We started the year with closed restaurants, we’re ending the year with closed restaurants. BUT despite corona this year a record amount of new vegan places opened!! Eleven new restaurants. On top of that, four existing restaurants decided to skip all animal products and go fully vegan, so that makes fifteen in total!
The Amsterdam Happy Cow page is currently listing 468 vegan and vegan-friendly adresses, 63 of them fully vegan. And Lonely Planet now included info on vegan restaurants in their latest Amsterdam guidebook, adding “Long at the forefront of vegetarian cuisine, Amsterdam led the way with vegan dining and has numerous restaurants citywide.”
Serious vegan fine dining
The vegan restaurant scene in Amsterdam is progressing not only quantitative, but also qualitative. Even getting praise from serious food critics, whose taste buds are still accustomed to the outdated flavours of animal products!
Restaurant Yerba received an 8- review in Het Parool this year – except for some supplementing dishes their menu is vegan. They are also recommended by the Gault & Millau guide. Morris & Bella is the first vegan restaurant to be included in the prestigious Lekker 500 guide, and vegan restaurant Bonboon received praise (score: an 8!) from Het Parool for having the best vegan menu in town!
Local bakeries introducing vegan options
The demand is there, so now also ordinary non-vegan bakeries are getting persuaded to come up with vegan options! This year famous local bakery stores Simon Meijssen and Arnold Cornelis (both with several locations in town) introduced vegan options. We also saw options at Bakery Van Wou and Banketbakkerij Damman. New Polish cafe Kaziz made sure to include lots of vegan pastry in their assortment and Dunkin’ Donuts now has various vegan donuts!
Tempting you with vegan recipes
One of the best ways to encourage people to go vegan is just through food. Not everyone loves to cook but for those that too, there are just so many awesome ingredients and dishes to discover! Cookbooks can help introduce you to some of these. This year quite a few cookbooks came out written by fellow Amsterdam-based vegans! ‘De Vier Seizoenen van Vogel’ (Sanne Vogel), ‘Family.Eat.Plant.’ (Lisette Kreischer & Maartje Borst), ‘Elke Dag Feest’ (Maartje Borst), ‘Vegan Party Food’ (Jason Tjon Affo) and ‘Plantaardig’ (Alexander Gershberg).
As someone mentioned to me today: “It was a good year for unhealthy veganism!” Yes most of the new vegan products in the supermarket, and this year there were A LOT, are not necessarily healthy or necessary. Focus on a wholefoods vegan diet. Take your B12. But those products sure make it easier to replace some of the foods we used to love and can also be just convenient. It just makes being vegan easier! It’s a nice thought that there’s a growing demand for vegan products. Following are some new vegan finds from this year. Check also the Highlights on our Instagram page for more 2021 products.
Vegan restaurants keep popping up
These are all the new vegan places of 2021:
– More vegan pastry at Margo’s in Jordaan neighbourhood. Croissants, pain au chocolat, sub sandwiches and more.
– The best of vegan Asian streetfood in a shared dining concept at Veganees.
– Vegan cafe and vintage furniture store Cometa, located in Amsterdam Noord!
– Vegan alkaline healthfood restaurant and store I Can Do Better, De Pijp.
– Homemade patties from beans/lentils at burger bar Flower Burger.
– More vegan burgers at Virgin Burger, De Pijp.
– Another vegan pastry shop in Jordaan: Saint-Jean is specialised in cruffins, brioche, galettes etc.
– Vegan Temple Bar is a vegan burger spot close to Leidseplein.
– Aubergini is a casual vegan restaurant close to RAI, with delivery options.
– An all vegan Mexican restaurant with adjoining cocktailbar: Madre at Westerstraat.
– Vegan Vietnamese food and drinks at Chay Foodtruck, every Wednesday at Albert Cuyp market.
Then quite a few existing restaurants decided to progress to a fully vegan menu this year!
– Beter & Leuk got new owners and is now called Bataat, with a vegan menu and skipping dairy they are now totally vegan.
– Restaurant The Meets declared “Pure plant-based food is here to stay” and is now 100% vegan.
– Fine dining restaurant Morris & Bella went from plant-forward to completely vegan this year. They intend to take plant-based cuisine to a whole new level!
– Popular nightclub/art centre Radion announced about their cafe/restaurant: “Since we think that vegan is the way forward, we completely overhauled our menu and went green.”
Quite striking that this year a lot of stores especially closed down for good!
– All vegan supermarket Vegan Fresco opened at Jan Evertsenstraat early in the year, only to close already in September. They continue as a webshop.
– Sustainable fashion store Geitenwollenwinkel at Utrechtsestraat closed after several years.
– Vegan/vegetarian grocery store Vegish was only open for a short period of time, bad luck with leakage problems as well.
– Vegan Shop Shop at Haarlemmerdijk didn’t make it this year.
– Vegan-friendly food store Klein also at Haarlemmerdijk stopped.
– Vegan bakery store Veni Vidi Veggi at Leliegracht closed.
– Vegan-friendly candy store Candy Freaks closed down. They were featured on our website since the beginning (2014)!
Pizza restaurant Mastino V closed at Bilderdijkstraat, but their location in De Pijp is still there and got fully restyled. Healthfood cafe and take-away Oliver Green is unfortunately no longer 100% plant-based. They switched to a plant-forward concept, so including also animal products in their menu.
For the animals
Being vegan is great: you’re not contributing (as far as possible) to animal cruelty. But if you wanna do more than that, consider joining one of the many initiatives existing in Amsterdam to help and stand up for animals.
Last year Animal Rebellion did various actions, including a campaign to persuade McDonald’s to switch to a fully plant-based menu. Anonymous for the Voiceless is doing regular street outreach about veganism, and organised a huge march in September. It’s the time of the year where you’ll see more fur again in the streets, so some people started campaigning against that. Pigeons are amongst the most present non-human animals in the Amsterdam streets, but often suffer from wounds. During ‘Stringfoot Sundays’ Stichting Stadsduiven Hulp catches pigeons to offer them immediate care. Other huge manifestations this year were National Animal Rights Day at Dam square, and the Climate March in the city centre. Foundation Dier & Recht ran a big advertisement campaign in public places to draw attention to the cruelty in the dairy industry.
Looking ahead to 2022
French vegan healthfood concept Wild & The Moon is about to open soon. They are located at Van Woustraat 138, De Pijp.
The guys from Hearth are back. They used to have their vegetarian restaurant / creative space at Albert Cuypstraat for four years but closed last year. Their new location is at Camperstraat, Amsterdam Oost. Cool news, from now on their food will be 100% vegan! It is said they will open on January 2nd!
Popular casual vegan restaurant Jack Bean, who are big in Rotterdam, did a successful crowdfunding last summer to open up another restaurant in Amsterdam! They are still looking for the right location, but it’s coming up.
And the latest news: vegan wholefoods take-away restaurant Peach Plantbased Kitchen finally found a place of their own in Amsterdam Noord. At the moment they are busy renovating but they will open somewhere early next year!
Finally, if you’re considering going vegan or eating vegan more often, consider joining the Vegan Challenge! Wishing everyone a fruitful new year!