Vegan Food in Amsterdam

When it comes to Vegan food in Amsterdam, there is good news and bad news. Bad news is traditional Dutch food is not vegan friendly. There are tons of vegetarian options, but vegan, not so much. If you get down with dairy, Dutch pastries will blow your mind but if not, be aware most include butter, eggs and milk.

Now for the good news. Amsterdam is a progressive city so there are TONS of vegan restaurants and options. I can assure you that you will not be hungry or disappointed. Before I share my favs, here is a quick low down on traditional Dutch dishes so you know what to expect.

Traditional Dutch Food

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Pannenkoeken are Dutch pancakes. They are thicker than crepes but thinner than American pancakes. Locals eat them throughout the day; breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes sweet with powdered sugar and syrup  and other times savory with meat and cheese. Traditional pannenkoeken have eggs, butter and milk.

Stroopwafels are smaller cookie-like pancakes. They are also made with eggs, butter and milk.

Poffertjes are fluffy mini pancakes, and yep, you guess it, drenched in the milk-butter-egg trinity.

Hagelslag is a traditional breakfast that may seem odd to Americans but it is a regular Dutch delight. It is bread and butter topped with chocolate sprinkles. There are fruit and licorice versions but traditionally always using butter to make the sprinkles stick.

Appeltaart is basically apple pie. They skip the milk on this sweet treat but still get down with the eggs and butter. (If you want to make a vegan version of this Dutch classic, click here).

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As for traditional NON-SWEET food, bitterballen are fried nuggets of meat, cheese or vegetables. They are a typical bar food but even the veggie versions use egg to batter them up before the fry (except for this recipe. Vegan bitterballen?!? Yes, please).

Erwtensoup is a pea soup served in the winter that is vegan friendly except for the pork usually added on top and sometimes stirred inside.

Stamppot is a home-cooked Dutch dish made with potatoes, greens and meat. I searched high and low for a veggie stamppot and none was to be found (until I searched all over Pinterest and found this recipe for vegan stamppot).

Dutch Diversity

Now that you know what to steer clear from, lets talk about all the good stuff!

Amsterdam is full of diverse food options. In many parts of the world, restaurants primarily stick to the country’s traditional food but not in this city. There are tons of Thai restaurants, Mediterranean style foods, Asian inspirations and several vegan/vegetarian restaurants. I even did a vegan food tour while visiting, going to 3 different vegan restaurants and enjoying them all. You can do a trip advisor search for the full list but here are a few I am dying to share.

Where to Eat in Amsterdam

1. You MUST visit the Foodhallen. This is a food hall full of people hanging out, visiting, drinking and sampling the goods. There are over 20 vendors and plenty of vegan fun. There is a taqueria, Vietnamese, Indian, Lebanese, Greek, vegan sushi, Spanish pinxtos and even a vegan hotdog, all within arms reach.

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2. Vegan Junk Food Bar is not the place to go if you are looking for something light but if you want to try some traditional Dutch food vegan style, make time in your schedule and room in your stomach. They are monstrous burgers, fancy French fries and the native bitterballen. This is your chance to get down. Don’t miss it.

3. De Culinare Werkplatts translates into “The Culinary Workplace.” This is a super eccentric experience, where the kitchen is completely open, in the middle of the restaurant so you can observe everything. The menu is vegan and emphasizes local, organic and fair-trade foods. The mastermind behind the menu are always creating something new. The menu follows a theme so each dish is crafted with a concept and part of a story. If you are a control freak or only want a small bite, skip it but De Culinare Werkplatts is a truly magical vegan experience.

4. Mothers, pronounced Mudders, is a Danish home-style restaurant. Floor to ceiling photographs of moms cover the interior. It stays busy so even for lunch, you likely need a reservation. It is not a vegan restaurant but there are vegetarian and vegan items on the menu and you can make customizations.

5. Mook is a must visit for pancakes. The pancakes are vegan and topped with wild combinations; sweet and savory.

6. Golden Temple is a quant oriental vegan restaurant where you can sit not the floor and dine pillow top.

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7. D & A Hummus Bistro has high reviews, high ratings and is exactly what it sounds like.

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8. As for Thai food, Bird Thai and Krua Thai are two favs.

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Amsterdam is definitly different than other popular European cities such as those in Italy, France, Greece and Spain. Although the Danish pastry game is played hard, diverse food options saturate Amsterdam. Some of the top restaurants in the city serve food not of native origin. Aside from the food, that is what Amsterdam is all about; variety and variance. It’s rich religious history, drug governance and same-sex marriage perspective demonstrate the culture’s all-encompassing acceptance.