Amsterdam’s best vegan & vegetarian restaurants and cafe’s

So you’re looking for Vegan and Vegetarian restaurants in Amsterdam. Or perhaps just restaurants that have extensive Vegan options on the menu.  Or maybe you’re just hunting for Amsterdam’s best Vegan pancake.  Well you’re in the right place.

Its Veganuary and even though I’m not on a healthy eating kick right now I definitely feel like I ought to be.  And if I do get on board, Amsterdam is the place to head given the explosion of vegan openings over the last few years offering food that is giving traditional restaurants a run for their money.

In a country that has always deified the cow by way of fabulous steaks and dairy, modern cafes and restaurateurs are rediscovering The Netherlands’ unbelievably rich local soil and are creating plant-based food that appeals to carnivores, flexitarians and vegans alike.  Indeed, The Happy Cow Blog currently highlights a whopping 374 vegan-friendly restaurants in the city and 39 that are vegan exclusively with new spots opening every week, including a new vegan sushi bar for 2020.

So, here is a roundup of the best of what is on offer.  We’ll prioritise those that are exclusively vegan but you’ll find a few strong recommendations for others (all marked) that are either vegetarian or offer a small amount of meat or fish but where vegetables reign supreme.  Almost every restaurant in Amsterdam will now often an interesting vegan choice but our list focuses on those venues where there the kitchen is really focused on plant-based food whilst sometimes accommodating meat or fish eaters with limited options.

I do need to point out that unlike many of my other posts I haven’t eaten in all these places however I’ve spoken to people who have and focused on the ones they highly recommend.

Are you ready, set, go-vegan…

 

 

Best for Cakes, Snacks and Drinks

 

Koffie ende Koeck – Vegan

Cute as a button vegan dream by the Westerpark.  Started by Maartje who abandoned a career in the art world to start a vegan lunchroom serving breakfast and lunch as well as sweet treats.  A clean sweep of TripAdvisor 5 star ratings has earned her comments like this:  “A great little café serving amazing vegan food and desserts. The quality of the breakfast was outstanding. The cake selection is also to die for, especially the local varieties. Whether you’re vegan, or not, you should definitely go here.

09.30-17.30 Tuesday to Friday / 10.00-17.00 Saturday

 

Olive and Cookie – Vegetarian

Tiny spot in the Pijp for top class takeaway or seating round the single large shared table.  TripAdvisor gives it 40 exclusively 5 star reviews and the husband and wife team now have their own cookbook.  Get there early – when the food is gone, its gone.  Effusive reviews are common: “Amazing veg food made freshly daily. The owner will talk through each dish and you can select a few. The most popular option is to get a little bit of a few different items and the price is based on weight. They also have a great selection of baked tarts made daily, including vegan ones, that are priced separately. I loved the restaurant and vibe so much that I ate there two days in a row.

12.00 – 20.00 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

 

Juice by Nature – Non veg but heavy vegan focus

Juice By Nature is not just rated TripAdvisor’s number 1 vegan option in Amsterdam, it makes the top 25 of all 3.5k restaurants in the city.  “An oasis of peace and tranquility with great vegan delights” and “A treat for the vegan population” are just some of the plaudits for this cold pressed juice bar and cafe serving locally roasted coffee and a large vegan selection throughout the day.  Committed to running a sustainable business with paper straws and glass containers, the business is owned, run and nurtured by Paula who responds to every TripAdvisor review personally.  A bright and fresh space located in an area dense with grotty fast food joints, it’s a little green gem right in the centre of town. Definitely worth stopping by.

10.00-20.00 7 days a week

 

Deer Mama Vegan Mylk and Burger Bar – Vegan

Particularly known for their vegan burgers in a pink American diner/cafe setting, Deer Mama is regularly recommend by locals for their “Amazing food, amazing milkshakes, amazing staff!” – think tahini “milk”shakes and boozy vegan pina coladas.  By day the menu is more breakfast-focused with pancakes, cakes and vegan soft-serve ice before the burgers and booze come out to play when the sun sets.

