In an attempt to branch away from Amsterdam, Neil and I set out on a series of side trips in the Netherlands. We visited the northernmost tip of the country in Groningen to see sheep, polders, and the German border. We stopped over in Utrecht and spent an affordable week in Rotterdam, indulging in great cuisine off-the-beaten-path. We even spent a day wandering the UNESCO windmills at Kinderdijk. Inspired by a recommendation at Hotel Walsum, we took a tram past The Hague and toward the coastal town of Scheveningin.
What to do in Scheveningen?
Besides squeezing in a visit to Den Haag or The Hague, visitors in this part of the Netherlands can schedule a fun day in the sun. In Scheveningen Neil and I wandered the boardwalk, having a drink on the beach and then winding our way into the main port. Tons of clubs and bars dot the prime real estate here. Families with kids play in the sand. Older teens linger around the modern art sculptures by the cafes. At night, clubbers lounge on chaises set up under canopies. While not prepared to swim in the ocean, Neil and I decided to grab a bite to eat and chase it with some good Dutch beer.
Eat Seafood at Simonis Vis Restaurant
Casual and only steps from the ocean, Simonis Fish Restaurant serves up generous fish and chips alongside monstrous tiered seafood feasts. Groups can order a lobster lovers’ tower with corn, clams, shrimp and two succulent lobsters. As we used to say when studying at the University of Albany, NY, Simonis is “For the people”. In other words the restaurant is affordable enough for young students but still offers great quality. It ranks among our favorite budget savers for the Netherlands, right under Maos Falafel Shop.
They offer both indoor and covered patio seating. Hop on line cafeteria style and choose your favorite deep water dish. The menu is in Dutch but don’t be afraid to ask for help. Herring is a traditional dish that we loved with extra onions. Cod and shrimp platters start at 8.50 Euros! We loved the fish. After paying, score a table and listen for your number. Or prepare for your feast by loading up on dressings at the sidebar.
Sip Craft Beer on the Docks by Brouwcafe
An eetcafe and bierbrouwerij, the Brouw Café is just that– a gastropub brewery that specializes in seasonal beers and pours drafts in scientifically selected glassware. Just a short stroll from Simone’s, Neil and I rolled up to the bar and found ourselves chatting with the pourmeister who ended up being the owner. Instead of asking us what we liked, he offered us a sampler of beers that were brewed onsite. We browsed the dinner menu but couldn’t fathom stuffing ourselves after our herring with pickled onions. So instead, we grabbed two pints and sat on the patio overlooking the bay where sailboats swayed in the wake and locals gathered for a sunset drink. Not a bad way to end a side trip from Amsterdam.