When I hang out with fellow foodies, we always end up visiting more than one foodspot. I really like it, because it gives me the opportunity to try out a lot of different places and food in one day. I can eat a lot, so that is no problem to me and with a group you can share more 🙂 One Saturday in October I got the chance to explore Leiden with some fellow foodbloggers. Louise from Keukenatelier lives in Leiden and is our guide for the day.
Together with Helena from IndoRotterdammert I travelled to Leiden Central Station. We met up with the foodbloggers Marjolein from Echtegerechten.nl, Inge from Pinkiewise, Wendy from Mevr. Yan, Andrea from Anniepannie.nl and Thérèse from Kitchen Exile. Curious about the food spots we visited? Here you can read more about it.
Beautiful view with cakes from La Place
Our first stop was at Hudson’s Bay. This chain from Canada opened different branches in the Netherlands. They replaced the department store chain V&D which went bankrupt in 2015. We ate there at the Dutch restaurant chain La Place, which use to be part of V&D. Even though this place isn’t something typical for Leiden, the reason why Louise took us there is due to the beautiful view is has over the city. We decided to take a few cakes to share and with this our foodtour through Leiden has started!
We had chocolate pear cake, strawberry cake, tompouce with cream and chocolate sprinkles, apple bol and a beetroot smoothie.They put a lot of beetroot in the smoothie, it is very strong and healthy, but also very delicious. The cakes are really nice! I like the custard in the strawberry cake and the apple bol was really soft and tasteful. The tompouce is not easy to eat, but it looks nice!
Mauro Pastry: Large Italian community in Leiden
Close to Hudson’s Bay is our next stop. It’s Mauro Pastry, a little Italian shop where you can buy authentic Italian bread, cake, pizza and different Italian food and drinks. The shop is very crowded and it appears that a lot of Italian people visit the shop. Before the shop owners opened their doors in October 2015, they didn’t know that so many Italian people live in Leiden.
We shared two paninis. We chose the focaccia with rucola, melanzane (italian for eggplant) sotto olio and cherry tomatoes; and the focaccia with salami finocchiona (a salami type from southern Tuscany with fennel inside) and salad. I like the one with salami, because it has more flavour to it. But I like the soft texture of the melanzane one.
2311 EE Leiden
Slagerij van der Zon: Butcher with a history of 120 years
Our next stop is all about meat. We went to Slagerij Van Der Zon. This is a family business with a history of 120 years. They use the traditional method of processing meat and there they process whole pigs and whole cattle. Each week they process 5 to 6 pigs and 1 to 2 cows and the largest part of their products are made by themselves.
When we all entered the butchery in one time, one of the employees welcomed us and told us about their history in the meat business. She let us try a piece of traditional Dutch rookworst (smoked sausage) and we also tried bread with ham and honey mustard sauce. The ham was warmed up on a cooking plate and the foodstand was outside the butchery, where we saw a lot of people line up to buy a bread with smoked sausage or ham. It tasted like a normal bread with ham, I didn’t find it very special, but the rookworst was really full of flavour! I loved it!
Slagerij van der Zon
2312 GD Leiden
BetterBagels: New York style bagels
After visiting the butchery we had more meat, but this time in combination with bagels. I only know bagels from Bagels & Beans, so this one something new for me. We went to Better Bagels. This place is owned by Frank Zweerus and he uses the New York style of producing bagels. When we entered the shop, he invited us to take a look in the bakery. He first lets the dough he made sit for at least 12 hours to get the full flavour and then he cooks them a few minutes in water bath to kill the yeast so it will stop rising.
After removing them from the water bath he will season them and bake them for 18 minutes on both sides. They do not only sell traditional bagels, but also bagels with different flavours, like speculaas or speld. I bought the one with speculaas and raisins and it was really good.
Besides bagels they also have the bageldogs. This looks like a hotdog, but instead of bread, the dough of the bagels is used around the sausage. They have a version where they use the meat from Slagerij Van Der Zon, but that one was sold out, so we tried the vegetarian one. The bagel dough had an orange color, because there is jalapeno peppers in it. It was quite spicy, but I did like it.
Lange Mare 96
2312 GT Leiden
More cakes & drinks at Anne&Max
Anne&Max is a fresh food and coffee cafe where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, high tea or just coffee. They have different cafes throughout the whole Netherlands, like in Utrecht, Amsterdam and The Hague. I visited the one in Amsterdam before and now we visited the one in Leiden for a delicious drink and some cakes. The weather was nice, so we sat outside. I had tea with ginger and thyme and we ordered three pieces of cake: blueberry coconut cake, carrot cake and a chocolate cake with nuts. The blueberry coconut cake was really fresh and surprising and the flavour of the chocolate cake was really intense. I like how all the flavours comes out so nicely and well balanced.
2311 ER Leiden
Het Klaverblad: They know which coffee or tea suits you
Close by Anne&Max is a little tea and coffee shop called Het Klaverblad. I already tasted some of their tea during the tea pairing at the Malaysian SupperClub and now I have the chance to see what they have more. The shop is very small and fully packed with different kind of coffee and tea, but also accessories or other necessities for both.
What I find really fascinating is that if you asked them what kind of coffee or tea you want, they will ask you some questions about it and then they give you different options to choose from. I wanted to buy strong coffee and they found me strong coffee beans from Java. It is not very bitter and has a subtle flavour. They also have a lot of interesting tea, but I didn’t want to buy too much.
