UU vs. Utrecht University of Applied Sciences

Where to find the best lunch at the Utrecht Science Park?

Hogeschool Utrecht or Utrecht University: where do you have a better lunch?
Hogeschool Utrecht or Utrecht University: where do you have a better lunch?
Video: Hilde Verweij/Trajectum

It's lunchtime and you're starving. Where do you go when it's so hot you don’t want to go outside? Sorry Broodje Ben, Mo & Zonen and Falafelman, we’ll be back once the temperature drops below 25 degrees Celsius again...

With the help of UU and HU students, we've made a comparison of indoor options at both institutions, evaluating criteria like price, taste, oddities and more.

UU's offer

 The biggest restaurant in the Utrecht Science Park, with several different food courts open during the day, allowing you to grab a sandwich or an affordable meal.

Madame Jeanette: The only restaurant in the southwest part of campus, which is attended by Veterinary Medicine students and visitors to the veterinary clinic. You can grab a tray and walk along the buffet to get the food and drinks you want.

Minnaert Café: The place to go for some freshly ground coffee. You can also order paninis and other lunch dishes, which are prepared for you in the kitchen. The space has an outdoor area that can be used when the weather allows it.

Vening Meinesz building: The building of the Faculty of Geosciences has its own restaurant, where you can find a range of lunch dishes.

Café Minnaert Foto: Kees Rutten

Minnaert Café. Photo: Kees Rutten

HU's offer

Located at Padualaan 97, this restaurant has large windows overlooking a field of grazing sheep and the viaduct over the A27 motorway. You can grab a tray and walk along the buffet to get your preferred food and drinks.

Foodcourt: If you like Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese food, you should head to the ground floor of the building at Padualaan 101. But the space also caters to those just looking for a cup of coffee, a grilled sandwich, or a piece of cake. They’ve recently added bubble tea to their menu.

MAMS: A coffee house on the ground floor of HU's building on Heidelberglaan, where you can get paninis and sandwiches.

MAMS Foto: Kees Rutten

MAMS. Photo: Kees Rutten

A matter of taste

Opinions vary when it comes to these lunch options. To some, the most important thing is not having to fight for a seat, while others prioritise healthy options. There are also many students to whom food must be inexpensive. Our poll on Instagram showed that, as a general rule, UU students are less satisfied with their lunch options than HU students. 

tevredenheid horeca UU
tevredenheid horeca HU

The first graph shows how satisfied UU students are with their lunch options. Of the 59 people who responded to DUB's Instagram poll, 40 percent said they are "not really" satisfied, while 31 percent are "not satisfied at all". 24 percent said they are "a bit" satisfied and only 5 percent are "really" satisfied. 

The second graph shows how the 38 HU students who answered Trajectum's poll feel about lunch at their university. Over half of respondents are "a bit" satisfied, while 20 percent are "not satisfied at all" and 16 percent are "not really" satisfied. Again, only a minority of students are actually happy with the lunch options on offer: 11 percent.

Asked to justify their answers, the students remarked:

Restaurants are not open often enough - 8 times
Too expensive - 7 times
Not enough spots - 5 times
Not enough vegan products - 2 times
There are options for people who are lactose-intolerant and gluten-intolerant, but none of them are warm.

Too expensive - 9 times
Not enough simple options - 3 times
Not enough spots - 2 times

In addition to the Instagram poll, we also asked the same questions around campus. There is one thing with which they and the students on Instagram definitely agree: it's too expensive to have lunch at the Utrecht Science Park!


A tip: Take a walk around an area you don't pass by every day (Albert Einstein used to swear by it). Having lunch somewhere different adds a little bit of adventure to your day. Besides, you will find a bunch of gems such as a meditation staircase, cute pets under the tables, a girl with jungle tattoos, and a nice man who welcomes everyone with two homemade soups.



Where to find it

Inconvenient staircase (meditation staircase).

HU. Kantine, at Padualaan 97

The only sustainable building on campus

HU. MAMS, at Heidelberglaan 15

The biggest architectural blunder on campus (a mouldy ditch instead of a sunny terrace)

HU. Food Court, at Padualaan 101

A shop where you can get free second-hand stuff, from keyboards to coffee machines

UU. Educatorium, at Leuvenlaan 19

Terrace by the water, with a relaxed atmosphere amongst people in white coats

UU. Canteen De Brink, at the Faculty of Medicine. Heidelberglaan 100 

 A restaurant that allows you to bring your pet

UU. Madame Jeanette , Yalelaan 34

Kantine De Brink Foto: Kees Rutten

Kantine De Brink. Photo: Kees Rutten


Fun facts:




Best-selling sandwich:

Educatorium: broodje gegrilde groenten met huhammara (4,40 euro)

Hoi Anh: vegan saté sandwic (5.25 euros)

Best-selling smoothie:

Educatorium: yoghurt, mango and other fruit (2.60 euros)

MAMS: mango pienapple smoothie (4.35 euros)


Kantine: two types a day (small: 1.50 euros /Large: 2.20 euros)

Kantine: two types a day (2.50 euros)

Most expensive coffee

Gütenberg: Capucinno with 3 shots (4 euros)


MAMS: XL Caramel Coffee with oatmilk (5.45 euros)

Most spacious spot

Educatorium (250 seats)

Kantine (84 seats. Padualaan 97)

Educatorium Foto: Kees Rutten

Educatorium. Photo: Kees Rutten


How far do you have to walk?
We all know we’re supposed to take 10,000 steps a day instead of sitting on our butts all day. But, in practice, most of us would rather have lunch as close to our laptops as possible, right? If that's you, you're better off working at HU because, in each one of HU's seven buildings, you can get at least a croissant. UU's employees have much less to choose from. UU has three restaurants and one coffee house with lunch options. Over the years, various canteens have been closed, so you have to step outside more often.

Organic and vegan options 
‘Meat tastes better than vegetables. I could not imagine life without meat,’ a student says in this video. This reflects a wider trend, actually: the Dutch have been consuming ever more and more meat despite the growing number of veggie burgers (could that have been the reason why HU secretly fumbled the bitter ball back into its offer?)

Although sustainability is high on the priority list of both institutions, not a single (!) indoor lunch spot is completely vegan yet. But if you look carefully, you will find mushroom croquettes and vegan chicken. As of September, there will be oat milk streaming from the coffee machines at HU and a quarter of the machines at UU.

Numbers? Booooring! Okay, then let us line up the most important numbers for you, thoroughly investigated.


UU's buildings at USP




Number of canteens:


Educatorium, Madame Jeanette, De Brink en Vening Meinesz gebouw


Padualaan 97

Number of indoor diners:




Hoi Anh at PL101

Number of mini SPAR supermarkets:


Koningsberger gebouw


Heidelberglaan 7

Number of posh coffee houses


Gütenberger, Café Minnaert


MAMS in HL15 and PL101

plattegrond lunchen op USP

Some prefer to eat surrounded by doctors while others prefer to do everything next to a barking dachshund. It's all a matter of taste, which is why we don't dare to draw a conclusion. As far as we’re concerned, we will be eating our lunch among all the white coats. You know, for safety's sake.