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My Definitive Food Map of Utrecht

If you know me, you know I love food. My mom's biggest worry when I moved to the Netherlands was how was I going to eat well? The Dutch are not exactly known for the best food (spoiler alert, I agree). But, Utrecht really pulled through and popped off with some amazing restaurants and great food. Honorable mention goes to Jumbo and Albert Heijn for being responsible for my addiction to kaastengels. I've become a total expert in Utrecht food (which means that a total of approximately 1.5 people have asked me for food recommendations), so I've decided to create a food map of my favorite spots in Utrecht.


Please excuse the rudimentary drawings, the really inaccurate maps, and the overall messiness. But this is what Utrecht looks like to me!


Overview of Utrecht


This is my Utrecht. There's obviously more to the city but these are the spots that are the most significant in my life. Naturally, the food places in my life revolve around these landmarks.



Science Park


Technically, these places are not in science park but behind science park in Amelisweerd. But I associate Amelisweerd with science park so this makes sense to me. The pancake house is here is a must do, especially in the warmer months.



UCU and Wilhelmina Park


Cycling halfway between science park and the city, you get to UCU and Wilhelmina Park. These spots are super special to me because they are tied to amazing memories of my exchange friends and I— early morning cinnamon buns at District, the first pizza at Pizza Beppe, sitting with new friends on the lawn of UCU, Christmas dinner at Wilhelminapark Restaurant with my family after I had spent five month cycling past the restaurant daily.



Burgemeester Reisterstraat


I love this street. It feels like the Locus Walk of Utrecht University (ifykyk) but with bicycles. Shout out to Liara who works at Broodnodig and has introduced me to the world of Swedish pastries!



The Office


Obviously this is not a definitive landmark of Utrecht but it is in my heart. Favorite spots include Cafe Tilt which is the best post-work drinks pub in Utrecht and the right broodjes stand which serves an excellent parma broodje (sandwich) for 5 euros. Special shoutout to Sonmat, which an amazing Korean fried chicken takeaway joint.



Utrecht City Center


This is where the map starts to get really messy, so I apologize in advance. Poke Perfect is a chain, but it has really good poke for reasonable prices (13 euros for a salmon bowl). Hola Empanadas also has some really creative empanadas, definitely on the pricier side but worth it if you are in the area. My all-time favorite spot here has to be Soep-er, which is a tiny restaurant underneath a boutique hotel that only serves three soups (one tomato, the rest rotate) and a few pastries (kaastengels!!). This is a must for lunch during the winter, rainy season.



Vaartsche Rijn


Finally, my favorite neighborhood in all of Utrecht, Vaartsche Rijn. The hipster, Brooklyn-esque part of the city, the food here is out of this world. Top recommendations here include Koffie Leute Brauhaus for the coolest cafe in Utrecht and my all-time fave study spot, and WT Urban Kitchen, a fine dining restaurant in a water town with super unique food and a great view of the city. But my favorite spot in all of Utrecht has to be Zies, a Spanish wine bar with the best tasting menu and great wine. I went here for my birthday dinner!



Very Specific Recommendations


Best Cafe in Utrecht Where I Won't Get Yelled At For Doing Work



Utrecht cafes are not as study-friendly as cafes in the United States. It preserves a really cute, chill vibe so I get it, but I also don't like studying in chain, corporate-like cafes. Koffie Leute Brauhaus is the perfect fit with its casual vibe and flexible laptop policy. Note that it isn't necessarily a quiet cafe, a good pair of headphones is a must, but I find that I am weirdly productive there.


Best East Asian Food Because SE Asian Food is Amazing Here (thanks colonialism) But Good East Asian Food is More Rare



Rice! Age dashi tofu! Karaage! A little pricey but worth it when you need that Japanese food hit that is not sushi.


Unique Places to Impress Your Visiting Guests



The iconic pancake house in the forest. Rent bikes and cycle out here for amazing cheese and ham traditional Dutch pancakes. They have so many pancakes so I would recommend sharing



Water tower views?? Unique and fine dining food?? This place is a must for the splurge. The ambiance is amazing and the servers are so attentive. People don't know about this restaurant and it's an absolute shame. But I don't gatekeep so go!


Special Shoutout: The Cocktail Bar above Lebowksi's


This is a speakeasy and they don't always let people in so ASK NICELY. But such good vibes and good cocktails.



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