After all those years I have spent in Amsterdam I noticed that traditional Dutch food is quite meaty in general. However, every year more and more people consider themselves to be vegetarians or vegans. Veganism is definitely spreading in Amsterdam but is it easy to eat vegan here?
Yes, Amsterdam is increasingly more and more vegan friendly. A lot of new vegan and vegetarian options have been recently popping up around the city. As of 2019, Amsterdam is one of the best places for vegans when it comes to restaurants and cafes. In 2018, eight new 100% vegan restaurants opened.
So, in general Amsterdam is quite a good place to live for vegans. In order for any vegan visitor in Amsterdam not to be starving or bored with salads, I have prepared a handy piece of information about veganism in Amsterdam. On top of that, in the article you will find some vegan restaurants and stores I have tried out.
Amsterdam’s vegan lifestyle
Being a vegetarian is not considered an alternative lifestyle anymore. However, being a vegan is a different story. Even in such a modern and multicultural city as Amsterdam. You should know that Dutch people eat dairy products very often. This is why veganism is still believed to be a bit alternative lifestyle here. However, being a vegan in Amsterdam is not very hard. Going one step further, there is no difficulty feeding yourself in a pleasant way even if you only eat 100% plant-based food. Amsterdam is quite friendly to vegans and it is actually better and better when it comes to vegan food. As far as I have noticed, vegan food is currently one of the most important trends in the city and this is clearly reflected in the increase of vegan restaurants. One might say that veganism is just on the rise in the Netherlands and in Amsterdam especially.
In 2018, Amsterdam was awarded the title of ‘vegan capital of Europe’. The choice was made based of assessment by vacation rental website – Holidu – of the vegan food available on Happy Cow. Amsterdam was ranked 1st because of the highest ratio of vegan restaurants or restaurants with vegan choices.
Even if particular restaurant is not purely vegan, there is usually a part of menu catering to vegans and vegetarians. Typically, there is at least one vegetarian or vegan dish on the menu. Same with grocery shops – the main supermarkets usually have at least a small assortment of meat and dairy replacements. There are more and more specifically vegan options and some manufacturers even dedicated their ad campaigns to the promotion of their vegan products. What is not surprising (this is Amsterdam, after all!) many vegan events have taken place recently. Some of them were just vegan outreaches but some were big festivals. Hopefully, there are more to come! What is more, some time ago Sea Shepherd (marine conservation organisation) announced that they would open a vegan tattoo parlour in the city. Isn’t it cool?
Shops for vegans
There are many small local shops for vegans and vegetarians in Amsterdam. There are also supermarkets, nowadays pretty good for vegans. In recent years, it is not uncommon anymore to see a ‘vegan label’ on packages. The most popular supermarkets – Albert Heijn and Jumbo – have giant vegan sections in their stores and some Jumbo and Spar supermarkets even have 100% vegan fridges. Nowadays, all supermarkets sell tofu, and most of them sell tempeh. Also, soya, oat, rice or almond milk is not rare anymore. Some products like vegan cheese are not common yet in normal supermarkets but they can be found.
My favourite food stores in Amsterdam are the following:
A place to have a lunch or breakfast and do some shopping at the same time. Here you will find lots of delicious vegan snacks and treats, you can also relax in a cozy place with beautiful large windows. The store/café is located at Leliegracht and I must say that, as said on Vegabond’s website, it is a unique vegan eating and shopping experience. All products they sell are 100% plant-based. There are also gluten-free and raw options.
This grocery chain is very popular in the Netherlands. It offers healthy food, among the others some great local food brands. At Ekoplaza you will also find vegan cosmetics and supplements. Ekoplaza is probably the biggest chain of organic stores in the whole country and I think you can easily find them in most neighbourhoods.
One of the most common grocery stores in Amsterdam. There are many locations in the city, some of them offer more vegan products than others. However, all products are fresh and high quality. In most Albet Heijn supermarkets you will find a section of vegan ‘meat’ alternatives and many dairy-free products and alternatives. At Albert Heijn you will find many Valsoia products, including their amazing vegan ‘magnums’. Albert Heijn can definitely be a number-1 grocery store for vegans.
A high-end chain of groceries offering organic food. Here you will find some products that are not available at other stores. Among the others, some artisanal products and some expensive delicacies.
You can find more information about Marqt in Amsterdam on their website – Link Here
A small grocery and a café at the same time, connected to the Conscious Hotel. A Conscious Café is a nice place for a quick bite and snack, as well as some prepared food. You can easily do a little vegan shopping there too.
Vegan restaurants in Amsterdam
When it comes to restaurants and cafes, Amsterdam is one of the best places for vegans and vegetarians in the whole world. Every day you hear about a new veggie place popping up in the city. Last year, 8 new vegan restaurants opened which is an exceptional number! To be honest, vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Amsterdam are doing so well that they open up new locations.
These are my favourite vegan restaurants I can easily recommend to any vegan coming to town:
A place where a quality food and interesting design come together. Let’s start with the interior design – it is all pink and super cute. The menu is quite small – Deer Mama serves vegan baked goods. They are especially famous for their vegan burgers. There are also some wholesome bowls.
Located at Spaarndammerstraat, Dophert is the first 100% vegan restaurant in the city. It is more a lunchroom than a restaurant and it is just perfect for breakfast. They serve amazing vegan sandwiches, salads and soups. Those who like to start a new day with some sweet breakfast, will be delighted with mouth-watering pancakes and vegan milkshakes. What is really cool, Dophert also has a little shop with 100% vegan snacks and cosmetics.
An international cuisine for vegans and vegetarians. The restaurant is located at Spui. It serves the best Italian spaghetti (in a vegan version, of course) you could imagine. What I really like about this place it that all dishes look like masterpiece. Meals and cocktails look just beautiful and they are perfectly Instagrammable. In the menu you will also find amazing vegan desserts like the American lemon cheesecake.
Meatless District is a place vegans cannot miss out on while in Amsterdam. Located in de Pijp area, the restaurant has a very small menu with breakfasts, lunches and dinners. All meals are 100% vegan and prices are affordable – main courses start at 15 Euro. In the menu you will find many classic Dutch items in a vegan version, like Dutch croquettes. You will be probably surprised with the interior design – the restaurant is modelled after New York City’s Meatpacking District.
Spirit is a part of an European restaurant chain. However, the Amsterdam’s branch is one of the most beautiful and elegant. The restaurant is not 100% vegan but it is totally vegetarian and all food is labelled clearly. In the menu you will find lunches and dinners, and also great desserts. Spirit is a pay by weight restaurant.
Last but not least – one of the newest (opened last year) vegan restaurants in Amsterdam. This is the first vegan delivery-only restaurant in the world. Las Vegan was created by a former chef at Vegan Junk Food Bar (a very successful vegetarian restaurant) – Tom van der Sluijs. In the
Check Las Vegan website – Link Here
Amsterdam is considered to be a city that has something to offer everyone. It is known for its multicultural style, windmills, clogs and broad-minded attitude but recently it has been also one of the best places for vegetarians and vegans to live. Now, not only can locals and visitors soak up the atmosphere, meander the beautiful canals and wander the amazing streets, but also relax assured that there are lots of trendy and cozy places to eat and drink. Some of them offer dishes that literally taste like little drops of heaven, even if they are 100% plant-based. It is also extremely easy to cook vegan at home – Amsterdam’s supermarkets are well-equipped when it comes to vegan food.