I recently spent four days in the Netherlands with eight of my best friends I visited the beautiful Kaisha, professional baker at thefrizzybaker.com and token Dutchie who moved to Rotterdam two years ago. I was so excited to see all my girls as all of us would be together again for the first time in about three years!
Kaisha did an excellent job of finding incredible restaurants to eat at, with options for my carnivorous friends as well as for me. I’m always a little nervous about finding places to suit me when I travel, but luckily, eating vegan in Rotterdam was so easy!
As well as how good the food (in particular the pancakes!) was, I also noticed was how different the tea is in the Netherlands to the UK. You always get loose leaf tea, which comes in a little strainer so you can leave the tea to strengthen as you wish, before you take it out and leave it on the little ceramic dish that’s brought to you with your cup. And whilst I’m not a coffee drinker, apparently the coffee in the Netherlands is like 274947283 times better than in the UK.
But now, back to the food – here are the absolute gems that Kaisha found, where I had no trouble eating vegan in Rotterdam!
This was the first place we went to for food in Rotterdam and I loved it the minute I stepped in the door! If you’re looking for inspiration for your home, come here, because this place is Pinterest Board worthy. There were a few vegan options on the menu; I went for the coconut yoghurt bowl with granola and fruits.
We dived into Spirit when it began to pour with rain. Normally I don’t mind the rain too much, but when you’re on a bike and you didn’t bring a waterproof jacket with you, it’s not best enjoyable.
Spirit is a cafe, coffee shop, buffet, restaurant and supermarket all rolled into one – and it’s amazing. There are so many vegan choices here, I guarantee you won’t be able to make an easy decision!
Being the chocoholic I am, I went for the Chocolate Raspberry Cake – gloriously rich and ever-so-sweet. My kinda thing. I also ordered a chai latte which was made similarly to the tea I mentioned at the start of this post (with the tea leaves in the strainer on top of the cup).
The supermarket sells organic produce and the buffet menu is huge – you’ll have to go back a second time at least.
We went to Bertmans for dinner. Although there are a lot of vegan and vegetarian options on the menu, it markets itself as more of a health-conscious place than one restricted by any dietary requirements. I didn’t struggle at all here – in fact I felt I had too much choice! Usually I can only choose between a couple of things but here I had too much choice!
Portion sizes of the mains were quite small so we got side dishes too. I opted for the ‘socca’ – fried fritters with cashew cream and asparagus, with a side salad (although it looks like leaves with a side of leaves in the photo below).
Perhaps because our table was so big, the service was quite slow, and although the food was tasty I am not sure it was worth the price. The atmosphere inside was warm and pleasant though.
On our final morning in Rotterdam, we (ok just me) stumbled hungover into Gys in serious need of fresh fruit juice and good food.
This lovely cafe felt bright and airy.. the kind of place you’d go to catch up on some work. It’s one of those ‘zen’ places where you feel all peaceful but also motivated at the same time. Perhaps it’s the plants growing out of the walls. I felt a little ashamed of my hangover!
I love menus that specify their vegan options, and at Gys, they are marked with a half black half white diamond symbol. I went for the banana pancakes with rhubarb, raspberry & blueberry and they were delicious! They also have lunch and dinner options.
This old warehouse has been converted into a food court of sorts, with a huge range of stalls selling all kinds of prepared dishes as well as fresh produce and products you can take home with you. For non-vegans it’s a heaven, with lots of meat and cheese options, but for vegans there is a shiny beacon of light over the Utopia that is the Hummus Stall. Who doesn’t like hummus?
Unfortunately, the hummus place was closed when I was there so I struggled a little with vegan options. I chose a roasted veggie sandwich from Jordy’s Bakery (without the cheese!) They assured me that the pesto inside was vegan too – yum!
EasyJet have cheap flights to Amsterdam, and from here you can take a train directly to Rotterdam. Alternatively, you can fly to Eindhoven with Ryanair and take a train from there.
We stayed in a hostel in the city centre called Sparks. It’s probably the best hostel I’ve ever stayed in, with gorgeous, comfortable dormitory rooms and a cool living area downstairs. Breakfast was included with our stay.
Rent a bike! Bikes can be hired from lots of places around the city for a very reasonable price. We paid 12.50€ for the day.
From the looks of it, being vegan in Rotterdam isn’t difficult at all. If anything, vegan is become more of a specialty, with loads of places offering a choice of dishes rather than just one or two! Do you have any other suggestions of cafés or restaurants to add to my list?
Thanks for reading & happy travels!
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