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Polya Pencheva in Groningen: My Top 4 restaurants for food, fun and student-friendly prices

Regardless of where I go, I am always on the hunt for some local cuisine, to try and taste something unique for the region. Groningen has been my home for almost six years now, yet I keep discovering restaurants where I can enjoy a well-prepared meal and have a great experience.

To share my experiences, I have created a list of four places I enjoyed to the fullest in the past few months.

Donna’s Social Club

Located at Nieuwe Markt 7 in the heart of the city centre, Donna’s Social Club gives a modern – but at the same time 80s – vibe. I loved it because of the pink colour, great food, and the overall vibe it radiates.

I can’t even explain why I have been postponing going there for so long, but I figured what a gem it is once I ordered my grilled avocado salad. Yes, you read this correctly. It is very vegetarian/vegan friendly, and you can have many of the menu items served according to you diet. Bonus points for considerate thinking. Additionally, if you don’t feel like having food, you can always have some drinks because they also have a great cocktail selection.

The staff was more than friendly and checked up on us regularly to see if everything was fine.

The opening times are pretty standard with the place being closed on Mondays but working on the rest of the days.

Just don’t forget to check at what time they open because on Tuesdays this is at 3 p.m. while from Wednesday till Sunday they open up at noon.

Most dinner entrees are under 20 euros. You can see the full menu here.


The Raviolibar is my favourite place to go after work if I want to grab dinner with friends.


Because it is right in the middle of the Vismarkt and regardless of which part of the city centre you’re at, you can easily pop to this place and enjoy some well-prepared ravioli. As you have already noticed, their main food is ravioli, but you can fancy some pizza and good starters.

Moreover, one of the reasons why I really appreciated this place is that you can have a very good dinner without it costing a small fortune.

All prices are student-friendly and the food tastes amazing.

Personally, I find it very important to have meat-free menu options as I’ve been selective pescatarian for the past couple of years, so the place lives up to my picky expectations. What is more, all the desserts and wine I have tried there have been pretty good.

This means that I never finish a meal with just one glass of wine because I always order a second one. It is that good. The best part of about this place is that they are open every day from 11 a.m. till 10 p.m.

This means that you can enjoy any meal you’d like. But enough about my gourmet expertise. The bar has a great atmosphere which makes you feel as if you’ve almost arrived in Italy because it is a little cosy place infused with the smell of freshly cooked pasta.

The average dinner entree price is 22 euros. You can see the full menu here.


Rabenhaupt is one of the places with the coziest atmosphere I’ve ever experienced and honestly, I have not even a single negative remark. The staff has always been more than polite and professional taking great care of any single customer there.

There is a wide variety of beers for the enthusiasts as well as great wines and food. Yes, that’s right. You have everything that you may need from coffee and desserts to fine wine and dinner. One good thing about the tavern is that they also have very good cocktails, and the Espresso martini is my personal favourite.

Apart from all the quality things that you can consume there, you can also find two tables which have taps on them and you can pour your own beer. This makes the experience there one of a kind.

The tavern is located at Gedempte Zuiderdiep 7, which makes it hidden amongst some of the most popular bars in town.

The only day in which Rabenhaupt is closed is Monday and during the rest of the days the timing vary. So, whenever you end up in Groningen or want to have a nice experience, make sure to stop by and enjoy the place.

Most lunch items are 10 euros or less. There are lots of snack foods including ribs for under 10 euros. Dinner entrees range from 18.50 to 25 euros. You can see the full menu here.

De Beren

De Beren is the perfect place to take someone special for a date. What is more, there is no policy against pets, so if you want to dine out and take your dog with you, this is the right place for you.

In addition to the atmosphere and animal-friendly vibe, the food and wine are more than impeccable. I’ve tried a number of salads which are always one of my “I don’t know what to eat” choices. As of the wines, I usually go for the sweet wines – red in the winter and white in the warmer months but they are always tasty.

Speaking of the warmer months, De Beren has an amazing terrace where you can enjoy food and drinks when the weather allows it. Last but not least, you can find this great restaurant on Brugstraat 13 between Westerhaven and Vismarkt in the city centre of Groningen.

It is the perfect to go place if you’ve spent a day in town shopping and you need a great meal or drink to finish the day. It is open every day but basing this on common knowledge, check the opening times before visiting because they’re quite different.

This is part of a huge chain that includes restaurants across the Netherlands, with multiple locations in every major city including Amsterdam and Rotterdam. You can see all the locations here.

Burgers are 15.50 euros. Most dinner entrees are under 30 euros, though you can get Chateaubriand for 55 euros. You can see the full menu here.


Read more about Groningen here in Dispatches’ archives.

Read more from Polya here.

Polya Pencheva
+ posts

Polya Plamenova Pencheva is a young Bulgarian journalist based in Groningen, Netherlands. Polya holds a Master's degree in journalism from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and loves writing and telling the untold stories of interesting people. You can find her dining at cute café, shopping at markets, scouting second-hand shops or just chillin' at home with something great to read.

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