During my time in Rotterdam, my flatmate and I took up the habit of visiting a new place for breakfast each week, specifically each Sunday morning (which was often more like afternoon, but that’s besides the point). It was a nice way of seeing new places and experiencing the city whilst at the same time stuffing ourselves with all kinds of food, so an amazing tradition that can make you discover really cool, underrated places.
Looking for famous and nicely-reviewed places each week, we slowly made our way through the Rotterdam bar scene and that gave me the opportunity of coming to know some really good places to eat in the city, which I wish I could go back to right now to be honest. Sooo since I am currently back in grey Aberdeen and miss the Netherlands very much, I thought it’d be nice to reminisce of those times by listing my top five favourite breakfast places in Rotterdam, which I shamefully did not make a video of but I definitely should have.
Are you ready? Here we go:
V11 wins it by far because of its extremely cool vibe. V11 – or Vessel 11 – is not your typical breakfast place: this anchored boat is a British-managed monster hosting heaps of concerts and events every month in the heart of Rotterdam. Located in Wijnhaven, it works in association with Rotown to offer locals and tourists live music shows at nighttime as well as acting as a restaurant / bar during day time. Basically, it offers the best of both worlds at affordable prices in a dreamy location.
As this is a British-led place, the menu won’t really be typical dutch. However, if you’re feeling a bit English or are just craving a good old English Breakfast, this is the the place to go. Although the food wait can sometimes be long, it’s totally worth it and the staff makes up for it by being extremely nice and chatty. And honestly, with being able to eat and chill at the top of the boat, with sun shining on your face as you admire the beautiful Rotterdam canals, does that really matter?
First of all, I am still unsure how to write this place’s name. Technically it’s called Guliano, but it sounds Italian and therefore I really feel like it needs an extra I. Who knows.
Either way, Giuliano is located on the Meent, a really long and cool street in the heart of Rotterdam, not far from the famous Markthal and within easy walking distance from any part of the city centre. The Meent is quite a lively and busy street at most times of the day, adorned with semi-expensive shops and lots of restaurants and cafeS to blow your dolla away. As such, when sitting outside to eat, it can get a bit noisy. While my friend was hating it, I was absolutely digging it because I love being surrounded by the chaos of the city. Therefore, depending on yourself, it can be a hit or miss. Don’t you fret though – there are also seats inside! 🙂
The food menu in itself is quite simple but rich, going from very tasty main dishes to lighter sandwiches – which is what I opted for. I feel like the Netherlands has definitely converted me into a sandwich lover (I never even used to eat bread before), so I went for a veggie sandwich with tomatoes, aubergines and all that good stuff and it was ah-ma-zing. I know a sandwich doesn’t sound like the kind of thing that could be that good, but the taste connected with the environment and the way it made me feel full without feeling like I’d burst, it was a definite yes for me.
Sijf is a surprising gem right on the Oude Binnenweg, the proper centre of Rotterdam. Sporting a very dutch interior, this pub also serves as a haven for the hungry souls out there. We went after quite a heavy night of drinking and the food definitely did us right. The menu is pretty broad, sporting a wide range of options from omelettes, to sandwiches, to burgers and more intricate orders, to cater all tastes. The waiting time for the food was short too – which is always a major plus hehe.
Sijf is not an exceptional place in the sense that the food will blow you away, but I really enjoyed it because of its central, cosy location, the helpful staff and the generally nice food. The pricing was on point as well and I just genuinely had a good time and would definitely visit again!
I used to always see Bagels & Beans when I biked to the Markthal, sitting by the square in a cosy little corner in front of the central library. I used to think it looked like a cute little cafe that I wanted to try. Little did I know it’s actually a chain! Fast forward a few weeks later, we found ourselves deeply craving a good bagel (I had actually never properly had a bagel before. Really.), so decided to give it a try by visiting the B&B close to Rotterdam Centraal, on the Mauritsweg. This location is really nice as the cafe has a corner spot surrounded by massive windows, which means you can comfortably sit inside sipping on your coffee while people-gazing through the glass panels. I loved it.
The menu itself caters to most people, as it’s got plenty of both meat and veggie options. I decided to go for the mushroom burger bagel, while my friend opted for the Japanese salmon instead. Both were extremely good and definitely didn’t disappoint. So much so that I decided to visit again weeks later with my then boyfriend, which was the setting of this very intimate picture of me and my beloved bagel. You can tell from my face that it’s good.
Last but not least, Lookal is an extremely random find we came across while looking for another place. It sits on Ungerplein – which considering my scarce knowledge of Dutch, sounds a lot like “hunger plain” which I find very fitting for the place – basically next to BIRD and with a pretty humble exterior. The inside of the place is pretty cosy and quite small, with only a few tables available and a bar running by the right side of the space.
The menu is quite simplistic but still yummy, with a big selection of sandwiches and healthy bites. I decided to go for a pesto + tomatoes + goats cheese combination, which I generally love, and was not disappointed. The service was fast and friendly and I personally really liked the layout of the place, as we managed to get ourselves a table by the windows and had a beautiful view of the outside as we enjoyed our meal.
So there you have them, my 5 favourite breakfast places in Rotterdam. They all serve pretty different dishes, so depending on your mood I am sure one of them would be right up your alley. As I could only choose 5 of them I had to scale down my list, but would like to give a shoutout to the Western Paviljoen on the Nieuwe Binnenweg for being a great spot in the heart of the city centre, with tables outside to enjoy the hustle of this lively street while serving a massive and yummy menu to suit all tastes. Definitely a place to visit!
I hope you’re all having a great start to the week! See you at the next blog post.