Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Looking for restaurants in Rotterdam? Want to know where to eat in the Netherlands city? Food writers Daisy Allsup and Gurd Loyal share their insider tips for the best restaurants in Rotterdam, along with where to find kimchi noodles, vegan bakeries and Michelin-starred restaurants. Now discover Gurd Loyal’s culinary hotspots.

Gurdeep Loyal’s Rotterdam guide

Rotterdam is often overlooked as a place to visit, but hosts its very own booming culinary scene to rival that of famous neighbour Amsterdam. Putaine is one of the most innovative fine-dining restaurants in the city, situated at the top of Rotterdam’s famous sustainable ‘floating’ offices. It serves up delicacies including white asparagus mousse with cream of coconut and magnolia kombucha sorbet, and hamachi, pandan and angelica root. The new neighbourhood restaurant Diepnoord has a focus on seasonal local dishes and natural wines. Soju Bar specialises in Korean fried chicken in flavours such as honey butter, sticky cheese and spicy-sweet with peanuts. And, OX is a secret underground Chinese speakeasy restaurant that serves up cocktails inspired by the Chinese zodiac.

olive’s top must-visits for foodies in Rotterdam

Madame Cocos – for pastries

The illuminated ‘horn of plenty’ artwork that wraps around the walls and ceiling of the city’s Markethal is a sight to behold. As is the covered market beneath it, home to more than 100 food stalls. Look out for Madame Cocos, whose warm coconut pastries are a must.

A colourful blue and yellow stall in a street food market selling coconut pastries
Look out for Madame Cocos, whose warm coconut pastries are a must. Credit: Hans Peter van Velthoven

Ter Marsch & Co – for burgers

They don’t take bookings at Ter Marsch & Co so expect to queue at this buzzing burger joint. There are three (award-winning) burgers on the menu but the best is the ‘Burgeresse’ with truffle mayo. It’s served Dutch-style (ie still pink and drippingly juicy).

A person is holding a white plate and on the plate is a double decker burger with a sesame bun
The best burger at Ter Marsch & Co is the ‘Burgeresse’ with truffle mayo

Old Scuola – for pizza

A disco ball glitters over the industrial interiors at Old Scuola, with its open kitchen and twin wood ovens. The chefs spin the best pizzas in town so they need only the simplest toppings. Try a salame piccante with a white negroni.

A marble background has a wood-fired margherita pizza on top
The chefs spin the best pizzas in town at Old Scuola. Credit: Jurgen Jacob

Hinoki Noodle Soup – for ramen

Tucked on a scruffy street corner you could easily bypass Hinoki Noodle Soup but that would mean missing out on steaming bowls of spicy-sweet goodness. Order fried chicken gyoza to start and then the Red Special, made with pork.

Op Het Dak – for vegan food

Rotterdam’s innovative architecture is exemplified at sustainable hot spot Op Het Dak, which has turned a disused rooftop into a kitchen garden and bee farm. Go for a meat-free lunch such as noodles with kimchi, shiitake, tempeh and green toppings or choose the daily special for the best of the day’s pickings.

A lush green rooftop garden with people sat outside eating has views over Rotterdam
Op Het Dak has turned a disused rooftop into a kitchen garden and bee farm. Credit: Marlissa Hilkmann

Fenix Food Factory – for street food

In the trendy Katendrecht district, the Fenix Food Factory is a former warehouse turned culinary hangout. Artisan produce, street food and Rotterdam’s renowned Kaapse brewery thrive under one roof. Order a pulled pork bun from the Firma Bijten BBQ stand and a biertje from Kaapse Brouwers, and eat with the locals, dangling your feet from the wall overlooking the Nieuwe Maas river.

Sharp Sharp Cake Bar – for vegan cakes

Vegan and gluten-free is the name of the game at Sharp Sharp Cake Bar, where a rainbow of organic cakes is made using maple syrup or dates rather than refined sugar. There are fruity tarts, no-cheese cheesecakes and gooey chocolate brownies but the cookies are exceptional: try the cash cookies with cashew nuts and fennel.

A hand is holding a cup of coffee and to the side of it are five cookies of assorted flavours
Try the cash cookies with cashew nuts and fennel at Sharp Sharp Cake Bar

FG Restaurant – for fine-dining

Two Michelin-starred FG Restaurant is run by Rotterdam’s most famous culinary name, François Geurds, and features a dedicated flavour laboratory. This is seriously cheffy food – typical dishes include venison with kimchi bonbons and Anjou pigeon with cherry sorbet, benzaldehyde and duck liver – but it’s a surprisingly inclusive spot; there’s a dedicated vegetarian menu and no dress code.

Alternatively, if you’re only in town for the weekend, sign up for a Saturday Culinary Experience at Suite Hotel Pincoffs and you get an overnight stay with breakfast plus a five- to nine- course tasting menu dinner at FG (with paired wines) all wrapped up in one package.


By Lala