The Best Bars in Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Eindhoven has a cool nightlife, with everything from cocktail bars to indie brewpubs | © Bart van Overbeeke
Eindhoven is a lively city with a huge selection of places to stop for a drink, from cosy pubs and brewery taprooms to swanky modern cocktail bars. Here’s our pick of the best.
Central Eindhoven is packed with hundreds of bars and cafés, with vibes to suit every taste. There are classic ‘brown cafés’ featuring floor-to-ceiling wood; craft beer bars housed in former industrial spaces; dance-oriented spots with DJs that play into the night; and even brewpubs and cocktail joints that stay open well into the early hours.
Speakeasy Bar the Little One
Cocktail Bar, Bar, Cocktails, Pub Grub, Dutch, $$$
Much like classic prohibition era speakeasies, this bijou place – one of the smallest pubs in Eindhoven – is hidden a narrow façade in one of the oldest buildings in town, built in 1654. Operating as a bar since 1960, it’s done up in modern décor and serves great cocktails, shaken and stirred to perfection by professional mixologists.
Pub, Dutch, $$$
This grungy bar in the heart of the city is a popular destination, and one look at the long line of glass-fronted chiller cabinets will tell you why. They contain around 1,000 different beers, easily the biggest range in town, with top-notch craft beers from the Netherlands and around the world. You can also dine on classics such as fish and chips, each dish coming with a beer pairing recommendation.
Cafe, Pub, Coffee, Dutch, $$$
De Bierprofessor is located on Stratumseind, a street that’s home to over 30 pubs and cafés. There’s a clue in the name, but the highlight in this compact and basic specialist bar is its choice of more than 250 craft beers – the bottled options are displayed on shelving on one wall. The selection includes many from the very best Dutch breweries, such as Kees!, Uiltje, De Molen and many more, as well as internationally famous names from around the world. The café also stocks wine and spirits, but food is limited to snacks.
Pub, Contemporary, Pub Grub
This central brewpub, in a former office, became Eindhoven’s first working brewery for almost 60 years when it opened in 2013. The split-level interior features bespoke art on the walls, illuminated by lights that formerly graced the runway at Eindhoven Airport. Half of the 24 taps are reserved for the house range, with new brews added on a regular basis. The remainder feature superstars from the craft beer world, often introduced at one of the regular tap takeovers. The bottled range is also second to none in terms of global quality.
Restaurant, Coffee, Dutch, $$$
Het Ketelhuis is a trendy hangout in Eindhoven’s Strijp-S district, a former industrial area that was once the hub of Philips manufacturing in the city. The whole site has now been repurposed and is home to creative ventures such as the MU Art Space, 040 BMX Park and the NatLab arthouse cinema complex. Het Ketelhuis was once the factory boiler room, but today people come here to enjoy great coffee, cocktails, beer and wine, or to feast on one of its frequently changing fixed-price set dinners.
Grand Café Centraal
Bar, Cafe, Belgian, British, Dutch, $$$
Grand Café Centraal sits on the main market square, although the market stalls long ago ceded their space to dozens of café terraces. The interior is in classic Dutch ‘brown café’ style, with wood everywhere – from floor to ceiling via the furniture. An upstairs dining room comes into play on busier evenings. The Centraal stocks an impressive range of Dutch and international beers, including German weizens and Belgian-style triples, and food is served throughout the day.
Cocktail Bar, Dutch, $$$
Cosy Miss Paddle has simple wood furnishings, but the décor is brightened by a host of hanging plants. Each of the 60 beers on offer are all local, from either Eindhoven or the surrounding Noord-Brabant region, and the 10 draft options are dispensed from a back-to-front bar with the taps facing the customer. Accompany them with a range of flammkuchen, German pizza, baked to order in a wood-fired oven – the pub name references the wooden paddles on which they are served.
Cafe, Dutch, $$$
Half barrels embedded in one wall and a forest of pot plants define the interiors of this smart place in the historic Witte Dame (White Lady) building, a former Philips factory. Set in the heart of Eindhoven, it bills itself as a ‘biergarten’, albeit the garden is actually a terrace on the square out front. It serves a good range of wines and craft beers with no fewer than 30 on tap. Food features a range of meat and veggie burgers. As for the venue’s name, Radegast was the Slavic god of hospitality and 040 is the Eindhoven dialling code.
Café 100 Watt
Cafe, Pub, Dutch
The taproom of Stadsbrouwerij Eindhoven, the city’s biggest working brewery, is a modern hangout in a former carpet factory beside the River Dommel. Large windows let the light flood into the stylishly minimalist interior. In summer you can sit on the large waterside terrace out front, or the more intimate courtyard terrace at the rear. Needless to say the bar serves a great range of beers brewed in-house from its 14 taps, with other specials and guests available in bottles. The menu features predominantly salads and burgers.
A little off the beaten path, but worth seeking out, Bottle is one of the Netherlands’ first and best London gin distilleries, winning regular awards at international competitions. It’s located on the site of a former dairy beside a canal east of the city centre, with a small and simply furnished tasting room bar at one end. The drinks list features generously poured craft gin and tonics, as well as cocktails, local beer, snacks and a dish of the day. If gin isn’t your thing, they distil a range of other spirits, and bottles are sold to take away.
Hotel Restaurant, Wine Bar, Dutch, $$$
This elegant cocktail bar, on the 14th floor of the NH Hotel (one floor above the VANE Restaurant), has a rooftop terrace when you can sit outside in fine weather. But you can enjoy the knockout views across the rooftops of Eindhoven even when you’re sitting indoors in winter with a cocktail in hand. You’ll find a good selection of wines and local craft beers on offer as well, and the prices are not as sky-high as the setting.
Bobby's Bar, Kleine Berg
Bar, Dutch, $$$
Bobby’s Bar is a favourite with locals, set on a bustling street known for its bars and restaurants. And while Bobby’s is a modest drinking hole with cosy interiors, simple furnishings and candle-lit tables, it makes up for its size with an always-lively terrace. The staff here can mix up a mean cocktail, and they serve a big selection of gin and tonic, in addition to a good wine list. For non-drinkers, they offer a refreshingly wide choice of alcohol-free gins and virgin cocktails, and there is an excellent bar menu of snacks and finger food. Bobby’s also has a sister outlet at 27 Stratumseind.
O'Shea's Irish Pub
Pub, Contemporary, Irish, Dutch, $$$
Music always fills the air at this lively Irish-themed pub, centrally located beside the Muziekgebouw Eindhoven concert hall. Decked out to resemble a homely Dublin tavern, with wood aplenty and button-back sofas, the bar shows sports on big screens throughout the week. Draft beer options have an Anglo-Irish slant, while there are plenty of Belgian and Dutch choices among the bottled range, and the whiskey menu is good too. Meals can be ordered through the adjoining street-food outlet, the Village, with full Irish breakfasts served at weekends.