Vlaai in Maastricht

Last Updated: October 3, 2023

Gerrit Vandenberg

Gerrit shares his love for the Netherlands from his home near Amsterdam, helping thousands plan unforgettable trips to the lowlands. Discover his inspiring journey "From a critical health scare to celebrating Holland's charms". If you want to send Gerrit a quick message, you can contact him here.

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Hi, I'm Gerrit

I enjoy sharing useful tips about the beauty of this county.

Are you looking for the best places to try the traditional local pie called Vlaai in Maastricht, Limburg?

I’m glad you are because, in this article, I will share the best places to get your hands on a yummy slice of Limburgse Vlaai in Maastricht.

If you’re in a hurry here is my list of 5 fantastic bakeries that serve the best Vlaai:

  • Bakkerij Mathieu Hermans
  • Patisserie Peter Lemmens
  • De Bisschopsmolen
  • Patisserie Royale
  • Bakkerij Paulissen

Some of the best are outside of the city center. That is why – later in this post – I also share 6 cafés that serve Vlaai from the top two bakeries mentioned above where you can get pies from these bakeries in the heart of the city.

PS: Maastricht is more than a city to get pie. The city is located as far south as you can go in the Netherlands in the province of Limburg. It borders right with Belgium, and Germany is also very close.

(You can actually visit the point where these three countries join in Vaals at the Three Country Point.)

I love visiting Maastricht regularly myself. It feels like taking a mini vacation, the atmosphere is so different, there are hills, the weather is better, and the city feels a tad French, it’s gorgeous. And every time I am there I will go for a slice of Vlaai (most likely two…)

Today people from around the Netherlands travel south for this pie alone. Yes, there are spin-offs throughout the Netherlands, but none are as good as the original. And its fame goes beyond our borders, you’re reading this post too right?

PS: Vlaai is a traditional pie for this region, it is not contained to land borders. Bakeries from this area – both in The Netherlands and Belgium – strive for their best Vlaai pie. Across the border in Belgium, the emphasis is more on the rice pudding versions, while in Holland, the focus is more on the many fruit varieties.

If you’re interested: here are 50 Dutch foods to try when you’re visiting.

This traditional Dutch sweet pie is available in so many (delicious 😋) flavors but all are based on a thin layer of dough filled with fillings.

Like many different varieties of fruit (strawberries, apple, pear, or cherries), rice pudding, almond paste, or creamy custard. The fruit versions are more tangy than the others.

But of course, you want to know where to get the best.

Well, I have tried every single bakery myself. I combined my experience with local opinions to give you a list of the best places to try Vlaai in Maastricht:

PS: you can’t just eat Vlaai while in Maastricht. Here is my list of 30 of the best things to do in Maastricht.

Delicious vlaai in Maastricht here displayed at patisserie Peter Lemmens.
Delicious Vlaai in Maastricht at patisserie Peter Lemmens – © Hidden Holland

5 Best Bakeries to get Vlaai in Maastricht

In Maastricht, six bakeries are always topping the list of best Vlaai around the city. One did not survive the pandemic, but five are still serving these delicious pies every day of the week. And they are still baked following old local recipes.

All of the bakeries in this list are fantastic; you can’t go wrong with any of them, but I have a slight personal preference so I will list them in that order.

PS: Yes, you can get Vlaai in Amsterdam. But nothing beats getting the original in Maastricht. For locals, the pie is something that is eaten during celebrations, significant life events, and for many a treat during the weekend. But for me personally, every time I visit Maastricht is a significant life event enough to get my hands on some pie.

1. Bakkerij Mathieu Hermans

Me enjoying some wonderful creamy pudding vlaai.
Me enjoying creamy pudding Vlaai at Mathieu Hermans – © Hidden Holland

This is my favorite of them all for more than one reason. Their “vlaaien” are award-winning. They were selected to serve the King and his family this traditional pie when he celebrated his birthday in Maastricht in 2022.

They’re most known for their Rijstevlaai (rice pudding), with options for extra vanilla, cookies, or my favorite, St. Yvette with egg white foam. It looks stunning.

