A First Year’s Guide to Good Food in Rotterdam
Rotterdam’s sprawling size and EUC/Lucia’s centricity often leaves its students holed up in the centre. You incoming first years are probably going to be spending a lot of time in the centre and honestly, there will be days where you don’t want to cook in your tiny kitchen or maybe you’re afraid of burning down Lucia(It’s been done before). Whatever the case here’s a solid list of great places to eat, drink and spend your time.
Most of us cannot subsist on pasta, beer and granola no matter our budget limitations and feel the need to treat ourselves sometimes. These suggestions shouldn’t hurt your budget too much and when you’ve been studying for eight hours: Treat Yourself.
This Vietnamese place is remarkably close to EUC and happens to have some great bubble tea to go with your delicious sandwich. Its proximity to EUC makes for an ideal spot to grab some lunch between lectures. Additionally, if you have a bit of a sweet tooth and can’t get enough of bubble tea this is the place. The staff are incredibly kind as they have dealt with EUC students in all stages of exam exhaustion, but still, remember to be polite anyway.
Panzero’ Apulian StrEat Food
As any stressed-out second year, now third year can tell you the only thing better than a pizza is a pizza you can carry easily and eat while going up those marble stairs, minutes away from the start of PBL. Not quite a Calzone, the best item on their menu, in my humble opinion is their Panzerotti. A particular favourite is their Prosciutto Panzerotti, the perfect fatty food on a winter’s day. And let’s be honest it always feels like winter with Rotterdam’s infamous wind.
Located in one of the most aesthetically pleasing places in Rotterdam, Witte de Wit, Bazar is a restaurant inside a hotel. Decorated with more than two dozen stunning coloured glass lanterns, its unique vibe lends itself to a hipster fantasy and cool dining experience.
Aptly named Bazar features some delicious middle eastern food that comes in truly astonishing proportions making it incredibly affordable.
If ever there was a place to get good Japanese food in Rotterdam at a reasonable price this would be it. And no, I’m not talking about sushi but instead a ramen place that has incredibly generous quantities of food available at reasonable prices especially the meat dishes. One important tip is that there are two locations one just behind Lucia and the other in Chinatown near Central Station.
Both are incredible but I am of the belief that the one in Chinatown gives more sauce on their meat side dishes, call me crazy but I swear its true. If you had to choose only one ramen, and unfortunately usually you do, the Takumi Special with a miso broth is my recommendation. Yes, it can be on the pricier end of cheap eats but honestly for the quantity, you get the price is totally worth it.
Bombay 55 Street
While Markthall is usually a hit or miss especially in regard to quantity for quality, you will not be disappointed by Bombay 55 Street. This little Indian place specializes in Indian street food and has really great décor all inspired by some of Bollywood’s greatest films. Their samosas are incredible, and I cannot stress enough how much their special rocks your world. I do not think I am exaggerating when I say it’s one of the closest things to heaven, you’ll experience food-wise in the centre. However, be careful, seagulls reign supreme and I am not joking when I say they will steal your food when your unaware or leaving it unattended.
Now we all know that with a college budget it can be difficult to go out that’s why I advise that at least once a quad you have a splurge day. It doesn’t have to be a lot of food, but that’s always a bonus, but it should be a fun experience that allows you to expand your palette and treat yourself.
Sumo might be best described as the ultimate food challenge: they have an incredible all-you-can-eat lunchtime menu. Basically, its twenty euros of deliciousness; five items for five rounds of food, it’s one of the best deals for quantity and quality of sushi in Rotterdam. I am not going to lie I usually go once a month for a splurge which is totally affordable for student budgeting.
The first day I came to Rotterdam, this is where I went, and to be honest, it was a major part of deciding which college in the Netherlands I was going to attend because I was completely undecided and more than a little afraid at the prospect. This may seem crazy but while in the Netherlands I visited at least two Indian places in whichever city I went to. And while it may not be perfect, I absolutely loved 91 Spices. The food is incredible and while yes, it is actually cheaper to order in from a food app (from said restaurant) rather than going to eat there the restaurant itself is great. The décor is fantastic, and truth be told there is nothing quite like sitting down for a good hot meal with friends. Especially if said friends are sensitive to spicy food.
In my combined 6 years living in Europe, I have yet to find an empanada (Spanish/Latin American/Argentinian meat pastry) that is even worthy of the name, of course, they don't hold a candle to ones you might find in Mexico or Argentina but going to this restaurant is far easier (and cheaper) than flying out. They have an absolutely fantastic menu with dishes from all over South America and while they are all incredible in themselves the food is plated and presented to well it may just be the best place to take your parents for lunch to impress on them the greatness and variety of Rotterdam's cuisine. I admit part of my motivation for including this one is the fact that they also have a good cocktail selection and a fun atmosphere perfect for a Friday night out with friends.
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