I’m currently living in Utrecht for almost 2 years, and over that time I’ve really enjoyed exploring the city, finding nice places to drink and eat. Especially for young people, there are plenty of places that not only serve food for reasonable prices, but have a great atmosphere and fun vibe, and of course have very tasty food! I thought it would be nice to share some of these places, in case you are visiting the city (which you definitely should!). I’m no culinary expert, so I wouldn’t state these are the absolute best restaurants there are, but these are sure my favourite hotspots (map included)!
1. Meneer Smakers – Burgers – http://www.meneersmakers.nl
I would say these are definitely the best burgers in town! They have different locations throughout the city, mostly small restaurants where you can just eat a burger as a quick meal. It’s not really a type of restaurant to dine for a long evening, but the burgers are very tasty and prices are small.
2. Poké Perfect – Hawaiian Inspired Food – http://pokeperfect.nl
I’m so enthusiastic about this very unique restaurant, that I’ve enjoyed their meals already a few times now in a short period of time! At Poké Perfect, they serve bowls or sushirito’s (burrito shaped sushi) with rice and fresh vegetables, raw fish (or chicken/tofu) and toppings. It’s great for a quick meal and prices are around 10euro per dish, also very handy for a healthy take out option. Try it out, you won’t be dissappointed!
3. Beers & Barrels – Meat, meat, meat – http://beersbarrels.nl
This restaurant has 2 locations in Utrecht, one in a medieval warfcellar alongside the canal and one a bit outside the city centre at a small port. The atmosphere at this place is very unique and it is recommended to order your food with one of the many special beers they have. It is even possible to get a table with a beer tap, so you can pour your own beers. The food is mainly meat, like burgers, lobster and grilled chicken, so I wouldn’t recommend it to vegetarians ;)
4. LE:EN – Asian Tapas – http://www.leen-restaurant.nl
This is been a recent discovery of mine, and it’s actually quite surprising it’s on my list – as I’m normally not a fan of asian foods! The coverfoto of this blogpost is taken at this restaurant, and as you can see it has a very cool interior design. The restaurant is based somewhat out of the city centre called ‘Rotsoord’, where quite some cool restaurants are emerging alongside the canal & water tower. However, not only the interior is nice, the food is really amazing I can say. The concept is that they serve sharable platters – like Asian tapas and they have recipes from Japan, Thailand, China, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Korea, Sri Lanka and more. P.S. Don’t skip dessert ;)
5. Da Portare Via – Wood Oven Pizza – http://daportarevia.nl
If you’re looking for a light but very tasty pizza, I can recommend Da Portare Via. Their restaurants itself are not so atmospheric (looks more like a canteen), but I assume this can be seen as hip ;) Funny thing is, I’ve had my first date with my boyfriend here – so apparently they did something right as even without the romantic vibe we hit it off very well! ;)
6. De Kleine Parade – Sharable plates – http://www.dekleineparade.nl
This restaurant is a bit more pricy, but the food is definitely worth it. It’s located in the most vibrant restaurant street the ‘Drieharingstraat’ and also has a lovely interior. The concept is similar to LE:EN: You pick a few items of the menu and share them. The recipes are quite unique – no typical dutch food – and they are happy to advice you on their many wines to drink alongside your meal.
7. Spagettheria – Pastabar – http://spaghetteria-pastabar.nl
The last but not least hotspot I would recommend is a pasta bar, now I think I’ve covered almost all types of foods now ;) The atmosphere is very fun at this place, and you’re seated together with other people at big tables. So if you’re looking for intimacy and privacy, this is not the place to go! They serve 6 different type of traditional Italian recipes, where 3 recipes are changing daily.
So I hope this list will help you pick a nice restaurant in Utrecht! There are many more traditional restaurants that are also very much worth a visit, however these are trendy and tasty and very suitable for young people. Utrecht is a wonderful city and always very lively with people eating out, terraces are often full and making a reservation is therefore highly recommended! Let me know if you have any other places you can recommend me to visit next, I’d be happy to try them out! :)