Zwolle tastes delicious. That’s what local performer Esther Groenenberg sang in 2008, the year Zwolle acquired the title Capital of Taste. A reward for the many excellent and exclusive restaurants and bars in the city. They each have their own taste and approach.
Zwolle also harbours three eminent entrepreneurs in the food & drink branch – Jordi Wientjes, Hans Borrel and Arjan Broekman. They each received an award from the Koninklijke Horeca Nederland (Royal Dutch Hospitality Association) respectively in 1995, 1998 and 2009. Amsterdam only has two members and Zwolle heads the list nationally! This is a major accomplishment for a relatively small city. Throughout the year you can enjoy many culinary experiences and in autumn Zwolle celebrates its annual three-day culinary festival (Zwolle Culinair), combined with a score of smaller events in town. To fully embrace the taste of Zwolle you simply have to come and visit.
Why not reserve a table in one of the many wonderful restaurants in Zwolle. You will be spoilt for choice – the menus are crowded with delicious local products. Besides, every restaurant boasts its own specialties. In Zwolle you can really shoot for the stars, since world famous chef Jonnie Boer owns a three and a two Michelin star restaurant in the inner city, called Librije and Librije’s Zusje (little sister) (opmerking: in de Nederlandse webtekst staat nog vermeld dat het Zusje 1 ster heeft). Boer has a preference for seasonal, regional produce.
Talk about the taste of Zwolle and you talk about products typical for Zwolle. There is a whole range, from Zwolle whisky, to Peperbus Cheese, Zwolle mustard, Zwolle Sweets and Bluefinger cookies. They can be purchased in delicatessen shops and at the VVV shop. Enter the Zwolse Balletjeshuis and you are back in time, in your grandmother’s sweet shop. Try the wine and distilled drinks shop Bartels, founded in 1834, to taste the Zwolle whisky or one of many Zwolle liqueurs. Then head for Van Orsouw Bakery where you will find the genuine Bluefinger cookies.
The City Bakery
Re-established in 2010. A true city bakery. When you enter the shop you will smell the delicious aromas of fresh bread and pastry. Its specialty is called Zwolsch Stadsbrood (Zwolle City Bread). The shape of the bread is derived from the star-shaped moat that encloses the inner city and it contains only traditional ingredients from the region. Other delicacies are desembrood (sourdough bread), speltbrood (spelt bread) and tartelette (small pastry).