If you’re more into fruits, you can’t go wrong with their traditional Vlaaien with fruits. Options are apple, cherry, and apricot.

Then, there are seasonal variations with fruits of the season, like pear or gooseberry (Herman’s favorite).

My all-time absolute favorite Vlaai is a special one: Frangipane. You get a small one because it’s heavy, but it is so delicious. 

What is a frangipane, you might wonder? It’s a luxurious Vlaai pie filled with almond paste and a thin layer of apricot at the bottom, and it’s finished with white sugar fondant. You easily recognize them in the store, the one with the white glaze on top.

And if all of that isn’t delicious enough, there are many other things to choose from.

One item I can most definitely recommend is the “Suikerbollen“. These rolls are filled with raisins, almond paste, and a sugary syrup. These sticky buns will make you very happy. It’s an item I always take home at this bakery. And I take a few extra to freeze 😉

PS: This is not a cafe. It’s a neighborhood bakery, first and foremost. But for paying customers, they do serve free coffee! (No other drinks) and seats are only available outside. If it’s rainy, then it’s to go only. This is also why they don’t serve slices of Vlaai. Instead, they have single serving sizes. 

Why is this bakery my top choice? First of all, it’s a lovely store, the staff is incredibly friendly and helpful, and with all these delicious baked goods, it’s no no-brainer for me when I’m in Maastricht to make the trek here, even though it’s a little out of the way.

Zakstraat 9, Maastricht
www.bakkerijhermans.nl

2. Patisserie Peter Lemmens

The Lunchroom at Patisserie Peter Lemmens in Maastricht.
Lunchroom at Patisserie Peter Lemmens in Maastricht – © Hidden Holland

Again, a neighborhood bakery. But just as with bakery Hermans, it’s worth making the trip to find it. Peter Lemmens has different stores, but I recommend their St. Pieter location because it has a lunchroom and enough seating. Another reason this is a great location is because the St. Pieter “Mountain” and the ENCI viewing point are within walking distance.

They’re best known for their “Gooseberry Merengue Vlaai,” or the version with cherries. But as you’ll see, their display is filled with mouthwatering pies, and they sell like hotcakes.

If you’re ordering in, you have a more limited choice of which ones they have available as a slice. Just ask your waiter. 

Just like Bakery Hermans, this is a very affordable bakery; especially compared to city center prices, you’re in for a treat. 

When I was there last weekend, I had lunch here for the first time and I was pleasantly surprised. It was delicious, and if you take the “Stokbrood” (baguette) option, the size is ENORMOUS. The meatball sandwich is old-fashioned good. But you can’t go wrong with any of their choices. Herman took the meatball sandwich and enjoyed it  

PS: I had the egg and bacon small with dark bread. It was tasty, but next time, I would take one of the other options, like the meatball sandwich.

Both of us were so full we had to come back later that afternoon for pie.

Another creamy pudding vlaai for me at Peter Lemmens.
Another creamy pudding Vlaai for me at Peter Lemmens. – © Hidden Holland

Glacisweg 30H, Maastricht
www.peterlemmens.nl

3. De Bisschopsmolen (city center)

Pies in the shop window at the Bisschopsmolen in Maastricht.
Pies in the shop window at the Bisschopsmolen in Maastricht – © Hidden Holland

This one is a little bit touristy and thus super busy. But it is one of the top places to buy and taste Vlaai in Maastricht and is well-known nationwide. Touristy does not mean low quality, it’s really good here.

It’s also a bakery with something extra since it’s housed inside a still-functioning water mill. You can still see the large wheel turning on the backside. (It’s a great photo opportunity.)

Wheel of the mill at the Bisschopsmolen.
Water wheel of the mill at the Bisschopsmolen – © Hidden Holland

The “Vlaaien” speak for themselves, all on display in the window. They all look equally delicious. 

The Bisschopsmolen bakes mainly the traditional fruit-flavored pies. Apple, Cherry, and Apricot will always be available, while other flavors will be seasonal. Just ask the friendly staff what they have on offer.

