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 Post subject: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:15 pm 
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vegimator and I are planning a trip to Amsterdam (with a possible stopover in London to see family) in October! We're going to stay in a vacation rental and I was wondering if anyone had recommendations for which neighborhood to stay in? We wanted to be nearish to good vegan food and/or neat stuff (like flea markets or thrift stores, yayyy). From what I've been reading, Jordaan and Oud West seem kinda fun. Any advice would be muchly appreciated, as neither of us has ever been before!

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:04 pm 
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I don't live in Amsterdam, but I think that something in or near Centrum (city center) would be nice.

Amsterdam isn't that big, there is reasonably good public transport (you'll need to buy a OV-chipcard) and there are a couple of places that rent bicycles in city center.


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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:45 am 
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I just saw this! I gotta check the Square more often.

Both the Jordaan and Oud West are nice. De Pijp is also a great neighborhood. You're right near the Albert Cuyp market there. Like Veg_Eric said, Amsterdam is pretty small and has good public transport, so where ever you stay, you're never too far from anything else. Lodging in the city center can be pricey, but all of the neighborhoods mentioned here border right on the city center and should be more affordable.

And I actually meant to post this anyway for all the Dutch PPKers, but since you mention thrift shops, I thought you might like it too: de groene meisjes. It's the blog of two vegans living in Amsterdam who love thrifting/vintage. (Wondering if either of them is a PPKer!) The link is to their Amsterdam related posts. It's in Dutch, but you can get the addresses of the shops/cafes they discuss at the bottom of each post.

Now that I know it's here, I'll be watching this thread. Also, feel free to PM me!

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:55 am 
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WAHH I'm going to Amsterdam in a week, just for the day (birthday treat). I've never been before and have no idea where to start. Tips?


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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:46 am 
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That of course depends entirely on what you're into. :)

But as a general thing, I'd like to recommend this whisky cafe for those of you that are into whisky: whisky cafe

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:17 am 
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Oh you're mean. :P I love whiskey but I've quit buying alcohol.


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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:33 am 
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Crusty Rat wrote:
Oh you're mean. :P I love whiskey but I've quit buying alcohol.


I don't drink either. :)

But, what sort of stuff are you into? That way we can suggest interesting stuff that does tailer to your interests.

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:43 am 
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Food, I like food. And art. And ganj.


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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:19 am 
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I'm not really experienced with restaurants in Amsterdam. I live elsewhere. I do recommend the photo exhibition space Foam, that always does changing exhibitions which are usually really nice, and the Van Gogh Museum. They have an exhibition about landscapes on 'From Van Gogh to Kandinsky', which sounds really interesting.

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:01 am 
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I was going to suggest FOAM too! Also, since the vast bulk of the Rijksmuseum is closed for renovations, they've got a really great selection of just the masterpieces of the collection on view in a small wing. It makes what can sometimes be an overwhelming museum really accessible!

RE: food, here are some ideas. I haven't been to many of them. I went to De Vliegende Schotel years ago and wasn't impressed, but I understand they're under new management now so maybe it's better. I have been to De Bolhoed which is vegetarian with lots of vegan options (including desserts). There are a number of completely vegan places that are squats that I haven't been to, but might be worth checking out. And there's TerraZen which is completely vegan but a bit chaotic and kind of hit and miss. I'm also really excited that this place has just opened two franchises in Amsterdam. They're both more in neighborhoody areas than in the town center, but nothing is too far from anything in this city, and if you were in the Museum area, the branch on the Van Woustraat wouldn't be a huge trek. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks yummy!

RE: ganj, I'm not a smoker myself, but from the local smokers I know, I've heard good things about both The Greenhouse and the Dampkring. The former is more about organic product, the latter is more about atmosphere. Oh, and if you go to the Dampkring, one alley over is the absolute best place in Amsterdam to get Vlaamse Friet.

Enjoy your day here!

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:23 am 
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Auugh I can't wait to go now! I wish it were October already! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:48 am 
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lepelaar wrote:
I was going to suggest FOAM too! Also, since the vast bulk of the Rijksmuseum is closed for renovations, they've got a really great selection of just the masterpieces of the collection on view in a small wing. It makes what can sometimes be an overwhelming museum really accessible!

RE: food, here are some ideas. I haven't been to many of them. I went to De Vliegende Schotel years ago and wasn't impressed, but I understand they're under new management now so maybe it's better. I have been to De Bolhoed which is vegetarian with lots of vegan options (including desserts). There are a number of completely vegan places that are squats that I haven't been to, but might be worth checking out. And there's TerraZen which is completely vegan but a bit chaotic and kind of hit and miss. I'm also really excited that this place has just opened two franchises in Amsterdam. They're both more in neighborhoody areas than in the town center, but nothing is too far from anything in this city, and if you were in the Museum area, the branch on the Van Woustraat wouldn't be a huge trek. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks yummy!

