Hotspots in Utrecht
Utrecht is the most centrally located city in the Netherlands. It’s the 4th biggest city and very easily accessible by train from pretty much everywhere else in the country. It has many restaurants, and on this page I”m sharing my vegetarian-friendly favorites with you. Below are my recommendations if you want to have a healthy (veggie) lunch or dinner in Utrecht. I’ve got you covered for vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options!
If I would ever start my own restaurant, it would be pretty much like Gys. It’s an organic, vegetarian restaurant with many vegan and gluten free options. They’re open for lunch and dinner, and their prices are very reasonable. My recommendation is to book the vegan (and/or gluten-free) high tea. The restaurant at the Voorstraat is very popular, the other branch at the Amsterdamsestraatweg often has more seats available.
One of my favorite hotspots in Utrecht is SYR. SYR is a restaurant that has started to involve refugees more with Utrecht and the Netherlands. It’s an initiative from GYS. SYR offers work for refugees so that they can learn the Dutch language and culture and gain work experience in the Netherlands. It’s also great for the Dutch people to get to know the Syrian culture, hospitality and food staples, so it works both ways. And the Syrian food is delicious! For both the starter as the main course you choose vegetarian, fish or meat. And from that categorie you’ll get a variety of finger food. I went for vegetarian (of course) and on the picture you see a few of the dishes that I got.
I love the interior at Broei (see picture at the top of this page) as much as I love their food. Broei is a vegetarian restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But they’re also a creative (work) space. I recommend going there for lunch and have a sandwich because they have their own mini bakery in which they make their own sourdough bread. They also have vegan options like the sandwich with hummus, za’atar and vegetables pictured above.
The 5th Utrecht
Restaurant The 5th Utrecht is very centrally located on the Neude square, right in the middle of the city center opposite the central library and just a stone’s throw away from the central train station. They’re open for lunch and dinner and all the dishes are vegetarian and many of them are vegan. I absolutely love this Sweet Potato Loaded Fries but the vegan Shawarma wrap and Dan Dan Noodles are also great dinner options.
It’s quite difficult to get really good falafel outside of Israel, but in Utrecht you’ve got FLFL. Finally a falafel that isn’t dry and actually tastes like the falafel balls that you get in the Middle East. Besides a plate of falafel with hummus, you can also order a falafel salad or a falafel wrap. You can have them to stay in the small but cosy restaurant, or have them to take-away.
In a hip neighborhood in Utrecht you’ll find HOOI, a high quality lunchroom with many vegetarian options. Almost everything on their menu comes straight from organic bakeries, local farms and herb gardens. Vegetarians, vegans and people who eat gluten free are welcome for breakfast and lunch at HOOI. But you can bring your carnivorous friends without feeling guilty because they also have some meat and fish items on the menu. I recommend their high tea where you get spoiled with soup, sandwiches, cakes and unlimited tea refills. Click here to read more about HOOI.
Lithuanian Anna brings a tribute to her mothers pancakes at her restaurant Anna Pancakes. On the menu of this brunch restaurant you can find many kinds of pancakes, both sweet and savory. But you can also find many other brunch dishes. A few savory ones, but many sweet brunch dishes. Like the french toast with fresh fruit pictured above.
There are two Anna Pancakes restaurants in Utrecht, both located close to the central train station.
The Food Club
Restaurant The Food Club is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s located on the Amsterdamsestraatweg, close to train station Utrecht Zuilen. The kitchen of The Food Club is completely gluten free. On the breakfast and lunch menu you’ll find all your favorite brunch staples like Shakshuka, hummus sandwich and Eggs Benedict. They also have 3 gluten-free bowls with sushi rice. We went for the avocado toast with goat cheese and pomegranate seeds and the pancakes with fresh fruit.
Click here to read more about The Food Club.
At Restaurant Stan in Utrecht they’ll take you on a culinary trip around the world. Perfect for a travel foodie like myself! They’ve got dishes from all kinds of countries, like this green shakshuka from Israel. They’ve got something for everyone. From an Indonesian Rendang sandwich to a Buddha bowl and a (vegetarian) burger. They’ve also got all kinds of bites to share, inspired by street food dishes from all over the world.
De Rode Vosch
De Rode Vosch is a stylish Australian restaurant in the city center of Utrecht.
If you’ve ever been to Australia, de Rode Vosch will bring back all your good memories as they’ve got all your Australian favorites! Haven’t been to Australia yet? Go visit de Rode Vosch, get in the spirit, and book your ticket as soon as you can! At The Rode Vosch every dish is the size of a starter, so you’ll get a tablef full of nice dishes and you can try a lot! As you might know Australians love to barbecue, at the Rode Vosch they have many meat and fish dishes from the lavagrill to duplicate the barbecue taste. Luckily for me, they also have many vegetarian dishes! Pictured are their vegan dumplings. Click here to read more on De Rode Vosch.