If you’re not into pie, they also serve sandwiches with their own freshly baked bread. Again, you can also easily combine lunch with pie as dessert here.

This bakery has also a cafe with a lot of seating, but since it is popular, it can still be challenging to grab a table, especially on the weekend.

The Bisschopsmolen in Maastricht has a cozy restaurant for lunch and pie.
The Bisschopsmolen’s cozy restaurant for lunch and Vlaai – © Hidden Holland

Stenenbrug 3, Maastricht
www.bisschopsmolen.nl

4. Patisserie Royale

Shop window of patisserie Royale in Maastricht.
Shop window of Patisserie Royale in Maastricht – © Hidden Holland

This Patisserie is mentioned in almost every article on the best Vlaai in Maastricht. It’s also the one closest to the railway station.

It attracts a well-to-do audience, and it’s priced accordingly. 

It’s actually most famous for its Gateau Grenache, a cake with a base of almond macaroon filled with vanilla crème and meringue, finished with a layer of ganache.

Sounds delicious? It is. And locals vote with their wallets. This Gateau Grenache has been made the same way at this same location since 1929.

I tried it, and I thought it was delicious, but it was also heavy. I expected it to be fluffy because of the meringue, but it was very dense instead.

If this sounds a little too heavy for you, don’t worry. There are many other pastries, including many different Vlaai options. They’re also famous for their Pruimenvlaai (Les Prunes Noires or Prunes Pie), which was the favorite of one of Maastricht’s mayors.

Just be aware this location comes with a higher price point. We found it worth it because this little tearoom aired a lot of history and good people watching.

Here I try patisserie Royale's famous Gateau Grenache.
Here I try Patisserie Royale’s famous Gateau Grenache – © Hidden Holland

Wycker Brugstraat 13, Maastricht
www.patisserieroyale.nl

5. Bakkerij Paulissen

Bakkerij Paulissen Maastricht.
Bakkerij Paulissen Maastricht – © Hidden Holland

This local bakery chain has a (beautiful) store very close to Patisserie Royal on the same street.

They bake their own Vlaai pies on full display on the rack in front of the store window. 

There is no place to sit down here for a slice of Vlaai. Everything is to go. You can get whole pies to go, great if you want to take some Vlaai back home (or to your hotel). They can stay unrefrigerated. Or get a single-sized version that is available for their most popular flavors.

Prices are very reasonable here, especially considering their location.

PS: if you go, ask for their seasonal offering. My favorite is in the fall when they have stewed pear pie. 

Wycker Brugstraat 37a, Maastricht
bakkerijpaulissen.nl

Which Maastricht Vlaai Bakery to Choose

If you give me the choice, I will take the trouble to visit the bakeries of Mathieu Hermans or Peter Lemmens, even though they’re slightly out of the way. For me (and many others), these are the two best bakeries.

If you don’t want to walk that far (or take the bus), then the Bisschopsmolen is also great. It’s not rated 3rd because of its quality. The only reason I ranked it below the others is that it is so popular and busy, especially during weekends, and their choices of pie are a bit more limited.

Bakery Paulissen is also a great local choice for great-tasting pies at reasonable prices. It’s centrally located just minutes from the train station.

Patisserie Royale is also quite central but the most expensive of them all. If you want to try their famous Gateau Grenache and for people watching, it’s here you go.

6 Café in Maastricht that serve great Vlaai

Another option to avoid the walk to Bakery Hermans or Lemmens and still have their Limburgse Vlaai is to go to one of the many central cafes around the old town. Not all, but some serve Vlaai from Hermans or Peter Lemmens. It’s usually stated on their website.

To help you on your way, here are a few worth mentioning: 

1. Bistrot Bar ‘t Wycker Cabinet

Bistrot Bar ‘t Wycker Cabinet.
Bistrot Bar ‘t Wycker Cabinet – © Hidden Holland

The Wycker Cabinet is an excellent place for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and….. to eat Vlaai! This hotspot also looks super Instagrammable with its excellent industrial decor.

