Art lovers, pot smokers and young wanderers alike can all find salvation in Amsterdam. A lesser known fact is that the Dutch capital stacks up quite well with plant-based eaters. And as the vegan population increases across the globe, restaurant chefs are working with mother nature to prepare mouthwatering vegetarian dishes in well-designed spaces. Taste for yourself at one of these five spots during your next stay in Amsterdam.
Written by Grace Stetson
ROBIN FOOD KOLLEKTIEF
Operated by three owners as a “social and activistic kitchen” and accessible only through the De Neiuwe Anita bar, the group prepares three-course dinners every Monday and Thursday that are always vegetarian, sometimes raw, and mostly organic or vegan. On the evening we visited, the kitchen served coconut curry soup, tofu pad thai, and mango ice cream – all for a mere €10 per person. Make sure to book in advance, as the restaurant operates on a reservation basis and it certainly draws an eager crowd.
Frederik Hendrikstraat 111A, 1052
+31 6 12101233
THE MEETS EATERY
White and brick walls with sleek wood décor welcome diners into a quaint space doesn’t overburden its customers with flair – the food is what draws the eyes (and the stomach) excitedly in. The menu doesn’t reach too far outside of standard vegan fare – açaí bowls, avocado toast, veggie burgers – but this subtlety does not correlate with a lack of taste or satisfaction. The cheeky name plays into the unexpectedly unique dishes… try the blue latte, it’s spectacular.
Cornelis Troostplein 3, 1072 JJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 6 15316734
ANEKA RASA RESTAURANT
A must-try in Amsterdam is an Indonesian rijsttafel, or “rice table.” The traditional dinner — a by-product of the Dutch colonialism of Indonesia that ended in 1949 — blends the two cultures in the beauty of a multi-course meal consisting anywhere from eight to 40 small plates. As a pescatarian but often vegan traveler myself, it was difficult to find a rijsttafel that could both satisfy my dietary restrictions and my hunger; fortunately, Aneka Rasa, located in the heart of the city center, did both. We had 12 plates to choose from, including perkedel jagung (fried spiced corn cakes), sayur lodeh (mixed vegetables in coconut milk sauce), and sayur nangka muda (young jackfruit in spicy coconut milk). An appreciation for these cultural delicacies will surely stuck you before embarking back into the crowds of the Red Light district.
Warmoesstraat 25-29, 1012 HV
+31 20 626 1560
VEGAN JUNK FOOD BAR
Although the term “veganism” can commonly be associated with “health conscious” and “diet-friendly,” these terms just don’t apply at Vegan Junk Food Bar. Operating in three different spaces across the canals of the city, the best location may indeed be the one most similar to a fast food establishment. At Staringplein 22 (which is near another necessary destination: Vondelpark) the menu is as sparse as that of a traditional In ‘N’ Out – but the heartiness of the items, alongside the customer’s disbelief that they are truly vegan, give the restaurant a bit of a step up. Come to this small location – often jam-packed on the weekends before, during and after the bars open – with an empty stomach, and imbibe in an Original VJFB or a Notorious Sumo burger with a side of vegan bitterballen, a necessary addition to any trip to the Netherlands.
Staringplein Location: 22, 1054 1054
Quite possibly the most reminiscent of one of my favorite vegetarian/vegan eateries in Chicago, Vegabond provides its visitors with both a lunchroom and a grocery store. Established in 2014 and located near the city center, the open-concept seating offers diners a view of a quiet street and canal nearby, as they enjoy anything from summer rolls filled with avocado and raw veggies to tompouce by local patisserie Nono Cakes, a standard Dutch and Belgian pastry similar to a Napoleon. The size of the lunchroom and the lack of a kitchen can cause some delays in the food arriving in an orderly fashion, but the ultimate results are simply divine.