Maastricht… Dutch capital of Gourmandise

July 10th, 2011 § 5 comments

It’s been a while since I’ve been willing to share with you my crush for the epicurean city.

Maastricht, with its eternal ‘Joie de vivre’ and its oozing Gourmandise will always have a special place in my heart… It’s a city of passion, and incidentally, the place where I met my dutchie for the first time.

Since, every single time, I fall in love with Maastricht…

In december when people are running around with their frozen noses in the lightened up city, interrupting their Christmas shopping for a minute to warm up with a deliciously warm Luikse Wafel (waffle from Lieges), so sweet and buttery. At carnaval when Maastricht is more than ever crazy party-monster ‘Meestrech’ that never sleeps! In the spring and summer when the terrasses flourish on every square, buzzing with people happily enjoying a couple of beers while babbling in the sun or washing down a bunch of local asparagus with a glass of Apostelhoeve (one of the local wineries)

And the food…

The food is good! with that particular taste that only fresh ingredients prepared with love and care may have… from hip, trendy and starred (no less than 6 michelin star restaurants around!) to homy and hearty with local specialties such as zuurvlees (beef-stew), rabbit, asparagus or the ultimate treat for the local sweet-tooth, the Limburger vlaai (local fruit tart).

Carnet d’adresses:

~ Right Bank: The Wyck and Ceramique
~ Left Bank: Onze Lieve Vrouweplein and Sint Pieterstraat
~ Culinary events
~ Tourist Information

Right Bank: The Wyck and Ceramique

I always like to begin my pilgrimage of Maastricht on the right bank of the river Maas (on the left in the picture), in the the Wyck, the neighborhood where Dutchie use to live when I met him. Can’t help getting sentimental around there, and hungry too! the cold sunday mornings when woken up by the parades in preparation for the carnaval, we would sneak out to the patisserie Royale for some breakfast treats or head to the large square of the Ceramique district for a cappucino and a toastie at the Coffeelovers. Our romantic dinners in the small restaurants of the Rechtstraat (and in particular, Le Courage). The atmosphere there is amazing, with cute boutique hotels, cool bars, mini restaurants, antique and delicatessen shops…

Ruiterij 2, 6221 EW Maastricht
Phone. +31 (0)43 356 19 44
Open. mon-fri 8-18 / sat-sun 10-19

On the large square of the Ceramique district. Great coffee from their old sister Blanche Dael (since 1878) [You can apparently also visit the roastery on wolfstraat]. Perfect to pack up some energy before a culinary shopping tour!

Le Salonard
Rechtstraat 84, 6211HV Maastricht
Phone. +31 (0)43 351 0525
Open. tue-sat 9-18

Ali baba’s bread cavern: amazing organic bread and all that goes with it.. cheese, charcuterie, jams, wines and some tasty pastries too. All that with a smile. Soooo worth the queue! I particularly loved the homemade lemon marshmallows which reminded me of the guimauve of my childhood…

Rechtstraat 65a, 6221 EH Maastricht
Phone. +31 (0)43 323 3302
Open. tue-fri 10-17.30 / sat 10-17

nice selection of kitchen equipment, just opposite Le Salonard

‘t Rommedoeke
Wycker Brugstraat 43, 6221EB Maastricht
Phone. +31 (0)43 343 0308

Cheese and more cheese, and nuts and more… THE place for local cheeses from Limburg such as the red crusted monk cheese Rommedoe or the stinky square Le Herve du Vieux Moulin from belgium. This shop used to be my dutchie’s nightmare when he used to live a couple of doors away. The man cannot stand the idea of cheese… he had to endure the smell (I was in heaven!)

Patisserie Royale
Wycker Brugstraat 13, 6221 EA Maastricht
Phone. +31 (0)43 321 5026
Open. mon 10-18 / tue-fri 8.30-18 / sat 7.30-17 / sun 9.30 – 14

Tasty Limburger pastry since 1929

Left Bank: Onze Lieve Vrouweplein and Sint Pieterstraat

This square awakes in me the nostalgia for France. It feels like the center square of a village in Provence on a summer evening under the shade of the century old trees. When I close my eyes, I could almost hear the ‘cigales’ and the petanque players. That’s where I use to come for a breath during my shopping marathons, or for a romantic summer evening drink with dutchie.

Koestraat 9, 6211 HR Maastricht
Phone. +31 (0)43 311 3246
Open. tue-sat 10-18 / sun 12-18

Tea- coffee- and home- shop as well as tea room.
Lovely tea from Kusmi and The-O-Dor.

Mill and bakery the Bisschopsmolen
Stenenbrug 1-3, 6211 HP Maastricht
Phone. +31 (0)43 327 0613
Open. tue-sat 9.30-18 / sun 11-17

The mill just a few steps away from the ‘Onse Lieve Vrouweplein’ dates back to the 7 cemtury. The production is used for the bakery which specialised in vlaai (of course!) and for the spelt that is used by Jupiler to produce a special type of the Korenwolf bier. The vlaai assortment looked very appetizing and since I needed a rest, I tried their coffeee place… Unfortunately, I gave up after more than 15 minutes and many attempts to catch up the attention of one of the many waiters. Had I known I’d have headed straight to the take away bakery! I did visit the mill though: Impressive!

Limburgse vlaai

Adriaan the Smaakmaker
St. Pieterstraat 36, 6211 JN Maastricht
Phone. +31 (0)43 32 58 865
Open. tue-fri 10-18 / sat 10-17

Not to be missed: Adriaan the 3rd is the british James working together with his wife Angeliek. They are famous for their jams, mosterds, chutneys and relishes prepared lovingly in their small atelier in the shop, with local ingredients (except for the marmelade… If you have a bit of time: ask him how he gets his sevilla oranges 😉 ). We loved the very british apple and mint jam and the more exotic passionfruit apricot jam!

Culinary events

Maastricht aan Tafel
Where: restaurants through the city
Dates: 1 to 14 August 2011

Restaurants will be serving delicious three course meals for € 25.20.

Dates: 25 to 28 August 2011
Where: Vrijthof

Get a real taste of Maastricht gourmandise during the 30th edition of this culinary tasting festival organised yearly on the main square of the city.

Gastronomy week 2012
Dates: jan/feb 2012
Where: MECC, Maastricht

The European Fine Food Fair (EFFF) and the BBB for culinary professionals
from northwest Europe takes place in Maastricht.

Tourist Information

Maastricht Tourist Office
Languages: Nl, En, Fr, Span, Ger, Port, It, Rus.

A mine of information, well organised and user-friendly! I just found out that they ‘ve also published a free iphone/ipad app (downloading it for a test run as we speak)… and finally they also propose a culinary route.

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