Today I learned that movie theaters are much more enjoyable if a bar is attached. We have the good fortune of living really close to KINO Rotterdam, a small movie theater/bar/hangout spot. Besides having really cool art movies and movie-themed dinner and a movie events, they also have an excellent bar attached. And you can bring your drinks from the bar into the movie with you! Continue reading “Drinking at the Movies: KINO Rotterdam”
THE way to get around in Rotterdam is using a bicycle. But I really needed a bicycle and didn’t want to invest a few hundred euros in something without doing my research. Enter Swapfiets. For a fixed monthly fee (15 euro a month), you get a pretty great bicycle delivered to your door. Even better is that if your bicycle breaks in any way, they will come and fix it for you (provided you stay within the bounds of your city of rental). Also, if it gets stolen, they will replace it for 40 euro (also a sweet deal I’m told since bicycles get stolen on the regular). So far, I’ve been extremely pleased with the service: my bicycle light ran out of batteries and they immediately replaced them. So if you need a good bicycle quickly without too much investment, definitely check out Swapfiets.
One nice thing about Europe is that it is densely populated so it’s quite easy to go on a weekend trip to a cool city. We decided to go to Ghent to see the Wintermarkt and just generally wander around. It was an excellent decision; Ghent is super beautiful and walkable and we really loved our time there.
I ended 2017 in my new home of Rotterdam and it was the perfect balance between relaxed and exciting. The lifting of the national ban on fireworks created a party atmosphere but it’s not extraordinarily crowded anywhere. We were able to decide 30 minutes before the national fireworks show to go watch it and get a good spot near the Erasmus bridge. I tried to capture this atmosphere below.
Everytime I told anyone I was moving to Rotterdam, they all told me to be prepared to eat terribly. While the number of different kinds of fried objects available here are a bit alarming, I’ve actually been eating great here. That’s due, in no small part, to the awesome grocery stores and specialty food stores in Rotterdam. Here are my favorite grocery stores that I’ve found so far in my few weeks here (map at the end of the post):
- Slagerij Schell: they have all different kinds of meats here (pork, chicken, lamb, beef). The prices are super reasonable and they stock a lot of things that you can’t find in a typical supermarket. We found pork shoulder (for pulled pork!), bacon (for life!), and real italian sausages. For my asians out there, they stock beef flank (transliterated as noks tijn) so you can make marinated beef or beef noodle soup!
- Amazing Oriental Supermarket: not sure I’m supposed to condone the use of the word “Oriental” but this supermarket indeed has an amazing number of Asian products. I go here for Shin ramen, dumpling ingredients, Lao Gan Ma chili oil, and green tea Kit Kats. They also have many different kinds of frozen goods as well as Asian vegetables.
- Schmidt Zeevis: this fish market is a bit far but they are ginormous and have a great selection of fresh seafood. They also have a great fish soup so you can have lunch here to boost your energy for the way back.
- De Kaashoeve: lest you think I spend all my time on West-Kruiskade, I also very much like this cheese shop on Oude Binneweg. The Dutch love their Gouda and there is an excellent selection here but they carry great international cheeses as well.
- Jordy’s Bakery: they make delicious crusty bread here and also olive oil (because you need something to dip the bread in, duh). You can also get your bread sliced here into thin or thick slices, which is a nice option.
- Marqt: this is like upscale Albert Heijn (see below). They have a really good selection of prepared foods as well as fish, cheese, and meats. I’m also a big fan of their beverage and pate section.
- Albert Heijn: The sheer number of Albert Heijn stores in Rotterdam makes it one of my favorites. I can literally have a desire for chips or peanut butter anywhere in Rotterdam and be a block away from satisfying that craving. They are also pretty well-organized and open until 10 pm every day except Sunday. Albert Heijns are not shown in the map because they are EVERYWHERE.
I’ll be living abroad for the first time ever and so will be changing the focus of this blog a bit. I’m currently finding it difficult to find blogs about food and yoga and general life in Rotterdam (probably because I can’t yet speak Dutch) so I decided to write my own. If you know of any good Rotterdam blogs, please let me know! In the meantime, I will be jotting down my thoughts and finds (food-related and otherwise) as I discover Rotterdam. I’ll, of course, still continue documenting the good things I find on my trips abroad.