Rotterdam is a heaven for vegan and vegetarian food. The Dutch city known for its award winning modern architecture and street art has an amazing restaurant scene, including the best vegan and veggie restaurants around the Netherlands.
Even though every restaurant nowadays has at least one vegetarian and vegan option on its menu, I’d rather have more options than the classic goat cheese salad on pretty much ever Dutch menu. Rotterdam’s got you covered, as it has plenty of vegetarian, vegan or vegan friendly restaurants to choose from.
Best Vegan and Vegetarian Cafes in Rotterdam
One of the best vegan and eco-friendly spots is Jack Bean, right in front of the Rotterdam central station – a Rotterdam highlight with its unique shape and shadow play on the platforms on sunny days. It’s named after Jack and the Beanstalk, as Jack switched his cow for beans, just like every meat eater will do after having dinner here.
Jack Bean serves fast food, but in a healthy, vegan and sustainable version. The burgers, home-made sodas and cauliflower curry bowl are highly recommended.
Close to the central station is another vegan highlight of Rotterdam: The Harvest. The small restaurants promote itself with Fast Flexitarian Food. Just not to scare off the meat eaters, as most food is not just vegetarian but vegan. The menu at The Harvest is plain and simple: create your own bowl in a few steps. If the caramelized parsnip is on the seasonal menu, that should be one of your choices. You won’t regret it.
Bertmans is a favorite by vegetarian and vegan eaters as well. It used to have a small restaurant in the north of Rotterdam, but moved to a bigger one right in the city center, right next to the movie theater and main theater hall. The menu is not all vegan of vegetarian, so you can bring your meat eating friends to this restaurant without anyone complaining. Breakfast, lunch, drinks with bites or dinner. This is your spot.
Even after Bertmans leaving Rotterdam North, it still has an amazing vegan option. Gare du Nord will not just entertain you with amazing vegan food, but its unique location as well. The restaurant was created inside an old train wagon. As a big kitchen won’t fit in there, the menu is fixed for the evening and announced on Facebook in advance. There are two shifts each evening – one at 18.00 and the second at 20.00 – and you should book ahead, unless you come for lunch.
If you’re craving for healthy food, SLA is your go to spot. ‘Sla’ means lettuce or salad in Dutch, so you know what to order here. Another great options for healthy and mostly vegan salads are Mister Salad, just outside the city center.
Close to Mister Salad is one of the best places in Rotterdam, if you are into veganism and sustainability. The Groene Passage is home to the sustainable supermarket Gimsel and vegan restaurant Spirit. Spirit is a bit different from other restaurants in Rotterdam, as there’s no menu and no waiter. You pick anything you like at the buffet – on a plate or in a box to go – and pay at the counter by grams.
A less healthy vegan option is Rozey. This all inclusive restaurant has a fixed price and let’s you order anything you’d like on the menu. Including a vegan version of some typical Dutch snacks like ‘bitterballen’ and ‘frikandel’. The interior of Rozey is very instagrammable.
To continue with the unhealthy vegan food, you might be interested in SUE, a Rotterdam legend for vegan cakes. You can order some lunch as well, but the SUE bites are the thing you’re here for. There’s a SUE in city center and a SUE Bakery close to Mr Salad and the Groene Passage.
Another vegan icon is not about food, but it should be on this list if you’re interested in vegan and ecofriendly options. Rottedam based designer Denise Roobol is famous in the Netherlands for her vegan leather bags. You can shop them in Rotterdam at MYSC.
You can’t visit Rotterdam without crossing the Maas river and exploring the upcoming Wilhelminapier. It’s home to historic warehouses and Rotterdam icon Hotel New York, but also the award winning skyscraper The Rotterdam and other modern architecture. Make sure to cross the river at the Erasmus Bridge, to visit that Rotterdam icon and popular photo spot in one go. One of the best places to visit at the Wilhelminapier are the Foodhallen, a stylish food court in one of the old warehouses. Your vegan pick will be Backyard, which also has a bigger – and bigger restaurant in the city center as well.
Another great spot at a great location is Lot & Daan. It’s at the Oude Haven which translates into Old Harbour, a scenic spot with great terraces for summer days and cool architecture. The Witte Huis (‘White House’) at the Oude Haven used to be the tallest office building in all of Europe.
Close to this iconic monument are the yellow Cube Houses. One is open for visitors to actually see how living in a tilted cube works out. One of our favorites right between the Witte Huis and Cube Houses is Lot & Daan. It has a very instagrammable interior – indoor tree, swing and pink wall – and even better menu.
Best Breakfast Spots in Rotterdam
We didn’t discuss breakfast yet, and should, as there are so many great breakfast spots in Rotterdam. Vegetarian breakfast food isn’t hard to find – try Lilith or By Jarmush for pancakes! – but vegans will prefer the menu of Op het Dak, Sajour, Sappi and The Tea Lab.
Op het Dak is an amazing spot at a rooftop with a rooftop garden and terrace overlooking the Biergarten with its cool murals. It’s close to the central station and the instagrammable Pink Wall and yellow foot bridge.
Sajoer and Sappi serve picture perfect smoothie bowls for health freaks. Sajoer has two small restaurants, one in the city center and one in the popular Blijdorp area.
The Tea Lab bring you a bit outside the city center, but will be your pick if you’re looking for a great work space as well.
Coffee lovers should know where to start their day with some decent coffee. Harvest Coffee Brewers – don’t confuse it with The Harvest – is the best place to start your day. You can even choose your coffee beans. The avocado toast with a poached egg is awesome as well. On summer days, pick a spot at the small terrace in the back overlooking the water.
Let’s finish with some burgers. Though pretty much each burger place in Rotterdam has a vegetarian or even vegan option on it’s menu, you’d might want more choice than that.
Flower Burger serves great vegan burgers on colorful buns – pink, black or even blue – but the Vegan Junk Food Bar is our favorite. The burgers are just amazing, and it has a perfect location right next to the popular Witte de Withstraat with all its cafés and bars.
You might understand by now why we call Rotterdam a paradise for vegan and vegetarian food. There’s a vegan or veggie restaurant in all corners of the city. Most travelers just visit Rotterdam for a day or weekend, but you might want to spend at least a week in our hometown to try them all.
Thanks to Maartje & Sebastiaan from The Orange Backpack for this fantastic guest post about Rotterdam. Follow their blog here.