Vegetarians don’t have to depend on salads alone when visiting Amsterdam. Here are some of the city's very best vegetarian restaurants with plates to please all palates.
This place is part of The Ceuvel, a “regenerative urban oasis” located in Amsterdam-Noord. The café opened in 2014 with a focus on providing healthy food not only for people, but for the planet, too. The Ceuvel has built the world’s first Biogas Boat, where biogas and nutrient-rich fertiliser is extracted from organic waste from the restaurant. Besides a selection of vegetarian and vegan sandwiches, soup and snacks, there’s the adventurous “Farm to Table” menu, which starts at €22 for two. It changes every two weeks based on what the local food suppliers offer. A dish of “saved vegetables,” which features veggies turned away by supermarkets for being just too ugly, is on the menu for those truly trying to save the planet. There’s simply no waste (or wasted appetite) at De Ceuvel.
deceuvel.nl // Korte Papaverweg 2-6 // Amsterdam Noord
Located just a 15-minute train ride from the centre of Amsterdam in nearby Haarlem, this veggie heaven eschews boring salads and tofu in favour of an inventive range of vegetarian curries and stews. Everything is easy to reheat at home, so you can even stock up on your favourite dish – the Jamaican curry or the mushroom and Guinness stew, for example – for a night or two. While more of a takeaway, you can eat in their cosy café – either way, don’t skip dessert!
vanveg.com // Zijlstraat 21A, Haarlem
Beter & Leuk
After enjoying a healthy brunch at Beter & Leuk, you can learn how to cook it. In addition to serving tasty veggie dishes, the restaurant offers various workshops (a three-hour vegan sushi course, for example) to help its patrons eat healthier at home. From its own kitchen in the Oosterpark neighbourhood, Beter & Leuk offers freshly pressed juices and smoothies; breakfast nibbles such as scones, eggs and pancakes; and lunch items such as the soy and kombu-based Dutch Weed Burger.
Beter & Leuk // Eerste Oosterparkstraat 73 (takeaway) and 91 (lunchroom), Oosterpark
This restaurant has been serving up Lebanese and Israeli dishes for just a few years now, and it has quickly become a favourite among the locals. Dishes such as shakshuka, hummus and the “psychedelic cauliflower” are must-tries on the menu, but don’t worry if you can’t order it all – veggie lovers in Amsterdam won’t need much convincing to visit Manamana more than once.
Manamana // Eerste Jan Steenstraat 85, De Pijp
Located on the lively Utrechtsestraat, the Golden Temple has been attracting worshipers of vegan and vegetarian food to its altar since 2008. Named after the famous Sikh temple in North India, the Golden Temple aims to nourish your body and your mind with hearty, plant-based dishes gathered from the far corners of Asia and South America.
restaurantgoldentemple.com // Utrechtsestraat 126, centre
Tucked in a hidden city garden behind the breath-taking Hermitage Amsterdam, this urban oasis and “all day brunch restaurant” is also a vegetarian’s dream – though the extensive menu is not only vegetarian. The kitchen uses only organic, locally grown ingredients, meaning that guests are doing good by eating well. The Dignita Hoftuin kitchen is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch, offering up dishes such as the “posh porridge”, courgette fritters and a healthy winter salad.
Dignita Hoftuin // Nieuwe Herengracht 18a, Centre
Head to Betty’s, a nearly 30-year-old vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Amsterdam Zuid, for a complete culinary surprise. The €35 three-course menu changes regularly and isn’t posted online, so you won’t know what’s cooking until you have been served. The food is delicious, but the atmosphere truly makes Betty’s a special place. The warm, welcoming and gracious owners take the time to let you enjoy the menu and wine selection. If you love it, you can even learn how to make your own vegetarian dishes in the style of Betty’s with cooking and baking workshops starting at €80.
bettys.nl // Rijnstraat 75, Zuid
Out to serve the high-end spectrum of the market, Walter Marskamp (Hoxton Hotel) and Fraiche Hospitality (Staring at Jacob) teamed up to bring this plant-forward restaurant. Yerba serves a seasonal a la carte tasting menu available as vegan, vegetarian or omnivore. More recently, the opening times were extended to also include weekend brunch complete with fluffy zucchini beignets, pumpkin pancakes and vegan bloody Marys.
Yerba // Ruysdaelstraat 48
With its selection of bowls, salads and sandwiches, SOIL seeks to be casually healthy while keeping the service speedy. Current gems include the creamy peanut butter curry bowl and kimchi Reuben sandwich. All dishes are plant based and locally sourced, but you can opt to add smoked tofu, free-range egg or chicken or retired-milk-cow beef. The casualness is also reflected in the savvy selection of alcohol – kombucha on tap.
SOIL // Bilderdijkstraat 141H
A favourite to many, Spirit Amsterdam is a buffet-style restaurant featuring 100% organic vegetarian food. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, you scoop up what you desire from the 50 different dishes, get it weighed and then just pay. A smartly stocked bar, delicious desserts and general children-friendliness rounds out the concept – a concept formulated to make you to linger happily.
spiritrestaurants.nl // Czaar Peterstraat 2a, Oost
The list of plant-forward food doesn't end here! Check out our roundup of Amsterdam's best vegan restaurants.