NEDERLAND

Delft and surroundings

Since sleepy Delft is even sleepier on Sundays and Mondays, we've noted for as many recommendations as possible whether you'll be able to pop-in on these days. A minority of shops will stay closed on Tuesday, too; we've even encountered those that close unexpectedly on beach-worthy summer days.

  • BARBAAR  <|>  coffee, drinks <|>  Sint Agathaplein 4  <|>  open Sunday, closed Monday

    Though the coffee and snacks are serviceable and there is a decent bottled beer list on offer, Barbaar's draw is its atmosphere. The abundance of plywood in the place should feel either cheap or kitschy, but instead comes across and intentional and cool. The setting on the historic Sint Agathaplein is a bonus -- not only does the forward styling of the inside stand out all the more, but in good weather the bar boasts a second, equally gorgeous space. Keeps longer hours on weekends.
     
  • BOERDERIJZUIVEL & MEER  <|>  dairy  <|>  Oude Kerkstraat 3  <|>  open Sunday, closed Monday

    Boerderijzuivel ("dairy from the farm") grabbed the tiny storefront previously occupied by the bakery Michel, which expanded into the larger space next door. Dick and Ineke, the gregarious owners, are happy to provide descriptions, recommendations, and even samples of their cheeses. In addition to kaas, they offer excellent-priced free range eggs (25¢ each), butter, as well as delicious milk and yoghurt from a farm in nearby Alphen aan den Rijn.
     
  • CHOCOLATERIE DE LELIE  <|>  gelato  <|>  Voorstraat 10  <|>  closed Sunday, open Monday

    At about 9:15 on summer evenings, the line outside De Lelie starts to stretch up and across the bridge linking the two sides of the Voorstraat. The willingness of locals and tourists alike to wait is a testament to just how tasty the homemade gelato is. The treat comes relatively guilt-free, too. If you can limit yourself to just één bol (one scoop), you and a friend will leave, hoorntjes (cones) in hand, having spent just €2,50. As you approach the counter, remember to leave space for bikes to pass by on the street.
     
  • EKOPLAZA  <|>  groceries  <|>  Vrouwjuttenland 33-35  <|>  open every day

    This organic grocery store is, no surprise, pricey, but it's a good option for dried goods and products that are otherwise hard to find in European groceries. (It's our go-to store for almond butter, for instance.) Responsibly raised meat from Hoeve Biesland is available, too, for days when a ride out to the farm isn't in the cards. 
     
  • FLINK GEGIST  <|>  beer  <|>  Oosteinde 227  <|>  open Sunday, closed Monday/Tuesday

    Flink's superb selection of international suds is matched only by the outstanding service the staff. Whether you're after just one bottle or a dozen, they go out of their way to ensure you leave with exactly what you want. Shy shoppers can also take a cue from the brief printed descriptions, available for most varieties. Blondes still dominate the market, a preference clear from one look at Flink's shelves, but most micro-brewers are experimenting with stouts and IPAs, too.
     
  • HET LABYRINT  <|>  sit-down meal  <|>  Schoolstraat 28  <|> open Sunday, closed Monday

    We were sold on Het Labyrint after a coffee and a bowl of yoghurt and homemade granola, though it was probably more circumstance than taste -- it was the first place we could find to shelter us as cold February rain pelted us on our first trip to Delft. Since then we've been back several times to enjoy their veggie-heavy, responsibly sourced fare. The inside is charming as anything, but snag a table out on Schoolstraat -- you might forget for a minute what century you're in.
     
  • HILLS AND MILLS  <|>  lunch, dinner, dessert  <|>  Oude Langendijk 6  <|>  open every day

    Hills and Mills does simple Middle Eastern very well; there's always a hearty stew of meat, lentils, or chickpeas available, and the kitchen isn't afraid of spice. Big and small plates are available, as are fresh juices and smoothies, and since the crew at Hills and Mills also own Haka, it's no surprise the desserts are on point, too.  The pleasant front room also makes for a nice place to enjoy a coffee.
     
  • HOEVE BIESLAND  <|>  groceries  <|>  [DELFGAUW]  <|> closed Sunday, open Monday

    Two minutes by bike beyond the city limits, just on the other side of the Delftse Hout, is Hoeve Biesland, arguably the most successful small farm in the region. Their farmstand (the only address on the Bieslandseweg) offers a selection of fresh vegetables, cheese, eggs, and dairy that often sells out well before the 5pm closing time. The farm supplies meat to many of the restaurants on this list, as well as to Ekoplaza; you can buy frozen cuts at the farmstand, too. Of all the treasures to be found there, the best buys are still the organic, free range eggs (30¢ each) and raw, grass-fed, non-homogenized milk for the shockingly low price of 80¢ per liter.
     
  • HUSZÁR  <|>  breakfast  <|>  Hooikade 13  <|>  open every day

    Huszár sits on the Hooikade, which in summer overlooks vacationers' ships docked on the Delftse Schie. It is our go to spot for a post-workout breakfast on weekend morning -- they do ontbijt (breakfast), from eggs to crepes, better than anyone in town. For other meals, the menu offers sustainably-raised meat (from Hoeve Biesland) and organic produce. The bar has a long list of bottles from local breweries and a great tap selection.  The boat that docks outside in summer offers stunning views, but the owners have tried to match it in with the intricate puzzle of furniture that lines the wall over the bar.
     
  • KOFFIE EN ZO  <|> pastries, furniture  <|>  Peperstraat 17  <|>  open Sunday, closed Monday

    The friendly team at Koffie en Zo pulls a good shot, but earns it spot on this list for the eclectic selection of industrial furniture and knick-knacks on sale. (This includes the seats you sit on.) They also serve the best piece of appeltaart we've tasted here: deliciously crusty and just barely sweet.
     
