Food Lover's Guide to The Hague

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As the Dutch seat of government, and the home of multiple embassies and international institutions, the Hague has quite a buttoned-up reputation. But unbeknownst to most outsiders, this coastal city has a fun and vibrant food scene that’s anything but stuffy. Here’s what you need to know about eating in the Hague. 

Must-Try Dishes
Dutch food tends to be rustic and hearty, with meat, potatoes, and cheeses such as gouda and edam all playing starring roles on the dinner table. Beer is a popular drink; it’s often paired with tasty bar snacks, such as bitterballen (meatballs) and patat frites (fries topped with mayonnaise, or in some cases tomato ketchup, garlic, or peanut sauce). 

The North Sea provides plenty of fresh fish to the city’s restaurants, from mackerel to mussels, while street food carts around the city sell soft and salty cured herring, typically served with onions and pickles, and—in some cases—a side serving of kroketten (croquettes). 

For sweet treats, try pannenkoeken (pancakes) and poffertjes (fluffy mini pancakes topped with powdered sugar). You’ll also find some excellent Indonesian food in the Hague, where there is a strong Indo-Dutch community. 

Must-Do Experiences
  • Get the inside track on the Hague’s dining hot spots during a guided food tour. 
  • Sample snacks from curbside vendors and beloved local bakeries.
  • Experience what the Dutch call gezelligheid (a cozy atmosphere—the Netherland’s answer to Denmark’s hygge) while dining, drinking, and chatting with fellow food lovers.
  • Sample craft beers brewed in the Hague and beyond.
  • Get tips about the best restaurants in the city and what to order. 
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