The year 2022 in review: great variety

liever hier

The corona lockdown period feels like a long time ago and Amsterdam horeca came back to life. Like last year, this year we also gained 15 new vegan places in town (including second locations or existing omnivore restaurants switching to vegan)! And all so different from eachother, shows that veganism is really for everyone these days.

The Amsterdam Happy Cow page currently shows a total of 531 vegan and vegan-friendly addresses, of which 72 are vegan. Just to say, only three years ago that number of vegan addresses at Happy Cow was 39 so it almost doubled since then! Read more

Plenty vegan options at vegetarian restaurant Bar Kantoor, open all day

Conscious Hotel Westerpark opened in 2018, being the fourth location of this hotel chain. Their aim is to combine sustainability and design in a playful manner, and are considered pioneers in the hotel world regarding sustainability.

Bar Kantoor is their adjoining restaurant, the name referring to the building’s old function as an office (in Dutch: ‘kantoor’) for the gas factory which used to be located on this part of Westerpark. In the fall of 2022 they decided to take all meat and fish off the menu, thus having a completely vegetarian menu (‘meat-ing cancelled’, as their menu says in a play on their office theme). Most of the menu options are vegan. All their food and drinks are also organic. Read more

Mediterranean flavours at stylish vegetarian restaurant Chez Nina

chez nina

Swedish born Nina Olsson originally graduated in graphic/media design and worked as an art director for many years. But since food was her true passion, she made a switch in her career. In 2013 she launched her food platform Nourish Atelier, with a focus on simple, healthy and mainly plant-based recipes. In 2017 her first cookbook Bowls of Goodness came out, followed by three more over the years.

Olsson has been living in Amsterdam for the past fifteen years. A few years ago she did a month-long pop-up at Zoku hotel, where she prepared dishes from her cookbooks. It was then when the idea for her own restaurant first sparked. She teamed up with a befriended entrepreneur, and so Chez Nina opened August 2022! Read more

All vegan neighbourhood restaurant Lokol opens at Kinkerstraat

lokol amsterdam

In 2018 entrepreneur Mathijs Huis in ‘t Veld and chef Pepijn Schmeink started vegan restaurant Jack Bean in Rotterdam. They found eachother in a shared mission to make the food industry more sustainable, and to show people a different way of eating. Fully plant-based, with ingredients sourced locally as much as possible. “Plant-based food can be just as tasty, and is much more sustainable,” tells Pepijn. “You really show people an alternative, not just for a niche group but for everybody. There are so many discussions going on, these are concrete solutions.”

Fastforward to 2022, when they open up a new location in Amsterdam but decide to slightly change the concept. Less about fastfood, more like a neighbourhood bistro and with an even bigger focus on sustainability. Nowadays about 70% of their produce comes from regenerative farming. An approach of agriculture which takes more care of the soil, for example by not tilling and by rotating crops. They decide to change the name to Lokol. They open September 2022. Read more

Liever Hier – vegan pastry and coffee place in picturesque Noord

liever hier amsterdam

After they got together as a couple, Ellen Wiggers and Rogier van Buuren quickly started working together as well in Ellen’s coffee place at Buikslotermeerplein. Here they served coffee and homemade pies in cultural community centre De Modestraat.

Some years later they had the chance to buy a former cafe at Nieuwendammerdijk. They plan to turn it into a pie bakery / coffee house. After months of renovating they open in 2019, with the new name ‘Liever Hier’ (meaning ‘rather here’). As this is their preferred place to be!

Early 2022 they decide to go vegan themselves as well as to make the full menu at Liever Hier 100% vegan. “Now that our eyes have really been opened we can no longer look away from the animal suffering, the horrible living conditions in the meat- and dairy industry and we are acting upon it. No more animal products, animals have a right to life just as much as we do.” Their regular guests react very positive. People who initially were skeptical about plantbased milks in their coffee simply get convinced when they try it! Read more

New ‘healthy fastfood’ concept Nom Nom Nom

nom nom nom amsterdam

New ‘healthy fastfood’ concept with several pop-up locations and some future normal ones. Not the first one to embrace this term, clearly there is a market for healthy food fit for city lifestyle. All their food is vegan!

At Nom Nom Nom their food is made from wholefoods, fastfood without deepfrying. Instead they prep and finish it in the oven. Their modest menu features several burgers, made from black beans, lentils, mushrooms or vegetables. Some side dishes as well (veggie nuggets and more) and a changing dessert special. Read more

Patisserie Koekoek – new vegan pastry shop in the centre!

patisserie koekoek
Sher started baking about seven years ago, influenced by her father who was working as patissier. She became vegan, simply because she likes animals. “After seeing slaughterhouse footage, how can you continue to eat animals?”

Three years ago she started baking only vegan at her job in lunchroom Iets Aparts (not vegan but they have many vegan options), where she is also one of the owners. “There  was an increasing demand for vegan pastry, and people don’t taste a difference anyways.” Since this became so successful she wanted to do something more with it, that’s how Patisserie Koekoek became about. Read more

Juices, ginger shots, smoothies and more at vegan juice bar Dr. Smooji

dr smooji

As you soon as you enter this tiny shop you’re surrounded by plants and stacks of fruit everywhere! Before she started Dr. Smooji, Yalda Ali was working in healthcare, but it was her dream from early age to start her own food business. Back in Afghanistan she was raised eating lots of fruit, vegetables, ginger etc. and continued to do so later.

In 2016 she made the initial plans to open up something evolving around healthy, freshly prepared food. In 2020 she opened, tough enough during the first corona lockdown. It has proven a succes however and many people living in the neighbourhood have found her place. Read more

Yoghurt Barn switched to a fully vegan menu!

yoghurt barn

Yoghurt Barn (also known as YB) started in 2012, initially offering frozen yoghurt and other dairy based foods. They have locations in various cities in the Netherlands. Kind of like a casual place to meet or have lunch.

Some years ago they expressed their ambition to become fully plant-based, due to the negative effect of dairy products on the planet. Slowly but surely they replaced the dairy with vegan options, and made the final switch October 2022. They want to show that plant-based food can be just as delicious, or even more delicious! Read more

People’s kitchen AND seven course vegan dinner at this Sloterdijk community space

testtafel de sering

De Sering started in 2019 as a community kitchen in a building at Middenweg, originating out of a group of Extinction Rebellion activists. Besides the food here they also hosted lectures, movie screenings etc. After a while they attracted more and more people, including students and people living in the neighbourhood.

In order to be able to finance it all they started with Testtafel. A more fancy dining concept generating a bit more income. Originally they meant to organise just a few dinner nights, but it quickly grew so successful that they continued with it. After being housed at various temporary locations, they now found a stable home within theater space De Sloot, located in Westpoort. Here they opened spring 2022. Read more