Rotterdam shines in 2023 awards

Rotterdam shines in 2023 awards

ROTTERDAM, 5 March 2024 – Rotterdam's culinary scene shines as local delivery restaurants receive prestigious accolades. The city's passion for diverse and quality cuisine is celebrated.

Rotterdam delivery restaurants win big at awards

For the tenth consecutive year, has honoured the finest delivery restaurants across the Netherlands. The awards ceremony, held annually, recognises outstanding culinary contributions and customer service in the delivery sector.

In a distinguished event yesterday evening, chef London Loy announced the winners for Zuid-Holland. Among them, Rotterdam’s ‘Burgers & Frites’ stood out, securing the title of best delivery restaurant in Rotterdam for the second year in a row, in addition to claiming the national title. Other notable winners from Rotterdam included SNOEI, awarded for being the Best Healthy delivery restaurant, and Naansense, which took home the title of Best Gamechanger. Angelo’s Pizza was celebrated as the city's Best Pizzeria, highlighting Rotterdam’s rich and diverse food delivery scene.

Celebrating consumer appreciation

The awards this year saw an unprecedented level of participation, with over 105,000 votes cast by Dutch food enthusiasts. distributed 55 awards across various cities and categories nationwide, celebrating the platform's most valued restaurants for the tenth successive year.

Gijs Weterings, Director of, expressed gratitude for the platform's ability to connect a wide array of partners with a larger audience, helping them to grow their businesses. He noted the awards as a reflection of the hard work and dedication of these partners, as acknowledged and appreciated by consumers.

Owner of SNOEI, Naomi Snoei (second from the left), with her team from Rotterdam, holding the Award 2023 for Best Healthy Restaurant in the Netherlands. Photo credits: FitchdOwner of SNOEI, Naomi Snoei (second from the left), with her team from Rotterdam, holding the Award 2023 for Best Healthy Restaurant in the Netherlands. Photo credits: Fitchd

Awards highlight regional culinary excellence

The distribution of awards across Zuid-Holland reflected a wide appreciation for culinary diversity:

  • Best Restaurant Delft: Samara2GO
  • Best Restaurant Den Haag: Makkie
  • Best Restaurant Dordrecht: Pizzeria Fratelli
  • Best Restaurant Gouda: Pizza Spidi Gouda
  • Best Restaurant Leiden: Chinees en Indisch Restaurant PANDA
  • Best Restaurant Rotterdam: Burgers & Frites
  • Best Restaurant Schiedam: Jack’s Rippies
  • Best Restaurant Zoetermeer: Poke2Go Zoetermeer
  • Best Restaurant Alphen a/d Rijn: Sushi Alphen
  • Best Healthy Restaurant: SNOEI from Rotterdam
  • Best Burger Restaurant: Burger & Greekpoint from Vlaardingen
  • Best Breakfast Restaurant: Simit and Cheese from Rotterdam
  • Best Fast Food Restaurant: Atlantis from Spijkenisse

This comprehensive list showcases the exceptional range and quality of delivery options available to residents and visitors in Rotterdam and surrounding areas.

Groundbreaking wood construction of SAWA starts in Rotterdam

Groundbreaking wood construction of SAWA starts in Rotterdam

ROTTERDAM, 5 March 2024 – A groundbreaking step towards sustainable construction and future innovation has been made in Rotterdam with the commencement of the SAWA project. This initiative contributes to the city's skyline and sets new benchmarks in sustainability and biodiversity in urban development.

Milestone for SAWA

The official commencement of the circular wooden construction project SAWA in Rotterdam has been marked by the placement of its first wooden elements. On Monday, 4 March, Chantal Zeegers, the councillor for Climate, Building and Living, initiated the wooden construction phase by hoisting the first wooden beam onto the columns, in collaboration with the developers of the new building project, NICE Developers, and TBI company ERA Contour, alongside Mei architects and planners, wood partner Derix, and real estate investor Focus on Impact. This event signifies the beginning of what will be the first circular wooden residential building over 50 metres tall in Rotterdam, enhancing not only the city's skyline but also the standards for sustainability and biodiversity in urban developments.

Councillor Chantal Zeegers expressed her pride in the SAWA project, stating, “As a councillor of Rotterdam, I am proud of the SAWA project — a gem on the Lloydpier that breathes sustainability. This project is a game-changer: it contributes to CO2 reduction, utilises safe, quickly constructed, sustainable, and reusable wood, and sets a new standard for urban development. SAWA is proof that we can build sustainably, beautifully, and inclusively in Rotterdam.”

Jeroen Heijdra, CEO of ERA Contour, shared his enthusiasm about the beginning of the wood construction, noting, “We are delighted to see SAWA come to life with the start of the wood construction. This project represents not only our commitment to innovation in the construction sector but also our passion for creating a sustainable future for our cities and their inhabitants.” ERA Contour is responsible for both the co-development and construction of the SAWA project.

