My name is Max and I was born and raised in this country! That’s why I’m happy to show you around in one of the most charming cities in Holland. You can click on the bold text to get to the Google Maps location of the establishment.
Louisiana Lobster Bar A personal favorite of mine. Great Cajun and Southern US barbecue dishes and awesome bourbon and cocktails.
Wilma & Albert This steakhouse is a classic, far beyond the city walls of Haarlem. Beware of peanuts shells on the floor!
Bar & Kitchen Zocher This amazing restaurant cooks daring dishes with local ingredients all day round. Possible for a small bite as well as a long dinner.
DeDAKKAS Literally translates to ‘The Roof Glasshouse’, this is great restaurant with a beautiful setting.
BREAKFAST / LUNCH
The Yoghurt Barn This place serves excellent fresh and healthy food that will keep you going the entire morning.
Fons Hof Classic Dutch cafeteria. They serve classic Dutch snacks like a ‘Broodje Kroket’ (bun with goulash croquette) or ‘Patatje Oorlog’ (french fries with peanut sauce & mayonnaise), but also a steak and salad. They have been doing it with class for around 50 years, my dad even used to work in this place!
De Lachende Javaan Great Indonesian place. This is a great option for vegetarian or vegan food.
Het Broodjeshuis The Dutch have made sandwiches into an art. We got a lot of shade thrown at us for having lunch with merely bread. However, if you’re here, you should try a lunch just like the locals!
Freaking Vegan Located at the Botermarkt, this is a nice central lunch stop for Vegans.
DUTCH SNACKS / TAKEAWAY
Tokorico Botermarkt Go here for Surinamese classics like ‘Broodje Pom’ ‘Bakkeljauw’ or a good portion of fried noodles; ‘Bami’.
Other must-try Dutch delicacies:
– Broodje ‘Gerookte Paling’ (smoked eel) – Poffertjes (mini-pancakes) – Likkepot (liverwurst with onion and peppers) – Berehap (fried meatball in peanut sauce)
Studio Large cafe with dance floor. In the weekends there’s often live music here. Conveniently located at Grote Markt.
Cafe Koops Authentic Dutch brown bar. They serve my favorite pilsener on draught; Hertog Jan.
Jopenkerk Church turned brewery! This hotspot can’t be missed. Enjoy a great beer well admiring the copper pipes of the brewery curving around you. All beers have a name that’s in some way related to Haarlem.
De Volkslust Terrace at the waterfront. This trendy bar will you serve you your drinks pretty much IN the canal, where you’ll see Dutch people drifting by in their boats.
De Patronaat Haarlem’s pop temple. Do check their schedule on https://patronaat.nl to see when there’s a show that suits your flavor.
De Lichtfabriek Club/event venue, situated in an old factory building. Go here and find out why the Netherlands is famous for its parties in old warehouses.
Cafe Stiels Live music bar. Usually the program is Rock & Blues orientated. Has a large smoking area from where you can still see the band.
For shopping, the entire city center will pretty much suit you well. The large clothing stores can be found on and around the Grote Houtstraat.
NERD CULTURE SHOPS
The Toyboys Shop for toys and board games for (big) boys.
The Game Shop For buying/selling retro games, systems and movies.
Nedgame Slightly bigger and more modern video game store.
COMIC BOOK SHOPS
Haarlem is known in the Netherlands for being the birthplace of many cartoon artists and characters alike. You might not find any titles you’ve ever heard of before. Jopo de Pojo is a friendly shop, where you browse for the best comics from Holland.
A smartshop is something typically Dutch. You probably know that some stores sell marijuana in the Netherlands. Smartshops, however, sell all natural drugs BUT cannabis. A good choice in Haarlem is State of Mind. Be careful, fly safely 😉
COFFEESHOPS (no coffee, marijuana!)
Be careful where you buy your herb! Many coffee shops will scam you. Take a tip!
Frederikspark Centrally located, clean and peaceful. Located next to the former palace of Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother. Often the gardens of the palace are open to visitors. On the other side of the palace the park continues as ‘Haarlemmerhous’, which is a lot shadier because of the many trees.
Parnassia Resort located in a national park in the sand dunes, right off the coast. Easily accessible by car and bicycle. These are paths leading through the national park. There is also a beach favored by dog owners, since they can run free on this beach.
MORE ABOUT HAARLEM
Movies about Haarlem’s history:
KENAU (Dutch) tells you the story of the fierce female warrior that helped fight the Spanish during their siege of the city.
TULIP FEVER (English) is a fictional 17th century costume drama during the franticness of the Tulip Mania of 1637.
DE AANSLAG (Dutch) is a film based on the bestseller book of the same title. It tells a story of life in the 2nd World War in Haarlem.