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Vegetable lovers seek recs for cheap places that do magic with produce. (AMSTERDAM)

We are going to the 'Dam for 4 days in early June. Some meals are part of a friend's birthday celebration, but we will be on our own for others. We have rented a flat in the Jordaan, so we will fix our own breakfasts. But, please recommend places that do magic with vegetables but don't break the budget. On our last visit, a year ago, we were thrilled with the broodjes, fries, and apple cake we found, but found our vegetables lacking or lackluster. Further out and away from the touristy throngs is fine.

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  1. I think the best thing the Dutch do with vegetables is use them to make soups. I've also had some tasty fresh sandwiches in Amsterdam (Espirit for lunch in the Spui pops to mind). You might be interested in Gartine:


    6 Replies
    1. re: barberinibee

      So wrong dear barberinibee Gartine is nice for a small lunch, some salads, cakes & sandwiches. Magic is done woth vegetables at de Kas, Wilde Zwijnen or Merkelbach (the last two are specialized in 'forgotten' vegetable. Menu (mostly vegs) at de Kas appr € 45,- the others around € 30,-

      1. re: hvdmeeberg

        I have no idea what you think I'm wrong about. I was passing along a link to Gartine, and otherwise expressing my purely personal preferences and experiences. I can't be "wrong" about those!

        1. re: barberinibee

          You're wrong because you have no idea what's happening on food and more specific veg's in Amsterdam. Can happen but then I think it's better to keep your preferences personal. Instead of sharing them ;-)

          1. re: hvdmeeberg

            One of the reasons this site is so popular is that there is a wide variety of opinions expressed here. I want to read them all so that I can gather enough information to then make my own decisions about where and what to eat. Everyone has a right to express an opinion, whether others agree with it or not.

            1. re: hvdmeeberg

              And you would know that why, exactly?

          2. re: hvdmeeberg

            De Kas sounds lovely. I am planning to dine there in July and look forward to some "magical vegetables"!

        2. Most 'regular' restaurants tend to be quite meat/fish-centric, in my opinion. Protein comes first, the vegetables are often an afterthought. Cannot count the number of times I had a pile of tired, under- or overcooked vegetables on my plate...

          I have heard great reports about the treatment of vegetables at vegetarian restaurant Betty's http://www.bettys.nl/ but have to admit I haven't been myself.

          I like Greetje http://www.restaurantgreetje.nl/ for their 'Dutch food with a twist' and had some good vegetable dishes there.

          I also like Firma Pekelharing for cheap & cheerful, trendy and no nonsense Italian, the vegetables I've had there were always fresh and interesting.

          For something different, try a Turkish place like Orontes or Lebanese like Beyrouth.

          If you are here the first week of June, you should be able to catch the very last of the white asparagus, and you could cook them in your apartment! Get some good lightly smoked ham, some quality butter, some new potatoes and boil some eggs, and you'll have one of your best dinners ever ;)

          1. I recommend De Witte Uyl. The menu is seasonal and inspired by the owner's travels - so its not traditional Dutch food. Annmieke, your host and owner will make you feel right at home and there are always vegetarian options available. I find her food to be comforting, warm and inspired.

            She does two courses plus dessert for around 40 euros.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chloes

              Sorry Chloes, I live in Amsterdam and am a food critic for 2 magazines. De Witte Uyl is not a top 50 restaurant to my opinion. It's really not special!

            2. Has anybody been here: http://www.waaghals.nl/infoNL.htm
              Waaghals Vegetarian Restaurant?

              1 Reply
              1. re: relizabeth

                I have been, although I have to admit the last time was a couple of years ago, but recent reports from friends do not lead me to believe its changed all that much. My opinion: it's ok, but nothing special - it tends to lean towards the 'healthy' side of vegetarian cooking, with lots of brown rice, wholegrains etc, not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but it can give you the feeling that 'good for you' comes first and 'delicious' second.

                Also, they do this thing that lots of vegetarian places seem to do which is have a dinner special that consists of numerous dishes all on one plate, of which I'm not a fan.

              2. btw the very best vegetable-magic-working (vegetarian) dinner I ever had in the Netherlands was here: http://www.kopvanhetland.nl/eten.html
                see pictures here

                a bit of a trek from Amsterdam but if you're in the country for a bit longer, its definitely worth it.

                1. Not really about food, but perhaps kitchen supplies... A year ago we stumbled across a great little shop near the Cuyp Market that had Dutch African stuff. Some kitchen ware (enamelware?), some paintings, some ingenious recycling of common throw away objects into interesting craft. DO you know what I mean? If so, do you have the location?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: relizabeth

                    I'm guessing you mean this:

                    the address is under 'contact/openingstijden'

                    lovely shop!

                    1. re: Klary

                      Thank you!

                      Here is where we went:

                      Firma Pekelharing: Dinner. White asparagus soup. My husband declared it on par with his German grandmother's recipe. Very smooth and asparagus-y with a bit, but not too much cream. The boiled artichoke with mayo and bagna cuda was also delightful. I had the pork with braised endive. It was a bit too much meat for me, I managed to eat the 2 sausages and 1 of the pieces of cured pork. The endive was sublime. My husband enjoyed his swordfish.

                      Gartine: Lunch: Adorable little place. Rarely are floral so unfussy. The ice tea did wonders on my hangover; the vanilla and star anise notes were interesting and refreshing. The carrot soup with dill and coconut milk was soothing. The flan sandwich was more of a slice of oven baked quiche, but was very yummy. Great chewy rolls, fresh herbs, crisp flavourful lettuce. We shared a slice of pear, hazelnut and honey cream tart. It was beautiful and rich.

                      Cafe Noorderlicht: Lunch: Fun beach hut feeling. spicy (coriander, chili?) tomato soup that was a bit thick and oily despite nice flavor. Toast with tahini and miso was v. pleasant combination of flavors that I intend to use in my own cooking. My meat ball toast was yummy, and my husband's aubergine and mozzerella sandwich was exceptional.

                      Buffet Van Odette : Late breakfast, early lunch. I had the raisin bread with butter and old cheese. This is comfort food for me. Mister had full breakfast, croissant, fried eggs with cheese, tomatoes and toast that had a horseradish-y butter. The horseradish butter gave a nice warm kick. I got jealous of a neighbor's salad and was glad when I ordered it. It had lots of parmesan, pickled tiny onions, grilled aubergine!

                      1. re: relizabeth

                        thanks for the report and it's very nice to see some other places than 'the usual suspects' mentioned here!

                        curious as to where you acquired the hangover ;) or, to rephrase, did you discover any nice bars?

                        1. re: Klary

                          Well, we were in town for birthday party celebrations so several nights were devoted to that at our friend's' house. But we had some lovely, lovely beers at Brouwerij't IT. What a gem of a brewery. We also went to the t'Arendsnest and Beer Temple.

                          Oh and we had a dinner at cafe 4 Hoog. I was cranky and hungry and somebody's antipasti platter outside convinced us to eat there. The waiter was quite sweet and the food was decent, but I can't remember what I ate aside from the antipasti, despite it being 3 days ago.