My obsession with food is serious. My favorite thing to experience is a food truck festival. The variety of food in one location makes my heart beat faster. I feel like Rotterdam is one large, artsy, fun, food truck festival. The amount of options there is unreal, I mean just looking at what could be delivered to our hotel (one of the first things I do when arriving) was overwhelming. This city was home for the weekend and one of the top local cities that I must visit again!
I left off for this vacation after a week of illness, still not feeling my best I was still excited to see what this city had in store. I knew a few things coming in, there was a market hall, amazing architecture and like most cities a large Church. All of the things that I look for when going to a city and most of them do not have a whole market hall but they at least have the market.
Our first stop was this AMAZING Market Hall. You cannot miss this thing, its massive. Entering you are greeted with an arrange of aromas and as you pass the stands, the options can make your head spin. There are so many things to try. I experienced tastings of spices, coconut pastries, cakes and much more. By the time we made our choice I was half full of small bites. That night I chose a Turkish pizza thing from Ekmekci. It reminded me of a burrito just flattened out and precut for you. I picked some items to stuff inside and paired it with some guac from a local store. That thing was magic and I’m sure will make it into my dreams. I added macaroons from De Patissier to the menu and grabbed a bubble tea lemonade from YO! And headed back to the room.
Our hotel was one of the only ones left when we went to purchase due to a Marathon in the city this weekend. We stayed at Novotel Rotterdam Brainpark. Located near a University it was a great location. A quick 5-10 minute walk to the metro and the metro was 4 stops from the city center. From our 12th floor window we could see a great view of the city. Maybe not Rotterdam city center but it was beautiful non-the less.
The next morning, we headed back in to the city and first stop was the market hall again. We sat down for a cappuccino and what was said to be pancakes and it was a crepe. Look I get that many many people love crepes. I am not one of those people. To me it is like tasting warm skin covered in your choice topping. Not a great start to my day but that’s no one’s fought but my own. It was a beautiful spot to have coffee and people watch before the start to a beautiful day.
We then headed over to what is now my absolute favorite church in Europe thus far. Grote of Saint Laurensherk. Not only is this church beautiful from the inside out it was full of what we will call character. You can tell that this church has recently gone through a remodel and whomever won the job decided to go with some very interesting concepts. First, there’s the library area. A bunch of books stacked floor to ceiling in glass cases. Glass cases that you cannot open. And while that may bother me because I feel for those poor books what was odd was the fact that these books were so random. There were traveling books, anatomy books, and my favorite the “book on the chain”. It reminded me of the book from Hocus Pocus and from there I was just a little confused. Then we were off to the closed cases. Now I didn’t get a lot of photos, which I hate, because I was just so in awe. Is awe the emotion? I don’t know but it was def memorable. Each case, about 8 in all, opened to something totally different. From dancing Hawaiian dolls to ascending Jesus, they covered a bit of everything. Then you move on to a mural that I couldn’t explain and even mirrors on walls. I don’t know what was going on, but it was the best 2 euro I have spent.
On Saturday outside of the hall they hold a market pretty much all day. I found some great finds there and some crazy ones. I love a good market and this one did not disappoint. It went on forever and had such a great variety.
For lunch we ate at Jamie Oliver’s Italian Kitchen. I had a burger with their ginger mango mojito and it was wonderful. It was great and your typical Italian place good food, good staff.
Dinner was at a Ramen place that was authentic, small and packed. I loved it.
Really, I love Rotterdam and am already looking for another excuse to go. It was the perfect spot for a getaway. Totally a city you can conquer in a day if you’re looking for a quick weekend away.