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.
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!