Hello, my little lightbulbs!
How are we doing?
In my last post, I told you about my recent trip to Amsterdam. I also, in that post, promised to tell you more about a few of the places I decided to eat in during my short two-night stay! I’m big into my cafes, and finding good ones is a little passion of mine; as evidenced by my jam-packed ‘Want To Go’ Google Maps list.
Overall, I was impressed by the quality and consistency of Amsterdam’s eateries. Everywhere I ate had nice food, created to an artisan style and served by friendly staff. I was also impressed by the sheer quantity of plant-based establishments in Amsterdam and had a few moments of reflection on how far plant-based eating has come since I went veggie in 2012 (when I was 15). Back then, being veggie meant juggling between Quorn mince, sausages and chicken pieces. It was a simpler time.
1. Mata Hari
This place was my trip favourite. At the end of the Red Light District, this place offered a relaxed atmosphere, soft lighting, and decadent food. The restaurant embraced its location with portrait-style paintings of women lining the upstairs wall. They also had a few chandeliers made from reed diffusers which I instantly fell in love with (you will have seen them in my previous post but they’re back again for your further appreciation).
The food and drinks were great, and the staff seemed to genuinely enjoy their jobs – with the chef joking with the front of house and the laid-back floor manager chatting to staff and customers alike, ensuring that everyone was happy and well looked after.
2. SOIL Vegan Cafe
SOIL Vegan Cafe was the first place we stopped to eat after landing, and it was highly rated on a list of vegan cafes in the museum district. I was really excited by the menu and tried the meatballs and seitan ribs. The sauces that these were cooked in were phenomenal and gave the ‘meat’ a really great texture! This may also be where my peppermint tea addiction started, which became a constant theme of the trip!
I also saw a lovely little quote here – ‘everything in moderation, including moderation’. This quote came into my life at an important time. As a perfectionist, I can be quite harsh on myself if I don’t meet the expectations that I set for myself. Ironically, it also means that I set myself unachievable goals in relationships, diet, fitness, work quality, work quantity, emotion regulation, self-care… etc. This quote reminded me that we’re human and what that means. We can’t track and monitor every aspect of our existence, and we can’t expect 100% consistency in any area of our lives. Think of the gazillion hormones, enzymes, and external factors causing shifts and changes in your body – how could all of that change and flux lead to unwavering stasis?
3. Uncommon Amsterdam
We stumbled upon this place, with the help of a tactical Maps search, in the morning before we went to the Van Gogh museum and I’m so glad that we did. The set-up was simplistic, natural and neutral and I loved their no-laptop policy to encourage conversation and connection. This is something so rare, especially in the city and it really worked to set the tone of this cafe.
Uncommon serves the most delicious banana bread that I have ever eaten. The banana bread came warm with a zesty, bubbling berry sauce, a rich scoop of chocolate ganache and some fresh purple basil leaves which brought in a mild pepperiness. They really know what they’re doing with flavours here. Unreal!
4. Margo’s Amsterdam
Recommended by ambertheevegan, I wanted to try this vegan bakery and was happy to walk the distance to get there! Margo’s sits opposite a Toy Mouse Museum which made for great viewing as we sat and tucked into baked goods and delicious drinks! The orange vanilla roll was great – the sharp citrus and soft, sweetness from the vanilla balanced so well. It was perfect for a cool, Autumn day roaming the city.
We visited another recommendation by Amber, SAINT-JEAN, but it was full and didn’t have much left on the baked goods front. The lemon and ginger drink was nice and I like how airy the setting was – I just wished I’d been able to spend some more time there!
Have you eaten anywhere nice recently? Found any new places worth a visit? Let me know in the comments so I can go and explore!
Take care, stay warm, stay safe and
Feature Image taken in Uncommon Amsterdam