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About Syr

Our concept

When people of diverse backgrounds meet, a new culture is born. Much like our language and traditions; our food culture is constantly evolving. For centuries the way we eat and the flavours we love have been shaped by the meeting of cultures, food traditions, migration and the trade in spices. At SYR we continue the process of culinary exchange and discovery in our kitchen; here cultures and traditions unite to create a new and exciting culinary experience.

At SYR we work with craftsmanship and curiosity towards the food culture of tomorrow. In our intimate restaurant in the heart of Utrecht, we bring together influences from the Arab and European food culture to discover new flavours. Dining at SYR is an experience; we take our guests on a culinary journey full of fresh flavours, craftsmanship, discovery and culinary storytelling.

At SYR we work with a seasonal Chef’s Menu full of pure ingredients and regional produce. Most of the produce we work with is organically sourced. At SYR you can choose from a 3,4 or 5-course menu and an accompanying wine pairing. We have chosen to work with this food philosophy in order to create space for creativity, culinary exchange and fresh influences. Would you like to experience SYR for yourself? Reserve your table here

Our history

SYR is a unique little restaurant that was powered by – not one but two – successful crowdfunding campaigns and the efforts of hundreds of dedicated investors. The restaurant opened its doors in 2016 thanks to more than 500 investors and 70 volunteers.

In 2015, many newcomers came to the Netherlands, including from Syria. Not long after restaurant SYR was born: A restaurant where people with a refugee background who have an affinity with the hospitality industry worked together with Dutch colleagues. The initiative was a success, even making international headlines with articles in the Guardian, New York Times and Lonely Planet. Restaurant SYR opened its doors for the first time in June 2016.

SYR became a successful and bustling restaurant with many supporters and regular guests. Nevertheless, after three years the SYR Foundation decided to look for a new owner for the restaurant. Despite its popularity, restaurant SYR had slowly stagnated in its growth. It was time for SYR to take the step from foundation to fully-fledged business. At the end of 2019, a second crowdfunding campaign was launched for SYR. This time led by Team SYR (the employees of SYR) in collaboration with Gijs Werschkull (owner of restaurant GYS) who was closely involved in the founding of SYR in 2016. The second crowdfunding campaign was as successful as the first thanks to the support of hundreds of involved investors. 

In April 2020 SYR became a fully-fledged business at the height of the Corona crisis. Team SYR used this period to their advantage the best way they knew how; with amazing food. During this period team SYR developed a new food concept for SYR and started a new apprenticeship program. SYR opened its doors again on June 2, 2020. Now Everyone is welcome to come and taste the new SYR.