Almost 40% of food produced for human consumption gets thrown away. In the Netherlands alone the food waste adds up to billions of euros a year. In the past few years there has been a wave of new sustainable superheroes trying to rescue this healthy, delicious produce from the garbage bin. 

Persijn

Farm-to-table gets an urban spin at this innovative eatery in the southeast of Amsterdam. Located on the ground floor of the green-hearted QO hotel, Persijn uses fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit harvested directly from the rooftop greenhouse. They use the latest aquaponic technology to get the most out of their modest garden and minimise waste wherever possible . Persijn’s menu showcases their homegrown produce in innovative Dutch dishes including  the seasonal salad with blossoms and buckwheat, hearty vegetable soup and cauliflower prepared four ways. Their unlimited drinks & dining Sunday Boozy Brunch is also worth checking out, but come hungry. 

Persijn | Amstelvlietstraat 4, Amsterdam

Circl Restaurant

Circl Amsterdam

Based on the principle of circular dining, where food is sourced locally, shared and recycled, this restaurant in Zuidas is all about sustainability. Chef Rudolph Brand experiments with canning and fermenting to reduce food waste, and he makes menu magic with soups, salads, sandwiches and hot dishes starring delicious rescued vegetables provided by InStock. Even the furniture and plates are second-hand, making for an eclectic and low-waste aesthetic. 

Circl.nl | Gustav Mahlerplein 1B, Amsterdam

Bluespoon Bar 

Bluespoon cocktail

The closed-loop cocktails at this stylish bar in the heart of Amsterdam are delicious and delightfully innovative in their low-waste approach. Using surplus ingredients from the restaurant to elevate the flavour, the drinks are sustainable without compromising on the taste, experience and theatre of the cocktail itself.  Past creations have included an espresso martini made from spent coffee grounds, an egg shell tonic using discarded egg shells and a Banana Bread Sour cocktail incorporating overripe bananas. Their Curiouser & Curiouser cocktail uses carrots that are first grilled and then infused with gin, and afterwards the bartenders bakes the same carrots to create carrot chips that garnish the drinks, so every last bit from root to tip goes into elevating the carroty concoction. 

Bluespoon | Prinsengracht 587, Amsterdam

Instock

Restaurant Instock Amsterdam

Instock was one of the pioneers of the low-waste dining movement in Amsterdam and they continue to be a pillar of the community. By using products that would otherwise get tossed out, Instock saves about 2,000 kilos of food every week. They source most of their products from Albert Heijn supermarkets, but the surplus items have not passed their expiration dates; all their ingredients meet every food safety guideline. Their menu changes daily depending on the products available, but you might find gnocchi topped with kimchi made using cauliflower leaves, or a delectable salmon tartare that uses the less-popular belly and tail of the salmon. Always on offer is their Pieper Bier, made from rescued potatoes or the  Bammetjes Bier made from bread. 

Instock | Czaar Peterstraat 21, Amsterdam

Restaurant C

Restaurant C cocktail

The C stands for celsius at this restaurant that revels in the importance of temperature. Their menu is divided into temperature zones, so diners can experience the changes in flavour and texture that occur when dishes are prepared at 20°, 80°, 100°, or 200° celsius. The experiments don’t stop there; the kitchen and bar staff regularly test new recipes designed to use each ingredient to its full potential. Kitchen waste is brought back to life as bar snacks or used as an ingredient for cocktails, leftover lemons are turned into cordials and the juicy trimmings from the entrecote steak are transformed into flavour-packed bitterballen. 

C.amsterdam | Wibautstraat 125, Amsterdam

Apps

  • Too Good To Go app offers discounted “magic boxes” packed with delicious food from nearby restaurants, grocery stores and bakeries. Users can browse their map to see which establishments near them have magic boxes ready for the day and can reserve them for pick up. Offerings range from pastries made that morning to big bags of fresh produce from Marqt or Ekoplaza.  toogoodtogo.nl
  • NoFoodWasted partners with a wide variety of supermarkets to display products that are approaching their expiration dates. The app shows where and how much you can save. Customers can place their orders via the app and get a 35-percent discount upon collecting them at the supermarket. Nofoodwasted.com
  • Olio connects neighbours and businesses so they can share food rather than throw it away. People with leftover food can open the app, add a photo, description, and when and where the item is available for pick-up. Check the site for tips on safe sharing. olioex.com

Community dinners

  • BuurtBuik collects excess food from caterers, supermarkets and grocers and shares it with local residents through neighbourhood meals. buurtbuik.nl
  • Taste Before You Waste gathers food from grocery stores in Amsterdam Oost, organises weekly dinners and markets, and educates communities on food waste. tastebeforeyouwaste.org
  • Robin Food Kollektief is a vegetarian community kitchen that serves a three-course dinner for 10 euros every Monday and Thursday and a pay-what-you-want meal on Wednesdays with foods they rescue. robinfoodkollektief.nl

Looking for more places to eat in Amsterdam? Check out our list of the best vegetarian restaurants