A Love Letter to Bagels & Beans
Oh Bagels and Beans. By far my number one recommendation any time people ask me for suggestions of what to do on their trip to the Netherlands. Is it really typically Dutch? Not quite. But I love going there so much that I can never resist sending people there. They're all over Amsterdam and lots of other Dutch cities too, so do a quick search before you head on your trip to see where your nearest location is. Okay, let tell you a bit more.
I first discovered Bagels and Beans in Leiden, during my uni years. A large group of students from my course used to rush to Bagels and Beans for a delicious lunch during the break between two lectures and I have to admit I probably wrote most of my thesis in there too. The atmosphere is friendly with a good level of chatter (which I need to do my best work), and you don't have to feel too guilty for sitting there for a couple of hours. I recently went to one in Amsterdam where they had really adorable single seat nooks cut out of a book shelf, the perfect space to type away. During these years I also went on one of my very first dates at a Bagels and Beans. The location suggestions was of course mine, thinking I'd feel most comfortable in familiar territory.
What are they all about? They love offering socially responsible options and their menu is filled with 'fair trade' logos and info about where the ingredients come from. The atmosphere is great, the staff always seems happy and they are eager to help you with your order, if you're a bit confused by the many choices. Of course no place is absolutely perfect, but I adore their food and love that they aim to offer lots of different options from sources that they trust and want to support.
And of course I can't miss out the most important part:
My personal favourites from the menu
- Bagel with cream cheese (chive or honey and walnut cream cheese are my favourites). Which bagel do I pick? The everything bagel without fail.
- Bagel with warm goats cheese and honey, walnuts and thyme. This one is my ALL TIME favourite and always a good pick.
- Bagel with Dutch cheese (and some other bits that come with it). Visiting the Netherlands for the first time? This is a great opportunity to try out our amazing cheese.
- Avocado, tomatoes and chive cream cheese. Perfect for those smashed avocado on toast cravings.
- Chocomelt aka DIY hot chocolate. Served as a frothy glass of warm milk with a little cup of chocolate chips to stir into it. My personal preference is soy milk with milk chocolate chips, no cream. I also tried the almond milk, but I think it gets a little bit too sweet! They also do dark chocolate for a vegan option.
- Fresh juice. They don't serve any big brand soft drinks, but there are plenty of other options. For a cold drink I usually opt for their fresh juice, which is a bit like a smoothy, and opt for the 'everything mixed' option, including lots of the different fruit juices.
- Cheesecake (especially if you squeeze the orange slice over it). This was my favourite treat while writing my dissertation.
- Pastel de Nata. A new addition to the menu, and you can never go wrong with a custard tart.
On my last visit I also spotted a brand new menu item, which was a wild mushroom croquette on a bagel. So that's my next order sorted! I love that they keep adding more vegan options too, besides already having some very excellent vegan choices on the menu. I'm pretty sure there's a vegan cream cheese now, but don't quote me on that.
Did we spend every single breakfast and lunch during our most recent friends outing to Amsterdam at Bagels & Beans? You betcha! Look at those happy faces.
And that's the end of my love letter to Bagels and Beans. Are you hungry yet?
If you're heading to the Netherlands soon, please do me a favour and make sure you don't skip Bagels and Beans (and have a DIY hot chocolate in my honour!).