You’ll quickly find out that at least in the city centre, there are almost no other supermarkets besides Albert Heijn. Much to the annoyance of many locals. Apart from the supermarkets, there are also some great toko’s (Dutch word, originally Malay, for non-European food stores) here and there. With so many nationalities living in Amsterdam you can find specific Chinese (like this one), Turkish, Surinamese, Polish, Italian And then there are some stores aimed only at tourists, often also aptly named ‘supermarket’. If you are looking for a big supermarket, the Albert Heijn close to the Dam square would be the obvious one.
Ekoplaza is the biggest chain of organic stores and you can find them in most neighbourhoods. Independent organic stores are only few, one of them is De Aanzet (De Pijp neigbourhood). Marqt is a chain of ‘feelgood’ foodstores selling some organic food, some artisanal products and some expensive delicacies. You can find some products they don’t have at other stores. Vegabond is a vegan food store.
For processed food, Dutch supermarkets nowadays tend to be pretty alright for vegans. In recent years more and more products specifically aimed at vegans are being made and it’s not that uncommon anymore to see the word ‘vegan’ on a package.
A great help is the website Gewoon Vegan, which lists heaps of Dutch supermarket products which are vegan, intended or not.
Almost all supermarkets will sell tofu. Some of them also sell tempeh, an Indonesion product also made from soybeans. Many stores will have additional meat substitutes, depending on the store half of them usually are vegetarian, not vegan (often containing chicken egg protein). For an overview of the latest supermarket meat substitutes go here!
Plant-based dairy products
In recent years, soy milk and other non-dairy milks have become much more popular. Nowadays you will find soy milk in every supermarket, usually also almond milk, rice milk, oat milk etc. from various brands. In the fridge section you will find soy yoghurt and sometimes quark. Vegan cheese is not common in normal supermarkets except Jumbo (from Wilmersburger brand).
Candy and cookies
There’s not a crazy variety of vegan cookies available in the supermarket, but some of the ones that are, are really good! Our favourites include LU’s Time Out Robuuste Koeken, Punselie’s Stroopkoekjes (mini-version of the famous and typically Dutch stroopwafel), Verkade Café Noir and of course Oreo’s. Nowadays one can find a greater diversity of chocolate in Dutch supermarkets. Dark chocolate is usually vegan. Keep an eye out for the dark chocolate of Tony Chocolony, a brand which strives to use slave-free cocoa. Most of the regular candy contains gelatin, hence is not vegan. A brand called Goody Good stuff is available in most supermarkets and is all vegan. Check out vegan liquorice available at supermarkets here. More vegan liquorice can be found in organic stores in town.
What are some ingredients to watch out for?
chicken egg protein