Brunch is hot right now. And we are not complaining! As of recently, Utrecht has seen various brunch-specialised spots popping up around town, and I selflessly volunteered to review them for you.
Here are 5 outstanding brunch spots in Utrecht.
Frenchie is here to cater for a very specific crowd with its rainbow/unicorn and highly Instagramable menu, and does a magical job delivering on its promise. It is decadent and it looks magical, unmistakably giving us a treat-yourself feeling.
This brunch spot in Utrecht has the basics covered; egg benedicts, pancakes, avo on toast, smoothie bowls. But when it comes to plating, they turn the volume way up. We couldn’t pay Frenchie a visit without trying out their signature ‘Unicorn Pancakes’ – a rainbow-colored stack, with pink-dyed white chocolate sauce and some fruits for a touch of healthy. We also got tempted by the acai-bowl, for a lighter but just as delicious ride. And finally, because the place really whispers you to treat yourself, we gave in to a side of truffle-parmesan fries, which friends strongly recommended to us.
Overall review? It is on the pricey side, but if you want to step up your brunch game for, say, a girls brunch date or just because sometimes all we need is rainbow cupcakes, then Frenchie is definitely the wow-factor on this list. www.frenchiecafe.nl
Anna Pancakes is a more relaxed and slightly less bedazzled brunch option, yet the menu and price point is pretty equivalent to above-mentioned Frenchie. Tucked on a side street by Vredenburg square, you will find a little plant-rich oasis contrasting with the surrounding busy shopping streets; Anna Pancakes.
As you might guess, the menu revolves around pancakes with various toppings, from sweet to savory, with the option to customize it as you please. But as any brunch spot calls for (in my biased opinion), the menu extends to egg dishes (benedict, poached on toast and so on), diverse smoothie bowls or even the magic words that caught my eye; avocado and halloumi on sourdough bread.
Similarly to many brunch spots in town, the price isn’t what I would qualify as very budget-friendly, but that halloumi was priceless in my cheese-loving eyes. The pancakes were equally to die for, and the owner made the whole experience a pleasure. Again, maybe more of an occasional destination, but definitely a must-try for the brunch-fanatics in town. www.annapancakes.nl
When it comes to cosy, yummy and unpretentious, HOOI holds a special place in my heart. I’m keen to think the reason it kept its “hidden treasure” status as long as it has is that it is slightly off-center. Located on Burgemeester Reigerstraat (in between the center and Wilhelmina Park), this rather small cafe is perfect for a cheeky little brunch or just to chill out for coffee or getting a bit of work done. They also have an outside terrace which is great for sunny days.
Again, they’ve got your brunch basics. The pancakes don’t have the wow factor some others in town do, but they wow you in their delicious simplicity. Alternatively, you can opt-in for the breakfast plank with croissants, eggs and the likes, or yogurt, granola and fruits, even overnight oats. That’s all a fair brunch game so far, but here’s the twist: Homemade. Scones. And. Jam. This is a brunch battle, but brunch isn’t all HOOI is good at. In fact, they advertise themselves as a “lunchroom”, so they’ll be serving you soups, delicious sandwiches, salads, and they are always creative soup and quiche of the month. To sum it up: if you’re looking for simple and homely, HOOI is worth the little detour and won’t drain your wallet in the process. Give it a go! www.hooiutrecht.nl
Don’t even get me started on the venue. Karibu’s dream jungle themed interior is a clear winner on the venue front. And don’t you worry, the food follows up on that dream trend. The menu has got what it takes to please brunch traditionalists and adventurers alike.
Yes, they’ve got the basic breakfast plates, eggs, toast, pancakes, granola (all amazing choices by the way). But they also serve some more unusual dishes; shakshuka, huevos rancheros, Vietnamese banh mi and the one menu item that tickled my halloumi-loving taste buds: shouf shouf habibi (grilled halloumi and eggplant, crunchy chickpeas, smashed cucumber, cherry tomatoes, coriander salsa & tahini dressing).
You might have to wait a tad for a table on weekends’ busiest hours, but nothing unreasonable, and trust us when we say it’s worth the hype. When the decor and food is on point, the word spreads fast. www.karibucafe.nl
Loaded with flavor, loaded with friendly vibes, loaded in value for money; in short Loaded is my brunch winner, and as a result I just can’t stop going back. Situated in the beginning of Amsterdamsestraatweg (i.e. center-side), this unassuming little spot ticks all the boxes, and usually won’t have you wait to get munching. It’s brunch, in all it’s best forms: eggs benny, avo on toast, smoothie bowls, pancakes… bacon. All absolutely delicious and without breaking the bank. And brunch is only the start of what Loaded’s got coming out of the hat; after 3pm, get the borrel bites coming with their loaded fries, kichmi fries (you read that right), loaded nachos, and other salivating snacks.
What’s new? Your own beer-tap table, where you get to help yourself to some beer, while munching on aforementioned sharing plates. Disclaimer, we haven’t tried this new addition yet, but we’re dying to. Overall, yes it is mouth-watering foods, from brunch to dinner, and at a decent price. But what really does it for me is the people. Loaded’s staff is the friendliest bunch, always there for a little banter or to help you pick one of the many hot sauces in their collection. But don’t just take my word for it, go get yourself a load of brunch and let us know if you agree. www.loadedutrecht.nl
In conclusion, Utrecht has a lot of amazing brunch spots, we have yet to try them all, but let’s start with these five, shall we?
Find out about our favourite lunch spots in Amsterdam West!
*Mathilde is one of our guest editors who lives in Utrecht. She was born in Geneva, Switzerland, and currently works in Amsterdam as a Field Marketing Executive. She’s going to keep us updated on what’s happening in Utrecht and it’s surroundings!