves a selection of well-balanced cheese alongside its drafts and bottles.
The playlist at Mukkes centres around metal, hard rock and punk and the café regularly hosts alternative gigs at the tail end of its bar, including a weekly jam session that takes place every Wednesday. The cafe keeps the beer flowing until 03.00 every night, making it perfect for night owls that are into heavy rock music.
This cosy café is located inside Leeuwarden’s Blokhuispoort – an enormous cultural centre that’s housed in an historic prison complex that dates back to the late 19th century. The café has plenty to offer when it comes to food and drinks and recently added a beer brewed inside Blokhuispoort to its menu.
This lively music bar was founded over 30 years ago under the now-defunct name café de Spoekepôlle. The entire café is decked out in musical memorabilia and including posters, guitars and a stand-up double bass. There’s always music playing over de Spoek’s sound system and the café regularly invites musicians to play on its stage.
This subterranean bar runs underneath the northern banks of Leeuwarden’s Nieuwestad canal. Although Kelder 65’s entrance is rather narrow, it leads onto an enormous lounge, complete with booths, bar stools and group seating areas. The bar has some of the best pub grub in the entire city and its menu features traditional Dutch snacks like cheese platters, as well as other classic, international hors d’oeuvre such as plates of cured meats or hoisin chicken-skewers. There are also plenty of drinks to choose from, including G&Ts, cocktails and Dutch beers.