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.
Vegan flavours at icecream parlours (and not just sorbet)
There are plenty of options for vegan icecream in the supermarket nowadays (Magnum, Cornetto, Ben & Jerry’s etc.) but the choice at icecream shops was usually limited to fruit flavours. But last year vegan-friendly places Massimo Gelato and La La Ijs both got another shop. Well-known icecream shop Monte Perlo introduced various new vegan flavours. Vegan Junk Food Bar started 100% vegan concept Buba Cream and then there was the vegan pop-up from Blue Birds!
Even more pastry options
In 2019 we already saw a rise in vegan pastry options, this just continued in the last year with more refined options. Two vegan pastry stores opened: Veni Vidi Veggi and Sue. Regular bakery/pastry stores Bakkerij Westerpark and Patisserie Linnick came with vegan pastry options due to popular demand. Umeå Bakery is offering Kanelbullar (typical Swedish) and other vegan pastry. The Hague based vegan patisserie Epicurieus was a hit back when they were at Museum Market a few times. And Vegan Pâtisserie is bringing that sophisticated French stuff! Btw can we all be grateful that the era of vegan cupcakes is over. It was nice back then but glad we have more and better options nowadays!
This year we also noticed quite a few cool vegan/plant-based cookbooks coming out of Amsterdam. Jason Tjon Affo aka The Indigo Kitchen released his book ‘Vegan Soul Food’. Maartje Borst, owner of Koffie ende Koeck wrote a book all about vegan baking called ‘Taart ende Koeck’. Vegetable recipes of some of the finest (non-veg) restaurants in town are bundled together as ‘Shortlist Amsterdam – restaurants en hun beste groenterecepten‘. Chef/owner Walter Marskamp of plant-forward fine dining restaurant Yerba released a cookbook ‘Smaak – De plantaardige keuken van Yerba’ which is practically vegan. And vegan cookbook queen Lisette Kreischer wrote together with vegan dog expert Rick Scholtes a vegan cookbook for dogs! Called ‘Dog.Eat.Plant‘.
Some noteworthy vegan products which became available in 2020:
New vegan places
– Plant Based Sushi was housed at two temporary locations this year, before they finally got their own space at Staatsliedenbuurt.
– All vegan Italian pizza/pasta restaurant Trevi’s opened in De Pijp.
– More vegan sushi! Vegan Sushi Bar opened early this year in Oud-West, later this year second location in De Pijp.
– Vegan Korean/Japanese restaurant De Patchka opened at Albert Cuypstraat right around the time this corona thing happened, but they are still there!
– Vegan Surinamese restaurant Yemayá opened this year, first vegan restaurant in Zuid-Oost!
– Vegan winery Neleman (vineyard in Spain) opened a brandstore in De Pijp.
– Vegan bakery shop Veni Vidi Veggi opened at Leliegracht. By chance at the old location of Vegabond!
– SUE, creators of vegan and glutenfree pastry in Rotterdam, opened a store in Amsterdam! At Elandsgracht.
The caféMastino is back in De Pijp with a second location which is fully vegan and has normal wheat crust pizza’s!as well as pancake place Mr. Stacks progressed to a fully vegan menu in 2020. Pizza place
Cinema Het Ketelhuis decided this year to make the menu of their restaurant completely vegetarian, with vegan options of course. Other new vegetarian places are Falafellow in the north, and Chopstick District in the south. At Haarlemmerdijk opened vegetarian and very vegan-friendly food store Klein.
Mixed Flavour is another Surinamese place in Zuid-Oost (Amsterdamse Poort) and half of their menu is vegan.
Inevitable: places that closed
Last year we unfortunately had to say goodbye to macrobiotic shop/resto Deshima, vegan fine dining restaurant Marit’s Eetkamer, and vegetarian restaurant Traffic. And yes, corona has something to do with that.
2020 saw less activism in the streets of Amsterdam for obvious reasons. Big annual animal rights demo’s were cancelled. The protest by Animal Rebellion at Museumplein in July was probably the biggest gathering. There was some Cube of Truth style vegan outreach and furthermore some vegan propaganda in the streets: putting up posters and such.
What can we expect in 2021
Next year will bring us more burgers, as both Virgin Burger and Flower Burger are about to open, both 100% vegan. Furthermore Oliver Green is busy busy with getting their second location ready at Kinkerstraat. Vegan supermarket Vegan Fresco will hopefully open next year, they still have a crowdfunding campaign going so you can help to make that happen!
Vegetarian restaurant Hearth closed this year at their Albert Cuypstraat location but they are planning to reopen in the next year. Also Laz Vega will reopen next year after some recovery time due to illness. They are a small vegetarian Italian place at de Jordaan, with plenty of vegan options.
But let me close off with this recent on-point quote from Amsterdam-based comic maker Ype Driessen. If you are not vegan yet, please consider it. To all, let’s make some shit happen in 2021!
“Ik vind het komisch dat de wereld volledig de soep indraait, terwijl er een supersimpel wondermiddel bestaat dat de mensheid kan helpen bij het bestrijden van klimaatverandering, pandemieën en het wereldvoedselprobleem, en dat ook nog bijdraagt aan het verlichten van oneindig lijden, namelijk – moet ik het nog zeggen – het niet eten van andere dieren. Iedereen die ik ken die gestopt is met het eten van vlees ervaart dit bovendien ook nog eens als een persoonlijke bevrijding.”