A weekend in… Eindhoven (NL)

To be fair, we didn’t go to Eindhoven for a particularly foodie weekend. As well as visiting friends, we made the short (and cheap!) trip across to the Netherlands for Eindhoven’s festival of light and architecture; GLOW.

Eindhoven is a lovely small city, with a really vibrant cultural scene… On this occasion, however, we didn’t find all that many foodie gems (especially not for a vegetarian), but there are a few places worth pointing out, and we would definitely recommend Eindhoven if you’re ever looking for a short breakaway.

My first Dutch food experience on this occasion was from one of the automatic food machines, which seemed to be all over town. The concept is quite simple… They are little heated boxes attached to kebab/chip shops of various shapes and sizes where you don’t even have to interact with the shop keeper. Pop your money in, open the box and you can pick up a sausage, something resembling a cheese pasty (the famous Kaassouflé) or even a hamburger. I wouldn’t particularly recommend it as a culinary experience, but they are kind of fun and made me feel like I was eating food from the future – which went well with the whole experience of the town during the GLOW festival.

No food-from-the-future was on offer from the many trucks around in the evenings during the festival; and while the veggie options were on the slim side, I think it would have seemed like a fair selection of ‘festival’ food to most meat eaters.

As we wondered around the town to find somewhere to eat on Friday, we came across a place which had a really long queue outside (in the freezing cold, it was probably around -1C at that point, at least!) to get a table. We didn’t get to experience it ourselves until Sunday lunchtime, but it did turn out to be our best food experience to get a main course, so I guess if this was a “top” kind of job, it’d probably be number 1. As the places I’d like to recommend are all very different, I won’t bother with numbers, but rather provide you with a selection of highlights!

Happy Italy offers a brilliant selection of excellent pizzas, the service is fast (if a little impersonal) and by Dutch standards, the place is super cheap, particularly given the quality the food.

Located close to the Design Academy, and as its name suggest in a former warehouse, Usine claims (in French!) to be the ‘biggest cafe in the world’. Their tea and coffee selection was excellent, and their breakfast and lunch menus beat by far anything else we saw in the city. The large, open space of the cafe makes it a comfortable place whether you’re enjoying a break from tourist visits or want to take advantage of the free wifi to do a spot of work.

Van Moll has you covered for all your beer needs as it offers an impressively large selection of international options, as well as its own home brews. A must visit for beer lovers! I enjoyed Kriek’s sour Cherry Lambic Mariage Parfait which I hadn’t seen on a pub menu in years and will likely be writing about as a puzzle myself over what food pairings would work with it!

Located in yet another former warehouse in the trendy cultural quarter of Strijp S Intelligentia Ice offers an amazing selection of artisanal ice creams and sweet treats. We enjoyed a 9 flavour taster session which included cherry & red wine, rhubarb & fennel, chocolate & olive oil among others and it was an absolute treat.

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If you make it over to Eindhoven as a visitor, do try these places and let us know about the ones we missed out on. If you’re local, tell us where to go next!

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