They serve Grenache pastries and authentic Limburgse Vlaai from my favorite bakery, Mathieu Hermans! 

Wycker Brugstraat 29b, Maastricht
www.wyckercabinet.nl

2. Derlon Hotel Maastricht

Derlon has a beautiful outdoor terrace right next to the “Our Lady ‘Star of the Sea’ Basilica (make sure to look inside; it’s free, and the prayer room with all the candles is quite impressive).

PS: they serve fruity Vlaai here from Peter Lemmens.

Onze Lieve Vrouweplein 6, Maastricht
www.derlon.com

3. ‘t Piepenhoes

't Piepenhoes in Maastricht.
‘t Piepenhoes in Maastricht – © Hidden Holland

‘t Piepenhoes is a well known place in Maastricht. Ideally situated next to the Sint Servaas bridge, the café-restaurant is an unmissable landmark. Its interior resembles a classic French chateau and a styleful modern lunchroom. 

You can have a complete meal here or just a coffee with Vlaai. Sour meat is a famous dish in this area, and ‘t Piepenhoes serves a really good version of it (but it’s a little bit of an acquired taste)

With their Vlaai, you can never go wrong since they also serve it from Peter Lemmens.

As with many of the better places in Maastricht (like Peter Lemmens and Patisserie Royale), the coffee they serve comes from Maison Blanche Dael. A local artisanal coffee roaster and tea maker from Maastricht.

Maastrichter Brugstraat 2, Maastricht
www.piepenhoes.nl

4. De Brandweerkantine

Another excellent spot for Vlaai from bakery Hermans is the beautiful Fireman’s Canteen. Until the mid-1990s, this was actually a working fire station. But today, it’s a restaurant in a very relaxed setting, and they have Vlaai from one of the best bakeries in town. 

PS: the Brandweerkantine also offers co-working spaces; thus, fast wifi is guaranteed here.

Capucijnenstraat 21, Maastricht
www.brandweerkantine.nl

5. Grand Café Maastricht Soiron

Centrally located at “The Vrijthof” is the Foto Museum (one of my recent hidden finds), and inside the museum is this cafe (free to visit, if you don’t want to go into the museum).

They also serve Vlaai and pies from bakery Hermans, so you can’t go wrong here either.

Vrijthof 18, Maastricht
www.grandcafemaastricht.nl

6. Brasserie Monte Nova

This brasserie is at the “top” of the St Pietersberg, allowing a gorgeous view of the city of Maastricht en the Meuse river below. 

They serve large pieces of traditional Vlaai from Peter Lemmens. Ask staff what they have on offer today. 

Monte Nova is an excellent place for a break or lunch when you visit the St. Pietersberg “mountain” and fort. You can take a short walk to the viewing platform or the “castle,” which is more like a manor, but still, you can go up the tower for a fantastic view. You also can take guided tours into the caves in this area. All start and end close to the café. 

PS: Did you know you’re right at the border with Belgium here? From the tower at the “Lichtenberg Castle” you can see the large locks in the river on the right side. Those are in Belgium.

Luikerweg 78, Maastricht
www.montenova.eu

Here Is Some History About Vlaai

Delicious vlaai in Maastricht.
Delicious vlaai in Maastricht – © Hidden Holland

The history of Vlaaien goes back centuries. It truly has been a local favorite for ages. Quite literally. The first mention was in the chronicle of the abbey of Sint-Truiden in 1503, and in there they talked about an event in the 12th century where Vlaai was offered (baked to old recipes) so it’s even older than that!

Vlaai became more popular in modern days when people started to travel after the Second World War. They took a Vlaai back home from a local bakery so more and more people got introduced to it and loved it.

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Gerrit shares his love for the Netherlands from his home near Amsterdam, helping thousands plan unforgettable trips to the lowlands. Discover his inspiring journey "From a critical health scare to celebrating Holland's charms". If you want to send Gerrit a quick message, you can contact him here.

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