The holidays are almost here, and if you’re anything like me then you’re in two minds. On the one hand, you are pumped! But on the other, a tiny twinge of panic is starting to sink in… maybe you promised to bring a spectacular dish to a party, or maybe you offered to host 20 people for Christmas or New Year’s dinner… If that’s you, then have no fear! I’ve scavenged the city and the internet to bring you: 30+ places to get all of your holiday food sorted.
Holiday grocery shopping in Utrecht
Note: I’ve divided this up into loose sections, but some of these places do of course offer more than just the thing I’m highlighting them for!
Ingredients for your dishes
Cooking from scratch? Here are my favorite places to go for fresh herbs, unusual spices, and hard-to-find ingredients.
My favorite place for fresh produce! Save money on herbs and spices by buying them here – you get larger quantities and pay less than the equivalent at a bigger grocery store.
Twijnstraat 63 & Kanaalstraat 82
This might seem like a no-brainer, but I couldn’t not include it! My tips: scope out all the stands first to identify the best deals, and lurk around about 30 minutes before closing time for even better prices.
Vredenburg | Wed & Fri 10.00 to 17.00, Sat 8.00 to 17.00, and last Sun before Christmas 11.00 to 17.00
Nieuw Slagmaat farm
Get your produce straight from the farm where it’s grown – how much fresher could it be? Make a day out of it: cycle on over to Bunnik, enjoy the lovely surroundings and pick up some fresh veggies – win, win, win. (Check out the Bread section of this list for another pit-stop to make on your trip.)
Marsdijk 5 (Bunnik)| website
Fri 10.00 to 18.00 & Sat 9.00 to 17.00
Toko Tjiau Jiang
If you’re on a budget but looking to jazz things up a bit, check out the freezer section here. I’ve yet to find a better deal on frozen shrimp! And of course, they’ve also got loads of other cool ingredients to play with – like bulk spices for all that mulled wine we’ll we making.
Achter Clarenburg 55 & Croeselaan 199-203
This is another great one to stock up on all the spices you’ll need this holiday season! And their freezer is also bursting with seafood and other fun things to try.
Amsterdamsestraatweg 297-301 | website
Serving up seafood? Visjes is a sustainable fishmonger, so you get the pleasure of both deliciously fresh fish and reduced environmental impact. Plus they do some excellent kibbeling…
Twijnstraat 24 | website
Poelier van Leeuwen
If you’re planning to go the traditional Christmas turkey route, then check out Poelier van Leeuwen – they specialize in poultry and game meats.
Biltstraat 88 & Amsterdamsestraatweg 308 | website
Slagerij de Molen
This butcher sells a large variety of organic meats, and the shop is located in an old windmill – what’s not to like?
Adelaarstraat 30A | website
For organic, sustainable, and still affordable groceries, check out Lindenhoff Marche. At the marche you can purge the best products from meat, fish, cheese to wine. At Lindenhoff you can buy everything you need for your three-course dinner at home. Lindenhoff is not located in Utrecht but it’s a short and gorgeous route to get there and you won’t be sorry. After shopping, you can enjoy coffee and cake in the lunchroom.
Rijksstraatweg 21 | website
Another good choice if you want to know that your produce is organic or if you need gluten-free goodies. Another perk: for the plant-based among us, EkoPlaza sells lots of grains and dried pulses (think mung beans or beluga lentils) that are otherwise super difficult to find!
Twijnstraat 46, Amsterdamsestraatweg 16 & Zadelstraat 16-18 | website
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: “duh”. But a word to vegetarians and vegans out there: Jumbo (at least the one on Biltstraat) actually has quite a large selection of mock meat products – larger than the ones I’ve seen in other stores in the center.
Biltstraat 74 | website
The best bakeries in Utrecht
Whether you’re planning to make a nice panzanella (toasted bread salad) or perhaps hosting a holiday brunch, you’re likely to need good-quality bread and other savory baked goods over the holidays.
Bond & Smolders
The place to be for tasty bread and lovely cakes! The line starts outside of the bakery, that’s how busy it can get. And during the holidays, its only gets longer. Put in your order beforehand, so you don’t have to wait in a long line. It will save you some time in the morning.
For hearty, crusty loaves of traditionally baked bread, head to Le Perron. They have a large variety to choose from, including spelt loaves and delicious sourdough.
