I first wrote this list about a year and a half ago, but things have changed since then! So it’s time for an update. Here’s a local’s guide to the best pubs and bars in Hillywood:
1. Cafe ‘t Tolhuis
This is staying at #1 as it’s still my favourite pub in Hilversum. I kinda don’t want to tell you about this one… but y’know, I’m a nice gal, so I’m gonna. But first a warning: it’s preeeeetty bloody hard to go here just for a drink without ordering food. As well as standard borrelhapjes they serve platters, tapas and a variety of mains. Everything is delicious. I think we managed to go here once without ordering food and we both complained the whole way home.
They have fantastic wine and I have no idea about the beer. They serve beer.
Apparently there’s live music here every Thursday, I have no idea how, it’s teeny! But anyway, go check it out. Brilliant place! (Oh and make sure you book a table if you want to eat!)
Soestdijkerstraatweg 2, 1213 XA Hilversum | tolhuis-hilversum.nl
My second favourite pub is definitely an acquired taste. It’s rustic… and by rustic I mean it’s a shithole. But a nice shithole. It’s where the ‘alternative’ (for want of a better word) crowd go in Hilversum. They’ve taken down the smoking room wall (which used to take up half of the pub!) so it looks way bigger these days. So now there’s a tiny smoking room – or just go outside! Pool table is still there and the music is loud and mostly aggressive.
As I say, an acquired taste. What I will say though – you’ll meet some interesting characters here!
Spoorstraat 44, 1211 GB Hilversum. No website. Proper old skool.
3. Foodhall MOUT
A new addition to the list and to Hilversum! If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see I’m there quite a lot! It’s a great place to visit day and night – sometimes I go there to work, other times to eat and drink lots of wine. It’s an all-rounder and as many Dutch people would say, “een aanwinst voor Hilversum” – an asset to Hilversum. I couldn’t agree more!
Naarderstraat 8, 1211 AL Hilversum | mouthilversum.nl
4. The Guardian
I had to get an English pub on the list, right?!?!? A pretty standard pub, slap bang in the middle of the Groest (the main street for bars/restaurants in Hillywood).
Does what it says on the tin.
Groest 33, 1211 CZ Hilversum | the-guardian.nl
5. Café Moeke
Ok, technically not Hilversum… but Hollandsche Rading. I can get here on my bike in 15 mins, so close enough I reckon.
Another bar / cafe / restaurant. Fantastic food… like a gastro pub. Their slogan is “de vijfsterren kroeg met eetallures” which roughly translates to “the five star pub with fine dining intentions”. Occasionally things sound better in Dutch. This is one of those times!
Anyway, never had a bad meal here and it doubles as a pub. Closest thing I have found to an English pub in Holland (and yes that even includes the “actual” English pub above!)
Utrechtseweg 263, 1213 TR Hilversum | cafemoeke.nl
6. Winebar Vintage
I’ve been here a few times now and had some really delicious wine! They have “Meer dan 100 open wijnen” – more than 100 open wines – so there really is something for everyone!
They also do hapjes and platters if you fancy a little something something next to your wine!
Spoorstraat 65, 1211 Hilversum | wijnbarvintage.nl
7. The Skiff
This place has to be on the list as they do FREE BITTERBALLEN for a couple of hours every Friday (6-8pm I think). Another pretty grungy place, but also frequented by hipsters.
Kampstraat 2bc, 1211 GE Hilversum | theskiff.nl
8. VIDA Vineria
I’m not sure if this one should be on the list because I haven’t been there yet… but I’ve heard good things and it has fab reviews on Trip Advisor, so 💁🏻
The people behind VIDA tapas restaurant have opened this second location next door to cater for those wanting wine and snacks rather than a full meal. I like.
Groest 16, 1211 EC Hilversum | vida.nl
Another ‘acquired’ taste. This one’s a metal bar. There’s live music every Saturday. We went here late on Kingsday and the lovely bar lady let us play whichever songs we wanted. Good reason to go back in my book!!
Herenstraat 43, Hilversum. No pics, no website. You’ve got to see it to believe it.
10. Eetcafé Gulle Graef
Eetcafé technically means eatery but it’s going on the list because of their extensive beer menu! They also have cider which isn’t Strongbow or that sweet crap Apple Bandit, so they’re doing right in my book. Order a steak alongside your drinks and you won’t be disappointed!
Laanstraat 37, 1211 HG Hilversum | gullegraef.nl
Where’s your favourite place to go in Hilversum?