RE: ganj, I'm not a smoker myself, but from the local smokers I know, I've heard good things about both The Greenhouse and the Dampkring. The former is more about organic product, the latter is more about atmosphere. Oh, and if you go to the Dampkring, one alley over is the absolute best place in Amsterdam to get Vlaamse Friet.

Enjoy your day here!

Awesome, thanks so much! :) Will look through all these. I prefer vegan places if poss so I was thinking of TerraZen for lunch, had a bunch of rave reviews on happycow.net but I'll have a look about at other places. Do you know anywhere that does breakfast?


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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:40 am 
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I think your best bet for breakfast is a bagel place. Bagels and Beans has a few vegan options like PB&J, hummus. I've never checked if their bagel ingredients are 100% vegan (ie egg-wash free) but they show up on lists for vegan alternatives, so I have always assumed they were. I've always found the bagels themselves better at Village Bagels, but haven't been there since going vegan. I've got an e-mail into them asking if they use animal products in making their bagels. I'll report back here when I hear from them.

If you're into smoothies, you can always hit Frood (two addresses: Korte Lijnbaanssteeg 4-6 and 1e Van der Helststraat) or The Superfood Cafe.

Other than that, breakfast options are few and far between here; not just vegan ones, but in general, the Dutch don't eat breakfast out. You can always grab some vegan fixings at one of the health food stores around town, or even a supermarket like the Albert Heijn.

Oh, and I don't know if you're into shopping, but if so, do check out Vega-Life! An awesome store with all sorts of vegan products run by a really friendly vegan woman!

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:56 am 
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TerraZen is rather weird, I have to say. Personally, it does not really appeal to me. But that's up to you to decide whether you're fine with a rather high level of homemade sandals/reggae music/general hippy-ness.

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:33 pm 
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Meetup in October?

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:15 pm 
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lutin wrote:
Meetup in October?

sounds like you just nominated yourself as organiser ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:55 pm 
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About visiting Amsterdam: I really like the Amsterdam (historical) museum, which has a lot of archaeological finds, paintings and heirlooms that tell the city's history. I also love the Hortus Botanicus, a beautiful, quiet and sheltered garden in the city centre that has everything from typical Dutch plants to tropical greenhouses. If you like folk music, in the evening/night visit Mulligan's, a folk music bar. Not exceptionally vegan friendly (Guinness and all), but the atmosphere is great and so is the music. And definitely visit the vega-life store like lepelaar said.

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:59 pm 
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Boyfriend and I were there in December. We really liked the Noordermarkt market, the Anne Frank house was crazy busy but pretty good, and Boyfriend loved the Heineken brewery. I don't like Heineken (terrible, watered-down beer), but the brewery is pretty fun. Touristy as shiitake, but still fun. We also did the red light district thing and went to a place that was pretty couple-friendly and not overrun with buck's party crowds. That was a lot of fun.

Our hostel had a backpacker's map with stuff like good coffeeshops marked on it, and the guy at reception marked his favourites on it for us too. It was one of those maps that all of the hostels seemed to have, so if you can find one you'll be set for finding decent places.

We mainly ate falafel because we were super jet lagged and eating at stupid times when nothing was open, but on the last night we went to De Bolhoed. I wasn't really a fan- I got the vegan dish of the day thing, and while it was a ton of food for the price, it just wasn't that good. It was like they took the leftovers from other dishes for the week and threw them all on a plate, regardless of whether they went together or not (I think mine was like spanakopita with tamari chickpeas, broccoli and some kind of salsa). Weird.

Also I don't really think it matters that much where you stay. We walked everywhere, like from one side of the city to the other, without any issues.

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:14 am 
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Cornelie wrote:
About visiting Amsterdam: I really like the Amsterdam (historical) museum, which has a lot of archaeological finds, paintings and heirlooms that tell the city's history. I also love the Hortus Botanicus, a beautiful, quiet and sheltered garden in the city centre that has everything from typical Dutch plants to tropical greenhouses. If you like folk music, in the evening/night visit Mulligan's, a folk music bar. Not exceptionally vegan friendly (Guinness and all), but the atmosphere is great and so is the music. And definitely visit the vega-life store like lepelaar said.


Ooh, I second all of these recommendations! The Amsterdam Museum is great! And I love Mulligan's.

Erinnerung wrote:
We mainly ate falafel because we were super jet lagged and eating at stupid times when nothing was open, but on the last night we went to De Bolhoed. I wasn't really a fan- I got the vegan dish of the day thing, and while it was a ton of food for the price, it just wasn't that good. It was like they took the leftovers from other dishes for the week and threw them all on a plate, regardless of whether they went together or not (I think mine was like spanakopita with tamari chickpeas, broccoli and some kind of salsa). Weird.


