Amsterdam vegan guide. Vegan Mac & Cheese recipe from Willcroft.

“Must admit, Dutch are much more ahead of Germans in developing circular economy”, comes to conclusion my German college, with surprise and regret.

I love traveling to the Netherlands  and its capital Amsterdam, cosmopolitan city with more than 170 nationalities, one of the biggest financial centers of Europe, with the oldest stock exchange. City that was able to fit modern avant-garde architecture into historic downtown, with rich museum collections and democratic coffee shops, where cannabis products are completely legalized.


Amsterdam is one of the leading innovative cities of the world with a high rating in the list of the leading word cities with sustainable development. This city stands 2 meters below the sea level and needs to take climate change seriously. If global warming making sea level rise will simply flood the city. But according to its citizens opinion, city’s government doesn’t take the subject seriously enough. March 2020 more than 40 thousand marched on the streets of Amsterdam to bring its government attention to the problem and need for urgent actions.


Amsterdam takes part in the program of zero emissions, World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Amsterdam is a bicycle capital of the world where 58% of its citizens use bikes daily for transportation. It has more than 40 parks and incredible canal system, listed as a cultural heritage of UNESCO.


The Netherlands is the pioneer and the largest issuer of green and climate bonds. On the other hand this country subsidises oil (7.6 million Euro annually ) and milk (4.5 million Euro annually). After lots of mink farms got lots animals infected with Covid-19, state decisions are being made to close all mink farms in the country in 2021, several years sooner than planned.



To join conference “European women in finance” I decided to stay in new green ecological Hotel Jakarta. Let’s take a look. Hotel is built from ecologically clean materials, uses green energy and technologies that save water and electricity. It doesn’t use plastic bags and coffee pods used in their coffee makers are special and most degradable. Hotel is full of green plants – its interior is transformed into winter garden.


However menu of its restaurant needs to be upgraded, vegan menu is missing, its breakfast has lots of carbon imprint – full of animal based products, ingredient lists are missing. Chef helped me out by making an incredible salad with Indonesian notes.


My review and requests to add ecological green menu were sent to the manager. Will check this out next visit.



Amsterdam has already won reputation of one of the leading vegan cities in Europe.
Not surprisingly that couple days of my business trip were not enough to visit all vegan restaurants and shops. It became clear even during conference that vegan food is trending. Right in the exhibit hall there was a stand from Vegan Junk Food Bar . I could not believe my eyes the long line to get vegan food. Menu reflects its name – classic vegan fast food: burgers, french fries, hot dogs. Portions are huge.
In my free time I tried to visit vegan places in town. Deer Mama Milk & Burger . Small cozy cafe located on trade street. Got the last table as it was fully booked. On Wednesday! Fusion menu, just like Dutch cosine. Classic holland cousine is soup and sandwiches or adapted South Asian- Indonesian cousine.



What happened next? Another 15 min walk under the drizzling rain through the trade streets in the southern part of town and I am in Meatless District .
Another restaurant of this chain got opened in Amsterdam and reviews sounded attractive. Restaurant looked cozy, fitting right in the residential area. Glass, metal and wood were the key elements of the design. Wood brought warmth and glass added air to the space.
Was lucky to get a cozy small table with the view of the street. All other 25 tables were reserved and busy. Waitress told me they are this busy every day. Amazing menu, choices are extremely complex but tasty. After careful examination and discussion of the details with the waitress while glancing over the neighboring tables, I ordered soup and this bowl.



Took desert to go for supper later.


Next day before departure I checked out Vegabond cafe and shop 10 minutes walk from the central train station. With the view of the channel. With an option for a light meal or to go. They had great selection of real Dutch vegan cheese.



This recipe was given to us by the producer of vegan cheese and sauces Willicroft.


I was lucky to try it. During the lockdown while I was writing this post Willicroft already finished its crowdfunding campaign to finance expansion of its cheese production. Photography by Willicroft.


Vegan Mac an cheese recipe

Course: Завтраки и бранчиCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Pasta – 200g

  • Cauliflower – 100g cut into small florets

  • Vegan cheese sauce Willicroft

  • Vegan parmesan – 40g

  • Bread crumbs (optional) – 15g

  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Turn oven on (how many degrees?)
  • Bring water to a boil in a big pot and add pasta and cauliflower.
    Cook for 7 – 8 minutes, strain, then cover pot with a lid or a kitchen towel.
  • Use medium size pan to melt vegan cheese sauce Willicroft then add pasta and cauliflower and cover them with the sauce. Option to make your own cheese sauce such as YanaVegana
  • Place everything into a pyrex or other oven safe dish. Sprinkle top with bread crumbs, vegan parmesan and drizzle with olive oil. Its easy to make vegan parmesan
  • Place dish in the upper part of the oven and let it get lightly crusty to look slightly golden. Watch carefully not to overcook.
  • Idea – don’t throw away green leaves from the cauliflower. They are great source of iron, fiber and calcium. Can sprinkle them with dill, salt and pepper and lightly bake in the oven.

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