Amsterdam’s People’s Kitchens: Sustainable & Collective

Making conscious decisions about our diet is for most people the single, most impactful ways to curtail individual environmental impact. Opting for vegetarian or vegan alternatives over meat significantly contributes to sustainability efforts. Research shows that adopting vegan diets leads to a reduction of 75% in emissions contributing to climate change, water pollution, and land use compared to diets consuming over 100g of meat daily. Additionally, vegan diets were associated with a 66% decrease in harm to wildlife and a 54% decrease in water usage, as per the findings of the research by Oxford University.

When it comes to food culture, one of the things that sets Amsterdam apart is its concentration of collective restaurants and community kitchens offering affordable, inclusive vegetarian and vegan meals. This movement, rooted in the city’s historical squatting culture, champions non-commercial spaces and actively combats food waste, fostering a sustainable dining landscape. Here is our selection of five remarkable dining spots that not only prioritize sustainability but also offer affordability and foster social inclusivity:

  • MKZ: A people’s kitchen nearby Vondelpark rooted in the squatting movement, MKZ offeres low-cost vegan meals prepared by volunteers nearly every Thursday and Saturday. It’s part of the Binnenpret complex, housing diverse political and cultural initiatives including a unique Anarchist Library open on Saturdays.
  • Robin Food Collective: Another people’s kitchen located in a squatted school building, Robin Food operates as a foundation committed to affordable and healthy food. Accessible via the Nieuwe Anita cultural hub, volunteers prepare vegan, and mostly organic meals every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. They also host Guerrilla Kitchen nights, preparing meals with discarded supermarket produce.
  • De Sering: A people’s kitchen and cultural space near Sloterdijk Train Station, offering its space for social, community-oriented, or political events.
  • Taste Before You Waste: Founded in Amsterdam in 2012, this initiative is based in the Plantage Dok cultural hub and focuses on preventing food waste by hosting food cycle markets, community dinners and educational workshops.
  • KasKantine: An off-grid learning community conducting among others, a weekly food rescue operation and hosting a weekly Sunday vegan brunch.

Amsterdam’s commitment to sustainable, collective dining experiences through community kitchens not only promotes environmental consciousness but also champions inclusivity and creativity. These initiatives not only offer delicious plant-based meals but also embody a vision of a more sustainable and interconnected community. Whether it’s preventing food waste or fostering cultural exchange, these spaces illustrate the power of collective action in shaping a more sustainable future.

For further information on vegetarian and vegan options in Amsterdam, check out Vegan Amsterdam

Photo credit: @Thomas Schlijper