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Take your taste buds from Suriname to Japan, with the diverse flavours of Rotterdam.
Rotterdam’s food scene is an apt representation of the diverse cultures and influences that make the city what it is today. As well as the chunky fries, stroopwafels and other Dutch classics you’d expect to find in the Netherlands’ second biggest city, the likes of Turkish, Japanese and Surinamese cuisines are all popular options too.
With so much choice, it can be tricky to know where to start – so here are a few top spots to fuel your foodie adventure through the city, once it’s safe to do so.
You’ll find a few branches of Jordy’s scattered all over the city – great news if a sudden craving for freshly baked brownies or flaky croissants kicks in. Jordy’s first made a name for itself by producing time-tested classics like multigrain sourdough and spelt loaves. Try these breads as part of sandwiches – filled with quality produce from other local artisans – or munch on a warm and crunchy roll straight out of the paper bag. To keep your sweet tooth satisfied too, look out for experimental weekend specials such as stroopwafel cheesecake tart or pistachio and white chocolate Bundt cake.
The menu at El Aviva offers a range of kebabs, Turkish pizzas and pitta bread platters. But, like most other patrons, you’ll be here for one thing – the kapsalon. Created in this very restaurant in 2003, kapsalon is one of Rotterdam’s most famous foods, consisting of a generous layer of fries, heaped with shawarma, melted Gouda and shredded lettuce, and all drizzled with garlic sauce and spicy sambal. The name kapsalon translates to ‘hairdressing salon’, and came about when a local Cape Verdean hairdresser would request a mix of his favourite ingredients in one metal takeaway tray. His order quickly caught on, and you can now find this terrific (albeit calorific) dish all over the Netherlands.
Ono Fusion serves as another reminder of Rotterdam’s many international influences on its food scene. This sleek restaurant specialises in combining Japanese cuisine with French fine-dining elements to make food that’s as nice to look at as it is to eat. The expert sushi chefs here pride themselves on presentation – garnishing dishes like seared tuna tataki and salmon nigiri with delicate, edible flowers. If you can peel your gaze away from your plate, you can take in minimalist surroundings and a panoramic view over Rijnhaven port. And, if you’ve still got some space after your sushi rolls, teriyaki plates or Japanese salads, wander over the Rijnhaven Bridge to the popular warehouse-turned-market, Fenix Food Factory.
If you like your food served with a side of impressive architecture, Rotterdam’s Markthal should be high up on your list. Inside the arched, slate-grey structure is a humongous mural of digitally rendered fruits, vegetables and flowers – a nod to still life paintings by Dutch masters in the 17th century. The mural is dotted with apartments boasting enviable views over more than 100 market stalls, which offer everything from Dutch cheese and churros to fresh fish and pho. If you’re here on Tuesday or Saturday, fill up on (even more) multicultural cuisine at the Blaak outdoor market, a stone’s throw from the city’s famous yellow Cube Houses.
Witte de Withstraat
Wherever your culinary journey has taken you during the day in Rotterdam, there’s a chance you’ll wind up at Witte de Withstraat in the evening. This city-centre street is lined with an array of bars, restaurants and cafés, separated by some of Rotterdam’s best art galleries. To snack like a local, go for bitterballen and fries slathered in truffle mayo from Frietboutique. Or, for flavours from further afield, try Surinamese specials like Saoto chicken soup at Warung Mini, or Madagascan vanilla ice cream at De IJsmaker. Crowds filling up nearby bars Cafe de Witte Aap and Bierboutique should give you a good idea of where to wash your food down with some local brews.
Original content created by Booking.com - the Official Travel Partner of the Eurovision Song Contest.