Tilburg is booming! More and more (healthy) lunchrooms and restaurants are opening up in the 6th biggest city of the Netherlands, making it a more appealing city to visit. It’s only 90 minutes by train from Amsterdam or Antwerp. And even though in the past Breda and Den Bosh were the cities in Brabant that I would recommend, Tilburg has caught up on them
Below are my food recommendations for my new favorite city in Brabant, and while you’re there don’t forget to visit De Pont, a great modern art museum.
If you’re looking for nice (healthy) options in other cities in the Netherlands, check out this page.
Buutvrij, a creative coffee shop, can be your first stop in Tilburg. They don’t have an extensive menu, but you should go here to drink a great cup of coffee, get inspired by their interior and discover local talent (they display art by young designers). They’ll always have a vegetarian option and at the moment they have vegan pancakes (if you skip the honey). Buutvrij often organises special activities like music performances, so keep an eye out on their facebook page. They’re conveniently located, on your way to the city center from the central station.
Cinecitta is a beautiful art-house film theater, that also houses a restaurant called Ristobar. They’re open for lunch and dinner (and of course for drinks before or after your movie). They have many vegetarian options on the menu. For lunch you can for example go for one of the vegetarian soups or french toast with Greek yogurt and cherries. For dinner they have a delicious ravioli with mushrooms and ricotta, and my favorite vegan burger of all times: the Dutch Weed Burger.
A short distance away from Buutvrij you’ll find Locals. They serve a delicious lunch with local products and handmade pastries. Besides the vegan sourdough bread with homemade baba ganoush and grilled vegetables that I often take, they always have a couple of vegetarian options and a nice gluten free quesadilla with spinach and avocado. If you didn’t get your caffeine fix at Buutvrij, they also serve nice coffees here.
Across the street from Locals, you’ll find Tien. Tien is a concept store selling ‘fashion, food and furniture’. If you’re looking for an original gift for someone, this is the place to be. They sell original cards, jewelry, plants, gifts and clothes. And if you’re one of the lucky ones to get a table at Tien you can have one of their delicious lunch items with many vegetarian options like a sandwich with red beet hummus and goat cheese, courgette broccoli soup or a grilled cheese sandwich with avocado and spinach (pictured above).
Eatonomy is a gluten free, sugar free and vegetarian lunchroom located on the second floor of the WAAR shop (sustainable gift shop). They have delicious vegan buddha bowls for lunch. I recommend you go for the Combi Lunch where you get the soup of the day, a buddha bowl of your choice and a gluten free cake of your choice. We had these vegan lemon and chocolate cakes.
This ‘lifestyle restaurant’ opened their doors in 2015, so they’re relatively new. But what a great addition to the restaurant scene in Tilburg this is! They have a three course menu of the month for less than 30 euros and it’s almost impossible to get more value for your money. The dishes are very tasty and beautifully presented. They always have a meat, fish and veggie option. And although mostly at restaurants the veggie option is not very creative, it’s often the best dish on the menu here. Pictured is their vegetarian bulgur salad. They also have a vegan dish on every menu.
When you’re dining in the Houtloods, you can literally look in their pans. Due to their ‘kitchen bar concept’, the guest will eat a bar attached to the kitchen or at one of the tables surrounding the kitchen. Located in the industrial area at the North side of the train station, the ‘Spoorzone’, their interior is a great combination of old and new with big glass walls. They’re open for lunch and dinner and their menu changes regularly.
Right next to the Houtloods the owners transformed an old train wagon into a restaurant. De Wagon offers a very unique setting when you’re having dinner inside, or a sunny terrace when you’re having lunch outside. For lunch they have 3 types of pita bread (1 meat, 1 fish and 1 vegetarian). You can order one, or try all 3 of them. My favorite is the vegetarian (of course) with falafel and ras-el-hanout. They also have a nice falafel dish for dinner with grilled aubergine and salsa verde.
Do you have something to celebrate? Or are you just in the mood for something fancy? Monarh is the place to be. Located in an old monastery, Monarh brings your taste buds to the next level. I suggest you let the chef surprise you (you can let them know if you’re a vegetarian or have any allergies) with a ‘menu du Chef’ with wine pairing. The taste and texture combinations of master chef Paul Kappé will amaze you. It’s not cheap, but considering they’re Michelin Star material, it’s totally worth it.
Bio Cafe Pleiade
Pleïade is an inspirational shop that has an organic lunchroom as well. Everything on the menu is vegetarian and organic and it all tastes great! Go for a soup, a sourdough sandwich or a salad. But make sure to leave some room for something sweet for dessert; they have many vegan or gluten free options!
If you like Mexican food, Tortillas is the place to be. With very reasonable prices and many vegetarian options: this is a winner! And although Mexican food is not known for being very healthy, Tortillas actually has a section on their menu with healthy options with mentioned calories. They have many vegetarian options. They also have a restaurant in Breda and Den Bosch.
Waanzinnig is a restaurant that mostly serves vegetarian (‘vegetarisch’) food. They have several vegan options, but also some meat and fish options. They pretty much cater everybody needs. Most of their products are local and organic. As a starter I’d recommend the falafel and as a main dish I had this delicious pumpkin burger with cranberry compote.
Tarte Tatin is a small patisserie where you can enjoy delicious cakes, pies, muffins and cookies. Owner Joanneke started as a home baker and as of April 2017 she opened up a patisserie, right around the corner of the main shopping area. At Tarte Tatin she has many sweet treats on display that you can take-out or enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea. She works with fresh products and makes everything herself.
What’s on sale varies, but there are some classics that will be available most of the time like her cheesecake, lemon squares and carrot cake.
Mugs & Muffins
Looking for something not so healthy? Go to Mugs ‘& Muffins and try one of their delicious pies, cakes or brownies. And if you have difficulties choosing, you can go for this plate with all kinds of sweet treats including macarons!
They also have all kinds of teas and coffees, hence the name mugs and muffins! There’s also a Mugs ‘n Muffins store in Nijmegen.
Berlijn Cafe feels like you’re in a Berlin living room! Grab a seat, read a newspaper and enjoy a good meal. They have several vegetarian options (you can never go wrong with hummus and grilled vegetables) and will help you if you have any allergies or dietary wishes (gluten free bread is available). In the summer Berlijn has a nice outdoor area with picnic tables so you can enjoy your beer or hipster soda (cucumber, pear-rosemary, you name it) outside.
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