Pancakes are one of the dishes which The Netherlands are famous for, popular with both tourists and residents. But traditional pancakes are not of course suitable for vegans since they contain both milk and eggs. So where can you find the vegan alternatives in the city of Amsterdam?
Pancakes Amsterdam has restaurants around the city since 2007. They currently have 4 very centrally located branches and are opening 5th and 6th locations in the Zuidas and on Spui shortly. Pancakes Amsterdam wants to make pancakes for everyone. This means they offer Gluten-free, lactose-free and vegan options although the vegan pancakes are not available gluten free.
The vegan menu items are on their separate menu. There is not a large choice but you can also create your own pancake using either sweet or savoury toppings. These include apple, banana, almonds, mushrooms and spinach along with old favourites like sugar and lemon. When the vegan pancake is prepared they place a special plastic chip on the plate so you, the waiting staff and the kitchen can identify which one it is.
We ate in the Westermarkt location right next to the Anne Frank House. Service was a little slow but this is their busiest location. The pancakes tasted exactly how I remembered from non-vegan days, and had a good consistency. Traditional Dutch pancakes are very thin so in some places the topping was thicker than the actual pancake itself. Pancakes Amsterdam is a card only restaurant with a one bill per table rule meaning the payment cannot be split.
Mr Stacks, Govert Flinckstraat 122
Mr Stacks is a tea and pancakes house located in the Pijp. They are open daily for breakfast and lunch, closing 5pm Monday to Thursday and 6pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The pancakes at Mr Stacks are mainly priced around 12 euro. The teas are comparatively expensive however costing 4.30 for a drink tasting not too different from beverages available elsewhere. The pancake mix used at Mr Stacks is sweetened, which can be slightly strange with a savoury topping.
The pancakes are American style and all start off vegan. Some options are available gluten free. They serve a mix of sweet and savoury with unusual toppings including vegan burger with sweet potato and avocado salad or beetroot hummus and asparagus. The sweet options include banana pancakes with seasonal fruit, pecan nuts and caramel sauce. There are a small number of non-vegan toppings on the menu so it is wise to ask.
The Happy Pig, Rosmarijnsteeg 12
The Happy Pig is a small pancake shop located in the Nine Streets. In theory it is possible to eat inside but they only have a very small space and most orders are to take away. They serve Dutch pancakes in a specially shaped single-use plastic plate which have been rolled up then sliced for easy eating. You can take disposable cutlery but depending on the filling this is not always necessary. They offer both vegan and gluten-free vegan pancakes. The majority of ingredients are organic.
The pancake itself was tasty and the overall price is low. But the amount of single-use waste produced by their method of serving feels uncomfortable for anyone aiming to reduce their plastic consumption. There is often a queue and service is fast, so the rolled pancake idea clearly pleases many visitors.
Moak first opened as ‘Mook’ on de Clercqstraat in West in 2016. From the start they offered vegan pancakes but unfortunately back then the texture was chewy and the pancakes had very little taste. It was well known amongst many of Amsterdam’s vegans that Mook was most definitely not worth a visit.
Since then however the vegan pancake recipe has changed and the restaurant renamed as Moak. There are 3 sweet pancakes available for vegans and 1 savoury. The pancakes are American style made with organic wheat flour, almond milk and saffron. They also serve vegan yoghurt bowls and a vegan salad.
I visited the original de Clercqstraat location in West, which like the other branches is open for breakfast and lunch but closes by early evening. At first glance the portions looked small for the price, but turned out to be very filling. The vegan pancake taste and consistency has greatly improved allowing me to include Moak here as somewhere for vegans to visit.
There are other places where you can find vegan pancakes in the menu. Here is a small selection.
Lavinia Good Food has branches on Amstelveensweg and Kerkstraat and sells a vegan banana pancake breakfast dish.
Beter en Leuk on the edge of the Pijp has a vegan banana and buckwheat pancake on their breakfast & lunch menu.
Deer Mama Mylk and Burger Bar in the Pijp has a sweet pancake stack and waffles on their lunchtime menu.
Terra Zen in the city centre serves a savoury Japanese vegan pancake with cabbage and other vegetables.