11.00-22.00 7 days a week

 

H/earth – Vegetarian

Hip combination of concept store and eatery in the heart of The Pijp right on the Albert Cuypstraat, H/earth has won rave reviews for its lovely owners Valentino and Marco.  Many visitors celebrate the Italian options on offer but others simply go for the cool mix of music, creativity and food: “Such an amazing restaurant! It has a completely unique feel with a really cool swing chair table, fairy lights, items for sale and a chill area.  The food is incredible!! We went on a Thursday for dinner and loved it so much we went back for lunch on Saturday. The broccoli gnocchi is out of this world! My favourite meal since going vegan a couple of years ago. The sauce is perfect, please don’t ever take off the menu. The vegan tiramisu is also incredible!! The owners are some of the nicest warmest people you will meet and it feels like going to a friends bohemian living room for dinner. Cannot wait to come back next visit.

12.00-22.00 7 days a week

 

 

Best for Pancakes

 

Mr Stacks – Vegan

 

Vegan pancakes and bubble tea are on the menu in this newish eatery in the centre of The Pijp that’s generating lots of buzz.  Obscenely huge stacks of Instagrammable vegan pancakes are all but guaranteed.  “Wow, been all over the world and these are some of the best pancakes I’ve ever had. We had the cinnamon pancakes and the tacos and both were divine! The interior couldn’t get any cuter either!

09.00-17.00 Monday to Thursday / 09.00-18.00 Friday to Sunday

 

Happy Pig Pancakes – Non veg but extensive vegan options

Screenshot 2020-01-05 at 16.53.10.png

Long term fave for Dutch pannenkoeken, this tiny spot often has a queue and notwithstanding the name does a nifty line in vegan and gluten free options.  Choose between organic wheat, vegan and vegan/buckwheat (‘gluten light’) pancakes and add toppings from an extensive list.  Vegan options are clearly marked on the menu and owner Andrea claims that the vegan pancake with strawberries and chocolate-hazelnut sauce is her fave – in her words “I mean, that already sounds delicious, doesn’t it?” though she also raves about the “vegan pancake with our very own apple mix and maple syrup – a homemade combination of apple, raisins, cinnamon and toasted almond slices, topped with organic maple syrup; and Everybody’s Sweetheart – a pancake with banana, chocolate hazelnut sauce and toasted almond slices. Also a perfect vegan choice!

09.00-18.00 7 days a week

 

Best for lunch

The Vegan Junk Food Bar took the city by storm when it opened in 2017 with its punk vegan menu shaking up the hippie veggie eateries of old.  With 4 restaurants in the Netherlands and international openings penciled for this year, every VJFB has its own unique feel with street-art interiors, a hip hop soundtrack and “flashy burgers and freak fries”.  They say “We love the planet and we have a strong belief that a plant-based lifestyle is the only right ethical option’. And of course we know that eating junk food is one of the biggest pleasures in life 😃”  Guests say: “insane food“, “rad grafitti“, “incredible!! – a vegan must“.  Get your Insta filter ready…

Lunchtime to late at most branches – check website for details

 

Meatless District – Vegan

Meatless District now has two branches in the city and has quickly become the vegan go-to for the city’s plant-based foodsters.  Offering a cool place to hang out (both inside and out) as well as a damn fine seasonal menu – we’ve put it on the lunch list but don’t rule out a visit in the evening, as this TripAdvisor review says:  “Meatless district is a great place to take non-vegans out for a vegan dinner. Their food is packed with flavor and very refined without becoming pretentious. The menu has something for everyone from the Jackfruit barbacoa bowl to the Tomato Risotto or the burgers. Also, there’s some nice starters/sharing plates and nibbles like padrones. I’d go here anytime and the interior space is beautiful with a nice ambience. Perfect for a date…”

