A neighborhood’s information to Rotterdam: secrets and techniques of the Netherlands’ second metropolis | Rotterdam holidays


Dutch meals was as soon as all meat, veg and potatoes, however within the Fifties migrants from everywhere in the world began arriving and created the meals tradition we now have. A preferred vacationer market is Markthal with about 100 distributors, together with Natamania, which sells scrumptious Portuguese previouséis de nata.

However my favourites are the Korean locations within the Hoogkwartier space, residence additionally to my restaurant, Coco, which serves meals from the Caribbean, Suriname and Cape Verde. Bapboss serves the very best spicy kimchi on the town: I really like its rice – cooking rice is an artwork – and the wonderful galbi (marinated Korean beef rib) is sliced skinny for the barbecue. One other should is Ox, a brand new Malaysian-Chinese language pop-up: it’s small, trendy and hidden away (you’re given directions on learn how to discover it whenever you e book). The menu modifications repeatedly, however I’d eat every part there as the extent of cooking – and the cocktails – may be very excessive.


Outdoors the Het Nieuwe Instituut. {Photograph}: Colin Walton/Alamy

Het Nieuwe Instituut is the Netherlands’ nationwide museum for design and tradition, with interactive exhibitions on structure, dance tradition, music and vogue. I additionally like Mama, a gallery and inventive house based in 1997 on Witte De Withstraat, a buzzy avenue many vacationers get pleasure from visiting. Mama goals to attach younger individuals to artwork: it hosts performances, exhibitions and occasions.


I grew up in multicultural West Kruiskade. My dad and mom came to visit within the Fifties from Cape Verde: again then they put all of the migrants in the identical neighbourhood. It might need been poor and ugly, however the people who reside right here have made it wealthy with their tradition, whether or not from the Dutch colonies or Iran.

West Kruiskade
West Kruiskade. {Photograph}: Zuma Press/Alamy

I particularly love the tokos, the little bodegas the place you should buy meals from the Caribbean, candy jam, plantain, pretend hair, pores and skin lotions and shampoos. Once I started finding out French delicacies it was these tokos that gave me the inspiration to cook dinner otherwise.

Rotterdam’s Chinatown is right here, too – my prime restaurant tip is Tai Wu, which has been open for 25 years – however there’s a lot good meals, from Spanish to Turkish. And Wijkpark, the native park, has artwork and a petting farm.

Inexperienced house

I reside in Kralingen now, a extra prosperous but additionally studenty space. Its botanic Trompenburg Gardens are recognized for his or her biodiversity, with distinctive bushes, shrubs and flowers. A spotlight is the desert greenhouse, full of cacti and succulents. It’s beautiful. And, because the gardens are off the crushed observe, they’re not usually overcrowded, even when the solar is out.


I usually go to Baroeg, one of many oldest golf equipment in Rotterdam, which specialises in steel, punk and rock. Poing has retro arcade video games and karaoke, and my favorite cocktail bar is Spikizi, the place I all the time order a Moscow mule. The homosexual bars right here cater principally for males, however cool queer-friendly golf equipment embody Worm, Tech Noir and Now & Wow in Maassilo, a renovated grain silo inbuilt 1910. Look out for one-off LGBTQ+ occasions celebrating black ballroom tradition. Drag queens and kings carry out in lots of eating places and different venues throughout town.

The place to remain

Mainport (doubles from €115 room-only) is a design resort on the banks of the River Maas. There’s a terrace with views of the Erasmus Bridge and the outdated harbour, and on one other ground there’s a swimming pool overlooking the entire metropolis skyline.

The historic Lodge New York (doubles from €122 room-only) is within the former headquarters of the Holland-America Line, and has a great fish restaurant. I additionally advocate Bazaar (doubles from €85 B&B) on Witte de Withstraat: its characterful bedrooms are impressed by Asia and Africa.

Manuela Gonçalves Tavares is the chef-owner of Coco, which specialises in Caribbean, Surinamese and Cape Verdean delicacies (briefly closed however reopening quickly), and the plant-based Het Nieuwe Café

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