A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
With the first floor of the library finally renovated, and thesis deadlines looming on the horizon, you may be finding yourself spending more time in the library in the evenings. Marathon study days that run on ‘til midnight might leave you wondering- where can I get some hot food?! Fear not. Although Leiden is a little low on affordable eats, there are one or two secret gems that might get you out of a pickle the next time you find yourself with a rumbling stomach and not enough time to cycle home and cook.
Stir-fried veggies and meats on top of rice or noodles, with a range of sauces that can be described (at a push) as “Asian.” It’s the food that is provided for you on your intro days, so early on people generally have this restaurant on their radar. It gets a bit samey after a while, but hot sauce can be found on each table to spice up your food for a change. Benefits are fresh veg (5 of your choice) cooked in front of you, with your choice of sauce. It’s a safe bet for vegetarians and vegans, and carnivores can choose from a range of meat.
There are a couple of Eazie’s in Leiden. One is at Breestraat 157 so pretty close to Lipsius (Humanities faculty) and KOG (Law faculty). The other is at Stationsweg 22, near Leiden Centraal.
All dishes are around €5-€7 euros. With an ESN card, you get 10% off, and on Wednesdays you also get a free drink!
If rice isn’t your thing, then how about some pasta? Julia’s do a range of pastas, sauces and toppings. My favourite is probably just the tomato/pepper pasta, but I’ve heard good things about the chicken/pesto. It’s enough to fill your stomach, but sometimes I wish there was just a tiny bit more at the bottom of the takeout box. But, the plastic forks they give you are silver, so you can almost fool yourself into thinking you’re eating with real cutlery! Like Eazie’s, the food is cooked in front of you, which is fun to watch.
There is a Julia’s inside Leiden Centraal, but go to the one just outside the station (next to Burger King), because every week night between 5pm and 9pm you get a whopping 40% off with your university card! That means that a box of pasta is around €3-€4…probably the cheapest eat in Leiden. At least, the last time I was there this was so. Anyway, go and check it out, it’s only a 10 minute walk from the Library. It’s probably even closer for students of Social Sciences or Medicine.
One last option that should be mentioned is the ISN cooking club. A club for those who love to cook and those who love to eat (or who need a fuss-free dinner before heading back to their books). This happens on Thursday nights, not quite every week, but very often (check the Facebook page for updates). Each time there is a different theme, from sushi to Guatemalan food, Thanksgiving dinner to Thai cuisine. And there is always a vegetarian option. Fancy taking a bit of time off studying to lend a hand with the cooking? Go along early and get stuck in with chopping, stirring, mixing and making. Want to pop by and grab a bite with some friends without getting your hands dirty? Go by a little later once the cooking is done.
These events are held in the cafeteria bit of Plexus (Kaiserstraat 25). Costs around €5-€7 for your food, dietary requirements can be catered for if you let them know in advance, and the international crowd is great company while you eat.
Anyone know any more cheap eats in Leiden? Let me know!