Life in Leiden: Cheap Eats

So, what do you do when your parents are coming over and you still can’t cook? Or if you want to take someone special out to dinner? Or if you just feel like dining out? Here are some recommendations for cheap but good restaurants around Leiden. Don’t expect anything too fancy; we’ve selected reasonably priced restaurants with good grub (in no particular order). Here we go…


La Bota

Cuisine: French | Menu price: €16 | Address: Herensteeg 9

A favourite among Dutch students, located next to the beautiful Pieterskerk. If you love your steak this is a good choice. You may want to book in advance since it is so popular.

De Herberg

Cuisine: Dutch | Menu price: €21 | Address: Havenplein 2

De Herberg is owned by a cheerful and generous Katwijker. Keep an eye on their facebook page to see what they have on offer: the dish of the day comes for as little as €9. Main courses are served with fries and salad. Also a good place to go for a beer.

Quartier Latin

Cuisine: Spanish-Greek | Menu price: €29 | Address: Hartesteeg 13

This restaurant-wine bar is an absolute favourite. Good, friendly-priced wines, and a great tapas menu. Don’t be deceived by the menu price: you can get a tapas plate for as little as €11 per person (and boy it’s good!). The (mostly Greek) staff is friendly and fast.


Cuisine: Italian | Menu price: €21,50 | Address: Haarlemmerstraat 20

A favourite among Dutch students. All their pizzas are either €6,95 or 7,95, and they sure are good and come fast. Do expect it to be busy if you come here – you may have to wait for a table for a while. You can only book in advance for groups.

De Hooykist

Cuisine: Dutch | Menu price: €22 | Address: Hooigracht 49

Cosy place where you can get regular dishes like steak and fries. Dish of the day is €9,50.

Oudt Leyden

Cuisine: Dutch | Menu price: €6,25-€11,85 | Address: Steenstraat 49

Want to see how the Dutch eat their pancakes? This is supposed to be the best of the three pancake restaurants around the Beestenmarkt square. Go Dutch and try a pancake with bacon and cheese, or apple and raisins.

De La Soul

Cuisine: Soul Food, Fingerfood | Menu price: € 25 (fingerfood: €3,50-€6,75) | Address: Morsstraat 60

“Soul food is what you cook if you have more love than money”, is what their website says. De La Soul serves… soul food! You can taste Cajun, Caribbean and Southern US influences. Their portions are the size of big starters (which keeps the prices low), so you can choose more than one dish and/or share with friends! And of course, there is soul music in the background. On Sundays, you can build your own burger. 🙂

More Restaurants

Of course there are many more good and affordable restaurants in Leiden. If you want to find out about other places, go to, where you will find a restaurant description, reviews, ratings and prices. The site is in Dutch, but the ratings and prices should speak for themselves.


It is quite customary to leave a tip when you are satisfied with the food and service. A 5-10% tip is common. You can indicate this by saying something like ‘make it €35’ when the bill says €32, for example.

Eet smakelijk! (Enjoy your meal!)