The unique car-free village of Giethoorn in the Dutch province of Overijssel is one of the biggest draws in the Netherlands. Local and international tourists are intrigued to hear about a living, medieval village with old cottages, farms, plenty of bridges, and where cars and other vehicles are not allowed inside.
People tour this village on foot, on a bicycle, or rented boat. The boats here are called “whisper boats” to let everyone know that peace and quiet are very important here, despite the tourist crowds every year. The most popular destinations here are Weerribben-Wieden National Park and Museum Giethoorn ‘t Olde Maat Uus, which is a farm museum that has kept the region’s history alive.
When visiting this fairytale-like town, it is important to drink and dine in places that are just as lovely. Here are seven popular Giethoorn restaurants to try out.
De Lindenhof is a lovely restaurant, with a hotel and lodge. This restaurant is proud to serve dishes lovingly prepared by their internationally known, two Michelin-starred chef Martin Kruithof. This top chef has helped keen De Lindenhof’s high ranking as one of the best restaurants in the Netherlands for years.
Some of the specialities here are the 4-course Lindenhof menu, 8-course Martin’s Soul & Bliss, and 12-course Chefs Parade, as well as the lobster, crab, salmon, eel, beef, and lamb, amongst other offerings and a wonderful wine list. Dessert is also lovely – cheese, ice cream, warm fruits, soufflé, chocolates, and more.
The owners of Lindenhof maintain a personal approach to make sure their guests always feel welcomed and pampered. This restaurant is best known for its homely environment.
De Grachthof Restaurant Bootverhuur
De Grachthof Restaurant Bootverhuur or Restaurant De Grachthof is found in the heart of this enchanting medieval village. Its large lounge terrace offers a fine dining experience while viewing the village canals and its many bridges.
Delicious lunch or dinner in this restaurant may include spicy Indonesian chicken, pulled pork, or smoked salmon. Also popular are the salads, burgers, sandwiches, and soups.
Other than for its amazing food, De Grachthof Restaurant Bootverhuur helps its diners discover the canals of Giethoorn by offering cruises and guided tours.
De Eetkamer van Giethoorn
De Eetkamer van Giethoorn or the Dining Room in Giethoorn is located in the watery oasis of Giethoorn village, just outside the ultra-popular Weerribben-Wieden nature reserve. This restaurant offers delicious dishes that go perfectly with the enchanting environment.
De Eetkamer van Giethoorn, a truly welcoming and comfortable place, is located on the water. Dining on the terrace makes the experience even lovelier.
The menu includes creme brulee, French toast with caramelised apples, baked bacon with banana ice cream, Italian specialities, and lemon cheesecake with strawberry yogurt ice cream and cherries, amongst other delights.
Restaurant & Rondvaartbedrijf Hollands Venetië Giethoorn
This Giethoorn restaurant boasts its location in the heart of the beautiful Weerribben-Wieden National Park. People come here not just to enjoy the nature reserve, but also to have a taste of this restaurant’s à la carte dishes, buffets and barbecues.
Diners especially love the buffet spreads, pancake, salads, lunch, and the group specials, which include the Wok Pan Festival for 12 people, I-Shy Yaki for 10-20, and the Frying Pan Festival for 25.
Restaurant & Rondvaartbedrijf Hollands Venetië also offers packages for a bachelor party, family outing, and sightseeing on the waters of Giethoorn.
At Hollands Venetië it is possible to rent an E-Chopper, Kickbike or Bike. It is also an option to buy a package deal where you explore Giethoorn by boat and E-Chopper.
Het Wapen van Giethoorn
Het Wapen van Giethoorn or the Coat of Arms of Giethoorn is a café-restaurant that doubles as a popular shop for the loveliest souvenirs and latest fashion in tops, pants, dresses, shirts, shoes and bags. This restaurant is well-loved for its coffees, delicious cakes, wines, and special beers. All these are perfect, as guests look around to shop.
This is a “great little café and shop!” said a recent guest. “Such friendly staff and the food and drinks were simple but amazing at the same time. Prices were very reasonable. Behind one of the canals so it’s a good break from the crowds and it’s a lot quieter. Would definitely come back.”
De Landije van Giethoorn
This restaurant is a wonderful place to relax, in a superbly relaxing village. Considered by many as one of Giethoorn’s best kept secrets, Landije is perfect for casual dining under an old pear tree. Locals and tourists come here to enjoy delicious pastry and fresh home-grown vegetables.
The most popular meals are Gieters lamb, Vechtdal beef, locally caught fish, and skin-baked pike-perch fillet with fresh wild garlic mousse caught on the Beulake.
This restaurant also offers whisper boats for rent. It is near Giethoorn’s the Olde Maat Uus museum and De Oude Aarde museum.
Located in the heart of Giethoorn on the village canal, Café-Restaurant Smit is known for its delicious dishes. They include chicken salad with feta cheese, bacon, nuts, cherry tomatoes and grapes with yoghurt dressing; pulled chicken with coleslaw, smoked salmon with cream cheese, carpaccio salad with pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, old cheese and truffle mayonnaise; pork schnitzel with mushroom cream sauce; and Indonesian chicken satay. There are other delicious meal options and drink selection that does not disappoint.
In addition to its tasty menu, this café-restaurant is also known to offer homely cottages, including a holiday farm that can accommodate 8 people. The place has spacious double bedrooms, a kitchen TV, two shower cabins, two toilets, a spacious terrace with a large lawn, and a gazebo in the garden behind the house.
Giethoorn is truly a must-see for anyone travelling to this part of the world. The activities and landmarks in this village are unique and unrivalled in Europe. To make sure tourists and families enjoy a lovely, delicious, and unforgettable visit, the restaurants and cafés here are always ready to serve and entertain.
Insider tip: In the summer it can be hard to make a boat reservation. Therefore it is better to make a reservation in advance.