Rotterdam on fRiday – blog #6
Living in a modern and cosmopolitan city like Rotterdam is great and exciting. What I like most about my home town is the new creative projects that come up each year, from pop-up bars till elevated pedestrian bridges and even an adapted railway carriage which is turned into a vegan restaurant (Gare du Nord). Rotterdam has it all. These are my favourite spots you definitely have to visit at least once!
Mini Mall opened in September 2011, adding a new creative hotspot to Rotterdam. The former railway station at Hofplein which has been completely renovated, houses multiple unique shops selling vintage clothing, handmade accessories, comic books, art, furniture… You can also get your hair cut, enjoy jazz music and concerts at jazz club Bird (try their delicious meals) and enjoy some drinks at the terrace. The rooftop of Hofplein (Mini Mall) is still under construction. This public rooftop will soon host events en local initiatives. Furthermore, the rooftop will be provided with a green area so that people can organize picnics and enjoy a nice walk with a panoramic view on the city.
Address: Raampoortstraat 30 (Hofplein), Rotterdam
For those living in Rotterdam (or frequent visitors), you’ve probably spotted a peculiar wooden promenade across the city, extending from the area of central station to the Binnerotte and soon the northern part of Rotterdam. This wooden, elevated promenade is constructed to connect different urban areas in town, not only physically, but also on a social level. The pedestrian bridge looks fantastic and it adds a creative touch to the city.
My husband recently decided to support this initiative. He bought us two wooden boards (€ 25 euro each) with our name tags and thus supported the project with more or less 4000 cm² of material. The promenade is still under construction and will be finalized by the end of 2014. Read more>
Location: area of Central Station and Hofplein
Á La Plancha – pop-up fish restaurant
Á la Plancha is a pop-up fish restaurant in the open air, situated on a remnant of the former Willems bridge and overlooking the river Maas. The spectacular view on Rotterdam’s city center, the skyline and the river is stunning. The restaurant has an open kitchen where fish barbecue is prepared. This place is by far one of the best spots to enjoy Rotterdam’s waterfront while nipping from a glass of sangria, beer or wine. The restaurant is only open in summer time, so make sure to check their website for opening days/hours.
Address: Maaskade 74
Gare du Nord – vegan food served in an authentic train coach
I never tried vegan food before (plant-derived food so no animals or animal products) so when I heard about Gare du Nord, a vegan-organic restaurant where the chefs are inspired by world cuisine with a French touch, I decided I should overcome my scepticism and try the food for once and for all. You must know that my curiosity was already awaken when I read that the restaurant was housed in an old train wagon. The German coach dates back from the 1980’s and was used to transport passengers from Berlin to Leipzig. The whole interior is still intact yet a new kitchen has been installed in the front part of the coach. You can choose whether to eat inside the train or on the terrace (during summer), having a view on a garden from which herbs are used for cooking. The multi cultural neighbourhood adds a nice atmosphere to this place.
Address: Anthoniestraat 2, Rotterdam
Fenix Food Factory
Fenix Food Factory is a culinary market tucked inside an industrial warehouse in an upcoming quarter named Katendrecht. This is where 7 food entrepreneurs offer an authentic ‘food experience’ to the inhabitants of Rotterdam. Their love for food, their expertise in craftsmanship and the need for a change in the food industry (increasing demand for more natural, homemade products) brought these entrepreneurs together. Their dream came true to join forces and sell their artisan products under one roof, at the Fenixloods 2 (an old hangar) in Katendrecht. You should definitely try the brunch at Fenix Food Factory during the weekend: get yourself a wooden board for approximately €12,50 and walk along a bakery, butcher, cheese shop, vegetable and fruit stand, coffee corner and local brewery to collect your own brunch or lunch. You sure will love it! Read more >
Address: Veerlaan 19, Rotterdam
The famous swimming pool Tropicana which used to be one of Rotterdam’s city icons, closed its doors in 2010. Since there was no development plan for the location, some clever undertakers presented a plan to transform the swimming pools’ terrace in a pop-up bar. And there it is, Aloha Bar, for the second year in a row the summer bar has become one of the most popular spots in the city. It attracts students, families, young professionals and former visitors of the pool who want to revive the memories of their childhood. The terrace has a splendid view on the river Maas and Rotterdam’s skyline. Also, a new indoor bar with lounge area has recently been opened. The furniture which is mostly second hand gives the place a cool look. It’s funny to know that the actual swimming pool in the center of the building and the former changing rooms are being used to grow mushrooms (RotterZwam). The mushrooms are grown with coffee grounds from local restaurants.
Address: Maasboulevard 100
Would you like to read more about Rotterdam? Also read ‘Rotterdam, city of architecture’.
View this photo album with more photos of the city.