Vegan Guide - Amsterdam
I’d been pestering Ben for a holiday to Amsterdam for ages. Because he’d already been (more than a handful of times) for work, he was understandably reluctant. His experience of Amsterdam brought back memories of sore feet standing at a trade show and long evenings hosting and entertaining clients. However, having had one of the best vegan dinners there on his last trip, he finally gave in and agreed to go for a holiday. (Trust a good vegan burger to get him back!) It also happened to be an excuse to make some new memories to celebrate six years of being together, in one of Europe’s most magically wonky and watery cities.
We got the Eurostar into Amsterdam, arriving at lunchtime. Obviously, the first port of call was lunch. Being vegan, we have a terrible habit of over preparing and researching before any trip to avoid getting caught hungry. It was pretty miserable, pouring down with rain, but to be honest we were happy just to get out of London, to not be looking at our emails and to have two blissful days of doing whatever we wanted.
This place was eclectic and colourful, full of books and art deco lamps. We sat by the window so we could people watch while we ordered. It was a vegetarian cafe but they offered some good vegan choices. I went for the tofu pate on toasted bread with salad and Ben had the Dutch equivalent of a Cornish pasty which - needless to say - he was very pleased with.
As we’d arrived at a bit of an awkward time, we decided to head to our Air BnB to drop our stuff, relax and shower before we went back into the city for the night. It was already getting dark as we arrived in this 400 year-old village called Watergang, just a 15 minute bus ride outside of the city. Even in the dusk, we loved it.
Our little studio was super cosy and decorated impeccably with quite frankly, the most Pinterest-worthy of attic bedrooms. Waking up in the morning to the sun rising fiery red, over misty fields was an absolute dream.
The whole village was built around waterways and mini canals, houses stranded on their own islands with individual bridges connecting them to the mainland. We woke on Friday morning to swans and signets floating by the door and a black cat pouncing around the field trying to catch mice.
Vegan Junk Food Bar
This place is incredible! The menu is extensive. We had the vegan version of Amsterdam Bitterballen (which I didn’t actually love, but Ben really did.) They were essentially a scotch egg / breaded meatball. We shared truffle fries (drool) and a burger each. Ben got the Sumo which was two patty stacks high and I had the original. Honestly, we could have ordered every single thing on the menu. It all looked amazing. Definitely worth a trip.
Benefits of an Air BnB
As we mainly wanted to relax on this trip, we wanted to stay in our lovely Air BnB a bit longer than we might normally. Friday morning saw us wake up leisurely (one of us at a more leisurely pace than the other…) followed by coffee, reading, chatting and playing cards. We got some breakfast bits from the supermarket the previous day so we had granola, Alpro yoghurt and some fresh fruit to keep our costs down.
After taking the ferry to the northern part of Amsterdam, we had a wonder around and found ourselves at Pllek for lunch on the recommendation of a friend.
It was cavernous, filled with people chatting over coffee and eating lunch. There were glass fronted, floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the water and it seemed to be half shipping container, half permanent structure.
We shared a falafel mezze plate and it was incredible. The hummus was the lightest and fluffiest I’ve ever had. It came with toasted pita, salad, baba ganoush, hummus and falafel. We both agreed afterwards that we were glad to have shared, it was so big.
(They also have a photo booth upstairs and we of course, stopped to get some more black and white strip pictures.)
The Happy Pig
Because holidays are for eating, and Amsterdam is for pancakes, we made it our mission to find some vegan pancakes. The Happy Pig did an amazing build-your-own pancake. Ben let me take free reign on topping and filling choices so I got us banana, strawberries, chocolate sauce and toasted almonds. When it came out, I thought we’re never going to eat all of this… Turns out we did, very easily.
(It’s quite a small cafe, so I’d recommend getting pancakes to go as it’s pretty crowded)
Because we obviously hadn’t eaten enough yet, we took a trip to Foodhallen on Friday night. It has an awesome atmosphere, loads of international food stalls, a gin bar, a regular bar… Because we couldn’t decide what to get, we split half and half - Vietnamese Banh Mi and vegan nachos. Again, I didn’t take my camera here so I don’t have pictures, but would definitely recommend checking it out!