2 years ago the Folkingestraat became the most popular shopping street of The Netherlands and last year Czaar Peterstraat in Amsterdam got the most votes. This year Groningen won again: the Zwanestraat – Kromme Elleboog. Great isn’t it?! It proves once again Groningen has lots to offer, right? One of Janet’s friends mentioned she couldn’t find any info on our blog about the Zwanestraat. So we thought it was time to share our favourite addresses in this popular street.
Quite a few years ago in the Zwanestraat mostly expensive brands and shops opened their doors. At Kromme Elleboog there’s café Soestdijk. Café Kachel is located at the Zwanestraat. Both bars have been household names for years. Our city has really developed over the years: there’s more focus on fairtrade and local products for example. Also sustainable fashion finds its way into the stores. This happened in the shops in the Zwanestraat as well. And that makes us Stuffies 2 happy girls of course ;-).
Smooth Brothers, Zwanestraat
Smooth Brothers in the Zwanestraat is the first official smoothie bar in Groningen. They have just opened in Summer 2017 and only Anneloes has visited this new spot for lovely drinks and (breakfast) bowls. In Summer you can also sit on the patio in front of the cafe.
When you walk further down the street (coming from the Grote Markt), you’ll find Artishock on your left, right next to our favourite Greek restaurant in Groningen. Janet recently read on the window they are Fillipa K and BeckSöndergaard retailers. Both these Scandinavian brands are fair and sustainable. They have a huge scarf collection by BeckSöndergaard and lovely glitter socks. The collection by Filippa K is a bit pricey but a very good choice for basic clothes to invest in. You’ll have them as your favourites for years. Both ladies we spoke to in the store said they really check what brands they choose to buy for reselling and how clothes are made. Like they told us: “We will never sell clothes that were made by child labour.”
De Kaaskop, Zwanestraat
Feel like a snack? De Kaaskop (“The cheese head”) sells lots of different cheeses, nuts, dried fruits, chocolate and other ‘delicatessen’. Good to know for vegetarians: they actually sell vegetarian cheese (made with vegetarian rennet, and not with animal rennet).
Het Bakkerscafé, Zwanestraat
If you are hungry, Bakkerscafé is a good choice for a typical Dutch lunch with sliced bread. They have a pretty good choice in tapenades and spreads for veggies and vegans alike. If you are curious to read more, also check out our 2013 blog about this lunch hotspot.
Finished eating? Then you can do some shopping at Diezijner: it’s right across from the Bakkerscafé. It’s a clothing store and they also sell some other goodies like shampoo bars, cards and mugs. The clothes are part fair and sustainable with brands like Wunderwerk, Froy & Dind, People Tree). They work with local designers a lot and we love that.
At the end of the Zwanestraat you’ll find Simon Lévelt: a lovely (chain) store where you can choose from a range of coffees and teas to enjoy at home. For parents and soon to be parents: check out Musjes: children’s clothes and accessoiries. If you like a coffee break, do try the Beautyfabriek or Palazzo. We have not yet visited those two cafes, so let us know what you think of them!
By the way: the Nieuwe Oosterstraat in Leeuwarden came second in most fun shopping street of 2017. Yes, the far away northern part of The Netherlands is doing well, but that’s really no surprise to us ;-). Groningen is our favourite city and Leeuwarden is cultural capital of Europe 2018! Do you not visit the North very often? Maybe it’s time to plan a trip again. Get surprised by all the great things Groningen (and Leeuwarden) has to offer. Will you let us know, if you are around?