Bilderdijkstraat

12.00-23.00 Monday to Friday / 10.00-23.00 Saturday and Sunday

Van Woustraat

18.00-23.00 Monday to Friday / 12.00- 23.00 Saturday and Sunday

 

Lavinia Good Food – Non veg but extensive vegetarian/vegan options

 

Lovely spot tucked away on a quiet “in-between” street with an Instagrammable interior and tasty treats, LGF opened its doors back in 2014 and has now expanded with a second branch.  Do like others have done and come for breakfast before being tempted to return the next day for lunch. “The food was outstanding!  The pizza was seriously one of the best things I’ve ever eaten!  We were so impressed we went back a couple of times. Coffee and service also excellent. You will not be disappointed“.  At least 80% of the menu is vegetarian, some of which is vegan or can be made vegan

08.30-16.00 Monday to Friday / 09.30-17.00 Saturday and Sunday

 

Gartine – Non veg but with a kitchen-garden slant

We frequently recommend Gartine for anyone who is looking for a fabulous breakfast, brunch and lunch but its a fantastic option for vegetarians and vegans too.  With the majority of their plant-based food grown in their own kitchen garden, the fresh organic produce sings and this small and cosy place regularly makes Amsterdam’s must-eat lists.  Bookings are essential.  Full review here.

10.00-18.00 Wednesday to Saturday

 

Spirit Restaurant – Vegetarian

Pile up your plate at this vegetarian buffet (primarily vegan with well-marked veggie options) before paying by the weight.  They say “At Spirit you plate it up yourself. Our buffet offers a variety of fifty different breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes, juices and pastry to choose from. Everything guaranteed 100% organic and 100% vegetarian.  All our dishes are prepared daily in our kitchen using seasonal ingredients. This means hearty veggie stews during winter and fruit salad with local organic strawberries in the summer.  We choose organic and vegetarian because we respect humans, animals, our environment and our economy.  Not only do we take care that the food is yummy – we also see to it that it’s good for your health and good for the environment, both in the short and in the long run. That’s what makes good food taste even better.”  Don’t miss the vegan ice cream bar before you leave.

08.00-11.00 7 days a week

 

The Meets – Non veg but vegan led

Claiming to be “100% plant based with non-vegan options“, The Meets follow what they call the 80/20 rule: “80% plant-based, 20% animal produce –  100% lekker!”  They say: “We wanted to – and still want to – let as many people as possible experience how delicious plant-based food is, without being dogmatic. So if you or your friend want to add an egg, cheese or some meat or fish to your dish, that is possible. But why would you? Once you have tasted our plant-based dishes, you will be surprised how tasty vegan can be.”  With a hip, boho-cool interior in the happening East of the city and a menu that covers the full gamut from breakfast bowls to sandwiches and burgers as well as more substantial mains in the evening, it often features on Insta lists.

17.00-23.00 Tuesday to Friday / 16.00-23.00 Saturday and Sunday

 

Fast food

Image result for vegan bagels and beans

Next year, the big-chain fast food outlets are getting in on the act.  McDonald’s will release its Big Vegan burger following a launch in Germany; Burger King is collaborating with a Dutch brand on its own vega burger and KFC have already tested their Chickenless Chicken Burger in the city.

Or for something a little less greasy and a little more Dutch, Bagels and Beans (branches across the city) also have vegan items on the menu including drinks, cake and bagels.

 

Best for Dinner

 

MEN Impossible – Vegan

Unusual name for a unique and 5* rated noodle spot.  Advance bookings only (the chef is vehemently anti food-waste) and you won’t be disappointed.  Guests talk in superlatives saying “Best vegan meal I’ve ever enjoyed anywhere“, “It exceeded our expectations…the best vegan food we have ever tried!“, “You’d never know this amazing food is vegan” and “wow – what just happened?! My 9 year old just complimented the chef on his amazing food and great restaurant…BEST RAMEN EVER!”  Despite placing it in our dinner list, do consider a Sunday lunch.

