01 of 06
Food Shopping with a Helping of History
Merchants from a powerful league of Hanseatic cities controlled all trade in Europe between the 12th and 16th centuries. The Hanseatic League was made up of 205 European cities, including Lübeck, Hamburg, Bruges, Antwerp, London, Tallinn, Bremen, Bordeaux and 19 Dutch towns and cities, including Groningen.
Situated in the Der A-Kerk church, Het Hanze Huis (A-kerkhof 2) still trades in the same way as the old Hanseatic merchants and town leagues and uses the former hanseatic cities of Europe as its source of suppliers. Moreover, Het Hanze Huis imports only fine foods from companies that were founded over 100 years ago. Brands include Canisius Henssen Limburgian appelstroop, Van Vliet's stroopwafels, Gränna candy canes, Maison Guiot syrups, Klar Seifen soap, Annaberg Porcelain and a variety of other Dutch and European products including candy, mustard, olive oil, honey, coffee, cookies and preserves. A must-see!Continue to 2 of 6 below.
02 of 06
Best Cheese Shops in Groningen
Kaashandel Van Der Leij (Oosterstraat 61-63) is known as one of the best cheese shops in the Netherlands, with over 400 varieties of cheese from around the world, including many Dutch and regional cheeses. Try the local Machedoux goat's cheese and day-fresh buffalo milk mozzarella and ricotta, made in the region.
De Kaaskop (Zwanestraat 24) places an emphasis on local, with a respectable selection of Dutch cheeses, including several varieties of artisanal boerenkaas - many of which can be tasted in the shop - as well as nuts, olives, dairy, wine, cider and beer. We recommend the brokkelkaas, a nutty Gouda, ripened to the point of crumbling, with crispy salt crystals dotted throughout.Continue to 3 of 6 below.
03 of 06
Where to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in Groningen
Bonbon Atelier Luca (Grote Kromme Elleboog 12) makes its artisanal chocolates and truffles using only natural ingredients, with bonbons flavors such as lemongrass, caramel, and passion fruit.
For candy cravings, we recommend Droppie (A-straat 7), which offers a selection of traditional Dutch candy, beautifully displayed in old-fashioned apothecary jars.
Or, for something truly local, try Groninger koek, a type of ontbijtkoek made with rye and syrup. Variations on this breakfast cake include Groninger koek with nuts, anise or ginger. You'll find this local delicacy at Knol's Koek (154 Gedempte Zuiderdiep).Continue to 4 of 6 below.
04 of 06
Best Coffee Spots in Groningen
Independent coffee specialist and ''Groningen's first artisan espressobar'' Black & Bloom delivers decent espresso-based drinks (the flat whites are particularly good), various filter coffees and interesting cold brews ( the ginger and mint comes highly recommended). There's also a selection of homemade cakes,
Doppio Espresso (Brugstraat 6) is a ''guarantee for quality'' according to the Algemeen Dagblad and this particular branch even won the Dutch newspaper's annual coffee tasting competition back in 2008. The coffee here is, indeed, very good, but the people watching on bustling Brugstraat is even better.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Best Delicatessens, Gourmet Food Shops & Must-Visit Food Stores in Groningen
Opgeweckt (Astraat 16), which claims to be the ''first packaging-free shop in the Netherlands'', offers a selection of regionally sourced, organic produce, preserves, juices, legumes, grains and more. Simply bring your own jars and help yourself from the store's dispensers. Sustainability at its most delicious!
Leuk & Lekker (Grote Kromme Elleboog 8) stocks an eclectic range of products from as far and wide as Britain (lemon curd), Croatia (fig jam) and South Africa (biltong). Living up to its name, i.e. "nice and delicious", the offering includes dozens of vinegars and olive oils and various tapenades, preserves, cosy ceramics and olive wood bowls.
Situated on Vismarkt 34, Basarz delicatessen stocks delicacies from the Med, such as pastas, olives, charcuterie, cheese and wine. For fresh fish, flowers, fruit, cheese, vegetables and spices head to the adjacent Vismarkt/Grote Markt outdoor market.
Le Souk (Folkingestraat 21) is the place to go for North African spices, produce and supplies. They also stock many Turkish and Middle Eastern products, and locals tell us that the baklava is to die for.Continue to 6 of 6 below.
06 of 06
Where to Head for Homewares in Groningen
Your first stop for quality kitchen kit has to be Kamphuis (Brugstraat 34). Whether you're in the market for a wooden spoon, espresso machine or a new oven, chances are they'll have what you're looking for. Brands include Wusthof, Gaggia, Boretti, Kitchenaid and Le Creuset.
Woon-zooi (Zwanestraat 4) is a favorite for gourmet specialities (Nicholas Vahe!), glassware, ceramics, and various other homewares.
Tafelgoud (Oude Boteringestraat 7) sells posh tableware by Dibbern, Deshouliers, Gien, Raynaud, Rosenthal, Rorstrand and Furstenburg as well as cutlery by Auerhahn, Pott, Robbe & Berking and Keltum and beautiful table linens by Le Jacquard Francais and Deco Pur.