I know dinner and brunch in particular get a lot of love when it comes to celebrating special occasions… But what about lunch? Personally, I’m a major fan of long & leisurely lunches. There’s something so luxurious about settling in with a loved one (or many!) to enjoy a great meal in the middle of your day. And a big plus: some higher-end restaurants offer the same excellent food at lower prices at lunch time 😉

So next time you’ve got something to celebrate, or just a bit of extra time, check out one of these five places in Utrecht for a special lunch!


Having lunch at Madeleine located on the busy but cosy ’t Wed square is no punishment. The lunch as well as the dinner menu are inspired by the French kitchen. The lunch menu consists of three courses. You can choose between two main dishes: meat or fish. And the dessert? This is freshly bakes French butter cakes with cardamom ice cream. Order a cup coffee or tea and your afternoon is just perfect.

Wed 3-A

Le Jardin

This gorgeous spot is tucked away on the corner of Mariaplaats. Part restaurant and part florist, Le Jardin’s philosophy is to base their meals on seasonal and local produce. I can definitely get on board with that! Choose between a two-, three-, or four-course lunch menu and enjoy it amidst lots of beautiful plants. Read a full review here.

Mariaplaats 42 | website | Facebook

Badhu (closed)

In the mood for some travel, but without the price of a plane ticket? Head to Badhu for a super relaxed atmosphere and lots of Middle Eastern style goodies. The menu is designed so that you can order lots of dishes to try. The perfect way to enjoy a leisurely lunch. Check out our review of the food here.

Willem van Noortplein 19 | website | Facebook

WT Urban Kitchen 

Located in the water tower on Rotsoord, WT Urban Kitchen offers you a delicious lunch with a view. Head straight here for a set three- or four-course menu as you overlook our beautiful city in a unique atmosphere. Just make sure you reserve well in advance for this one to avoid heartbreak – it’s extremely popular! Get a more in-depth look here.

Heuveloord 25A | website | Facebook


Craving a taste of Italy? Then head to Piatto for a lunch of delectable Italian goodies to share. Think bruschetta, panini, lots of heavenly antipasti, and even pasta – all washed down with wine, of course (we’re talking leisurely, after all).  And once you’re done, you’re just a hip & a skip away from all the good shopping!

Vredenburg 34 | website | Facebook

Open for lunch every day from 12.00

Karel 5 Bistro

For classic dishes with a modern & creative twist, check out Karel 5 Bistro. The restaurant is located on the grounds of the beautiful and historic Karel V hotel, and in the summer you can eat outside in their garden. Build your own menu or choose a set one, throw in some wine, and have yourself a wonderfully indulgent afternoon. Check out our review of the Karel 5 food offerings here.

Geertebolwerk 1 | website | Facebook

Beeld door: Susanne Sterkenburg, Dainahara Polonia & Robbert van Walsem

If you want regular updates on what’s going on in Utrecht and opening of new hotspots follow Explore Utrecht on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.