Best vegetarian restaurants in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has long been on-trend when it comes to the sheer number of vegetarian restaurants in the city, but 20 years ago the emphasis seemed to be on quantity over quality. Happily, over time, the calibre of vegetarian food has risen dramatically – along with the variety of the produce being pumped out of the nation’s greenhouses. Here are some of the city's very best vegetarian restaurants, with plates to please all palates.
Swedish chef and cookbook writer Nina Olsson focuses her vegetarian brasserie on how tasty the food is, not how vegetarian and healthy it is. At her cosy restaurant Chez Nina just next to Westerpark, delve into sumptuous plant-led dishes such as scrambled eggs with cavolo nero and madam-Jeanette mayonnaise, lentils stewed in coconut with pickled onion, and lima beans with fried capers, spinach and leeks.
Café de Ceuvel
This exceptional café is part of a sustainability project founded in 2014 in Amsterdam-Noord. The café opened in 2014 with a focus on providing healthy food not only for people, but for the planet, too. From the composting toilets to the recycling facilities and locally sourced ingredients, there’s simply no waste (or wasted appetite) at De Ceuvel. Alongside a selection of vegetarian and vegan flat breads, soups, snacks, pastas and salads, adventurous diners can tuck into the mezze platter and cocktail list to while a way a glorious summer afternoon by the water.
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.
The Avocado Show
You may have already seen the Instagram-worthy snaps from various influencers, but try ordering something here yourself and not taking a picture of it. The (mostly vegetarian) dishes at The Avocado Show are delectable works of art. The only condition, of course, is that you have to love avocado. Go wild with combinations of mango, truffle, grilled vegetables or yogurt, and make sure you leave room for a vegan avocado-peanut butter ice cream in a black cone.
After enjoying a healthy brunch at Bataat 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, Bataat 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.
Morris & Bella
The concept of Morris & Bella is to offer a veg-heavy menu on which the basis of every dish is vegan, but meat or fish can be ordered as a supplement. Choosing from a 3- to 6-course menu, this cosy restaurant is a super handy option for people catering to varying dietary requirements. What's more is that all products here are organic and come from local farmers.
Between the candy pink walls of this hip vegetarian hotspot in De Pijp, you can sit down to a memorable late breakfast or a tasty lunch. At Ninour, the menu is refined but simple, presenting solely vegetarian dishes with a Middle Eastern and Moroccan twist. All ingredients are free of refined sugars and mostly made with local ingredients. While enjoying a freshly brewed cup of coffee, you can also take a look around the shop for jewelry and beautiful home accessories.
Tucked away 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. Dignita uses only organic, locally grown ingredients, meaning that guests are doing good by eating well. The kitchen is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch, offering up dishes such as the avocado benny, courgette fritters and a healthy seasonal salads.
Located on the lively Utrechtsestraat, 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.
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.
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.
A favourite to many, Spirit Amsterdam has been a big favorite among veggies for some time now - and for good reason. Tuck into a buffet of more than 50 vegetarian and organic dishes, including all kinds of soups, salads, drinks, desserts and various options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are plenty of vegan options too. Fill your plate with seitan steak, tempeh salad, vegetarian sushi and lasagna melanzane – and don't forget to save some space for a chocolate ganache tart or chai latte with almond milk.
Manamana has been serving up Lebanese and Israeli dishes for several 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.
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!