Two years ago some friends wanted to open up a cafe, and decided to combine that with a furniture store (which was already an occupation of one of them). They found a temporary location at Purmerplein (Amsterdam Noord) and called it Purmer.
When they had to move, they found a new place in a former church building. Vegan chef Sam joined forces and so their own menu is now fully vegan. The new name Cometa refers to the name of the street: Kometensingel. They opened May 2021, and here they are now also open during the evening. And another improvement, this location is not a temporary one anymore! Read more
They met eight years ago while studying at the renowned University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy, also known as the university of the Slow Food movement. Now, Andres Jara and four others are running the Stadsgroenteboer farm in Osdorp. On 0,4 hectares at the western outskirts of Amsterdam, they are growing no less than 60 different kinds of vegetables, plus 15 different herbs.
I cycle there to meet Andres, who besides being a vegetable farmer, is also a chef and is selling plant based food products under the name of Roots, Rice & Beans. I find him working behind his laptop, underneath a makeshift canvas roof, his office for the day. While he shows me the property, he tells me all about De Stadsgroenteboer and his other projects. Read more
Started as National Animal Rights Day in the US in 2011, grew into in fact an international event. With the aim of both to commemorate the non-human animal victims, as well as to celebrate the progress being made for animal rights.
This year was the first time this manifestation took place in the Netherlands, on Sunday June 6. At busy Dam square, a great amount of speakers talked about the conditions in which animals are suffering in various industries. The motto of National Animal Rights Day is ‘Our planet. Theirs too’ – we are sharing this Earth with the other animals and have to acknowledge their rights as well. Read more
While corona has shattered a good amount of plans and dreams, it led to the materialisation of others. When the careers of Margo (styling/make-up) and her partner Ayden (photography) came to a pause, they decided to pursue her long-felt dream of opening up her own vegan take-away place.
So now every morning Margo bakes homemade vegan croissants, pain au chocolat, madeleines and what not! She loves working with dough, some recipes are the result of years of continuously improving them at home.
The savoury options include American style sub sandwiches – oblong bread rolls. This is the passion of Ayden, since they are also common in his homeland Cyprus and nearby Greece. Since they couldn’t find them in Amsterdam with the quality and properties they desired, Margo is also baking these bread rolls herself! The sandwich options are always changing, but current options are one with crispy tofu, chili mayo and veggies. The other one Caprese style with vegan mozarella and more. Read more
Opened last November at Bilderdijkstraat, Kazik is a café and store all about Polish food. Owner Kasia is from Poland herself and came to Amsterdam nine years ago.
The name Kazik is a derivative from Kazimierz, the Jewish district in Cracow. The food and vibe of this cosy neighbourhood is a source of inspiration for her. Kasia calls her café also ‘the living room of Cracow’ in Amsterdam. Read more
Right at the time when corona started, Irene was looking for a place to start her own vegan caterer business. She had to abandon the original plans, but by chance got the opportunity to start out from an already existing kitchen. The beginning of Peach Plantbased Kitchen, operating since November 2020 out of the kitchen of Robin Food. She’s running it with two others.
Before this she was working in disability care and part-time studying, which she gave up to pursue her dream of setting up her own kitchen.
Irene grew up as a vegetarian but was eating practically vegan already. The meals she creates for Peach are fully vegan, as well as whole foods, meaning she avoids using processed foods. “I always start from vegetables,” she tells. Using seasonal vegetables, preferably local, and sometimes even picked in the wild! Read more
Balkenbrij is an old Dutch dish traditionally made from the less popular parts of animals, in particular blood of pigs. Yeah that sounds gross I know! But the flavour also comes from typical spices used for this dish, as well as buckwheat flour. Recipes vary also per region, some add bacon for example, but for this recipe I just stick to the version I had in my youth, but then veganised of course. Read more
Vegan Fresco opened February 2021 after a successful crowdfunding campaign. With according to them 4% of the Dutch eating vegan/plant-based and 55% being flexitarian, owner James Fresco suggested it was about time for a specialised vegan supermarket.
Being the first vegan supermarket in the Netherlands/Amsterdam got them quite some attention, from the world of retail (veganism is hot) and obviously from vegans as well. Read more
The most famous Dutch winter dish is without a doubt stamppot. Consisting of mashed potatoes with another type of vegetable mixed in, classic combinations are with kale, endive, sauerkraut, Brussels sprouts or carrot. Stamppot is very much comfortfood and uncomplicated to prepare, it’s possible to prepare it in just one pot. Perfect for these dark winter evenings!
The version with carrot is usually just called hutspot, and I love this one for the slightly sweeter taste and the colour. Just like other stamppot, it is traditionally eaten with a smoked sausage, which is nowadays easy to find vegan as well! Read more
Of course corona heavily influenced life in Amsterdam the last year, for vegan stuff as well. Restaurants have been closed for the most part of the year, almost no street activism or events, little casual socialising. Yet still new vegan restaurants opened, a lot of new vegan products in the supermarket, lots of new vegan cookbooks. Happy Cow currently lists 406 vegan/vegan-friendly restaurants in town, of which 50 are fully vegan. The interest in veganism just continues!
And rightly so, for yet another reason to go vegan (it’s a win-win situation really) is that this corona thing directly stems from the practise of humans eating other animals. Without the animal industry there’s less risk of future pandemics. In the Netherlands the mink industry (for fur) also helped to spread the virus, as mink can also be contagious with corona. Of the 128 mink farms in the Netherlands eventually at 70 farms mink got corona.
But yeah, let’s continue with the positive news. Read more