Loua Juicebar (formally named Smood) is the perfect spot to stop for a fresh made juice or smoothie on a day of shopping in Utrecht. Loua is located right in the city center and even though you can get all your orders to-go, you can also sit down at one of the few tables inside or the bench outside. My favorites are the Lean Green Smoothie with spinach, mango, pineapple and cucumber and the Energy Boost with kiwi, banana, spinach, ginger and apple. In the basement you can find a lovely restaurant to sit down on cold days for a good breakfast or lunch.
When you have lunch or dinner at restaurant Le Jardin, you’ve got the feeling that you’re in France. Although it’s right in the city center, because of the quiet square and the green surroundings you feel like you’re in a small French town.
Le Jardin is a restaurant and flower shop in one. The restaurant isn’t a 100% vegetarian but they do have their main focus on seasonal vegetables. You can let the chef know if you’d like a completely vegetarian meal or if you’d like some fish or meat. Whatever you choose, the vegetables are the most important ingredient in each course. Which doesn’t only make it very suitable for vegetarians, it’s healthy too! Click here to read more on Le Jardin.
Koffie & Ik
Koffie & ik serves good coffee to stay or to go and they also have a breakfast and lunch menu. On the menu are several vegetarian and vegan dishes like a goat cheese toasty, mashed avocado toast or a beat-spread sandwich. Koffie & ik also serves pastries like apple pie and carrot cake. You probably already expected their extensive coffee menu but they also have several teas and fresh juices. They’re located just outside the city center on the Vleutenseweg in Utrecht West (near Lombok).
Meneer Smakers is a burger bar with 3 locations in Utrecht. They have artisan burgers with fresh ingredients. They have 2 vegetarian burgers on the menu and 1 vegan burger. The ‘Tante Connie’ is a vegetarian burger with goat cheese, cashews, grilled aubergine, courgette and walnuts. The ‘ Tante Mila’ is vergetarian burger made from walnuts, red lentils, cumin and chili peppers. The burger is served with yogurt sauce, tomato and avocado.
The ‘Tante Lieke’ is a vegan burger made from white lupine beans, curry herbs and carrot. It’s topped with grilled bell pepper, mango chutney and cashews. They also have fries with free mayonaise and ketchup, and you can order each burger as a salad too.
Le:en is an Asian restaurant located near Broei. It’s a shame that it’s a bit far out of the city center but that also makes it perfect for if you’re meeting up with someone traveling by car (parking is a lot cheaper!). Le:en is a shared dining concept, so your order several small dishes from the menu and share them with your party. The vegetarian and vegan options are clearly stated on the menu and there’s quite a lot to choose from. They have a vegan broccoli salad and vegetarian sushi (both pictured) as cold dishes for example. And vegan curry with courgette or vegetarian wontons as warm dishes, just to name a few.
Oproer is mainly a brewery. They’re making their own bear and are constantly trying out new things to improve the flavors. At the moment they have 3 home-brewed beers available, but you can also order many beers from other breweries at their ‘brewpub’. I don’t drink beer however, so the main reason I come here is the food! They have a 100% vegan and organic menu at their restaurant. Including this vegan black bean burger. Oproer is a bit out of the city center, but it’s right next to the Utrecht Zuilen train station so you can take the train from Utrecht Central Station.
Rabarber is a cute little coffee shop where they have delicious homemade pies. You’ll have difficulties choosing between the cheesecake and the carrot cake.
They also serve great lunches and they’ve got healthier options there. Their sourdough bread is really tasty and I’m a big fan of their salad with lentils, pumpkin, beets and feta cheese. If you’re looking for some indulgence; they’ve got croissants with homemade Nutella and the pumpkin pancake with fried banana pictured above.
I love Lebanese food! I’m very happy that Comptoir Libanais has opened up in Hoog Catharijne, the renewed shopping mall next to the central train station in Utrecht. On the menu you’ll find many delicious middle eastern dishes. You can start with some mezze, small dishes you’ll share with your company. They have many vegetarian, gluten free and vegan dishes. They vegetarian and gluten free dishes are clearly marked on the menu. The prices at Comptoir Libanais are very reasonable, they have many main dishes that are less than 10 euros. And the central location of Comptoir Libanais is also a big pro!
Looking for something healthy and vegetarian/vegan on-the-go? Check out KAUAI in the city center.
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