Have you been to most restaurants in Groningen already or are you looking for a completely different experience when it comes to having dinner? We have some personal tips here for you, for a more ‘alternative’ way to eat in Groningen!
1. Free café
The free café in Groningen was born from the initiative of Ivanka Annott. Her idea was to collect food that would otherwise be thrown away and use it to serve FREE delicious dinners to the people of Groningen.
The idea is simple but very effective and we could summarise it in more or less 3 steps:
Step 1: First people from the free café go to different locations to pick up the food (bread, vegetables, fruits) on cargo bikes. A fun experience!
Step 2: Many volunteers gather from 2pm and till 6pm (on Wednesdays and Sundays) to cook the food and display it. The kitchen buzzes with ideas and friendly people. Of course, anyone is very welcome to cook and your help will be very much appreciated!
Step 3: Eating and sharing time. At 6pm (on Wednesdays and Sundays), the kitchen opens its door to the public and people are encouraged to help themselves with amazing fresh goodies.
Verdict: What I really like about Free café is the concept. When you go there, you realise that all the food you see could have been thrown away: it’s a real wake up call. Also I find the ambiance very exotic: meeting new people and sharing food as well as ideas.
Informations: Free café has two different locations in Groningen, one at EdanZ and at BackBone050. For more information please refer to their website: https://freecafe.nl/bb050/
If on Wednesdays and Sundays you are too busy having a fun experience at the Free cafe, then on Thursdays you are more than welcome to come to P.S.
Situated right next to the Academy, Library and Harmony building, P.S. transforms itself every Thursday from 19:00 to 21:00 into the Cafe de las Lenguas.
Here you can come to practice and improve your foreign languages skills in a friendly and cozy environment. You can learn languages in a Carrousel format, different rounds meaning different languages.
Besides, you can practice it in pairs or small groups, several rounds of 20 minutes each. Feels like speed-dating? Well, you will make new acquaintances and friends with the same love for languages for sure.
If you feel homesick, you can shorten the distance to home by meeting people of the same culture or speaking the same language. You will hear not only German, French or Spanish, but definitely Chinese, Japanese or Turkish as well. The nice part is that you can just have a small talk with somebody in particular, not necessarily in a group.
Moreover, you can also be of great help to other people by helping non-native speakers to improve their speaking skills or giving them tips that only a native could know.
Do you want to speak that long-forgotten language that you learned years ago in high-school? Come to P.S. on Oude kijk in’t Jatstraat 24 where you can also enjoy a wide variety of hot drinks and a delicious piece of cake.
For more information make sure to visit: cafedelaslenguas.com or the Facebook page.
3. United Kitchen
The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach – or “liefde gaat door de maag” as the Dutch say. This holds true not only for humans but also for cultures, as the people from “United Kitchen” believe. Tasting a culture can be the perfect way to not only get in touch with it but also spark interest and fascination. As students, we mostly stick to the typical easy and cheap dishes – pasta, rice with vegetables and pizza. The multicultural dinners organised by United Kitchen offer an occasional way out, a usually rare “I’m gonna try something new today”. Once in two months, you get the opportunity to join in on a dinner, where you are served a three-course meal cooked by women with a multicultural background. Every time, the dishes are coming from a different cultural area. Last time, for example, we had an African dinner. The evening started off a fish soup from Guinea (after which I was already nearly full because I just could not stop eating the bread that came with it…), followed by delicious chicken and Fufu from Congo. The perfect closing to this evening then (for my stomach the literal straw that broke the camel’s back) was a desert from Guinea, which was some sweet sort of corn pudding (I was quite sceptical at first but then surprised by how yummy it was – well, I guess that is the spirit of such international dinners!). In between those courses, there were very insightful presentations given by the women themselves, telling us more about the food we just enjoyed and the culture from which it was coming. We listened to personal stories about home, about memories connected with this food or about how they preserve little aspects of their native culture in their new home, the Netherlands. In the end, it was not only about the food (which was indeed really, really tasty and satisfyingly filling) but about spending a super cosy evening with very interesting and diverse people.
To put it in a nutshell – if you want to try something new, taste a new culture, meet new people and, most importantly, eat amazing food (who can say no to this?!), make sure to keep an eye on United Kitchen’s facebook page to not miss out on the next dinner. The cherry on top of this cake is that you do not even have to wait two months for the next dinner to come – other organisations such as UNICEF or ESN also host such multicultural dinners every now and then. Just let Barilla, Dr. Oetker and Iglo be for a while and broaden your culinary horizon!
By Maéva, Mihaela and Charlotte K.