Netherlands – Haarlem

949321F5-BE94-494B-8711-7961B39AB69BLast Xmas, my mum, sister, niece and I went to Haarlem. It’s the city my family is from and where almost everyone from my family is born. Once a year we try to visit one city in the Netherlands together. To spend some quality time, do a bit of shopping and to try lots of yummy food. I really wanted to see what kind of vegan places Haarlem has to offer. There are not a lot of all vegan places, but I did find some nice ones that are worth going to. We went by train, so we did not have to worry about parking the car. We left Assen midmorning and around noon we arrived in Haarlem. We needed lunch!

IMG_4652People recommended some places via Instagram and one of them was Chickpea. It was recommended by a girl who works there. So nice! And because another place I really wanted to go, Freaking Vegan, was still closed and we were all really hungry, we decided to have lunch at Chickpea. Chickpea offers very delicious falafel. Served in/with pita bread or as a salad, with lots of salad options you can choose from. They are all vegan and it was very delicious. Beforehand my mum said that she didn’t like falafel as it’s always so dry. Now she knows what good falafel tastes like and she loved it! I definitely recommend this place. It’s great for lunch, but you can also have a lighter bite for a snack. And it was so nice to meet one of my followers at the same time.

C97157FB-5889-499C-B2BD-FF2606BFDEBCWe walked around Haarlem, through big shopping streets and some really nice cosy alleys and I loved it. When we were in a sports store, suddenly there was a lovely smell.. there was a lady walking around with fresh Turkish bread. I asked where she got it from, because the smell was irrisistable. She told me where to get it and that they were still warm. Oh my!! I rushed there and was lucky, because there were only 3 left. It was sooooo tasty. The shops closed early as it was Xmas evening, but luckily I managed to find some nice big golden hoops for in my ears, just in time. I was looking for these already for a while. We wanted to visit a place called Mica Coffeebar, to have a little break, but it 7E5E8920-F6CF-475B-AFE4-95AA262B0D74turned out that a lot of cafes and little restaurants closed at 16:00, because of Xmas evening. We didn’t know this and by the time we got there we only had 10 min. So we tried to look for something else, because my mum asked an old school friend to meet us for coffee. We ended up in a really chic place, that was open until late, but didn’t have any plant based milk. So I just ordered a water. I mean, what is the point of drinking tea without milk? We met my mum’s friend, had a nice chat. We then tried to look for a place to have some dinner.

IMG_4655We were able to use the train tickets we had from 18:30 again, but everything was closed at 16:00 already. I tried calling several places, including the place Freaking Vegan, that I really wanted to go to, but I got their voice mail and I assumed that they were closed too. So we tried to see if there maybe was a pizza place somewhere that was going to be open until longer. When we looked for that, we happened to walk passed Freaking Vegan and it looked like it was open! When I asked inside, the very friendly guy said they were open until 21:00! Woohoo!! It’s a IMG_4654small place and obviously no one was there on Xmas evening, so we had the whole place for ourselves. It’s all vegan junkfood and we ordered a ‘kapsalon’ (chips, a meat substitute that looks like shawarma and salad), a burger, onion rings and chicken style nuggets. We were so happy to find a place that was open. I was so happy I got to go here and best of all, the food was soooo nice! The onion rings were the best I ever tasted, the portions were big and everyone enjoyed it a lot. We got a hot chocolate to share in the end and without rushing or getting bored, we left perfectly in time for the train.

The train was on time and everything seemed to go well. But when we needed to change to our second train, all trains were cancelled, because of a defect somewhere. So we had to get a bus to Lelystad and from there we were able to continue our journey. The bus journey took long, but was hilarious as we made friend, who we had so much fun with. I really enjoyed it! All together, everything took an hour longer though and my niece really started to get tired, she is only 5. She fell asleep in the last 5 min (isn’t it always like that?), but we did all get home safely.

ACAF9AF2-BBE4-45F1-AD77-0DE2E5631A22Haarlem is a beautiful city, especially around Xmas time. There are so many lights everywhere, a big Xmas tree and of course the beautiful and impressive St. Bavo Church in the central market square. I had great fun taking some nice pictures of this beautiful city. I wish we had more time and I had 2 stomachs to try more good vegan food. But I will definitely go back to add to the hotspot list. For now, these are definitely nice places to check out when you visit Haarlem:

HOTSPOT LIST:
– Chickpea: Kleine Houtstraat 2A.
– Mica Coffeebar: Kleine Houtstraat 103.
– Freaking Vegan: Botermarkt 29.

Have you been to Haarlem yet? Or would you like to visit this beautiful city? Please let me know! I would love to hear about your experience and what nice places you discover. You can do this down below or let me know on Instagram via @freedomevermore. Thank you! X

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