When I first moved to the Netherlands about five years ago, finding vegetarian food in restaurants could sometimes be a frustrating experience. ‘Vegetarian’ often seemed to mean ‘diet’, and on more than one occasion I ended up scarfing down a sandwich after a meal to quell the residual hunger! Fortunately, times have changed, and the selection of veggie options in Utrecht is proof of that. Here are just a few great places to head to for delicious vegetarian or vegan fare.
Everything that Broei serves is at least vegetarian, with vegan options nestled in there too. The space is cool, cosy, and creative, and you can come in for anything – a coffee & treat while you work, breakfast, a chill lunch, or a three-course dinner. They’ve got an incredible-sounding Cajun-spiced cauliflower on the menu that I’m eyeing right now!
Open every day from 9.00 to 22.00
This is an Explore Utrecht favourite, and for good reason! The interior is cool, grungy & relaxed, and the service is very friendly. The menu boasts tons of cool Asian-inspired vegetarian options, like mushroom dumplings, jackfruit curry, and veggie sushi. Throw in a funky cocktail and you’re golden. And with the sharing plate concept, you get to try lots of fun things at once!
Open every day from 11.00
With a seasonally changing menu, you can always count on something fun & new to try at SLA – think vegan sushi bowl, vegetarian bibimbap, or white bean falafel. It’s the kind of place where you leave feeling satisfied, inspired, and like you could run a marathon for all the nutrients you’ve just consumed.
Open every day from 11.00 to 21.00
For a hip, energetic vibe, head to GYS – they’re always bustling! With tons of vegan and vegetarian options, there’s no way you’ll be leaving hungry. Each location has its own menu, so there’s more to try – like vegan brownies & apple crumble, beetroot burgers, veggie Caesar salad, pumpkin carpaccio, or even a vegan or vegetarian snack board to accompany drinks!
Open every day from 10.00 to 21.30
If you’re craving something fresh, delicious, and quick, then check out Poke Perfect. You can build you own vegetarian poke bowl or sushi burrito based on crispy tofu. I’m partial to avocado, edamame, carrot, green onion, and crispy tempura bits – super satisfying! The first time I went I was concerned I’d leave hungry (always a worry!), but I needn’t have been: the portions are quite substantial.
Open from 11.30 to 21.00, and on Thur and Fri until 22.00
For lots of cool, unusual veggie sandwich options, I love going to Broodnodig. They make a lot of their dishes on a Swedish flatbread, and they offer several options with mock meats – think vegetarian chicken salad & veggie meatballs. And something I really appreciate is that they pull inspiration from lots of different cuisines, including Scandinavian and Moroccan.
Mariaplaats 49, Wagenstraat 50, Willemstraat 55 | website
Open Mon – Fri from 8.00 to 17.30 (16 at Willemstraat), Sat – Sun from 9.00 to 17.30 (16 at Willemstraat)
Karel 5 bistro
For a bit of a more leisurely lunch but still in a relaxed atmosphere, I highly recommend the Karel 5 bistro. Not only is the setting beautiful, but the menu changes seasonally and there are always several vegetarian options to choose from. What I love about this place is that they clearly put a lot of thought into every single dish that they offer, and they also usually have a couple of new-to-me combinations that taste amazing.
Open every day for lunch & dinner
Middle Eastern style food is always a good bet for vegetarians – it’s amazing how much flavour and decadence they can pack into such simple ingredients. Badhu serves up Arabic sharing plates in a really chill atmosphere, so you can bring some friends, settle in, and taste a whole array of delicious goodies, including falafel & tabbouleh, of course, but also buttery soft eggplant and maple-roasted carrots.
Open from 9.00 every day
This new kid on the block is a brewery, craft beer bar, AND a 100% plant-based restaurant – yes, you read that correctly! How cool! The interior has been built with recycled material for a cool, industrial vibe. The menu is small but packs a punch, with items like tempeh & kimchi burgers and pizzafritte.
Kitchen open until 21.00
This is an Utrecht institution, and for good reason! Burgers, beers & fries is a truly winning combination. And good news for veggies: they have not one, not two, but THREE vegetarian burger options (one of which is vegan), and they’re not just your typical floppy soy patty on a bun 😛 My favourite is the Tante Mila – the patty is made of lentils and walnuts, and it’s topped with a delicious yoghurt sauce and avocado. Delish!
Did I miss your favourite place? Let me know in the comments and share the veggie love!
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