Travel, Books, Food - Indian Wanderer Raised in Africa: A Vegetarian Foodie's Adventures Across Europe - Part IV

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Vegetarian Foodie's Adventures Across Europe - Part IV

Over the past few weeks, I have already shared my experiences as a vegetarian foodie in Portugal, Spain and France. The struggles are real when it comes to finding vegetarian food in some parts of the world. I have had many readers reaching out to me and giving me enough motivation to keep writing this series.

Many people I meet are surprised to find out that I am a vegetarian and a Mallu (Most Mallus are non-vegetarians). The next question I get is if I am a vegetarian by choice or by birth. Actually, I am a bit of both. I come from a family, where one parent comes from a pure vegetarian family while the other comes from a pure non-vegetarian family. My dad’s family are the kind of people who do not even eat garlic or mushrooms while my mom’s family will eat fish even three times a day, if given an option. I used to eat non-vegetarian food but I have been a vegetarian by choice for close to 12 years now.

So, let us move to our next destination on the list. I was traveling last weekend and I was in Calicut, Kerala for a wedding. We were waiting for lunch at our hotel when I overhead someone instructing the chef on how to make the perfect savoury pancake. I was reminded of my time in Amsterdam and decided to write about Amsterdam and Luxembourg this time around. 

A Vegetarian Foodie's Adventures Across Europe - Amsterdam and Luxembourg

  • Amsterdam:

The last time I was in Amsterdam, I was still in my early teens and I was quite excited to explore it on my own this time. As soon as I reached Amsterdam Central station, I decided to have dinner at the train station. I am glad that I did since you might have already read about the terrible time I had at my hotel.

There is a falafel shop at Amsterdam Central and I got a vegetarian falafel for around 7 Euros for dinner. After a horrible night at my hotel, I did not wake up early enough for breakfast. I decided to skip breakfast and headed out to the city to explore. I was walking around Amsterdam Central and found a tiny place right opposite the train station that had some vegetarian pasta options. The lunch was terrible and I wished I had gone to ‘Pancakes’ that was opposite this restaurant. The reason I couldn’t go was that the ‘Pancakes’ place had a huge sign board that said that they accepted only cards and not cash. Since I had lost all my cards by then, I had no other option.

A Vegetarian Foodie's Adventures Across Europe - Amsterdam and Luxembourg
Terrible Lunch

After having a terrible lunch, I was hungry within an hour and I decided to head inside a pastry shop to have something to eat. Halfway through a brownie, I suddenly realised that I am in a land where space cakes are legal and obviously, I started freaking out. Just to clarify, I have never been into drugs and will definitely never be in the future. Also, I did not want to be spaced out when I was traveling by myself and I had no clue how space cakes or hash brownies looked like. I started Googling feverishly only to realise that weed can be legally sold only in around 200 ‘Coffee Shops’ in Amsterdam. These Coffee shops are usually marked by a ‘Green and White’ sticker on their windows. If you really want to smoke weed, you can go into any of these coffee shops and buy them legally. No I did not visit any of them. Also, don’t buy the green lollipops for your kids from any of the markets since they are the edible kind of weed.
A Vegetarian Foodie's Adventures Across Europe - Amsterdam and Luxembourg
Coffee Shops, Amsterdam

I finally picked up enough courage to go ask the ‘Pancakes’ place if they would allow me to pay in cash. They agreed to let me pay in cash and I decided to order a savoury Dutch pancake (Pannenkoken). They have lots of vegetarian options, both savoury and sweet. It is definitely a treat for the foodie since the pancakes made there are so delicious. It was perfection (Yes, I am a huge fan of Chandler Bing) after a crappy food day. As I was chatting with the manager while paying the bill, I asked him why they did not allow cash. He told me that they were robbed couple of times and that was the reason they had gone with this rule. I went back to the same place the next day too for lunch and they allowed me to pay by cash again. I highly recommend this place as a vegetarian and you would be spoilt with choices. This place is located right next to the famous row of houses/buildings pictured above.

A Vegetarian Foodie's Adventures Across Europe - Amsterdam and Luxembourg
Dutch Pancakes

Do try the thick Dutch fries or Patat. They are basically fries served with various sauces. The most famous one is the 'patatje oorlog' for a dollop of peanut satay sauce, mayo and onions. 

If you are looking for sweet items, then StroopWafel and poffertjes were my favorites. You can buy them from any street vendor around town. Another thing you really got to try is the Cheese or maybe the cheese fondue. Many places sell them and my favorite one was Gouda.  I did try the Dutch licorice too but I would not say I am a huge fan of them. 

If you are a coffee lover like me, then definitely try out Koffie Verkeerd, which is the Dutch version of a CafĂ© Latte. For beer lovers, Heineken experience is recommended
A Vegetarian Foodie's Adventures Across Europe - Amsterdam and Luxembourg

If you have an Iamsterdam card like me, then you are eligible for a discount at various outlets across the city. 
  • Luxembourg:

I was in Luxembourg only for lunch and I ended up eating Mexican in Luxembourg. I also tried out Gromperekichelcher, which are basically potato cakes or fritters. 
I wish I had spent more time here so that I could eat the various delicacies that Luxembourg is famous for.

Hopefully you enjoyed my food adventures around Amsterdam and Luxembourg. So any idea which country will be next?

A Vegetarian Foodie's Adventures Across Europe - Amsterdam and Luxembourg
Mexican Food, Luxembourg


I was a guest of Iamsterdam marketing and I was provided with a free card. All opinions as always are my own.

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A Vegetarian Foodie's Adventures Across Europe - Amsterdam and Luxembourg

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