I spent some time recently in Maastricht, Netherlands, on a work trip and I thought it could be useful to share some of the vegan options available for anyone who wishes to visit this great small city.
But before I start distracting you with the mouthwatering food, I would like to give you a great tip for getting around and exploring the city. Simply… hire a bike, or better still, bring a bike with you! Pretty much everyone cycles here and it is so safe to do so and allows you to really explore the depths of this lovely city. There are many places to hire a bike and most of the city hotels will have their own hire service. For example, I stayed at the Van der Valk hotel ( http://bit.ly/2caSaUn) who charge only 10EUR per day!
Now on to the food! Here are my vegan recommendations for Maastricht:
1. Burgerlijk (burgerlijk.eu)
As you can tell from the name, this is a burger restaurant located in a vibrant area near the Sint Pieter river. Polite service, cool decor and good atmosphere make eating in appealing. The menu requires placing your ‘vegan visors’ on as you will see options such as, Kalfsburger and Lamsburger, and if you’re thoughts work like mine, you will have to calm the internal rage before walking out 😉 However, if you make it through, you’re in for a treat! Vegan options on the menu include, Tempeh Burger, Sojaburger (soya) and organic vegetables and salads. My personal choice was the Tempeh Burger which was delicious. The texture of the tempeh was succulent, and the vegan gado gado sauce flavored it perfectly. The warm bun and fresh vegetables supplemented the burger nicely. The burger was plenty for me but you can add the option of fries or salad. There is no vegan option for desert but I doubt you will have room anyway!
2. SAP Bagel & Juice Bar (facebook.com/sapmaastricht)
This modern and quirky restaurant serves warm bagels, fresh fruit juice and fairtrade coffee. Ample seating, excellent location and good wifi connection makes this place perfect for digital nomads or somewhere to relax with a good book. Choose your preferred bagel from options such as, sesame, spinach olive, and multigrain. The two vegan options for the filling are vegan chicken avocado and vegan BLT. I tried both (on different days;) and really enjoyed them equally. The use of fresh ingredients was obvious in the taste. Accompany your bagel with a soy cappuccino and a fresh fruit juice to go. SAP Bagel & Juice Bar offers quick healthy food with friendly service. Their marketing seems very innovative and forward thinking. I think they could make the transition to go completely vegan quite easily!
3. Umami (umami-restaurant.com)
Umami combines Asian flavors with a French twist. Warm and friendly service with a smile and the decor was stylish and interesting. It is located next to the above restaurant, SAP Bagel & Juice bar, which is just outside Maastricht train station. On the menu, the vegan options are located at the bottom of the page and are clear to see with a ‘v’ symbol located next to them. The eye-catching ‘v’ allows you to focus your attention to these options only without having to scan each option and frustrate yourself that it’s meat (the Burgerlijk example above could use this tip;). There are a good selection of vegan options to choose from. I chose a 3 course meal of chuka wakame (seaweed, cucumber, garlic oil and pine nuts) tempura mushrooms, and tomato zucchini.
4. Loving Hut (lovinghutmaastricht.nl)
A little bit further out of town but definitely worth the trip. The only restaurant I could find in Maastricht that is completely vegan. Come with an empty belly to eat here as you will want to try everything on the menu. I was so full when I left and I could barely move! I have tried both of the Loving Hut’s in Brighton, England, where the menu’s are equally as impressive so I was excited to see just as much choice here. The menu has around 80 different, Asian inspired, items to choose from, all vegan! The atmosphere was very calming and is the perfect setting for a nice relaxing evening. To start I had crispy vegetable samosas with sweet and sour source. These little flavorsome bites definitely helped wet my appetite. For the main I had veggie duck with Chinese mushrooms and noodles. I had never seen or tasted veggie duck so I was intrigued to see what it was like. I was not disappointed. It was made with soy protein and the chef even managed to recreate the exact look and texture of real duck. The flavor of the sauce combined with the vegetables worked perfectly. Even though I had no space left, I was so impressed by the food that I had to have desert. I went the soy based vanilla ice cream which had the perfect texture and sweetness to end any meal.
Another good tip in Maastricht which could also help if you are on a budget is to find a local supermarket. I used this option every morning for breakfast as the menu at the hotel sucked! I found one in Maastricht train station called Albert Heijn which had some great options such as hummus, fresh breads, fruit, salads, pasta, and even Nakd bars!
I hope this helps you enjoy Maastricht with some vegan options in mind. It truly is a wonderful city to explore. Thanks for reading and have fun on your adventures!