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OPINION: Sustainable Cities; A Green Guide To Amsterdam

Green Is The New Black is a community of many tribes and our eco-warriors are stationed far and wide. Lucky for us, many of them report back to us with tales of a world rich with green initiatives. But best of all, they also send us back some incredible things-to-do lists (including where to eat). Johanna Lehmann is a mother and entrepreneur living in Amsterdam for the last two years who has been eating her way through the city. She’s compiled for us a list of what to eat and why, and then some. 

“Famous for its artsy history, picturesque canal system and Instagrammable houses, today Amsterdam is coming up as a conscious city known for vegan restaurants serving up plant-based dining at its finest and shop-til-you-drop sustainable shopping. Since about one-third of the Netherlands lies below sea level, the city has taken on an aggressive environmental agenda, and many of its inhabitants are individually quite conscious about living a climate-friendly lifestyle. The end result is a city that caters to the conscious traveller.

There is no denying it, a vegan lifestyle is good for the planet (but you know what, a partly vegan lifestyle is also good for the planet). Amsterdam is also a great place for vegans (and vegetarians, and flexitarians, and everyone) with an abundance of green eateries making waves in the city these days. These are the regular haunts on Johanna’s path along with a few extras. 


For a savoury vegan three-course dinner


Warm and cordial is the best way to describe this Amsterdam restaurant that’s driven by a love for animals, good food and good wine. Best of all, if you have a big appetite, the savoury three-course vegan dinner at Bonboon should be your first stop. Tucked away on a small street just outside of the city centre on KNSM island, the easiest way to get here is by bike. Awarded as one of the best vegan restaurants in Amsterdam in 2019, this eatery is also a strong contender for a celebratory night out. The food is creative, reasonably priced and so rich and savoury that we’re pretty sure even carnivores might not notice the lack of meat on the menu. Reservations are required.

Eat here


Little Plant Pantry 

For plant-based and minimal waste groceries 

Little Plant Pantry is a charming little vegan and low-waste speciality food store and deli that was opened by a lovely Irish family. Shopping here is a truly unique experience, and if you’ve got kids in tow, they’ll love to select their own raisins and weight their own groceries in home-brought containers (pro tip: turn it into a game). Food aside, they sell everything from olive oil to noodles and rice in bulk as well as shampoo and soap. Best of all, don’t miss their vegan cheese. They also have a coffee bar with vegan healthy comfort food dishes, drinks and desserts. One word of advice is to double-check their opening times before visiting.

Eat here 


For an organic salad bar all over the Netherlands

Salads are not just good for you, but they’re good for the planet too — so yes, you do make friends with salad. SLA is an organic salad bar chain in Amsterdam, started by an entrepreneurial Dutch couple that goes by Nina and Jop. Yes, it’s a chain but one of the good ones fighting the good fight. All of their products are organic, plant-based and often vegan and gluten-free — something for everyone. And everywhere, find them all over the Netherlands, in cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Haarlem, The Hague & Utrecht.

Eat here

Mastino V 

For Italian-style pizza done vegan

An Italian chef started Mastino V, so it’s the real deal. It’s also taking credit for being the first 100% glutenfree and vegan pizzeria in Amsterdam. But vegans aside, this pizza place attracts just about anyone looking for a savoury pizza but without an overload of cheese and pepperoni overload (even meat-eaters need a break sometimes). Speaking of cheese though, the super hip pizzeria is fully stocked with vegan cheese alternatives to mozzarella, parmesan and brie (except for optional non-vegan mozzarella). 

Eat here 

Mr. and Mrs. Watson 

For all the vegan cheese lovers out there

Cosy and hip, this vegan restaurant is a dream come true for all cheese lovers. With things like cheese fondue, a cashew brie and blue Roquefort on the menu, their cheese platters are the stuff that vegan dreams are made of. As such, the restaurant gives off more of a fancy feel. Definitely finish off with something sweet, they offer heaps of dessert options like cheesecake and chocolate fudge brownie, you will leave this vegan place happy, full and fulfilled.
Eat here 

LENA the fashion library 

For conscious shopping and exploring

Sometimes it feels that a fashionable and sustainable lifestyle doesn’t go hand in hand. But LENA, the Fashion Library, is looking to change that. With its fashion library concept, the offer offers an alternative to shopping by renting out items. That’s right; you can borrow fabulous vintage clothing. Located in the centre of the hip Jordaan, the super accessible shop is a fun and fabulous way to have your cake and eat it too with a rich selection of second-hand clothing that anyone can borrow.

Shop here

Plastic Whale

For cruising the Amsterdam canals while doing something good for the planet


Cruising the canals of Amsterdam is one of the highlights of visiting the city and – next to biking of course – and the best way to explore the city sustainably. But what if you could enhance the experience by doing extra good for the planet at the same time? Plastic Whale was started with precisely that mission in mind. The crew collect plastic and recycle it into furniture and more boats — the same kind of boat they’ll use on the cruises. Help make Amsterdam’s canals plastic-free by choosing Plastic Whale. 

Cruise here

Laura Dols 

Vintage shopping in the heart of Amsterdam 

stalwart among Amsterdam’s vintage shops, Laura Dols a cute vintage clothing shop located in The 9 Streets Amsterdam’s downtown canal belt. It specialises in fashion from another decade like clothing from the 50s, accessories, unique dresses, hats, shoes and bags. They also have a fun collection of Hollywood-style glitter and glamour, gala and cocktail dresses. 

Shop here