From left to right: Jeroen Heijdra (ERA Contour), Robert Winkel (NICE Developers + Mei architects and planners), Councillor Chantal Zeegers (municipality of Rotterdam), Freek Boeijen (Focus on Impact), Bianca Seekles (TBI), Mark Compeer (NICE Developers).From left to right: Jeroen Heijdra (ERA Contour), Robert Winkel (NICE Developers + Mei architects and planners), Councillor Chantal Zeegers (municipality of Rotterdam), Freek Boeijen (Focus on Impact), Bianca Seekles (TBI), Mark Compeer (NICE Developers).

Meeting and biodiversity

SAWA will be the first wooden residential building of over 50 meters in height in Rotterdam, enriching the city with 109 apartments, including 50 mid-rent dwellings, 20 free sector rental homes, and 39 owner-occupied homes. This mix of purchase and rental options makes living in SAWA accessible and affordable for a wide range of income groups. Besides the housing offer, the emphasis is on communal facilities to encourage encounters among residents and neighbours, fostering a vibrant community and preventing loneliness. The project's focus on greenery and biodiversity is unparalleled, with plans for 140 nesting boxes for birds and bats and 600 linear metres of permanent plant containers with over 20 carefully selected plant species in the facades and on the deck of SAWA. Thus, SAWA aims to contribute to an increase in biodiversity, particularly valuable in the largely stone urban environment of the Lloydkwartier.

Mark Compeer, developer and co-founder of NICE Developers, emphasised the significance of SAWA for the future: “With SAWA, we demonstrate that wood construction on this scale is not a utopia but a reality we create together. This moment marks not just a milestone in construction but also a crucial step towards a future where we store CO2 instead of emitting it. SAWA is not just a building; it is a symbol of change and the power of collaboration for a more sustainable world.”

Reducing CO2 emissions

Unique to SAWA is that the building is constructed entirely of CLT (cross-laminated timber) and Glulam (glued laminated timber), with minimal use of concrete. This innovation in construction allows for the application of dry ballast on the CLT floors instead of concrete, making the building completely dismantlable and thus circular. By using a large amount of wood, SAWA will store nearly 5,000 tonnes of CO2, contributing to national and international climate goals to reduce CO2 emissions. Additionally, the wood will provide a comfortable and healthy living environment for future residents.


SAWA is expected to be completed and open its doors to future residents at the beginning of 2025.

SAWA expert team

SAWA is being developed by NICE Developers and TBI company ERA Contour, with ERA Contour also responsible for the construction. Mei architects and planners serve as the architect, and Focus on Impact acts as the investor for the rental homes. An international team of experts, including Pieters Bouwtechniek, DERIX Group, Pirmin Jung, Adviesbureau Hamerlinck, DGMR, Aldus Bouwinnovatie, Peutz, Customised Construction Advice, Piet Vollaard, Bureau Stadsnatuur, and Copijn, is involved in the development, design, and execution of SAWA.

Directions to SAWA

Located in the Lloydkwartier, SAWA enriches a district known for its dynamic blend of residential, commercial, and cultural spaces. To reach this iconic new addition to Rotterdam's skyline, visitors can easily access the area via public transport or by car. The Lloydkwartier is well-connected, making SAWA accessible from various parts of the city and beyond.

Sustainable ports: Rotterdam leads trade mission to Brazil

Sustainable ports: Rotterdam leads trade mission to Brazil

ROTTERDAM, 1 March 2024 – A significant delegation from the Netherlands is set to embark on a trade mission to Brazil, focusing on sustainable harbour development and energy transition in a collaborative effort to foster Dutch-Brazilian relations.

Dutch-Brazilian collaboration under the spotlight

Led by Alderman Robert Simons, responsible for Port, Economy, Hospitality, and Governance, the delegation's visit is prompted by the Dutch-Brazilian cooperation within the Green Ports Partnership programme, initiated during the World Hydrogen Summit. The mission aims to support Dutch companies in exporting and investing in three specific Brazilian regions, highlighting port development and the transition to sustainable energy.

Trade mission with a diverse Dutch representation

Fourteen Dutch companies, including several from Rotterdam, are participating in the mission. These companies bring expertise in ports, logistics, innovation, and sustainability, valuable to Brazil as it progresses in energy transition. The agenda includes visiting the largest Latin American logistics fair, Intermodal in São Paulo, and tours of the Rio Grande and Pecém ports.

Alderman Simons expressed enthusiasm about leading the mission: "I look forward to guiding our Dutch companies this coming week. The journey is focused on strengthening our ties with Brazil and creating new trade opportunities, beneficial for our economy and the acceleration of the energy transition."

The mission, spanning from 2 to 9 March, is organized in collaboration with the Port of Rotterdam NV, Rotterdam Partners, the Dutch diplomatic network in Brazil, and RVO.

