One of the things that must be known about me is that I love sandwiches. That love started in April 2009. I never really liked bacon, I know, right?! Well that’s until I had a BLT sandwich from Lebkov. Since then I think I eat from there at least once a week. In the past three years since my love for sandwich blossomed, I tried several sandwiches from a handful of places in The Hague where I live. By no means is this an official guide, just the best of the best according to me.
Lebkov has three locations; Leiden, The Hague and Rotterdam. I frequent them all, lately mostly Rotterdam due that I stop there for coffee and/or breakfast on my way to work. They serve mainly sandwiches, soup, salads and coffee.
Now about coffee you should know I drink only decaf, this makes a lot of place that serve coffee fall of the list for me. For the simple reason that almost all of them serve Illy Decaf. It’s not a coffee that makes one’s heart beat faster, figuratively speaking. Until recently their regular coffee was also from Illy but they have switched to a South American blend, which I read tastes good. In my opinion, you can’t have one of the best barista in the country and serve a mainstream brand of coffee. You need to get the good and unique stuff. They also started using a good cocoa powder chocolate for their chocolate milk. Which is very nice, because I always drink my coffee with chocolate. Now, if only they could get a good brand of decaf.
- BLT Sandwich: 5 out of 5 stars.
- Hummus with sun-dried tomatoes Sandwich: 4 out of 5 stars.
- Tuna Sandwich: 3 out of 5 stars.
- Decaf Coffee: 3 out of 5 stars.
- Eating in: 3 out of 5 stars. (They have benches instead of chairs, my feet don’t reach the floor. After 45 minutes I’m done sitting.)
- Free wifi
De Bakkerswinkel opened last year in The Hague, I think. They have several locations in Amsterdam and other cities. I like eating their warm sandwiches, so no take away here for me. They change their menu every so many months so mostly I eat the same when going there. When they opened they had this amazing warm sandwich with chorizo and tomato jam. Sadly they never put it back on the menu nor do they sell the tomato jam anymore. This shop makes and sells their own jam and salad dressing but they do not sell the salad dressing in the shop at The Hague. I’m still bummed about that. My regular fare when I go there is grilled cheese sandwich with zucchini, ketchup and salad(with their dressing) on the side. As for coffee I do not know which brand they have, it’s another mainstream one that tastes less good than Illy.
They do have the most yummy cakes there, all freshly baked. Carrot cake, cheese cake, and so on. Their soups are also very good. Next time I go there I’ll be having a sandwich with old cheese and soup. Giving the other sandwich a try.
- Grilled Cheese/Zucchini Sandwich: 3 out of 5 stars.
- Decaf Coffee: 3 out of 5 stars.
- Eating in: 3 out of 5 stars. (They don’t heat the place enough in cold months.)
Milly’s is fairly new and is currently closed for renovation, no re-opening date so far I know.
They have the best club sandwich, hands down. They also serve salads, soup, muffins and cake. The owner also
has a bakery around the corner so everything is high quality and fresh. I can’t wait for them to re-open, I have been craving their sandwich, I also have been waiting to try their salad.
I won’t go into detail about the place itself as they are renovating. I do hope they manage to make the place bigger, it could only seat 10 people inside. They also did not heat the place in cold months, it was uncomfortably cold inside.
- Club Sandwich: 5 out of 5 stars.
- Decaf Coffee: 2 out of 5 stars.
- Eating in: 3 out of 5 stars. (They don’t heat the place cold months.)
Lastly, no sandwich but bagels. Bagels and Beans is a Dutch born franchise that has been exponentially growing the past years in the Netherlands. They have an extensive menu of bagels, they got cakes, muffins, healthy drinks, etc. They regularly have a special bagel, think Serrano ham, chicken piri piri, etc. I have yet to try one. I usually eat light, just a plain bagel with natural cream cheese.
Their coffee is from Panama and one of the best. You can get your food and coffee to go, makes me wish they had a locale close to the train station. I mostly go here on my day off from work if I have nothing to do. Enjoy a coffee and read the newspaper.
The place is nice and inviting to sit and have a long lunch or work there. I like to frequent their place in bookstore Verwijs. Nothing better than enjoying lunch surrounded by books.
- Bagels: 4 out of 5 stars.
- Decaf Coffee: 4 out of 5 stars.
- Eating in: 5 out of 5 stars.
- Free wifi
If you want coffee only, go to Kaldi. Top of the line coffee from several South America countries. You can sit outside on the terrace during warm months, there are a few seats inside but I prefer take away or sit outside. They are a full fledged coffee store(also some tea). Most importantly to me is that they have a high quality decaf coffee. No competition.
Their coffee is expensive but so is Starbucks and Starbucks doesn’t even compare to Kaldi’s coffee. I frequent Starbucks when I want a frappuccino or if I want coffee with plethora of things in it.
Believe it or not, with all the above places I still buy bread and make my own sandwiches at home. I would go bankrupt if I had to eat out everyday. Luckily I don’t drink coffee everyday, I can’t even make a decent coffee. Enough choices all around.
Picture on the right is a grilled chicken sandwich I made a while back. With spelt and sunflower seed bread and my own ceasar dressing.