The Local’s Guide to Utrecht

Last weekend, I spent a day exploring the charming city of Utrecht. The city is akin to the tranquil — but equally beautiful — little sister of Amsterdam, complete with cobbled streets, quaint Dutch buildings and top-notch museums. I am fortunate enough to have a friend who lives in the city and always serves as an excellent tour guide (he’s wasted in his current job). He spent the day bombarding us with historic facts and stories about his beloved city and, more importantly, taking us to some of his favourite hotspots. Here’s some great little places you should check out if you’re ever in Utrecht:

Brunch — The Village Coffee Wolvenplein

The Village Coffee Wolvenplein, the latest addition to the The Village portfolio, boasts a privileged canal-side location in the north of the city. Set in a former prison, the bars on the windows remain whilst the interior has being transformed into a light and fresh space. As if this weren’t enough, step outside and you’ll discover ample room to dine and drink alfresco complete with free roaming chickens — YES chickens! The menu offers tasty breakfast and lunch (or brunch) options, including open sandwiches and egg based dishes, as well as excellent coffee and a choice of boozy options — all in all the perfect place to grab brunch.

The Village Utrecht

A former prison… what a transformation!

Brunch at The Village

Brunchy offerings at The Village

Coffee — Koffie Leute

What I love about that place is that it has an “inside outside” space. What on earth do I mean by an “inside outside” space? Essentially, it has a space where you can sit “outside” whilst still being inside and sheltered from the rain – AKA the whole of the front of the cafe is a massive, garage-style door which opens up onto the street. The space has been beautifully put together with a eclectic mix of raffia furniture, vintage rugs, mid century armchairs and retro light fittings. Oh, and the filter coffee is really good.

Koffie Leute Utrecht

“inside-outside”

Koffie Leute Utrecht interior

Interior delights at Koffie Leute

Burgers — Meneer Smakers

This laid-back burger joint has three locations across Utrecht (I’ve visited two so far), and serves up a tailored little menu of delicious burgers, fries and a selection of local beers. I’m a traditional kinda gal when it comes to burgers so opted for their classic burger with Smakers family recipe sauce. There’s a selection of tasty topping combinations as well as veggie offerings and the prices are the best I’ve found for the quality (a classic burger costs only €6.50).

Meneer Smakers Utrecht

Feed me!

Meneer Smakers interior

Meneer Smakers, Utrecht

Beer — De Drie Dorstige Herten

Tucked away on a quiet street, not too far from the magnificent Utrecht Dom, you’ll find the small and perfectly formed “De Drie Dorstige Herten” — “The Three Thirsty Deer” to you and me. With nine beers on tap and more than 120 bottled beers, from local and small craft breweries, you really are spoilt for choice. The exquisite tiled floor, traditional light fittings and wooden furniture, all make for a warm and understated vibe. There’s even a scattering of seating outside — perfect for a warm summer evening. If you’re a beer buff, don’t miss De Drie Dorstige Herten.

De Drie Dorstige Herten Utrecht

Charming bar interior

Beer in Utrecht

Cheers!

A handy map to help you find your way:

Looking for more foodie inspiration? Be sure to check out some of my other articles featuring places to eat and more.

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