Our favorite sustainable Amsterdam cafés
Whatever the weather, you can’t beat cozying up with a book, catching up with friends for lunch or battening down to get some work done in your favorite café. Our favorites aren’t just great hangouts, they all have sustainability at the core, whether toward the environment, giving back to the community, toward lasting health or all of the above.
Korte Papaverweg 4, 1032 KB Amsterdam
The Ceuvel was founded on the principle of creating a circular sustainable lifestyle. Everything about it is innovative and geared to regeneration. The former shipyard (on a 10-year lease from the Municipality of Amsterdam) is now an urban oasis. A hub of creative workspaces, in old houseboats that are dry docked and fitted with clean technology, and a sustainable café (and swimming spot in the summer).
The vibe is whimsical, yet industrial. The entrepreneurs and artists in residence are always creating and building something alongside the waterside terrace. The building itself, designed by Wouter Valkenier, is made from purely upcycled materials. It is a playground for sustainable technologies.
The aim of de Ceuvel is to be carbon and waste neutral, the food and drink at the cafe serves this principle too. “This”, they say, “goes further than just a label that says organic”. They cooperate with a number of initiatives that ensure all their (vegetarian) food, beer and drinks make a positive impact somehow. They have a rooftop greenhouse, make bitterballen from oyster mushrooms grown in old coffee grounds, have a floating garden for growing herbs and are creating the first Biogas Boat. It will turn organic waste into biogas for cooking.
Overtoom 409, Amsterdam
Hidden in plain sight, the Alchemist Garden is a more than a café. It is, as the name suggests, an inspirational place. It focuses on discovering mindfulness – you might go there for the innovative raw-vegan lunch menu, but stumble upon a cleansing breath technique workshop or a natural wine tasting.
The quaint café, with everything ‘cooked’ by its owner Alec Boswijk, offers a tea lounge with an entirely raw-vegan-gluten free menu, natural wines, smoothies and a little wholefood shop. Then there are the things that give it personality like it’s green point (to recycle batteries, candlewax, metal, and cork), its film and lecture events, alchemy toolkits and meditation. Rumor has it, there may even be foraging excursions available to forage wild vegetables in and around Amsterdam.
1091 GW Amsterdam
Beter en Leuk understand the notion of building a community around healthy sustainable living. Their café-cum-workshop space that is also a store and sometimes a yoga studio, is a place to “inspire people to pursue a wellness”, say owners Ilse and Maja. “A healthy lifestyle makes life so much nicer”.
Their menu is made up of mostly homemade vegetarian and gluten free food. They strive to use organic, seasonal and local produce. It’s tasty and wholesome food that has earned a good reputation, as Beter en Leuk are a long standing concept-store. Their vegan weekend brunches have got quite a following!
Bilderdijkkade 27, 1053 VH Amsterdam
The emphasis at Berry is people. It is frequented by creatives, regulars and neighborhood locals alike; mothers, business people, millennials, and students. It feels like a living room, and with no wifi, people read a book (from the library wall) or simply speak to one another. There is a real sense of community.
They share space with Strawberry Earth, a collective whose mission is to “make sustainable living a piece of cake!” They strive to inspire positive social and green change with innovative initiatives, like the sustainable design fair.
Berry serves freshly squeezed juices and smoothies and bakes wholesome cakes and pastries every day. The sugar-free banana cake is revolutionary, preferably eaten with a coffee and chat with the barista.
And, of course, if you’re in Amsterdam Zuid, be sure to find us at our Juice Bar centered around sustainable health, community and darn good cold pressed juice.