If you’re a vegan or vegetarian travelling in Europe, there’s a darn good chance you’ll end up having at least one meal at Maoz, the popular vegetarian falafel joint. They’ve got locations in major cities across eastern Europe, including Paris, London, Amsterdam and Barcelona. They’ve also opened a few franchises in the US and you can now find them in Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, Florida and New Jersey. A few years ago, we enjoyed several visits to Maoz in Paris and Barcelona and were excited to have a chance to eat there again while visiting Rotterdam, Netherlands.
We took the train from Utrecht to Rotterdam and arrived at the central station. About 15 minutes after we arrived, John was placing his order for a small falafel and fries. The Maoz dude stuffed his pita with falafel, lettuce and tomato. Once he handed it over, John filled it to the maximum with extra veggies and couscous from the salad bar. He was super excited about having a chance to fill up on Maoz once more, but was kind enough to let me snag a few bites. I’m happy to report it was as good as we remembered!
The fries were basic, but the curry sauce on the side kept things interesting.
A meal at Maoz requires no thinking for vegetarians and vegans. You don’t have to ask if the bread, sauce or falafels contain animal ingreidents. Everything else is a vegetable so you know it’s safe. It’s cheap, about €5.00 or €6.00 Euros ($6.53-7.84 USD), depending on what you order. Definitely less expensive than any meal you’d get at a sit-down restaurant, but there are cheaper falafels to be found. But at cheap falafel stands it’s hard to be sure about ingredients and there’s always potential for cross contamination with animal products.
Tel: 06 14283283
Spirit is a pay-by-weight restaurant that’s attached to the city’s biggest health food store, the Gimsel natural food supermarket. Gimsel is really big, and well stocked with lots of vegan food and body products. It’s actually comparable in size to a Whole Foods.
All of the food at Spirit is vegetarian, and most of it’s vegan. To keep things simple, they identify all of the vegan options with a ‘v’ symbol. The hot food is more gourmet than what you’d expect to find at such a place.
We filled up a takeout box with some tempeh, grilled asparagus, lentil salad, chickpea curry, fried mushrooms, and roasted potatoes. All of the food was great, albeit a bit pricey with our small box ringing in at €8.00 Euros ($10.45 USD).
De Groene Passage Shopping Center
Our Couch Surfing hosts in Rotterdam tipped us off on a vegan dessert option located close to the city center. At Ijssalon Venezia, an old school ice cream parlor, they regularly serve up a vegan soy-based ice cream. During our visit they had vanilla, but not boring plain vanilla, vanilla with wheat bran. I know it sounds a little weird but it was a good combo that’s definitely worth a try. Scoops are just €1.00 Euro ($1.31 USD) each, so why not opt for two!
Oude Binnenweg 125b
If you happen to visit Rotterdam, I’d recommend stopping at all of these three places for a bite to eat. Enjoy!