It might be a bit of cliché but as the French say “Mangez bien, riez souvent, aimez beaucoup” and honestly I can only agree. This popular French saying roughly means “Eat well, laugh often, love abundantly” and this is the perfect summary of my romantic night out at Danel. The Parisian interior in combination with the always lovely French cuisine were the perfect ingredients for our (late) Valentine’s dinner.  

Every Utrechter knows TivoliVredenburg. This iconic building right in the middle of Vredenburg, Hoog Catharijne and Utrecht Central Station can simply not be missed. You probably have visited it at least once for a concert, reading or a party but did you know it also hosts the French orientated restaurant Danel? Well luckily now you do because this restaurant is definitely a must visit for everyone living in or visiting Utrecht. The menu is a combination of many dishes that you can easily mix and match with each other. This makes the restaurant also perfect for bigger groups. My boyfriend and I decided to visit Danel for our late Valentine’s dinner and we both agreed that this was a very good choice.

We started off with a glass of bubbles which came with water and bread from the house. Our friendly host explained their extensive menu and then the fun part began: choosing multiple dishes from this amazing menu. Seriously if you want to get in the mood for a holiday to France then this is really the place where you want to be! In the first round we picked typical French dishes like escargots, potato gratin, entrecote and house smoked salmon with bearnaise sauce. My boyfriend really loved the entrecote (guys and meat right? ;)) and also the escargots. Our second round we tried 2 different types of oysters, fennel salad, sea bass and French fries. What we both loved about this concept is that it is really inviting to taste many flavours and share the dishes.


And last but definitely not least: time for dessert! It was seriously hard to decide because even the dessert part of the menu is so big. What’s very nice is that they divided the menu in everything that France has to offer: la mer, la campagne, les montagnes, la ville and of course la desserts. It made it easier for us to mix and match the dishes. Danel is a great restaurant if you are a fan of the French cuisine (and if you haven’t decided yet you must try it out!). 


  • Delicious French food: it really is an ode to the French cuisine
  • Romantic atmosphere and interior
  • Good and central location


  • It can be very busy in the restaurant when there is a concert in TivoliVredenburg
  • Very friendly but sometimes a bit chaotic staff

Have you met..Maaike? Maaike is a 20 something year old Utrecht based master student in Amsterdam. After some time as a content marketeer she decided to take the plunge, so since January 2017 she’s back to being a fulltime student with a parttime job. But even with a tight budget Utrecht is just as much enjoyable! This busy bee is always on the move and has a nose for cheap but nice places to visit in Utrecht. Follow her posts by searching #maaikeinutrecht or check out her personal Instagram with tips for all over the Netherlands

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