Rotterdam leads with updated social return goals

Rotterdam leads with updated social return goals

ROTTERDAM, 29 February 2024 – A revitalised approach to social return in Rotterdam aims to create more job opportunities for those distant from the labour market. The city's enhanced strategy seeks to double the number of recognised social enterprises and significantly increase engagement from major organisations.

Revamped social return approach in Rotterdam

The city of Rotterdam has initiated an intensified strategy on social return, aiming to significantly impact job opportunities and developmental possibilities for individuals distanced from the employment market. This strategy focuses on doubling the number of acknowledged social enterprises and the participation of large organisations in utilising their purchasing power for social impact.

Alderman Versnel (Work & Income) emphasised the importance of making employment accessible to all Rotterdam residents, including those with disabilities or those currently without a suitable employment position. “Social return is an excellent tool to accelerate this process,” Versnel stated, highlighting the ambitious goals set by the city's updated policy.

Ambitious goals and innovative directions

To amplify its impact, the municipality is expanding collaborations and aiming to double the count of so-called 'anchor organisations' from 10 to 20. These organisations, which wield significant purchasing power, range from hospitals and housing corporations to educational institutions and utility companies. The goal is a more than threefold increase in the social return value they generate, aiming for a growth scenario from 7 to 25 million euros in social return outcomes. Furthermore, the city intends to double the number of recognised entrepreneurs from 50 to 100.

Expanding possibilities for contractors

The broadening of this approach allows contractors more flexibility in fulfilling their social return commitments. Employers offering permanent contracts to encourage sustainable reintegration into the workforce are rewarded, and there is greater scope for customised and creative solutions. Concurrently, stricter enforcement ensures the complete realisation of social return obligations, emphasising the priority of jobseekers' opportunities.

Creative implementation examples

The Rotterdam-based marketing communication agency 0to9 exemplifies the open interpretation of social return by hiring individuals on benefits. This initiative not only assists these individuals in finding employment but also addresses broader issues such as financial problems, loneliness, education, and legal assistance.

Robert Jan, Director of 0to9, expressed satisfaction with the expanded options for fulfilling social return requirements, noting the challenges of offering job positions within a high-professional environment and the benefits of providing broader support through their program for Rotterdam's Douwers.

Leading by example

Rotterdam stands as a national frontrunner in social return, with the city achieving over 35 million euros in social return results in 2023, aiding 3000 individuals in finding employment. The city's ambitious goal is to reduce the number of residents on welfare benefits to 30,000 by the end of the current city council's term. This new approach to social return is pivotal in reaching this objective, complemented by active collaboration with the 15 municipalities in the Rijnmond labour market region and the adoption of updated regional social return policies.

Verra Makelaars expands with Hillegersberg branch

Verra Makelaars expands with Hillegersberg branch

ROTTERDAM, 29 February 2024 – Verra Makelaars, a prominent real estate company, embarks on a strategic expansion with the opening of its third office in Hillegersberg, underlining its commitment to enhancing services in Rotterdam's vibrant districts.

Verra Makelaars opens new office in Hillegersberg

On 1 March 2024, Verra Makelaars is set to open the doors of its new branch in the Rotterdam district of Hillegersberg, indicating a significant step in the company's expansion. Located on the picturesque Weissenbruchlaan, within the lively shopping area of Hillegersberg, the new office's strategic location is poised to efficiently cover an essential part of its service area. Its proximity to the International School in Hillegersberg, frequented by many of its (expat) clients, highlights the chosen location's strategic importance.

Martijn van der Laan, co-owner of Verra Makelaars, expressed, “This expansion is expected to strengthen our presence in the region, creating opportunities to widen our service offering in Rotterdam. It forms part of our continuous effort to expand our services, thereby fully supporting our clients from the initial to the final phase.”

The new office: a gateway to comprehensive real estate services

Originally established as a leasing agency for expatriates, over 15 years, Verra Makelaars has evolved into a distinguished real estate expert, catering to both rental and sales sectors. The opening of the new office signifies the company's approachability, inviting everyone for advice every Saturday. “Our aim is to broaden our knowledge dissemination to a larger audience, responding to the extensive inquiries about the rapidly changing real estate market. Anyone seeking substantial advice or just wishing for a friendly conversation over a cup of coffee is warmly welcomed,” mentioned Niek Verra, co-owner.

Tackling challenges in the real estate market

Through sharing insights via lectures and knowledge sessions, Verra Makelaars aims not only to assist its clients in making well-informed decisions but also to educate a wider community about the real estate sector's challenges. “We believe that the current challenges in the real estate market can only be addressed through constructive cooperation between politics, real estate investors, and professionals. Maintaining open communication, sharing knowledge, and working collectively are crucial for substantive change,” Niek Verra added.

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