Where do I get my produce? What do I buy? I don’t have a farm in the backyard, and no time in the city life for upkeeping a garden. Here I share my secrets with you. It’s an ever growing list (with regular updates) of where I go to get good, local and healthy food.
On this list are places in The Netherlands (Leiden, Amsterdam, The Hague), Belgium (Leuven, Ghent) and Croatia (Zagreb). More to follow.
EVERY SATURDAY MARKET, I AM GREETED BY A FRIENDLY FACE AND DELIGHTED BY THE LOCAL PRODUCTS. Frank’s Deli offers a wide variety of local honey, amazing olive oils & vinegars, delicious and different jams, and other local luxury products. Prices are more than fair (but of course, a bit higher than any ordinary low-quality product in the supermarket). Working hours FROM 9 TO 5: Wednesday at the market in Berkel/Rodenrijs, Thursday at the market in Bussum, Friday at the Hoofddorp market, and on Saturdays in Leiden. Location: crossing of Gangetje and Hogewoerdsbrug street, Frank’s Deli on Google Maps.
Soups & Salads
A CULINARY TAKE-AWAY WHERE I GET DELICIOUS HOMEMADE SOUPS, stews, salads and smoothies. Location: Lange Mare 116, Soups & Salads on Google Maps. Order online from Soups & Salads here. Contact & catering here.
LOCAL SMALL-SCALE ORGANIC SUPERMARKET. Friendly staff. Great selection of organic and gluten-free products. Cereals, sauces, legumes, canned fish, organic meat, spaghetti and noodles, great offers on organic wines (3 bottles of 750ml for 10 euro)!
Even organic food for your pet is available at De Zailing in Leiden, but it’s sometimes ridiculously priced. Still, De Zailing is for many things cheaper than Ekoplaza! Also, organic cleaning products and skin-friendly soaps. If you have a gluten or lactose allergy, they let you taste the new products they are considering adding to their range, as part of their selection panel 🙂 . Location: Hooigracht 41, Leiden, Zailing in Leiden on Google Maps. De Zailing website here.
FRENCH BAKERY, SOUR-DOUGH BASED PRODUCE. A friend told a friend, told a friend, told me. Once you’ve been here, you just have to tell someone, because it’s just that great. Their products are full of flavor and authenticity, and it’s a bit pricier than your regular baker. There’s always a queue in the weekends, but if you’re a morning person like me then you get there before 10am (they open at 7am on Saturday – and are closed on Sunday) and you will be helped within a minute by one of the many running-around Frenchmen! Location: Gangetje 14, Leiden, Google Maps. Mamie Gourmande French bakery in Leiden website here.
A SUPERMARKET WITH TURKISH-DUTCH ROOTS. GREATLY PRICED SELECTION OF EXOTIC & LOCAL PRODUCE. Easy access to ingredients such as fresh or dried dates, all sorts of fresh and dried herbs, all kinds of tasty oils, nuts etc. Location: Botermarkt 11, Leiden, Meltem in Leiden on Google Maps. Meltem website here (including some recipes in Dutch, mmm!).
Toko ‘Nieuwe Wereld’
EDEMAME BEANS, LOTUS ROOT, SESAME OIL, CHOP STICKS, JAPANESE COOKBOOKS. They can all be found at this messy, cumin-smelling, fun ‘toko’ where the cashiers speak no more than 1 word to you, but the food is good and prices are great. Location: Nieuwe Rijn 30, Leiden, Google Maps.
MY LOCAL SUPERMARKET. THE BEST DAIRY FREE CHOCOLATE I’VE EVER HAD. In ‘healthy food’ section, dairy-free, brand ‘Premium’, dark chocolate 70%. Organic lemons & limes. Selection of organic vegetables. Only one type of organic apples. Almond milk (take the one from the shelf, because it costs less than, while being the same as, almond milk in fridge). Locations in Leiden Hoogvliet supermarkets in Leiden here.
Albert Heijn supermarkets
SWEET POTATOES: a bag (2 kilo I think) for euro 2,49. Yum yum. Professor Grunschnabel DAIRY-FREE ICE CREAM! Organic milk and also non-dairy coconut yogurt (in the fridge next to the regular yogurt). Some more luxurious products such as Italian-produced gnocchi, exotic spice mixes and quality oils such as almond and avocado oil. Fun frozen veggie & fruit mixes for smoothies. Slightly more expensive than other supermarkets. Locations of Albert Heijn supermarkets in Leiden here.
GOOD SUPERMARKETS WITH ORGANIC PRODUCE. Looking for fresh turmeric root or organic red chili? This is the place to be! Same goes for good organic yogurt, almond & other nut butters, a tasty selection of organic ready-made meals, and smoked salmon/fresh herring. The selection and variety of products is not overwhelming, and the prices are a big higher than at ‘De Zailing’ but they have a great selection of organic fruits & veggies, fresh herbs and even some healthy cookbooks. Location: Breestraat 127, Leiden, Ekoplaza supermarkets on Google Maps.
A CITY-BASED RESTAURANT WITHOUT DAIRY OR GLUTEN. Sla, a salad bar based in Amsterdam is where you can choose from set salads or compose your own choosing from many sorts of greens, seeds, sprouts, gluten free grains (lentils, quinoa), other veggies (cooked pumpkin, beetroot) and fish, with an olive oil & vinegar based dressing. Including slow-juiced drinks and desert options such as vegan cheesecake. Sla Amsterdam website here.
A HIP AND HAPPENING JUICE BAR, with a wide selection of fresh produce and a good choice of vegetable based, freshly pressed, slow-juices, Sometimes I find it overpriced. But there is no denying it is hip. Location: Herenstraat 23, Amsterdam, Google Maps. Dr. Blend Amsterdam website here.
ORGANIC, GLUTEN-FREE AND VEGAN PRODUCTS, many of them free of packaging (‘verpakkingsvrij’ in Dutch) – including dried raspberries and strawberries for in your homemade granola! 😉 Slightly pricey. Location: Westerstraat 14, Amsterdam, Google Maps. FoodSense on Facebook.
The Hague, NL
Tosti van Josti
TASTY TOASTED SANDWICHES to take-away or eat in at a beautiful, spacious and light cafe. Some employees are people with slight mental or physical disabilities. The atmosphere is very pleasant, the service is always on time. Location: Korte Poten 5, The Hague, Google Maps. Tosti van Josti lunchroom in The Hague website here.
Stijn’s Cake Shop
A PORTABLE HEALTHY CAKE HAVEN in Leuven, next to the farmers market in the center.
Ellis Gourmet Burger
WE VISITED GHENT, ATE HERE – and then ate here again. Great burgers, great service, great drinks. What’s not to love? Oh yeah, the vegetarian burger options are equally delicious as the real deal, for a change! I especially liked the vegetarian burger, “Crazy Red Veggie” with red paprika and pecans. Location: Korenmarkt square, Ghent, Ellis Gourmet Burger in Ghent on Google Maps. Website here.