Top 10 places for coffee, brunch or lunch in Haarlem
Haarlem is one of the Netherlands’ most beautiful old cities, offering superlative shopping options and a wealth of charming venues, cultural attractions and fascinating museums. But one of the best things to do in the city is to find a table at one of its many quaint cafés and delicious lunch spots, order something warm and inviting and take some time out to relax and watch the world go by. Here’s our pick of some the best places to do just that when in Haarlem.
Tucked away on a quaint side street, NATIVE is a great hideaway for people who fancy a bit of time out spending some precious moments with the perfect brew. The coffee spot’s run by two of the friendliest faces you’ll ever meet, who’ll make you feel welcome no matter how long you feel like lingering. And while at Native make sure you grab a cup of White Label Coffee, some tea from Crusio Thee or a fizzy drink from DD Cordials. And don’t even try to resist the urge to sample one of MAMA’s organic-baked goods – they’re seriously good. Whether sat inside surrounded by fresh-cut flowers, or perching on the cafés’s outside terrace, you can always order a bite to eat – and stay as long as you like.
NATIVE, Breestraat 23
The delightful Coffee-star manages to combine the passions of both bookworms and coffee lovers – as it’s nestled inside the heart of Haarlem’s library. As such it’s the perfect spot to get your caffeine fix while settling down with a good book. And after finding a seat make sure you order a creamy cappuccino, caramel latte or smoothie, and treat yourself to Coffee-star’s renowned homemade apple pie and sandwiches. It’s not all about literature either – as the venue’s busy outside terrace affords great opportunities for a bit of people-watching.
Coffee-star, Gasthuisstraat 32
Located in the heart of Haarlem, Meneer Frans gives its guests the chance to enjoy a bit of theatre while they’re enjoying coffee or lunch. That’s because this quirky restaurant features an array of different themed rooms that all offer a special ambience. Take the ladies’ room, which celebrates 18th century style, or another of Meneer Frans’ fascinating spaces featuring a large metallic wall and industrial elements. Lounge in the garden for a more private lunch, enjoying a delicious sandwich, salad or a specialty Flammkuchen from the eatery’s extensive menu – all finished off with a steaming mug of coffee of course.
Meneer Frans, Gedempte Oude Gracht 90-92, Klein Heiligland 8
Take a stroll down to the River Spaarne, and it’s likely you’ll smell Bar Wolkers before you actually see it – it’s the aroma of fresh coffee being brewed and served almost relentlessly. When you do arrive, you’ll be welcomed by the 100-year-old building’s eclectic interior of wood, tile and kitschy décor. Take a seat inside or on the terrace and enjoy one of Bar Wolkers’ sandwiches made with freshly baked bread, a special soup of the day or satisfy your sweet tooth with a slice of banana cake.
Bar Wolkers, Gedempte Oude Gracht 139
Just a few steps from the Frans Hals Museum and close to Haarlem’s other main museums and sights you’ll find the Barista Café. Here the baristas are celebrated just as much, if not more, as the coffee. The café’s large menu features all the classics: espresso, latte, cappuccino and iced coffee, but it’s definitely worth sampling one of its inventive specialties, such as a salted-caramel hot chocolate or brownie latte-macchiato. Pair your drink with a sweet treat such as a cinnamon scone or a slice of banana bread, or stay for a longer lunch with a sandwich and salad.
Barista Café, Grote Houtstraat 165
Haarlem’s main square, or Grote Markt, might be the best place to spend some time admiring the city’s many charms. And Fortuyn might be the best place in the Grote Markt to get comfortable with something nice to eat and drink. The cosy café’s large, open windows offer the perfect vantage point to watch life in the city unfold, and the coffee is seriously good, while the food menu is long, and brimming with tasty things to tuck into. Sandwiches, soup, salads and bar bites are all available for lunch, but with such a great location, you might even stay until dinner.
Fortuyn, Grote Markt 23
Travel off the beaten path on the Kleine Houtstraat and you’ll discover one of Haarlem’s real hidden gems: Mica, a coffee spot as conscious about health as it is about caring for its customers. That’s because Mica is run by two sisters whose vision was to create a space where locals and tourists could come and share good coffee and good food with no additives – all fresh, homemade and natural. Select your cup of coffee or tea and pair it with a healthy smoothie bowl or sandwich. And if you’re looking for something to brighten your home or for that perfect gift, the shop also sells coffee cups, carafes and other homeware.
Mica, Kleine Houtstraat 103
Located in the centre of Haarlem, at By Lima indulging in a cup of coffee and a sweet treat doesn’t have to come with a side-order of guilt. That’s because almost all of its food is made with fresh, organic ingredients, making sure that every nibble and sip is nutritious and delicious. And for such an intimate café, its menu is impressive, with an array of beverage choices and plenty of things to eat. Breakfast is served all day, so you can enjoy a stack of chocolate-chip pancakes at any time, or why not dive in to a packed veggie bowl for an extra boost.
By Lima, Zijlstraat 65
On the Botermarkt - one of Haarlem’s most popular squares - is Mogador: a place where coffee rules all. The interior’s as warm and inviting as the café’s amazing selection of coffees, all brewed from Amsterdam roaster Bocca Coffee’s brilliant beans. And after selecting a coffee from more than 30 choices, pick up one of the café’s homemade cakes, or sample a slice of pecan, carrot or lemon meringue pie. Though sitting outside on the terrace is always lovely, if you find a seat inside make sure you check out the artwork on the walls, most of which are usually for sale.
Mogador, Gasthuisstraat 48
You won’t forget the directions to Spaarne66, and once you get there, you might never want to leave. Located right on the Spaarne River, this little family-run café can offer you a doppio, ristretto, latte and more. If you think the taste is something special then you’re right: as all the coffees are brewed from freshly-roasted beans, perfect to sip while sitting by the water. Be sure to stay for lunch or dinner too – the café changes its menu throughout the year, making sure everything on offer is seasonal and as fresh as possible.
Spaarne66, Spaarne 66
Still looking for some sights to see? Check out the top 10 things to do in Haarlem to extend your day trip!