  • KOPEREN KAT  <|>  beer  <|>  Schieweg 15  <|>  open Friday to Sunday

    The proeflokaal at Koperen Kat will probably split opinions -- it's a small, cramped, wood-heavy space that vaguely assembles a barn, with seemingly far-too little seating, but it's also quite cozy, and with a fire going and live music playing, it's the embodiment of gezelligheid. It doesn't hurt that the beer, while a bit pricey, is both adventurous and delicious. A favorite this past summer was the beer brewed with algae, but Koperen Kat also does the traditional herfstbok well. The brewery also does BBQ on select weekend to pair with the beer.
     
  • MISS MORRISON KOFFIEBRANDERIJ  <|>  coffee  <|>  Voorstraat 7  <|>  closed Sunday to Tuesday

    Should the day come when we leave Delft, Miss Morrison is the last place we'd go and the place we'd remember our time here by. Cisca and her team know everything there is to know about the coffee they roast and sell in their small shop; even better, they've sapped all the pretension from what can be an otherwise elitist pursuit. (There are a great many cafes back in New York that would do well to follow suit.) They pour the best cup in the whole city, and are always quick with a recommendation that will pull you off the beaten path.
     
  • OF JE WORST LUST  <|>  sausage, bread, wine  <|>  Voldersgracht 11  <|>  open Sunday, closed Monday

    We were impressed both with the exceptionally friendly service and selection of sausage (worst) at this tiny shop on the Voldersgracht. Spanish, French, Italian-made sausages are on hand, as are some tasty products from The Netherlands, including a few links made in Delft with beer from the local Koperen Kat Brewery.
     
  • ROSSIO  <|>  dinner  <|>  Oude Delft 78  <|>  open Sunday, closed Monday
    DE PELICAAN  <|>  dinner  <|>  Verwersdijk 47  <|>  open Sunday, closed Monday

    We first stumbled into Rossio back in February in a desperate attempt to escape a sudden downpour. The excellent food that we found there, inspired by the Iberian peninsula, had us thanking the rainclouds. The massive windows open out to one of the prettiest parts of town; the bare wooden tables, candlesticks, and open kitchen evoke an old tavern. It's the perfect place for a charming but unpretentious night out. When we tried their sister restaurant, De Pelicaan, on a quiet street on the other side of town, we were equally impressed.
     
  • THE LIVING  <|>  lunch, dinner  <|>  Asvest 8  <|>  closed Sunday and Monday

    The Living has become a staple for us on nights when we want to eat well without the trouble of cooking ourselves. The concept is simple -- take what you want and pay by weight (€1,95/100 grams). Everything is vegetarian and many options are gluten-free, but the ever-changing options, generally with a Mediterranean bend, are consistently delicious. They brew Miss Morrison's beans for your after-dinner coffee and offer a few tasty desserts to enjoy with it, too.
     
  • TRAPPISTENLOKAAL 'T KLOOSTER  <|>  beer  <|>  Vlamingstraat 2  <|> open every day

    The epitome of (at least a certain type of) gezelligheid in a Dutch bar would be 't Klooster. A diverse, frequently updated selection of beers on tap complement an extensive selection of bottles; lots of scotch rounds out the menu. The tables were full of couples, small groups of friends chatting away -- the crowd was vibrant but certainly older than Delft's undergrad scene. Though it was nearly at capacity when we found it, the lone bartender seemed very much at ease. At night, tables opposite the bar provide a majestic view of the Nieuwe Kerk that can take your back centuries.

Rotterdam

  • BAZAAR  <|> dinner (Middle Eastern)  <|>  Witte de Withstraat 16  <|>  open every day
  • BUITEN  <|>  lunch  <|>  Nieuwe Binnenweg
  • FENIX FOOD FACTORY  <|>  lunch, dinner  <|>  Verlaan
  • FRITEZ  <|>  fries and snacks  <|>  Witte de Withstraat 68a  <|>  open every day
  • KING KONG  <|> coffee  <|>  Witte de Withstraat 74  <|>  open every day
  • KOPI SOESOE  <|>  coffee, sweets  <|>  Sumatraweg
  • LILITH  <|>  breakfast  <|>  Mauritsstraat
  • LOKAAL  <|>  coffee, borrel  <|>  Raampoortstraat 34B  <|>  open every day

Den Haag

  • LIBER  <|>  small plates, drinks  <|>  Piet Heinstraat 59a  <|>  closed Monday to Wednesday
  • LITTLE V  <|>  dinner (Thai)  <|>  Rabbijn Marsenplein 21  <|>  open Sunday, closed Monday
  • KOMPAAN BROUWERIJ  <|>  beer, music, BBQ  <|>  Saturnusstraat 55  <|>  closed Monday to Wednesday

Amsterdam

  • BOCA'S  <|>  dinner  <|>  Westerstraat 30  <|>  open every day
  • BRIX  <|>  dinner  <|>  Wolvenstraat 16  <|>  open every day
  • BROWERIJ 'T IJ  <|>  beer  <|>
  • CANTINETTA  <|>  dinner  <|>
  • DE HALLEN  <|> lunch, dinner  <|>  Ten Katestraat  <|>  open ever day
  • LOT SIXTY ONE  <|>  coffee  <|>  Kinkerstraat
  • SCANDINAVIAN EMBASSY  <|>  Nordic food, coffee, sweets <|>  Sarphatipark 34  <|>  open every day
  • TALES AND SPIRITS  <|>  craft cocktails  <|>  Lijnbaansteeg 5  <|>  open Sunday, closed Monday