Pleasantly surprised by the quirky architecture and so many things to do and see, I had a great first impression of Rotterdam in the couple of hours after I arrived in the city. It was time for lunch and I was meeting with my host and a couple of other bloggers at a restaurant on Witte de Withstraat.
I soon realised that Rotterdam was actually becoming a big foodie destination! You can only imagine my delight.
Here are the five highlights from my weekend of getting my food on:
A great place for breakfast or lunch is Gulianos. This taste of Italy in the hustle and bustle of Rotterdam is fantastic. Really great comfort food like meatballs and a small, home baked loaf of rye bread. Sandwiches are famous and many tables were ordering their favourite fillings on a range of breads. When locals who know the staff are bringing the whole family for brunch, you know you’re onto a winner.
I wasn’t disappointed by this dish. It was creamy and the meatballs were perfectly flavoured with onions and herbs. The bread was served warm and very fresh. It filled me up for the rest of the afternoon and fuelled plenty of exploring.
Right next to Blaak station is Marthal; the huge colourful market hall.
As well as being a great piece of architecture, this is a haven of all kinds of takeaway food, groceries and sit-in restaurants. I got a few pieces of sushi and a flatbread wrap for lunch one day. There was also tapas, steaks, Asian food and groceries. I would definitely go back. A great place to stock up on good value food if you are in a self catering apartment.
On one of my favourite streets, Witte de Withstraat, you will find Hotel and Restaurant Bazar.
This Moroccan inspired place is colourful and has a whole ceiling full of gorgeous lamps. On three levels, it has different spaces that can be busy or quiet. Tables seating two up to a big party can be catered for and you can choose where you like to sit.
We ordered the sharing platter between four and it was more than enough food to go around. From sausage to falafel to hummus and bread, it was seasoned well and all of the tastes complimented each other well. The mint tea is highly recommended and isn’t too sweet. I didn’t pay for this meal but it was great value. I would go back and take family or friends too.
Fenix Food Factory
Near a part of the city called Katendrecht, is a warehouse that has been developed into a food market by seven entrepreneurs. It’s called Fenix Food Factory.
This place was very cool with exposed pipes and wood beams. It has a rustic feel and has different sections for each supplier. I had freshly roasted coffee and a sit at the coffee hub. I also walked around looking at all of the great local products.
If I lived here or was shopping for food to eat in a self catering/hostel stay, I’d buy so much meat and cheese! There were also lots of local beers, cider and a bakery. I really like to try and support local, independent businesses so this place was perfect. I would encourage a visit here.
Hotel New York
For amazing food and great interior design, you have to take a trip to Hotel New York.
This was the meal that I budgeted the most for and was my luxury experience. I paid 48 Euros for wine, seafood and a great fish main of sea bass. I couldn’t afford that for every meal but this is a brilliant place to have a special meal. You can also stay in the hotel here and have cocktails in the basement bar.
I heard about their oyster bar and decided to try the taster selection. Two different types of smaller oysters and a pair of big salty ones. I’ve never had them before and I don’t really think its a seafood I’m crazy about but they were so fresh. If oysters are your thing, look no further than this restaurant.
My waitress Suuz was fantastic and showed me around and talked me through the food and wine options. I decided on sea bass, couscous and pumpkin main course. It came with potatoes too and I was stuffed. It was delicious and a generous serving. The sea bass stole the show for me. Although more expensive than other places, I would recommend one special meal here even for travellers on a budget. Don’t forget to make a reservation, tables go fast!
Do these foodie experiences sound good to you? Have you explored the food scene in Rotterdam? Let me know!