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Manuela Goncalves Tavares is well known in Rotterdam for her restaurant Coco in the Hoogstraat as well as previous ventures such as Toko 94 and Toko Trash. She regards heart and soul as essential ingredients in the kitchen and sees the restaurant not as a constantly changing concept, but as building on tradition by adding something new. Her own creations are based on an approach that she defines as ‘tokological’ – based on the hidden treasures, flavours and cultures that you find in the different tokos (food shops and small eateries) in the city: a real Rotterdam mix of Afro-Caribbean, Asian and Mediterranean cuisines.

The menu of Het Nieuwe Café will soon feature colourful, often seasonal, vegetarian and vegan dishes, including, for example, a purple sweet potato soup with coconut milk, lime and plantain, and mushrooms with bok choy, coloured noodles and seaweed flakes.

Het Nieuwe Café is currently operating on a limited basis. We expect that Het Nieuwe Café will be fully operational by 1 November, meaning that visitors can enjoy the full menu.

Opening hours

Open from Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 5pm

Closed on Mondays, and 1 January, 27 April and 25 December
Open on Easter Monday and Whit Monday

Coronavirus regulations

All catering establishments require a corona pass, even when they are part of a transfer location such as a museum. Visitors who take a seat in the café must be able to show a corona pass. If you sit on the terrace outdoors, it is possible to collect drinks at the bar and settle your bill indoors without a corona pass (because the museum in which the café is located is a transfer location).

Catering and groups

The New Café can accommodate large groups for lunch, drinks or dinner. It can arrange catering for events ranging from exhibition openings to programmes for organisations making use of Het Nieuwe Instituut’s facilities. More information about hiring the café and catering. You can also send an email to


The greenery is provided by Frank Bruggeman and Hans Engelbregt, designers of The New Garden. The bar was designed by Eric Roelen and the wall photography is by Johannes Schwartz.