For some time now, Utrecht has been developing in all directions outside the city centre. At all kinds of locations in the suburbs you can find nice, cosy and tasty restaurants. Along the Merwede Canal, where a new urban zone will develop on the west side in the coming years, you will also find a number of noteworthy hotspots. We present them from south to north. Are you coming with us?
If we start in the south we first arrive at Op Zuid in the tip of Oud Hoograven. The former building of the Neerlandia nail factory has been successfully transformed into a residential complex with the New York Style bistro & bar Op Zuid on the waterfront. It is a unique place in the district where you can relax and enjoy in a special atmosphere. The spacious terrace offers a panoramic view of the water, where the Merwede Canal separates itself from the Vaartsche Rijn. The menu is inspired by the many food cultures as New York knows them, kitchens & flavors from different countries are combined.
Tucked away on the Business Island of Utrecht is Southpark. Southpark is located in the south wing of the former Europalaan 100 office building. In addition to a temporary meeting venue, there is also an event room and a café-restaurant. The opening hours are probably a little limited, you can go there from Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 18:00 for a nice cup of coffee, private lunches, business drinks or for private dining. More focused on business meetings and events, but in that area certainly worth mentioning.
Similar is the set-up of a temporary creative work, meeting and event location Kanaal30, further along the Merwedekanaal, where Marc van Nieuwkerk settled more than a year ago with his successful formula Marcus. Now the beating heart of Kanaal30, you can visit Marcus from Monday to Thursday from 09:00 to 18:00 and Friday until 22.00 hours for freshly roasted coffee, a delicious lunch, special wine and special beers as well as beautiful shelves full of goodies. Ideal for drinks on the cozy terrace with your friends. The door is wide open for everyone, from city dwellers to flex workers.
For quite some time now, Vechtclub XL has been successfully located on the former OPG site in Merwede – the most innovative, sustainable and vibrant city district in the making – where you will find restaurant De Klub. Hospitable owners Lisa Meijntjes, Joost Vermeulen and Jasper Kaan have already made a name for themselves with their culinary skills and serve a new and special menu every week. There are always two choices for a starter, starter or main course: one vegetarian, the other with meat or fish. The menu is always dedicated to a theme. So it’s always exciting what the weekly menu is and invariably described as ‘The Ode to…’. An absolute must!
Fine dining at FICO
Chef Menno van der Pol and managing director Norbert Zunnebeld are the owners of FICO. They also run the restaurant in the water tower near Heuveloord, WT Urban Kitchen. The building at the Veilinghaven has a truly unique architecture, a very attractive interior and a beautiful terrace overlooking the harbour. You can enjoy worldly flavours and contemporary combinations, sometimes with a nod to the classic. The menu changes weekly and there are regular specials outside the normal menu. From Tuesday to Saturday you can go there, also for private dining and meetings or lunch with a group. Special location, excellent food.
Buurten in de Fabriek
Another former factory hall that has been transformed into a restaurant can be found opposite the impressive Mint building and next to the beautiful city oasis Park Oog in Al. The cosy neighbourhood restaurant Buurten in de Fabriek, located in the Cereolfabriek, is open 7 days a week: from an early cup of coffee to a business lunch or a quick bite to eat with the family. You can enjoy contemporary dishes and surprising drinks. There are many possibilities at Buurten in de Fabriek, such as organising fun events in cooperation with the neighbourhood. You can also rent the lock keeper’s house in front of the door for parties and celebrations. It really feels like coming home.
Chilling at Strand Oog in Al
With your friends along the waterfront you can enjoy delicious food and drink at Soia in the northern point where the Merwede Canal changes into the Amsterdam Rijn Canal. Soia stands for Strand Oog in Al and you can easily call it one of the finest spots in Utrecht, among other things because of the wide view over the water, but of course also because you can have a fine lunch, drink and/or dinner there. There is a perfectly varied menu with also vegan and vegetarian dishes.
Header photo by Henja Kooij of Wunderlust Fotografie