Amsterdam is an awesome city full of lots of great restaurants. My top recommendation for vegans, vegetarians, (or anyone), to go for delicious plant-based meals, shopping, and more, is Deshima.
Deshima is such a uniquely interesting place because it has everything. It's a restaurant, a food shop, and a cooking school - all in one!
It is all part of the Kushi Institute, the founders of the first European center for macrobiotics, and housed in a classically beautiful building in Amsterdam.
The original name is actually Dutch for 'protruding island', and refers to a tiny island where the Dutch and the Japanese had a special trading agreement way back in the 17th century!
On the main floor, the lunchroom serves up tasty meals that are not only vegan (no animals products) but also organic, macrobiotic, and as their sign says, delicious!
But, wait, what exactly is macrobiotic?... Macrobiotic refers to a mindful, holistic approach to a balanced, healthy diet and lifestyle. It focuses on high-nutrient, seasonal, local, and whole foods - mainly whole grains, vegetables and beans. Yum, right?
The lunchroom space of Deshima is warm, inviting and cozy. Clean and modern decor accent the fresh and healthy vibes. The lunchroom serves both hot and cold food and beverages. They have daily warm lunch and soup specials, as well as yummy things like tempeh sandwiches, seitan rolls, shiitake sushi, a salad bar and more.
And they have a very decent selection of treats! You'll find an assortment of freshly made cakes, pies, cookies, muffins and pudding on display.
On a very cold blustery day in Amsterdam, I stopped in for a hot cup of tea and deliciously chewy oatmeal cookie and it was heavenly perfection!
Eat in the dining room, call in for take-away, or get home delivery - by bike, of course!
Downstairs from the lunchroom is the shop. It doesn't look that big from the street, but wow it's impressive when you get in! They actually supply over 1500 organic food products. The shop has a great assortment of everything from fresh produce to grains to pasta to beans, nuts, seaweeds, and more. Also has tons of information and books on macrobiotic food. Kitchenware and gadgets, too! Stop in to shop in person, order online and pick it up, or have it delivered.
Upstairs, when not a dining room during lunchtime, various cooking courses are offered. They have topics like Traditional Japanese Macrobiotic Cuisine, Festive Cooking, Summer Cooking, and more, where you can learn about macrobiotic food and cooking practices.
Such a unique place! If you're ever in the city, definitely stop into Deshima at Weteringschans 65.