Said Belhadj (41) and his business partner Taam Karsdorp run PUHA on Voorstraat, a shop selling products made by budding young designers. He also compiled the PUHA shopping route, which takes you on a tour of the best shops in Utrecht and is available from PUHA. Some of the shops on the route are listed below, along with a few of Said’s favourite spots in town.


PUHA, Voorstraat 48

PUHA sells clothing and accessories for men and women, made by 50, mainly local, designers.

Klijs & Boon, Voorstraat 44

Shop that specialises in both outerwear and underwear for men and women, with a distinct Northern European identity.

SWORDFISH & FRIEND, Oudkerkhof 43

Record store slash living room with carefully selected vinyl, turntables, interior products, books, illustrations, and art.

Said’s personal favourites:

Old biscuit tins

‘A friend from Egypt stayed with me recently. I took her to the Museum voor het Kruideniersbedrijf (Grocer’s Museum), which she loved. The museum is hidden in a courtyard between Hoogt and Lange Jansstraat, and boasts a collection of old biscuit tins and traditional Dutch sweets. It’s a great place to wander around.’


‘I live near the water and we’ve got our own canoe. There’s nothing quite like taking the canoe onto the Kromme Nieuwegracht as dusk falls on a summer evening. At one particular point, this canal is so narrow that you imagine you’re paddling between the walls of a mediaeval city.’


‘For just € 10, Saowapa on Nicolaasstraat will serve you a Thai meal that’s prepared right in front of your eyes. The food here is delicious and the owner and his wife are the friendliest people you could hope to meet. Once you’ve been, you’ll definitely come back.’

Article by Lisette de Ronde

Check out Said’s favourites on a map below: