Only a little more than a 10-minute walk north-west of Utrecht Central Station, you will find a bright, light and spacious coffee bar that, for its slight out-of-the-way location, is frequented by Utrechters but mostly undiscovered by tourists. Koffie & Ik tend to have very diverse filter beans, with origins ranging from Africa to Central America, but flavours that are tasty every time. As a well-informed traveller, you will naturally jump at the chance to blend in with the locals and have your healthy organic breakfast here, along with a cup of fresh filter brew from Dutch roaster Single Estate and a slice of the irresistible home baked cake as a cherry on top. Relax in a spacious and light minimalist interior, with lots of white and lots of wood, or in the summer take the opportunity to sit outside. You’ll breathe in the smells of home-made carrot cake, apple pie and muffins blended with a whiff of toasted bread and coffee.
Utrecht’s The Village has become quite the institution in the galaxy of coffee geeks. You’d be forgiven for thinking their hiring policy is ‘men with beards and tattoos.’ However, it’s not all about the looks here: these guys excel at making filter coffee with their tool set of Clever Dripper, French Press, Chemex and V60, and their regularly changing selection of high quality filter coffee beans from Belgian roaster Caffènation. About a 13 minute walk from the train station, The Village lies on the central side, making it an excellent venue from which to go out and explore Utrecht’s old town. Usually full of people, this place is buzzing with activity. There are board games (like Star Wars Guess Who), quirky magazines and a playlist of music and more to keep you entertained but, ultimately, most people come here for the coffee, which we guarantee will make your day.
Blackbird is one of those small, hidden away places that you might easily pass by if you didn’t know what you were looking for. Situated in a quiet part of the Oudegracht (Utrecht’s main canal), Blackbird serves slow coffee from a V60 using beans from roasters such as Het Koffielab (Utrecht), The Barn (Berlin) and Bonanza (also Berlin). Blackbird favors beans that are roasted in small batches and per blend, which means the coffee is always fresh and pure tasting. Blackbird also serves ‘slow juices’, which are made by Willemijn with an always delicious mix of fruit and veg. While Blackbird is a great place to pop in for a quick coffee, the area at the back of the building feels like your second living room and has a relaxed and quiet atmosphere with minimalist décor. Not only do they serve amazing slow juice and coffee, Edwin and Willemijn also sell vintage bicycles, which, in our opinion, make the Dutch experience complete.
Dirk, Martijn and Olivier’s Brauhaus is relatively a newcomer when it comes to Utrecht’s coffee venues, but it has already built quite a name for itself. What makes Koffie Leute Brauhaus a champion in this area is that slow (filter) coffee is what their business model is all about: these gentlemen have made it their mission to educate the public about the myriad coffee-making techniques, filter coffee beans and subtle aroma and flavour characteristics. Their genuine passion for what they do is contagious and their sparkling personalities make visiting their Brauhaus a pleasure every time. Situated in the upcoming southern quays of Utrecht’s canals, Koffie Leute Brauhaus is part of Druk, a multidisciplinary establishment which also houses various workspaces, a shop, a clothing library, and an indoor greenhouse. The area is perfect for travellers looking to explore a more offbeat part of town.
Further south in a more residential part of town, LEF Koffiecoöp is a cooperative coffee bar situated in a large space that once housed a pop-up art gallery. The high glass front, artsy-looking shielded workspace and the handmade wooden counter make LEF’s interior an experience on its own, but don’t walk out until you’ve tasted the French Press, Aeropress, V60 and Clever Drip brews on offer. The freshly ground beans are supplied by Amsterdam roaster Standbranderij Noord and include single origins from, amongst others, Brazil, Sumatra, Rwanda and Colombia. LEF’s slogan ‘Damn Good Coffee’ says it all, really.LEF Koffiecoöp is run in a fair, human and very personal way and, partly due to its location under a starters’ apartment building, you’ll really feel you’re blending in with the local community. It’s a lovely, quiet place to read a book but, especially in sunny weather, LEF can be a place where people come together too.