One day while my husband and I each ducked out of work to visit yet another apartment our months long Amsterdam apartment hunt we found ourselves in De Pijp quite close to Heinekenplein, a cute (circular) square lined with interesting bars and restaurants.
One of the restaurants happened to be the Vegan Junk Food Bar.
Neither of us are vegan (as evidenced by the copious amount of non-vegan food on this blog) but we do eat vegan meals quite often for one because good food is good food and two because it’s healthy to eat plant based as least some of the time. Plus the Vegan Junk Food Bar is basically an Amsterdam institution. People talk about how good it is a lot – even decidedly non-vegan people.
So vegan junk food it was going to be.
The menu is varied, with choices to suit every palate from regular burgers to shawarma, truffles, and lemon ‘shrimp’. There are also creative spins on classics (hello waffle fries) and a nice selection of desserts.
Bogdan ordered his standby junk food favourite – kapsalon. It’s a Dutch word that literally means ‘hair salon’. A combination of rumor and lore says the name is a reference to sweeping up hair clippings in a salon -everything goes. Not the most appetizing reference in relation to food but I try not to think about it.
In the food sense kapsalon refers to a dish sort of like nachos only with fries. Layers of crunchy fries with shawarma meat, fresh veg and sliced jalapenos.
The vegan version of kapsalon that Bogdan ordereds was amazing. Piled high with hot peppers, perfect layers of flavours, and so bountiful Bogdan had a hard time finishing it. Truly it ticked all the boxes of the vegan ticket.
On my end, not one to be swayed by calorie counts or the size of my stomach, I ordered the Sumo 3.0 – a monster double decker burger with a juicy vegan beef patty and a crunchy fried ‘chicken’ patty. It was one of the best burgers I’ve had in Amsterdam and it really shifted me to the vegan side of burgers.
The Sumo 3.0 showed me everything a vegan burger can be and I didn’t miss the meat one bit. In fact I’ve often ordered vegan burgers since because I sometimes like them more than beef – they’re all the flavour without all the grease or heaviness. Incidentally the vegan burgers at Troost in Amsterdam West is fantastic and the one at Broer at Frederick Hendrikplein is also pretty good (just a bit crumbly).
So if you’re in Amsterdam and craving a vegan junk food fix – or even just a junk food fix – the Vegan Junk Food Bar is definitely worth a visit. The food is amazing not just by vegan standards but by any standards. Perfect crunchy waffle fries, sauces and garnish game on point, and a fun and colorful atmosphere (plus wacky colored buns) make for an overall high quality eating experience and fun dining experience. 10/10 would eat again.