Vegan Junkfood Bar (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

After hearing many good stories I finally made the pilgrimage to the Vegan JunkFood Bar (VJFB). There are people that are vegan for health reasons, so this might not be for them. Though, I’d still wager this vegan junkfood might be more healthy than standard junk food. I’ll admit I am biased though!

So in the Netherlands there is this concept of the snackbar or cafetaria. This is a food counter where you can buy fries, ice cream and a variety of (mostly meat-based) snacks. The most interesting thing is that almost all snackbars have a very similar decor and setup, even among different franchises. Note that these cafetarias are very different from chains like KFC and McDonalds in the visitors, people working there and the food on offer. Anyway, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for vegans, but from a cultural anthropological view point I’d say visit one. Btw, the oil used is almost always plant-based, so if the fries and meat are not from the same fryer, try some raspatat. It’s good stuff.   (I believe these types of snackbars are a specific Dutch thing, feel free to correct me if I am wrong!)

A wikipedia commons image of a dutch snackbar
Image from Wikipedia showing a typical cafetaria. Note the small green “trees” between the frozen snacks on offer.

Now to say that the VJFB is “just” a vegan snackbar won’t do justice to the concept. I mean, sure they have typical snack bar foods like the “kapsalon” and “bitterballen”. And they have the typical plastic boxes in which those foods are served in standard snackbars. But the food is, apart from being completely vegan, fancier than what you would expect in a snackbar. Like a sprinkling of sesame seeds over the fries. The burgers are not plasticy but huge and fully loaded with goodness.

We had: the original VJFB burger, the Sumo burger, sweet potato fries, Pakistani bitterballen and fried onion rings. And yes, we ate that all, it was a lot of food, and all very delicious. Don’t come here with a small appetite!

Vegan bitterballen and sweet potato fries at VFJB.
Pakistani bitterballen and sauce in typical plastic box, sweet potato fries and burger in the background.

The burgers are loaded and took some dexterity to eat properly.. no sad patty on a flat bun here! I also really enjoyed their take on bitterballen. I have no memory of eating “actual” bitterballen, but I doubt they are as good as these. In the end I’d say all the dishes, while “junky” are not a substitute but rather an improvement of their original versions.

A huge burger and other snack foods at Amsterdam VFJB
Loaded vegan burger with onion rings and Pakistani bitterballen in the background!

There is also vegan ice cream for dessert, several different flavours.

There are now two VJFB locations, fortunately, because the first one was getting so popular it was almost impossible to find a seat!

Type of place: Junkfood, takeout
Completely vegan: yes
Vegan desserts: yes !
Website (English) :  https://www.veganjunkfoodbar.com/

More Pastry (Den Haag, the Netherlands)

A short post today, I just found back this picture and realised I wanted to quickly mention this little gem!
Soy cappuchino and "Mondriaan" cake at More Pastry
Soy cappuccino and “Mondriaan” cake

I happened upon this bakery when visiting a dear friend in The Hague (aka Den Haag in Dutch). We were actually searching for a place to have lunch, but I saw this bakery which had  several vegan cakes available, and I knew that after lunch I needed to get back for a pastry!

The bakery had a nice selection of cakes when we visited. There’s also coffee with several milk alternatives available.
Additionally More Pastry has a webshop, and they create cakes for special occasions.
I hope to get back there one day, to eat some more cake and make some more photos.

 

Type of place: Bakery and coffee
Completely vegan: no

Website (Dutch): http://morepastry.nl

Anat (Groningen, the Netherlands)

Situated in the Noorderplantsoen park, in a beautiful old building, you can find Anat. This cute little café offers breakfast, lunch, drinks, and cakes. And it is all vegan! Both of the times I visited I sat outside, but inside there is also space on the first floor, with a view on the park. Both times I was there the terrace was almost completely full! Fortunately Anat also does take-away.

The philosophy behind Anat is to respect humans, animals and the environment (something I think most of us can get behind) so the ingredients used are mostly biological and preferably local. In addition Anat also offers workshops and food consults.  In the café there is also a small selection of vegan cookbooks for sale.

Sandwich with olives, rucola, hummus and pumpkin
Sandwich with olives, aragula, hummus and pumpkin

The ingredients used in the menu depend on the availability/season but in general the lunch menu is a variation on sandwich, salad and soup. There’s choice of two types of bread for the sandwich or it can be served as a wrap (one of the options is gluten-free). They also offered a combination plate which basically combined all the offerings (for 2 people).

Coffee is served with a selection of milk alternatives, and there’s hot chocolate milk on offer. There’s a variety of (slow) juices and tea. Now the cakes, let’s talk about those. When I last visited there were 4 type of cakes available: chocolate, banana, lavender and cupcakes. I couldn’t resist and tried a bit of each. They were all so delicious!

Picture of a chocolate cake on a plate
Chocolate cake with pumpkin seeds at Anat!

I have visited Anat only for lunch and coffee & cake. Based on that experience I am confident to say that the breakfast is probably great as well!
Type of place: Breakfast/Lunch/Coffee
Completely vegan: yes
Website (Dutch) : http://www.anat.nu/