Yeah, the state of vegan food in Amsterdam is kind of sad. I'm never impressed with it. The last couple of summers, I've visited family in Toronto and eaten almost every meal out and never failing to find something delicious. The selection of vegetarian/vegan restaurants there was amazing, and the selection of vegan options in non-vegan establishments was also impressive. Here, vegan dining seems to be stuck in the 70s, with no hope of improving. (there are a few ovo-lacto places that are more modern/foodie oriented, but they don't really cater to vegans.) I actually tend not to go to specifically veg places most of the time (because when I do go out, it's often with omnis) and actually prefer places like Wagamama that has a number of vegan dishes and is really transparent about their ingredients (they will even bring you a list of what dishes are vegan safe if you ask). Or will go to sushi places and get veggie sushi (making sure they don't slip omelet or mayo in there). Or Middle-Eastern places that serve lots of vegetarian mezze. To me these are often less disappointing than specifically veg*n restaurants, which tend to be uninspired. (I mentioned de Vliegende Schotel upthread. The one time I went there I ordered what was supposed to be a savory broccoli and rice dish and got a half a plate of plain brown rice and an overcooked boiled half head of broccoli, not even cut into pieces. No seasoning, no sauce, no nothing. Again, this was years ago, and things might have changed, but I haven't been chomping at the bit to find out.) It's a dilemma because I want to encourage places like TerraZen, but really, when will vegan food here join the 21st century?

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:50 am 
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lepelaar wrote:
It's a dilemma because I want to encourage places like TerraZen, but really, when will vegan food here join the 21st century?


This.

So much.

<slightly offtopic>
It's a vicious circle, it feels like.

Because the vegan food here is so beady necklace/raffia sandals as can be and vegan restaurants are either nonexistent or places where time stood still, people have a really bad image of what veganism and vegan food is. And because of this vegan food which is so foreign to omni's, being vegan in omni company or at an omni restaurant, makes them cook vegan food that lies within this narrow, outdated image of veganism.

Like yesterday: I was eating out with my family at the restaurant of a friend of my dad's, who's a lovely guy and a great cook. He went out of his way to make me something vegan, which was so sweet. Except that he fell in this lack-of-knowledge-trap alongside the 'veganism = soy, right?'-trap. And I loved him for trying so hard, but the food was sorta sad. There are so many possibilities to make great vegan food, but this vegan food, felt akin to what goulash prepared in a Japanese restaurant probably tastes like. And I can't blaim him for it.

But because of the 70s image, people think that's what vegan food is and I can't prove them wrong, because that is what you get if you eat vegan outside of your own house. :(

(Also, dear restaurant Kopps in Berlin (a.k.a. Best Food Ever) please open a second location in Amsterdam. Kthnxbai, Paloma.)

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:08 pm 
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I went to Kopps I think the night after I went to De Bolhoed, and it was a total world apart. The meal I had at Kopps was by far the best thing I ate in Europe. And the restaurant was so nice and didn't have cats in the kitchen like De Bolhoed did (I love animals as much as the next vegan, but cats in the kitchen? Seriously?).

Back on topic- I also meant to mention that Boyfriend and I went to the Van Gogh museum and were really disappointed. There were a couple of things that were nice to see, but we both decided that we thought Van Gogh kind of seemed like a dick. A lot of other people seemed to be enjoying it though, so maybe we're just hateful cynics.

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:11 am 
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I really like his style. But that's a personal thing. Also, they have tons of his famous stuff there, so if you're into Van Gogh, it's a good place to be. And I like their temporary exhibitions on the basement floor of the building. They do pick original themes and use those to shed a new light on Van Gogh. But yeah, if you're not really into Van Gogh I'd recommend going elsewhere. ;-)

(Why do you think he seems like a dick btw?)

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:48 pm 
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I don't really like the Van Gogh Museum that much, but then, that's not really my period. I'm more into Early Netherlandish art and Golden Age stuff. I've gone once or twice for special exhibitions (there was a great Art Nouveau one a few years back), but I often find it way too crowded. But I'm also curious why you think he seemed like a dick.

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:49 pm 
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It's really a pity that the Stedelijk is not open yet, because they used to have pretty neat stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Amsterdam?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:56 pm 
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I guess we were just pretty disappointed to go in and read all the stuff about how he was super focussed on selling his paintings and getting rich as a painter. I remember walking up to one triptych that I liked and the little plaque thing said something like 'Van Gogh painted this because he thought the colours would appeal to wealthy buyers'. And another one that was all 'Van Gogh copied this design from the cover of a magazine about Japanese art'. Bummer. But I did find the upstairs section about how they restored the paintings to be really interesting.

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