12.00-13.30 Sunday / 17.30-21.00 Thursday to Sunday *do check as time change*

 

Yerba – Non veg but strong vegan focus

Describing itself as a “plant-forward” space, Amsterdammers have been raving about seasonal fine-dining restaurant Yerba since its opening in 2018.  And it’s not surprising, chef Walter Marskamp has worked at our beloved Wilde Zwijnen as well as the Hoxton Hotel and is front and centre in his new venture offering root to seed sustainable eating.  “We care about exciting and engaging food, based on the finest vegetables and edible plants of the season. We care about growing our own, working with local producers, farmers and fishermen, and presenting the best new alternative dining.  We offer a seasonally changing a la carte tasting menu or allow our chef to create your meal. Available as vegan, vegetarian or omnivore.”  This most recent TripAdvisor review sums it up as well as anything “Genius!!  Best restaurant we have ever been to. Honestly. First, the menu is clear and simple and gives you enough info to make your choice of dishes yet without unveiling all the flavour surprises. Then, the restaurant itself, placing its chef right in the middle of the room, was both human and courageous. Lastly, the food. It is actually the main reason I am writing this review. Creative and daring, perfectly executed and leading to excellence. Each dish was a firework, in satisfying proportions. The whole dinner was a journey, I cannot wait to experience again.”  Go visit

18.00-23.30 Friday / 11.00-15.00 and 18.00-23.00 Saturday and Sunday

 

Bonboon – Vegan

 

Out on KNSM Island out in the Eastern Docklands is vegan restaurant Bonboon.  Celebrating vegetables rather than trying to offer meat substitutes, Bonboon opened in 2018 offering fairly priced beautifully prepared food.  You’re unlikely to be rubbing shoulders with Instagramming tourists here, rather the simple interior belies the outstanding cooking that happens in the kitchen.  “Do not let the location or place itself fool you. The food here is incredible!! Utterly the best vegan food I have ever tasted, anywhere in the world. If there was a sixth, seventh or tenth star, I would give that to this place. The restaurant is a bit out of the way and the place itself is a little sparse, utterly disguising the gastronomic delights that the incredibly talented chef has up her sleeve. If you like vegan food, you will love this place!

18.00-22.00 Wednesday to Sunday

 

Mr & Mrs Watson – Vegan

Famous for their house-made vegan cheeses but offering so much more, Mr & Mrs Watson offers “comfort food but with a vegan twist“.  The concise menu celebrates their award-winning cheese but also offers other interesting options for lunch and dinner.  Beautifully presented and in a clean and cosy space, head East to sample their artisan delights.

11.30-23.00 7 days a week

 

Bak – Non veg but strong vegetarian focus

Overlooking the water in the former timber port of Amsterdam Houthaven, this stylish restaurant is on the third floor of a former warehouse and offers beautifully presented upmarket vegetarian food.  They say “Our aim is to work with the best vegetables from passionate farmers, fish from sustainable fisheries and meat from local producers. With these high-quality products, we hope to entertain our guests with innovative and ethical cuisine. The menu changes daily in line with the season and the availability of our products.”  High-end food writer and blogger ElizabethOnFood said “Very attractive food cooked by a talented chef. But what I liked best is that they offer serious food and serious wine, in a very laid-back and no-nonsense atmosphere. The restaurant had been on my radar for quite some time, but I just never got around to it. My loss, because BAK offers one of the best value for money deals in Amsterdam.

19.00-01.00 Wednesday to Friday / 12.30-01.00 Saturday and Sunday

 

De Kas – Non veg but heavily plant led

We adore De Kas for the unique greenhouse space, the atmosphere and the food grown on their land and in their greenhouse.  It’s hard to overstate how wonderful this place is.  Click this link for a full review of their extraordinary venue and stunning set menu and do everything possible to bag yourself a reservation for a very special meal.

