Utrecht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands but because of the University, there is such a young and vibrant feel to this city. We arrived late Friday night after a drive from Germany and went in search of some dinner thinking we may find a city sound asleep. To our surprise most restaurants and bars full of college students and young professionals. The buildings along the canal used to be warehouses, but are now home to boutique shops, bars, cafes and restaurants many with a young, edgy vibe because they were started by creative university grads.
We used Utrecht as our home-base as we made trips to Lisse and Amsterdam, so we didn’t do too much in Utrecht except explore the restaurants, unique boutiques and sampled our way through multiple cheese shops.
Places to Eat
Vis en Meer, Drieharingenstraat 4, 3511 BJ Utrecht – Seafood
This seafood restaurant is located on a lively alley among other thriving restaurants. However one way to set it apart from the others is the wall of wine that greets you as you enter. Not a bad first impression. Order a seafood platter to get a little sample of everything from clams, shrimps, fresh salmon, prawns and mussels. Spend a little extra to get a lobster laid over the top.
BLAUW, Springweg 64, 3511 VT Utrecht – Indonesian
Explore this Indonesian restaurant which stays true to tradition but in a modern setting. Here you can order main dishes for roughly 25 EUR a person or indulge in the “Rijsttafels” which translates from Dutch to rice tables for about 30 EUR a person. The rice tables include 10 – 15 bowls of assorted meats and vegetables in proportions to share based on the number of people at the table.
Teds All Day Brunch, Lichtegaard 8, 3511 KT Utrecht
Serving an extensive brunch food and cocktail menu all day from 9 to 5, Ted’s is crowded around the clock. Show up early for Sunday brunch to get a table without a wait. The wait staff is very friendly, the restaurant is dog-friendly and food prices a reasonable. Skip the brunch mimosa, however, it was a little pricey for the size.
We were a little hungry for some fried food and jalapenos, so when I came across the menu at Beers and Barrels I knew it would be perfect for our late Friday meal after our drive to Utrecht. This place was completely packed with young people and we were lucky to get a table in the back at around 9:30pm. A novelty at Beer and Barrels are the tap tables which have your own faucet hooked up to a keg at the table.