Supalicious Zwolle

When on a city break, who better to ask for tips than the locals? Hylke Thiry has lived in Zwolle since he was 18 and generously shares his favourite spots.

Museum de Fundatie

‘This is Zwolle’s pride and joy. A trip to the city is incomplete without a visit to this beautiful museum. I like to go with a friend when there’s a special exhibition showing. Afterwards, we invariably share our impressions over a glass of wine at Het Wijnhuis on the corner.’

Het Beugeltje

‘This café is located against the old city wall. During the summer, its terrace is the best place I can think of. I love to come here regularly. You can enjoy long evenings with a view over the Zwolle canals, and there is plenty of sun all day long.’



‘My wife Annemarieke often remembers what customers buy. When they return, she immediately picks up on that. We’re more than just a shop – you can get a haircut, have coffee or order lunch. Our bestseller is Japke’s apple pie, baked by the local patissier and based on my grandmother’s recipe. The hot chocolate, made with real chocolate, is from Bonbonnerie Borrel: it’s so delicious we offer it all yearround.’

Puzzel en Spel

‘Directly opposite our store Pistache, lies the largest specialist game shop in the Netherlands. If you’re seeking an original gift, you won’t leave empty-handed. The store covers almost 10,000 square feet and this is the place to go for an extensive collection of games and puzzles. It’s an absolute blast for kids! They can visit the in-house theatre, dress up, play at one of the game tables or enjoy the aquarium, that also functions as a checkout counter. Even adults have a hard time leaving. There are 1,700 jigsaw puzzles to choose from! That should keep you occupied for a couple of evenings.’

Wine bar Het Wijnhuis

‘I’ve been coming here since I was 18 and the interior remains almost the same. It’s as cosy as it was then, but the wine collection remains up-to-date. With a view of the Grote Kerk, you are ensured a great spot both inside and out.’

Bij Hartje Zwolle

‘You’ll find Bij Hartje Zwolle just outside the city centre, opposite the Achtergracht. This is a place I tend to visit for lunch; the small hot dogs are my favourite. As the restaurant is near the Spiegel theatre, it’s excellent for a pre-performance bite to eat.’

Bonbonnerie Borrel

‘Guests at the Pillows Grand Hotel Ter Borch are probably well acquainted with Borrel chocolates: they can be found in all the hotel rooms. From his chocolate boutique, Peter van der Molen sells an extensive variety of handmade chocolates, combining unique flavours. For example, he uses spice mixes created by Jonnie Boer – chef at the 3 Michelin-star restaurant De Librije in Zwolle. Surprise yourself and opt for something totally different – Garam Masala or Ras el Hanout!’

Bij Giel

‘The former library, housed in a 15th century monastery complex, now plays host to a clothing store and brasserie ‘Bij Giel’. Owner Giel is the first person you see when you open the medieval door: he personally welcomes all his guests. The ground floor offers an exclusive boutique selling high-end ladies’ fashion. The stairs lead you down to the brasserie; with a lovely warm atmosphere, characteristic ceilings and beautiful stained-glass windows. Its shared dining menu is very popular: my wife and friends regularly order a tasting menu here. Oysters are usually sought after on such an evening and can be conveniently ordered apiece!’

’t Pestengasthuys

‘In the city centre, not far from the main shopping streets but still pretty hidden away, you’ll find chef Paul Stegeman’s restaurant. Located in an old and charismatic building, dating back to 1450, where the high ceilings and wooden beams remind you of times gone by. The ultra-modern interior, offers a great contrast. Be delighted by the menu, which consists of  French classics, with a contemporary twist. His delicious delicacies earned Stegeman a mention in the Michelin Guide. During hot summer days, the terrace under the beautiful old tree next to the restaurant, is an excellent place to lounge about.’ WEVERSGILDEPLEIN 1

Stadscafé Blij

‘In the heart of Zwolle, on the Melkmarkt, you’ll find this cosy city café with a surprising interior. Having undergone a recent renovation the cafe now boasts orange velvet chairs combined with dark walls and ceilings and it’s truly eye-catching. Café Blij unites young and old and you will find tourists and locals sitting side by side. It’s perfect for a tasty breakfast, cup of coffee with something sweet, lunch or dinner. If you’re craving a hearty meal order the delicious German Flammkuchen.’


‘Tired of walking? The canals of Zwolle form a star around the city centre, which offers a great boating route. On a sunny day you can rent a sloop and go from quay to quay, finding the perfect spot for coffee, lunch or beer. An eight-person boat will cost 35 euros per hour. Alternatively, if you’re in the mood for something a little different, opt for a lounge-donut, water bike or SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard).’

Herman Brood Experience

‘Across from the Fundatie – the mustsee museum for visual art – you’ll find the Herman Brood experience. This ode to the late Dutch musician and artist encompasses a wide collection of paintings, photographs and many personal belongings. Brood was born in Zwolle in 1946 and became famous in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium for his colourful art and raw music.’