I love the Hague. There’s no doubt about it.
It was my home for 3 years, and I do associate some sentimental value to the place. Between those years, my friends and I have scoured the place for the best restaurants and bars in order to curb those long, bone chilling winter nights. People tend to discount Dutch food, thinking it’s just a bunch of boring sandwiches with some simple ham and cheese; or the deep fried FEBO options, filled with an edible, mystery meat slurry. To an extent, the detractors are right. But, I think it’s a cop out.
Dutch cuisine has evolved beyond it’s humble origins, and nowadays their chefs have earned international acclaim with the likes of Oud Sluis, Librije, Amarone, and many more.
The Hague itself is an international city, home to the UN International court of justice, European patent office, an oil and gas company that I may have certain allegiances with *cough*, as well as the Dutch parliament. With that, there’s a plethora of international cuisine options to enjoy from. Here’s a sample of restaurants that I personally enjoy, and hope to share with you all:
Please enjoy the The Hague Food Itinerary.
- Maxime Denneweg – Owned by the Michelin starred chef of Calla’s, Maxime’s is a nice bistro with value for money set menus (4 course for ~EU$42). Wine pairings are also relatively affordable, and their sommelier is quite happy to recommend an accompaniment to your dish.
- Will’s Pancake House – A regular breakfast staple whenever my friends are visiting. Their poffertjes i.e. mini-pancakes, and belgian waffles with warm cherries and ice cream are awesome!
- Fouquet – Another lovely restaurant located at Javastraat, with good value for money set courses. The service is exceptional, and always had a decent meal here.
- Mazie – This is certainly one of the gems in the Hague, located a street away from the Hilton hotel. The food here is exceptional, and service friendly and relaxed. I believe they’re overdue for a Michelin star, perhaps once they’ve refined the timing between courses.
- De Poentjak – An Indonesian restaurant located near the Binnenhof, home of the Dutch parliament. Do order the “rijstafel”, which is a sampling of various Indonesian dishes, and includes a coal grilled Lamb satay, which is smokey and absolutely divine.
- Calla’s – One of the 1 Michelin starred restaurants in the Hague. Very modern feel inside the restaurant, and with good quality dishes. Patrons are required to suit up. A bit pricey, but you can always opt to try it out during the restaurant week, which offers cheaper course meal options.
- Seoul Garden – One of the few Korean restaurants in the Hague, located near the American Book Center. Very tasty selection of bebimbap, bulgogi, kimchi chige, and of course the ubiquitous kimchi.
- Bierspeciaal “De Paas” – Located at the Bierkade, this beer cafe has over a 100 different type of beers from across the globe, although predominantly Belgian. Plenty of draft beers to choose from. You can choose beside the canal on a beautiful sunny day, or drink your sorrows away indoors during the gloomy winter period.
- Momfer De Mol – Located along one of the smaller streets behind the Queen’s working palace, I discovered this little gem rather late in the game, thanks to my Scottish friend, Keith, who fancies a proper drink. They served a rather unique, Leffe ruby beer, which is perfect for Summer.
Other Notable Dutch Stuff
If you truly up for learning the ways of the Dutch, do try out the Herring (or Haring in Dutch) at the snack stall beside the Hofvijver and Binnenhof entrance. It’s typically served raw with onions. It’s not too bad if you’re familiar with the texture of sashimi, but definitely not for the faint hearted! If you decide to chicken out, there’s always the Dutch version of fish & chips, which is called “Lekkerbek”.