Close to the ‘Plein’ in The Hague city center, you will find a Happy Tosti lunchroom. It’s a lunchroom with a special touch because its employees are people with (and without) a certain limitation in the job market. The founders thought it would be a great idea to combine social responsibility with organic and healthy products, and the formula works!
Other things that make this lunchroom unique are the several swings hanging from the ceiling, which are used instead of regular seats. Of course, these are bolted down at the bottom, so as not to disturb the employees from doing their work. Close to the entrance, some regular chairs have been replaced by rocking chairs, which also adds to the playful interior. If you walk all the way to the back, there is even a small seating area on a slightly higher level, which you can reach by climbing some small stairs.
On the walls, you will see several art pieces on display. These pieces are produced by people with a mental disability, and they are for sale. You may also spot some small chalkboards with funny expressions from the employees, and some nice quotes on the walls or the large pillar in the middle of the lunchroom (along with the Wifi code). Besides all of this, the other thing that will strike you right away are the smiling faces of the people working there. They all seem to be having a really great time working together and their happy attitude is quite infectious.
The word tosti is Dutch for grilled cheese sandwich, but they sell so much more than a simple grilled cheese sandwich. The best way to describe it would be to call it a toasted sandwich. Their bread tastes like real artisan bread and it is cut into nice thick slices. They serve many variations of sandwiches on cute and small wooden boards (which can also be purchased separately if you want to take one home with you). Every sandwich can be combined with a special dip. Other things on the menu are salads and sweet bites. At Happy Tosti they also sell homemade lemonade and organic drinks to combine with their tasty sandwiches.
Their prices are very reasonable, and after all, you are paying for fresh and organic products, which are worth spending an extra penny on.
A remarkable thing I noticed when I visited Happy Tosti recently, is that they open at an unusually early time. On weekdays Happy Tosti The Hague opens around 7:30am, so you could easily have your breakfast there if you are an early bird. It’s also a nice spot for a quick takeaway sandwich or special Happy Tosti brand coffee on your way to work. For people doing a takeaway, they have special loyalty cards (one for a sandwich and one for the coffee), which get stamped with every (takeaway) purchase.
On sunny and warm days, the small terrace outside of Happy Tosti lends itself perfectly for some nice outdoor seating and people watching while you eat. Since it is close to the popular Plein where many other restaurants and cafes are located, there is always something to see.
There are currently three Happy Tosti lunchrooms in the Netherlands; one in The Hague, one in Leiden, and one in Hoofddorp. It would not surprise me if they will keep expanding because it’s a lovely concept and the food is very tasty. The website for Happy Tosti The Hague has a nice 3D location view tool by Matterport, that allows you to take a virtual look inside.
When Happy Tosti opened a few years ago, they were called Tosti van Josti, but when the word happy was a word the owners kept hearing every day from customers, they decided to rename it to Happy Tosti. A very fitting name, because one thing I personally also feel when eating there is: happy! 🙂