The battle of the Dutch food market

So I have been to these places, where they have food, lots of food and everything related to food. The Netherlands seems to be craving for trendy food markets where you can sit back, relax and enjoy your food with your loved ones but without the fuss of being apt and elegant. Street food and healthy organic dishes have also become THE thing here. I know, for those of you in America, this is so yesterday, right?

What dominates the culinary scenes in big cities in the Netherlands at the moment is; sustainable comfort food at a cosy place with decors that make you feel at home. When in other countries food market is the place where you can find cheap and GOOD meals since … well a long time ago, this concept has been adapted only recently in the Netherlands. I have been to some trendy Dutch food markets in Netherlands and here’s what I think about it.

Dutch food market 1: Foodhallen Amsterdam

With its location in Amsterdam West it is no wonder that this food hall has become THE place to be. They said that this market is the first indoor food market in the Netherlands. You can eat, drink and also buy products related to food at the Foodhallen.

I find Foodhallen Amsterdam a little bit smaller than I have imagined. However, the variety of food they serve is good, really good actually. You can order some good old fashion burgers, donuts, pizzas, pasta’s, antipasti’s, or plain old Dutch breads with some butter and tapenade. What was interesting and has caught my eye: the Asian street food booths. There are lots of them, such as the banh mi and pho at Vietview, chicken tika at Shirkhan, Japanese sushi at Meneer Temaki, Maza (mezze Turkish-style bites food), or that delicious Korean barbeque chicken. I ate the banh mi and it was:… GOOD! Period!

How to get there? The address is Bellamyplein 51, Amsterdam. You can go there with the trams: From Amsterdam central station choose line 17 (direction Osdorp Dijkgraafplein) and stop at Ten Katestraat. From the bus stop you have to walk for five minutes to the Foodhallen. You can also take tram 7 (direction Slotermeer) from Leidseplein at the city centre and stop also at Ten Katestraat.

For those of you who love to cycle around the city of Amsterdam, go for it! It’s a three kilometres ride from the central station and after 15 minutes of cycling you will arrive there. They also have a parking lot underneath the Foodhallen. Parking is pretty expensive in Amsterdam so please don’t be surprised when you have to pay €10 after two hours of eating at the Foodhallen.

Dutch food market 2: Markthal Rotterdam

This is what I call the real indoor market. The concept is pretty clear: an indoor market, where you can buy produces and also enjoy the food and beverage at the small restaurants with an awesome view and atmosphere. It kind of reminds me of Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona, the Borough Market in London or Östermalm Salluhall in Stockholm.

You can buy almost everything at Martkhal from chocolate to Jamon Iberico, from Dutch cheese to Turkish delight. The eye catcher of Markthal is the building itself! The design of Markthal is very unique: a giant arc formed building with amazing colourful art at the ceiling. When you have done shopping for local produces, have a nice chat over coffee or tea at the small cafés or restaurants on the right and left side of the market. One of the famous ones is Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian. Also nice is Mart Café or the Wah Nam Hong eatery, where you can grab that oh-so-comforting bowl of Chinese meatballs noodle!

I love the fact that every time I walk in the Markthal I smell… chocolate!!!! It’s a little girl’s dream comes true. Like any other day when I explore the food scenes, I let my nose lead the way! I often go to the chocolate or the churros store (again the smell of it, just leads me to it) when I am in the Martkhal. After that I go find some healthy food, just to get rid of the guilt.

How to get there? The address is: Ds. Jan Scharpstraat 298, Rotterdam. From Rotterdam central station take tram line 21 or 24 (direction De Esch) and stop at Rotterdam Blaak. You will see the Markthal building right away (Well, maybe right after you admire the Cube Houses which located next to the tram stop). It will take you about eight minutes to cycle from Rotterdam central to the Markthal (distance 2 km). When you go by car you can park underneath the Markthal. Do consider that the parking fee is expensive. Just as expensive as in Amsterdam.

Dutch Food Market 3: Vershal het Veem, Eindhoven

I discover this hidden gem in Eindhoven quite a while ago. At first sight, this Dutch food market was so empty and not that soulful. Later on, at the second visit, I find it more alive and cosy. Vershal het Veem is not as crowded as Markthal or Foodhallen, but it also has many great products. From coffee to beer, from nachos to boerenkool, you name it, they have it!

I have tastedsome dishes there and this is what I recommend. Try the spicy jalapeno burger from Woeste Burgers or the old fashion Dutch cuisine, such as stamppot, at Eggs and More. Buy your coffee at Koffie Keuten or your tea at Infinitea. Wanna try something new, why not some Indonesian food at Warung Ventje or those delicious dessert from Pastry Club 2.0. As it is still not that crowded as those other two markets I mentioned above, you can really enjoy your time here and have a long conversation with your best friends over (3 cups of) coffee or (3 glasses of) wine (and also the cookies from pastry club or de Mannen van Deeg)!

How to get there? The address is Torenalle 86 – 02, Eindhoven. From Eindhoven central station take the bus line 401, 402, 403 (direction Eindhoven Airport) and stop at Eindhoven, Strijp S (only 4 stops). From the bus stop you have to walk for four minutes before you arrive at Vershal. Cycling from the Station to Verhal het Veem will take you around 8 minutes (distance: about 2 km). Driving by car? You can park your car right at the back of the building and get your discount card at the kiosk where you order your food and drink and the parking fee is FREE for the first 2 hours.

Dutch food market 4: Fenix Food Factory, Rotterdam

My experience to Fenix Food Factory is Rotterdam is rather… well… not as excited as the other three. I only like the walk to it. Because its location is pretty centre and strategic, you would be blown away by the view while walking to the food factory: Erasmus Bridge, Hotel New York and Euromast.

Fenix Food Factory is small. The smallest from the rest of the Dutch food markets I have mentioned. The variety of food and produces are not that diverse as the others. They have a very good coffee booth: Stielman Koffie Branderij. Jordy’s bakery is also a very nice one. But more than that… well I cannot find other nice things to say actually. What I find very interesting from it is the book store (Bosch & De Jong). I actually take more time at the book store rather than the food and beverage booths.

How to get there? The address is: Veerlaan 19D, Rotterdam. From Rotterdam central station take metro line D (Slinge) and E (De Akkers) and stop at Wilhelminaplein rather than at Rijnhaven. You will have the best walking view from Wilhelminaplein. From the metro stop walk about 11 minutes to the food factory. You will definitely love to cycle from the central station to the food factory. The view is amazing. It will take you around 15 minutes to cycle to Fenix. Near the food factory there are several parking lot. I would not recommend to go by car though, because you will miss the view and vibe while walking to Fenix if you go with car.

So, based on my encounters I would first go the Markhal, then to the Foodhallen, after that to the Vershal het Veem and lastly to Fenix Food Factory. What about you? I would love to hear your personal experience!

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