Nachtegaalstraat 41 | website
This place only uses authentic types of wheat whose origins they know to ensure that they produce the highest-quality loaves.
Twijnstraat 34 & Nachtegaalstraat 54 | website
This is another lovely place to visit while you’re off on a wholesome cycling trip through Bunnik 😉 They’re a restaurant, but they also sell a variety of freshly baked artisanal loaves of bread (not to mention sweet treats!).
Achterdijk 1 (Bunnik) | website
Specialty Stores in Utrecht
What says party like cheese, am I right?! You’ll smell this place well before you see it, and that’s a good thing. They’ve got a tremendous selection of cheeses to whip up the perfect cheese plate or to use as an ingredient.
Oil & Vinegar
There’s tons to see here beyond the store’s namesakes, but I love to pop in for truffle oil, infused olive oils, white balsamico, and delicious kinds of vinegar. It’s amazing what an unusual vinegar (like rosé vinegar, for instance) can do for an otherwise simple salad dressing!
Lijnmarkt 8 | website
This wine shop right in the heart of the city boasts a fantastic collection of wines in a great range of prices – perfect for all needs and occasions.
Oudkerkhof 10 | website
Wijnhandel van Berkel
Besides specializing in wines, van Berkel also houses a large selection of hard liquors – think whisky, port, vodka, all that good stuff to really get the party going. Two of our Explore teammates swear by this place!
Groeneweg 80 | website
The walls here are literally lined with beer! And with specialty beers and lots of local picks too, you’re sure to find something to suit everyone’s fancy.
Twijnstraat 47 | website
Delicatesse & catering
If you’re not big on cooking, here are some places to check out for prepared food to serve this holiday season – whether it’s a whole meal or the makings of a great finger food spread!
Gastmaal Traiteur & Catering
Gastmaal is offering up lots of delicious Christmas meal options, like mushroom risotto, salmon en croute, crab bisque, and apricot-saffron mousse. Yes please!
Griftstraat 1 |website | review
If you like a bit of Mediterranean flair, check out Dado! They’re offering special dishes for Christmas, from steak in truffle sauce, to pickled pumpkin salad and Utrecht cheese soufflé.
Nachtegaalstraat 38 | website
Besides their usuall assortment of Italian goodies, Bigoli has put together some fun Christmas packages, like an antipasti package. And of course they’ve got that festive favourite: panettone!
Schoutenstraat 12 | website
Peek & van Beurden
Head here for freshly baked bread, olives, patés, tapas… all the goodies you could want with a drink in your hand.
Nachtegaalstraat 56 | website
Familie van Rijk
This gem on the Amsterdamsestraatweg is basically a one-stop shop for an awesome appetizer platter: olives, cured sausages, fine cheeses, aged balsamico… they’ve got it all, and then some!
Don’t feel like making dessert? Or maybe looking to give some sweet edible gifts this year? These shops have got you covered.
I could spend ages and a small fortune in here… My favourite treats are their macarons (go for salted caramel!) but everything else is delicious too. Plus they usually have cute seasonally themed goodies – who could resist that? Certainly not I.
Twijnstraat 7 | website
Banketbakkerij Theo Blom
This traditional bakery sells some of the more classic Dutch and Utrecht treats, like Domtorentjes (a chocolate bonbon with a creamy chocolate filling – need I say more?), but also a wide assortment of cakes and baked goodies.
Zadelstraat 23 |website
For aesthetically pleasing chocolate, Stach is a great contender. Their own brand of chocolate comes in tons of fun flavours (think stroopwafel or lemon poppy seed!), AND as a bonus, each bar is wrapped in beautiful paper. A win-win!
Twijnstraat 1, Choorstraat 42 & Bilstraat 59 | website
This is not only a great place to buy cookies, but also an awesome initiative – all sweet treats are freshly baked by people with intellectual disabilities.
Scoutenstraat 7 | website
For high-quality, traditionally made chocolate, check out Cacao. All their products are created right there in the store, and you can actually watch the process as it’s happening – quite cool!
Oudegracht 179 | website
Hop & Stork
This is another winner for all things chocolate. Their treats are delicious and so beautiful they could pass as art – perfect to end a dinner with a bit of a wow factor.
Lijnmarkt 1 | website
Header Photo: Daniel Versteegh