World of Food Celebrates Local Communities in Amsterdam
The Netherlands is home of many compelling food halls. I already had the opportunity to share my opinion on this blog about Food Hallen in Amsterdam and Fenix Food Factory in Rotterdam, both former industrial buildings now turned into sought-after urban food temples.
Today, let’s head to Bijlmer, a quite underprivileged cross-cultural neighborhood of Amsterdam, to explore World of Food, an ethnic food hall installed in a former car park. Not really an ideal tourist destination but the go-to dining place for local communities in search for delicious authentic treats.
What strikes first is the pretty hostile environment around the place. Installed by highways and massive apartment blocks built in the 1970’s, World of Food cannot be considered as a glamorous destination. Far from. A soul-less Mc Donald’s restaurant, that was already part of the building before it was turned into a food hall, is still welcoming hundreds of visitors every day.
The unexpected food hall project has been designed by savvy Dutch real-estate developer Lingotto which has a comprehensive track record in urban renewal projects. Here, Lingotto has brought a line-up of 25 independent food entrepreneurs without high capital requirements in order to offer affordable rents and, ultimately, generate a decent profit for everyone.
And since the 3,000 sq m food hall opened a few years ago, World of Food has proved to be relevant for the local communities. Despite the lack of comfort, the vast array of food made on the spot by engaged entrepreneurs makes the place really special and truly authentic. Food specialties from former Dutch colonies such as Curaçao, Surinam and Indonesia alongside with Indian, Turkish, Vietnamese or Armenian kitchens are literally bringing the world to your plate.
Since the plates are generous and tasty, they are not sold at a discounted price. Count between €7,5 to €13 euros for a main dish.
World of Food has multiple positive impacts on the local community. It actually brings people together in former derelict premises where local entrepreneurs have the opportunity to grow their own business. A virtuous recipe that should inspire urban developers in Europe.