Rotterdam is the second biggest city in the Netherlands and a major port city. Where Amsterdam has the feel of a small village, Rotterdam feels more like a big city. Rotterdam is listed in Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities to visit in the world! Enjoy the many museums and the architecture in this city in the province of South Holland. And if you’re wondering where to eat (healthy) in Rotterdam, you can check this page with my favorite lunchrooms and restaurants.
I’ve listed my favorite hotspots in Rotterdam for you on this page. Visiting other cities in the Netherlands? Click here.
Bazar is both a hotel as a restaurant. Both the rooms and the menu are very exotic. They have many meat free options, like the vegetarian platter pictured above. The prices are very reasonable and the service is fast. But you might just want to come for the colorful interior. It makes you feel like you’ve traveled to a far-away place with bright colors and patterns. Bazar also has a restaurant in Amsterdam.
Baker and Moore
Baker and Moore is a lunch room meets working space. So you can bring your laptop, use the free wifi and get stuff done. Or just go there for their delicious food. They’ve got a ‘create it yourself’ concept where you can choose your sandwich or salad and all the ingredients you want on or in it. You can also choose one of their combinations if you find it difficult to choose from the extensive list of ingredients. They have gluten free bread and several vegetarian and vegan options. They have a vegan salad with avocado and grilled vegetables for example (pictured above), but they also do a great goat cheese and walnut sandwich.
Freshii is on a mission to make healthy food affordable and convenient. It started with a shop in Toronto, Canada and less than 10 years later it has branches in more than 75 cities in 15 countries. Freshii Rotterdam is located near the central train station. They have a menu with items that you can choose from with many vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. Freshii is a heaven for people with dietary restrictions since you can also choose a category and then add the ingredients of your choice. You can choose a salad, wrap, bowl or soup and add toppings of your choice, like tofu, falafel, almonds or spinach.
If I would ever start my own restaurant, it would be pretty much like Gys. It’s an organic restaurant with many vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. They’re open for lunch and dinner, and their prices are very reasonable. Gijs, the owner, didn’t want anything over 10euros on the menu. So you can have a delicious meal, a drink and a vegan dessert for less than 20 euros. The first restaurant opened in Utrecht, pretty soon he opened a second branch there and when it was time to expand to another city, Gys landed in Rotterdam.
Rotterdam has super many healthy and vegan options nowadays. One of them is Heavenly Cupcakes. It’s a cute, little bakery and lunchroom. Heavenly Cupcakes sells vegan cupcakes and pies, but you can also go for a lunch here. And, my favorite option, go for a vegan high-tea! You get yummy vegan cupcakes and unlimited tea. Not very healthy, but since no animals were harmed you can enjoy a guilt-free cupcake anyway!
Lilith opens early, you can enjoy your morning coffee or breakfast here from 7am onward. Or if you’re not an early bird, enjoy a late breakfast here until 3pm. They have many healthy options like an acai bowl or a smoothie bowl. But you can also spoil yourself with a pile of delicious pancakes. They’ve got a sweet version with red fruit or the savoury version pictured above with salmon and spinach.
Spirit is a buffet style restaurant located in ‘the green passage’, next to organic supermarket Gimsel. Just grab a plate and walk around the counter digging into anything you’d like. Everything at Spirit is organic and vegetarian and they have many vegan and gluten free options. Everything pictured above is vegan; a quinoa salad, sushi and even a vegan samosa. You pay for the weight on your plate at the check-out. You can come back for your round of desserts when you’re done with dinner. They also have everything available for take out.
Sue Food is your go-to place in Rotterdam for sugar free, gluten free, vegan and raw sweets. Yes I said ‘and’, not ‘or’. All the treats at Sue Food are all of the above. Sue Food started because owner Kim Sue Palm was looking for a healthier alternative for cakes and pies. She first started making the sweets and selling them elsewhere. But since the start of 2016 Sue Food opened their Sue Store in Rotterdam. Besides drinks and the healthy sweets the Sue Store also sells a few nice food related objects like cooking books and bamboo plates.
Looking for something a bit more fancy? The Hilton Hotel in Rotterdam just opened their renewed restaurant ‘Roots’. Good wines and great food and very reasonably priced with just €37,- for a three course menu. Their menu changes regularly; at least every season but often even more often since they want to guarantee the quality of their ingredients. Now that’s dedication!
The Tea Lab
As the name already suggest, The Tea Lab is specialized in tea. They’ve got more than 40 different kinds of tea. From classics like earl grey, to ‘specialteas’ like the Beauty, a white tea with antioxidants. Besides tea they also sell smoothies, sandwiches, salads, yogurts and cakes. They’ve got several vegetarian and vegan options. And the real treat at the Tea Lab is their High Tea. You can order the regular version, but they also have a vegan and low gluten version.
With this modern market hall Rotterdam made its own version of the local markets you see in Mediterranean countries. The locals get their daily groceries, like nuts and fresh fruits, at the market stands. Or they go shopping in one of the shops at the side of the hall, like the Hong Kong style supermarket. The more younger crowd arrives later as they sit down for dinner at one of the restaurants located in the Markthal like Jamie’s Italian. Because of this variety, you’ll find a nice vibrant atmosphere at any moment of the day .
Fenix Food Factory
Fenix Food Factory is a food hall located in an old port warehouse. Several local entrepreneurs are located in this ‘food factory’ where you can buy food and food products. There are different kind of food stalls; you can buy quality cheese or coffee. Vegetables or bread. Across the water from Fenix Food Factory you’ll find Hotel New York, easily accessible by a pedestrian bridge. From here the cruise ships to New York used to depart, and now you can drink a cup of coffee or have a nice meal here.
Alan en Pim’s
Alan & Pim’s is a chicken restaurant, specialized in roasted chicken and serves all kinds of chicken dishes.
Although chicken is much healthier than other meats like beef and pork, I don’t eat meat at all. So I tried their vegetarian salad. They have the veggie chicken and bacon from the Vegetarian Butcher. They serve the classic Ceasar Salad with parmesan cheese and croutons with this vegetarian ‘meat’. Although it’s difficult to fake bacon, the veggie chicken tasted delicious! You get a big bowl with bread. Room for dessert? Their cheesecake is delicious!
Click here for my favorite food spots in other cities in The Netherlands