12.00-14.00 and 18.30-22.00 Monday to Friday / 18.30-22.00 Saturday

 

Vuurtoreneiland – Non veg but plant led

This is an extraordinary experience as much as a great meal.  Based on a remote island, a visit involves catching the boat there and back as well as an ethos that you will eat “in and from nature”.  Our full review here gives a more extensive recap but suffice to say that vegetarians and vegans are not just entertained but celebrated with unique food grown locally on the Beemster polder and prepared using ‘old-fashioned artisan techniques’ with everything cooked entirely on an open fire.

Boat departs 18.30 and returns 23.30 Tuesday to Saturday / 16.00-21.00 Sundays

 

Marits Eetkamer – Vegan

Outstanding reviews for this restaurant offering a seasonal 3, 4 or 5 course menu that changes monthly.  Based in Marit’s house it gives a feel of ‘local favourite’ rather than more formal fine dining but don’t be fooled, the food on offer is sophisticated and much lauded.  Settle down for the evening and let the atmosphere wash over you. “Even if you are not sure what vegan food is about, don’t hesitate to pay Marits Eetkamer a visit. I am not vegan or even a vegetarian, which means a visit here is more than an eating experience – it is also an eye-opener about food in general. The Eetkamer offers one menu, but you can choose from three distinct combinations with 3,4 or 5 combinations. I had the 4 course menu which was just great. The wine was fine and the atmosphere was just terrific. It is something about the interior and the kind and friendly atmosphere that makes you feel comfortable.”

18.00-22.00 Thursday to Saturday

 

Choux – Non veg but vegetarian focused

 

One of the new wave Amsterdam restaurants, Choux has been around for a few years now but still manages to top many of the must-eat lists due to its exceptional food and plates that are simply works of art.  Offering a tasting menu with dishes listed as ingredients, part of the appeal lies in the mystery as well as the extraordinary looking and tasting food.  Heavily plant-based, they primarily offer vegetarian or vegan food but will accommodate meat and fish eaters.  A very special evening out.

12.00-14.00 and 18.00-22.00 Monday to Friday / 18.00-22.00 Saturday

 

De School – Non veg but “vegetables play a central role”

De_School_Januari_1000C2A9Martijn_Savenije-2_89_1200x630_90_1_0_c

With a vibe reminiscent of hip Berlin, this restaurant and underground club is based in a former technical college where five nights a week the industrial space is offset with linen and candlelight.  Head out to west of the city and book ahead for the changing set menu (vegan on request) to hang with locals very much in the know.

18.00-24.00 Tuesday to Saturday

 

Betty’s – Vegetarian

Bettys

Betty and Gido started their restaurant back in 1988 and the glowing reviews keep flowing for this special little place.  Demonstrating a huge passion for food and its origins Betty and chef Lien have lost none of their enthusiasm for new discoveries that they bring into her restaurant.  “We change the three course surprise menu on a regular basis. Simply because we enjoy using super fresh ingredients -full of flavour, smell and character- and because we love to prepare recipes and ideas that were picked up during our encounters and travels.” But don’t take their word for it, the reviews of this entirely unpretentious place speak for themselves.” Oh my gosh I don’t know where to start, this was our first dinner in Amsterdam and well worth the tram or walk out into the suburbs. You are given a homely personalised experience of vegetarian or vegan food from around the world (surprise menu!) and each course is explained in detail as it is brought out. There are only a few tables to allow such a personal experience. Such a wonderful kind and passionate couple running the restaurant. This was probably one of the best meals I have ever had and without doubt the best vegan meal since I changed lifestyle 18 months ago, the flavour was incredible. Make sure you book and enjoy a very special evening.

17.30-22.30 Wednesday to Saturday

 

Vegan Canal Cruise

Image may contain: sky, cloud, outdoor and water

Finally, if you are looking for something different why not take a Vegan canal cruise.  Check the Facebook page for more info about year-round private vegan dining on a historic saloon boat and take a tour of the city center with vegan certified prosecco, wine or beer or choose the vegan snack cruise and enjoy a plant-based cheese platter while cruising the canals.

 

2 Comments

Leave a Reply