The Flaming Vegan

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Vegan in Amsterdam
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Vegan in Amsterdam

Amsterdam might be known for its cheese, but it‘s actually a very vegan-friendly city, with a range of vegan and vegetarian restaurants, well-stocked supermarkets, and even a vegan shoe shop. HappyCow lists over 250 veggie and veg-friendly restaurants and retail outlets!

Self-caterers will most likely find all the ingredients they need in the widespread supermarket chain Albert Heijn, which carries ready-made falafel salads with plant-based dressing. Those who are seeking most Fairtrade and organic produce can check out one of several EkoPlaza stores – I recommend their spiced wine! - and Marqt, but be aware that both stores also carry meat and that the latter is cash-free; all major payment cards are accepted in lieu. Candy Freaks, a store offering a wide range of labeled vegetarian gummy sweets, free samples, and delivery, is a unique feature of the city.

If you prefer dining out to cooking when away, there are plenty of options, starting with capsule hotel De Bedstee, which has a completely vegetarian and vegan breakfast menu. Although restaurants, and indeed shops and museums, tend to open a little later in Amsterdam then elsewhere in Europe, Alchemist Garden and Koffie ende Koeck are both vegan establishments serving breakfast from 9 am and 9:30 am respectively; the latter also has delicious cupcakes for later in the day.

Lunch and evening meals are very easy to find, whether you are looking for takeaway sandwiches or an elegant sit-down meal. A personal favourite of mine is De Hummus House, a fairly informal vegetarian restaurant with several vegan combinations of hummus, bread, and vegetables offered as a large main portion. Taking the Netherlands by storm currently is The Dutch Weed Burger, a seaweed-based burger which can be enjoyed at several venues including its founders‘ own restaurant, whilst Vegabond, a canal-side café serving house-made sandwiches and locally produced raw chocolates, also hosts a store stocked with plant-based ice-creams, wholewheat pasta, and everything in between.

A more formal, intimate three-course meal can be ordered upon a classic houseboat, or at Betty‘s vegetarian restaurant. Or, at, the other end of the scale, late-night hunger can be satisfied at one of the three Maoz locations: a healthier take on fast food consisting of falafel in pita bread topped up with unlimited refills from the large salad bar.

There are a few venues of the Wagamama chain, which recently introduced a vegan menu, whilst the large number of Bagels and Beans coffee shops offer hot drinks with plant milks, bagels with peanut butter or vegan cream cheese, and free wifi for those wanting to research the local sights and museums. If you are staying longer in the city to celebrate a special event, DopHert lunch room also offers custom cakes and catering, in addition to hosting cookery workshops.

It‘s hard to choose what to include in a summary of a city with so much choice; those who cannot decide where to go can book a guide-led trip of both Amsterdam and its eateries with Vegan Food Tours. And what is there to do outside of mealtimes? Between interesting museums, picturesque narrow streets, parks, and the waterfront check out the fully-vegan Vega Life store for non-leather shoes, belts, and bags.

Have a great trip!

Photograph: Author's own.

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  1. jasonsmith
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