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Veganism in Amsterdam twenty years ago

vegan amsterdam guide

Whoa we recently received an old ‘Vegan Guide to Amsterdam’ booklet from 1994! Thirtysix photocopied pages of pure gold! And we never knew from its existence. Browsing through the pages brings feelings of wonder as well as recognition.

‘The Vegan Guide to Amsterdam’ is written by Henk de Jong and Rochelle Del Gunter, a Dutch-South African couple who also founded the now defunct organisation Vegans International. The guide offers specific advice for vegans, as well as general travel information about Amsterdam.

Change in perception

When the authors write about strippenkaarten (prehistoric system to pay in public transport), telephone booths in the streets and restaurants filled with clouds of cigarette smoke, you realise this was written quite some time ago. And also regarding veganism in Amsterdam, a lot has changed since 1994. Probably most notably the perception people have about veganism. The authors state:

The word vegan is known within the vegetarian movement, but virtually unknown outside except for the squatters movement. As you can imagine, vegans are considered cranks of the highest order. There is no purely vegan restaurant.

 Although nowadays in restaurants vegetarian options are still more common compared to vegan options, the vegan-friendly trend is undeniable in Amsterdam. A growing number of people know what veganism is about and are interested in trying it out. This is reflected in the range of products in grocery stores and the number of options when eating out. Not to forget the existence of a number of 100% vegan restaurants.

Going strong

Yet plenty of the places mentioned still exist. Most of the organic stores listed. And from the restaurants De Bolhoed, Deshima, Golden Temple, Vliegende Schotel and De Waaghals are still going strong. Vegetarian restaurants listed which don’t exist anymore are De Avonden, Harvest, Shizen, Silo, Sisters and Supernova. But, we got a lot of new ones in return! Wondering what the future will bring!


Do you have any memories of the vegetarian / vegan scene in Amsterdam in days gone by? Please share them with us in the comment section below!


vegan amsterdam guide
At the top of the page, explanation of the drawing on the cover. An ‘Amsterdammertje’ + a sunflower (symbol of veganism). Vegan Amsterdam!


vegan amsterdam guide
Try to pronounce this!


vegan amsterdam guide
Vegans, less crazy in 2015.


vegan amsterdam guide
This was before Google Maps.


vegan amsterdam guide
Hummus. Nowadays in every supermarket!




  1. Rochelle says:

    My ex-husband and I wrote this. It was so funny to see a photo of it again and read your commentary. Veganism everywhere has grown enormously since we wrote that and it’s a hopeful reminder of progress. We were actually a Dutch-South African couple just for the record:-) thanks for the memory!

    • veganamsterdam says:

      So great you found this post and to hear from you! 🙂 Thanks for making the booklet, it was a very fun and interesting read. And yes it’s wonderful to see how veganism is spreading everywhere!

  2. Camilla says:

    I love this! I have just moved to Amsterdam from Brighton, UK which is a very vegan friendly city. It would be great to have access to a booklet like this one, but for 2015! It´s great that websites like this one exist, but it´s nice to have a little guide to Vegan Amsterdam in your possession that you can refer back to every now and again. The translations are really handy too, plus the hand-drawn map is super cute!

    C x

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