Experiencing the food in The Netherlands might not give you the wide opened eyes of the cuisine here. I always wonder if there is any Food Culture in The Netherlands. Okay, we do know their Bitterballen, Kroket, Haring… And if you have stayed in The Netherlands for awhile, you know exactly what Dutch favourite food is – sandwiches. As a foreigner in The Netherlands, I am not able to survive bread with cheese everyday. After living in Utrecht for 3 years, I have hand-picked some cool lunch rooms for you to check out and to escape for the Dutch sandwiches from time to time.
Criteria: interior, uniqueness, concept, menu, quality of food, affordability
Address: Europalaan 2
It might be off the centre but it is worth the trip to try out their lunch menu. De Klub provides different set of menu each day so you will never be bored. The great thing is, you won’t be confused of a long list of dishes because there are only 3 dishes offered a day. This fact has drawn my attention because it is not easy to think of different dishes everyday. They must have the creativity, do you agree?
In fact, what they are trying to achieve is to keep all the products fresh and produce no waste. Having only few dishes would actually gain the quality of the food because there is less stress in the kitchen, therefore, the outcome will be better.
Address: Oosterkade 24
“We are able to do what we want but quality comes first” – shared Danny (the owner)
It is a great lunch room with simple but elegant interior. The space is inspiring and perfect for a hang as well as working. I was impressed by its welcoming vibe when I entered the shop. The room is brighten with daylight. There are many seats in the room but you will never feel packed. A book-shelf divides the room into two. The other part provides some rooms for people to work on their computers or just feel like not being exposed by the light from the front side.
Food wise, it is a great concept of sustainability. Broei always choose seasonal products for their menu. Every 3 months, you will have a brand menu to choose from. What I like the most about Broei is they make salad and sandwiches in a different level that you wouldn’t expect, creative indeed.
Address: Zadelstraat 10
It’s a small place in the middle of the city but it is exactly defined of a lunch room. It’s only open for lunch and with a simple menu but the quality of each dish is over the top. If you walk into any restaurants/café’s in Utrecht or The Netherlands in general, you would probably expect a menu which includes sandwiches, soup and salad, and ironically, most of them have the same menu. Alright, Geniet offers quite a similar menu but it is guaranteed to be different from its neighbours. I might be a bit bias by its crispy German bread but their style in the kitchen is divine.
Melle – the owner – shared with me his passion to innovate the cuisine and still keep the tradition of the Dutch food.
Address: Biltstraat 1
Rather new but Crop has defined precisely its position to be one of the best Salad Bars in town. The concept is to give you the most convenient options for your salad. It is simple – you choose the ingredients yourself on the check list, hand it in, and voila. You will be served in style and what can be better than a healthy lunch in a chic place?
Crop is run by the same owner as 30ml so you’re always sure that you can have a good cup of coffee there as well.
Address: Korte Minrebroederstraat 11
You might consider why Stegeman – a Dutch sausage brand – could be a place to lunch. I actually didn’t realise after finishing my delicious Tokyo Sandwich (as I remember). Even though they have the goal to promote their brand in the city, they also accidentally create a great menu that I enjoy very much all the sandwiches I have tried there. This is me, who have the hate for sandwiches, talking.
Stegeman is easy to spot because it is located right at the Stadhuis square. It is a very popular area for food and drinks in the city that is great to hang out.