I’ve lived in Leiden for just over 13 years now, so I know my way around the city. I went there as a student, but as time progressed, my usual haunts changed up. I went from student bars and societies to bars and restaurants. For years I have been visiting the same bar, found a spot with a great view for drinks, and developed a preference for lunch places. Today I am sharing my 5 favorite spots for grabbing a bite to eat or sitting down for a drink or two.
One of the best places to chill out on a hot summer’s eve with a glass of wine would be Annie’s Verjaardag. Situated on a dock right on the canal, you pretty much get the view on the picture above. I only ever go there for drinks and am not too familiar with their food selection, but they also have plenty of events going on from time to time.
Voor-af en toe
My favorite lunch place by far is the place with the best chocolate cake in town. At Voor-af en toe they do some great sandwiches, soups and salads and the place is usually packed, but cozy at the same time. The staff is friendly and it is a place where you can spend hours on end chatting a way with friends while have a good cup of coffee or tea.
Bagels & Beans
This chain of Bagel restaurants is located in several cities in The Netherlands, but I prefer my local one that is closest to my house. They do gluten free and spelt bagels and there is always enough choice when it comes to juices, coffees, and teas. This is my second favorite place for having lunch, but it is my favorite place to go to when I want to get out of the house for a change of scenery when I am working from home. They have an excellent free wifi connection and I have spent quite some time taking my laptop over there for a spot of lunch by myself.
De Bonte Koe
The oldest bar in Leiden is De Bonte Koe. Started as a butcher’s which never opened, it is also an independent bar with a great beer selection as well as wines and other drinks. I used to go here every Sunday night with friends for quite some time and it is still one of the best bars in town. It draws a pretty international crowd of all ages and they do some great snacks to go with that beer as well. I’m still wondering whatever happened to the everlasting cassette tapes that used to be the only music in the place and the cat that used to prowl around.
Anne & Max
I mostly visit lunch places when I go out for a meal with friends, but one place that I have only been to by myself is Anne & Max. This place opened a few years ago and it is always packed, so it might be difficult to grab a spot. The salad you see here was absolutely delicious and the tea was good to. Food selection is a bit minor, but it tastes great and it’s another one of those places that is good if you want to work somewhere in the city rather than at home.
What other hot spots would you like to see from me?