Amsterdam is known for its beautiful windmills, clogs and for being one of those world cities that has something to offer everyone, and happily that includes us vegans too!
Rachida Brocklehurst proves that not only can you soak up the atmosphere as you meander the picturesque streets and beautiful canals, you can also rest assured that you will have plenty of places to eat, drink and be very merry indeed!
Where to eat
Amsterdam is increasingly more and more vegan-friendly, and there are even regular vegan meet-ups for locals. If you’re looking for some tasty, plant-based food to enjoy then add these restaurants to your list of places to visit…
A firm favourite for vegans worldwide, you’ll never be disappointed when you visit a Loving Hut. Whatever you fancy, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you can get it here. Bon Appétit!
Where to find it: Admiraal de Ruijterweg, 334
A macrobiotic vegan restaurant that offers fresh, organic food within its recently refurbished Lunchroom. With a new daily menu and a shop where you can buy goodies to take away, it’s a must visit in the Dam.
Where to find it: Weteringschans, 65
The costs of travelling can add up, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on tasty meals! A collective-run resto, you can eat very well here and still have change from €10. Be sure to book your table in advance!
Where to find it: Eerste Schinkelstraat, 16
A place for cool cats, with a variety of vegan wine, beer and spirits. Relax in the cocktail lounge before you enjoy
a vegan dinner. This is a vegetarian restaurant with plenty of vegan options.
Where to find it: Javastraat, 49
Koffie ende Koeck
For quite frankly some of the best looking vegan cakes I’ve ever seen, it would be rude not to visit this vegan and organic café. Perfect for a sweet treat!
Where to find it: Haarlemmerweg, 175
Fancy a vegan club sandwich after a vegan bag shopping session? Well DopHert is the place for you. Stock up on your beauty essentials and fill your belly with some delicious plant-based nibbles.
Where to find it: Spaarndammerstraat, 49
Vegabond Store and Café
Come here to stock up on vegan snacks to take around the city with you. There’s a plentiful selection of sandwiches and soups and you can enjoy a glorious view of the canal too.
Where to find it: Leliegracht, 16
Terra Zen Centre
Vegan food with a Japanese and Caribbean flair that is highly recommended. The centre is also host to various events throughout the year. One of the most loved vegan places in the city.
Where to find it: Sint Jacobstraat, 19
Located in what used to be a squat, De Peper is run by volunteers and offers one set meal each day. With an array of art on the walls, enjoy a cruelty-free dish as you soak up the creativity of your surroundings.
Where to find it: Overtoom, 301
Eating out at non-vegan places
Yes, I know the Dutch stereotype is synonymous with a whole load of cheese eating, and it’s true, they certainly do like their cheeses, but with the fact that most places will understand English perfectly, and with a widening understanding of veganism, you shouldn’t find yourself stuck pushing a lettuce leaf around your plate.
There are also plenty of juice bars and healthy food places where you’ll be able to find a vegan nibble or two. However, a word of warning, arriving unannounced to a restaurant and expecting an elaborate vegan meal is a bad idea. Instead either phone or pop into a place that has caught your eye in advance and explain what you do and don’t eat. Most traditional restaurants will offer meat, fish and a vegetarian dish that will have cheese or eggs in. Of course, you will be able to find vegan-friendly options at more ethnic establishments like Indian, Middle Eastern and Indonesian places. But if you don’t have chance to book ahead, then these eateries offer omnivorous menus with vegan options:
- Snow Lion – Haarlemmerstraat 50
- La Perla – Tweede Tuindwarsstraat, 14
- Salsa Shop – Amstelstraat, 32
- Lavinia Good Food – Kerkstraat 176
• I am vegan – Ik ben een veganist
• I don’t eat meat, fish, eggs or dairy – Ik eet geen vlees, vis, eieren of zuivel
• With soya milk please – Met sojamelk alstublieft
• Without shrimp sauce – Zonder garnalensaus
• Please use olive oil and not butter – Gebruik olijfolie en niet boter
• Without milk – Zonder melk
Top 5 sites to visit
Food aside, Amsterdam has a wealth of history, culture and stunning places of interest that you simply must take in to complete your trip.
A stunning building with a spectacular collection of artwork inside. Make sure you see The Nightwatch, and give yourself a few hours to step back in time and admire the work of the old masters.
Anne Frank House
It’s best to book ahead so you can skip the queue here. Tickets are usually booked up a month in advance, so bear that in mind. Needless to say, a humbling experience for all who enter.
The cultural heart of the city, it’s one of the most visited spots, and for good reason too. Embrace your inner Dutch person and learn all about your host country. Don’t forget to stop by the Van Gogh Museum.
Vondelpark is a massive green space, and on a sunny day there’s nothing better than hiring a bike and cycling around to see what you can spy. With lots of water features and nice places to picnic, it’s a top spot for a relaxed family outing.
Take a boat tour with Those Dam Boat Guys
See another side of Amsterdam and book a boat tour with Those Dam Boat Guys. With rave reviews, these fellows must be doing something right. Take a bottle of wine with you and prepare to be entertained.
Avoid disappointment by booking trips in advance with Isango! so you can enjoy the wonders of Amsterdam. You can experience a canal cruise, have a walking tour of the red light district, explore the city, see the windmill’s, and much much more.
Getting to Amsterdam
Skyscanner.net has, in my opinion, always been the best place to get the cheapest flights, however you might want to take a look at Google Flights which can work out even better, plus it’s a little bit more user-friendly. You can fly from Manchester, Liverpool, Heathrow, Bristol and Gatwick right into Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, just 5 miles from the city centre. You can either get a train from the station situated beneath the airport, or take a bus or taxi to your destination. Again, English is widely understood, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Where to stay
At the time of writing, there aren’t any vegan or vegetarian only hotels in Amsterdam, however, when I spoke with Conscious Hotels they told me that not only do they offer 100% organic food and a buffet breakfast, there are plenty of vegan options and they can even prepare you a special plant-based plate. They pride themselves on being green, sustainable and as eco-friendly as possible.