Lonely Planet Writer

This Maastricht bar has been named the best drinking spot in the Netherlands

There will be a sore head or two in Maastricht this morning after local bar In de Karkol was named as the best café in the Netherlands last night in an annual competition run by trade magazine Misset Horeca.

Maastricht's In de Karkol wins Holland's top pub award.
Maastricht’s In de Karkol wins Holland’s top pub award. Image by In de Karkol Facebook page

Judges, mystery visitors and a jury whittled the nation’s best drinking dens down to just 100, praising the “perfectly drawn lager” of In de Karkol, a petite, wood-panelled pub in Maastricht town centre. They also admired its friendly, smartly-dressed staff, cosy atmosphere and all-round hospitality.

In de Karkol scoops top pub award in The Netherlands.
In de Karkol scoops top pub award in The Netherlands. Image by In de Karkol Facebook page

The bar owners drank in their victory at an awards ceremony in Hilversum, North Holland, having seen In de Karkol bubble in and around the competition’s top 10 cafés for over a decade. Other cafés to gain admiration from the organisers included De Pintelier in Groningen, ’t Voorhuys in Emmeloord and Venlo’s De Klep.

In de Karkol cafe, Maastricht.
In de Karkol cafe, Maastricht.

It is not the first time that a Maastricht bar has won the award as Ouden Vogelstruys was victorious in 1996, the Poshoorn took home the title in 2002, and the Bóbbel won the honour five years ago. In the Netherlands, a café is a place where beer and coffee is served.

The 10 best cafés in the Netherlands according to Misset Horeca are:

  1. In de Karkol, Maastricht
  2. De Pintelier, Groningen
  3. ’t Voorhuys, Emmeloord  
  4. De Klep, Venlo   
  5. Het Rechthuis, Mijdrecht
  6. De Tijd, Oisterwijk
  7. De Toren, Heeswijk- Dinther   
  8. De Bonte Koe, Purmerend       
  9. De Gekroonde Suikerbiet, Zierikzee
  10. De Stomme van Campen , Kampen