Our last day in Utrecht deserved a good lunch before heading off to Amsterdam. So where else do you go but the #1 restaurant of TripAdvisor? With raving reviews and the price range between 2-7 euros we definitely could not say no to De Keuken Van Thijs.
After surviving on a diet of cheese, bread, wine and eclairs for the entire year, it was definitely time to detox with actual vegetables and organic produce. Van Thijs is a hotspot for the young, hip crowd of Utrecht (basically everyone in the Netherlands) looking to maintain their already banging bods with a range of healthy sandwiches, salads and soups. Back in Sydney, the streets are littered with this type of café, but here in Europe, Van Thijs is as rare as finding a kangaroo. We knew we had to savour it before our upcoming trip to Paris, filled with Eclair de Genie and steak bearnaise.
The café itself is very inviting, with a bench at the front for people-watching and a few small tables both inside and outside. Being only 4 degrees outside, we opted to sit inside to save our fingers and toes from frostbite. Now this is where it gets good. Not only were the waitresses extremely apologetic for making us wait 10 minutes for a table, they gave us a round of coffees on the house for the inconvenience (what is this magical land?). After devouring the delicious coffees accompanied by complimentary plak kruidenkoek (homemade gingerbread cake), we tackled the lunch menu, conveniently all in Dutch…
Most of us opted for the specialty, being the Club Sandwich Thijs (5,95 euros). Instead of your usual chicken breast, Van Thijs recreates the classic club sandwich with thinly sliced rib-eye that immediately melts in your mouth. This was accompanied by an unidentifiable cheese, lettuce and truffle mayonnaise. Who doesn’t love a sneaky truffle?
The goat cheese, walnut and honey panini (Geitenkaas-4,95 euros) was also ordered, although unfortunately I was too slow to try it. Those who did, raved about it and as you can see, they put basically a whole goat-worth of cheese in there. To finish off a great lunch we couldn’t help but order more of the plak kruidenkoek (1,00 euro), after the waitress explained it was the owner’s grandma’s recipe. Who could say no to that?
Lets just say Van Thijs definitely earned its #1 status, with great tasting food, cheap prices and beyond excellent service. I will definitely be back next time in Utrecht. Lets just hope I can fit in with a banging bod next time. X
De Keuken Van Thijs
Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30am-4:30pm, Saturday to Sunday 10am-4:30pm