Het Klaverblad – koffie en thee
2311 HE Leiden
French cheese tasting at de Fransoos
For our next stop we visited De Fransoos, a Cheese & Delicatessen shop. The shop owner Ed Chavernac is a Frenchman who already lives quite some years in the Netherlands. He opened the shop in 2011 and a few weeks ago he was admitted to the cheese guild ‘Guilde des Maîtres Fromagers aux Pays-Bas’, because his passion for foreign cheese and the knowledge of the French cheese in particular makes him an enthusiastic ambassador of cheese in the Netherlands.
Louise arranged a cheese tasting for us. We got Vacherin du Terroir (Vacherin mont d’or), a creamy dripping cheese. Morbier, a cheese with a black line in the middle. The black line is a layer of ashes that is use to conserve the evening milk and it separates it from the morning milk. Juraflore Comté (or Gruyère de Comté), an older cheese with an aging time of 8 to 36 months. This cheese is made in discs of 40 to 70 cm and it has a crispy and more stronger flavour than the others we already tried. The last cheese we had is Bleu des Basques, a sheep milk cheese with a semi-creamy structure and the blue-gray veins gives it a crunchy bite.
Ed served the cheese with a platter of meat. After this we got a home quiche which he made with blue cheese and pear. He sells and makes the quiche in the shop, so people can see him make it. The ingredients differ every time. It depends on what he has. The quiche was really nice and the pear added a sweet flavour to it. After the quiche we got homemade bread from one of his employees. This bread was filled with meat, egg and vegetables. It was a bit fatty, but it has a good combination of flavours.
We finished the tasting with something to drink. There was white wine for those who drink alcohol and the rest took Sicilian carbonated drinks from the brand Polare. This is an authentic Sicilian soft drink with different flavours. We chose three flavours: Gassosa with Sicilian lemon extract, Mandarino verde with 15% of Sicilian mandarin juice and Limonata with 15% of Sicilian lemon juice. The drinks contains quite some bubbles, which I didn’t know at first. I don’t drink soda, so the bubbles were too present for me. I liked the Mandarino the best because of sweet mandarin taste to it.
Ed is a friendly host and is very passionate to take about his products and the history of it. The products in the shop are all very nice and diverse. It is a worthy place to visit, especially for cheese lovers.
Fulfilling Thai dinner at Sisaket
Even though the cheese and all the other stuff were very filling, we continued to our next stop: the Thai restaurant Sisaket. There we ordered different starter dishes and main courses to share. We had Thod Man Plaa, which are traditional Thai fish cakes; Thalee Tempura, crispy tempura battered prawns and squid served with a Thai chilidip; Satey Kai, chicken satay topped with Thai peanut sauce; Som Tam, Thai papaya salad with chilipepper, cashews and lemon juice; Massaman, beef in a flavourful Massaman curry with small potato and onion, Plaa Sam Rod, sea bass filet in spicy sweet and sour sauce with vegetables; and Phad Thai, stir-fried rice noodles with beansprout and spring onion. The dishes were beautifully displayed and everything was really delicious. I especially liked the sea bass filet, the shrimp and phad thai. The papaya salad was really spicy, even though it is delicious.
2312 AS Leiden
Saffron ice cream at Bastani
When we walked towards Sisaket, we came across the Persian Ice cream and coffee shop Bastani. My eyes fell on the saffron ice cream, which also contains rosewater, pistachio and pieces of frozen cream in it. The latter gave the ice cream a crispy texture and the ice cream was fresh and creamy.
2312 BW Leiden
More to discover in Leiden
It was really nice to go on this foodtour and meet more foodies. It is funny to see how everyone wants to make good photos, but has to wait for each other. Or when someone already wants to eat, while another one still wants to take another shot. It’s a matter of finding the right balance. Now I also know more nice foodspots in Leiden and I also know more about what other foodbloggers like to try. For example, I don’t eat much cheese or buy meat at a butcher, so I would never have discovered these places by my own. I can’t wait to go on another foodtour and see what I will discover then!
Leiden is a beautiful city with a lot of old buildings and musea. It is worthy to do some sightseeing here. A few months ago, I also checked out some other foodspots in Leiden and I wanted to mention them too! These are Waag and the ice cream shop Soetenso.
Dining at the monumental Waag
Waag (Weigh House in English) is a monumental building. In the early days the building was used to weigh and trade goods. It was also used for different celebrations. In the summer of 2015 the Waag opened as a cafe and restaurant. You can come here for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just for a drink. We went there for dinner and we tried out some refreshing smoothies and two main dishes: Surf & turf burger Black Angus with gambas, panchetta, cheese, red onion, vegetable crisps, chips and mango chutney; and the vegetables from the Josper with roasted potato, king boletus (fungi), eggplant, lotus root, hazelnut, roasted tomato and red pepper sauce. Josper is the way to prepare robust full-flavoured dishes. The charcoal in the closed Josper oven reaches an intense heat of more than 400 degrees, which gives the dish a smokey taste. I was a bit disappointed by the dishes, they were small and not so flavourish, but they did look fancy. The smoothies were more better and I enjoyed them very much.
2311 EC Leiden
Creative ice cream flavours at Soetenso
Do you want chocolate, ice cream, coffee or cake? Soetenso has it all. We came here for the ice cream and they had some ordinary flavours, like cucumber, mint and pear and Chocolade Inaya Cacao Barry, 65% and also lactose free. The shop-owner advised me to combine these flavours together, because you will have the strong bitter taste of the pure chocolate together with the light and refreshing flavours of mint, cucumber and pear. And she is right! I like the combination. Especially the dark chocolate is really bitter if you eat it by itself. I never thought I would ever eat cucumber in ice cream, but it is delicious and very fresh.
Kort Galgewater 1
2312 BR Leiden
I am curious about what you all think of the places we visited and if you know more nice places I should visit next time! Just let me know.