Off to… London, Berlin & Amsterdam

We’re leaving next Wednesday and I would love love love your suggestions and recommendations if you live in or have traveled to one of these cities…

Restaurants, markets, cafes, shops, galleries… some “not-to-miss” sights… some that are off the beaten path and a little less touristy. We’re also open to meeting up with some fellow bloggers if time allows.

I’ve been to London a few times before and I’m excited to go back for more curry, and of course a stop at one of the Ottolenghi restaurants.

Amsterdam & Berlin… I’m not so sure what to expect (especially for veggie food finds)… um… help?




Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Josephine

    Hi there, as a Londoner who loves seeking out new coffee places, restaurants and markets, I’d definitely recommend seeking out Monmouth Coffee in Covent Garden and Maison Bertaux in Soho (very English and quaint!). For brunch, try Caravan in a developed grain store behind Kings x or the Nordic Bakery in Soho. For food (other than the amazing Ottolenghi which you’ve already mentioned), try Moro, Kettners, The Delauney, Bubbledogs or The Modern Pantry (a must!). I’d also suggest visiting one of the London markets. I love Broadway market and Columbia Road. Brick Lane is also an adventure on a Sunday morning. Enjoy your trip. J.

  2. Kathryn from

    Yay London! It sounds like you already know most of the good places to go but I’ll try and think up some hidden gems for you guys!

  3. Lori

    Hi , I loved Amsterdam! Don’t forget to go to the Van Gogh museum. So beautiful and there is a nice cafe in he museum. Lots of delicious chocolates!

    Have fun,

  4. süsk from

    Oh gosh, if you’re up Camden Town way, there’s a funny little café overlooking the canal which serves only vegan and veggie foods. It doesn’t look like much, but you choose a main and 2 sides from their daily-changing menu and it fills you up for the whole day! I had a caramelised onion tarte last time, with a side of roasty parsnips (and some nut/veg combo I couldn’t identify, yet inhaled). Very nice, and not too expensive, either! It’s called Inspiral Café and it’s on the High Street, just before the food market (which is also a good place to find some hidden gems, and looks like something from Blade Runner at night- BONUS!).

  5. Ottolenghi is one of my absolute favourite places in London, and Hummingbird Bakery cupcakes are legendary! Bon voyage! x

  6. Anneke from

    Hi, I’ve been following and liking your blog for a while and now I have a good reason to write, because I am Dutch and I’ve lived in Amsterdam! I would really recommend renting bikes ( because it is the easiest way to get around and you could also bike to small historic (fishermen’s) towns that are close to Amsterdam (Ransdorp, Holysloot, Monnickendam). Vegetarian food wise I like De Bolhoed ( and not vegetarian perse, Restaurant Greetje uses traditional, “forgotten” Dutch recipes and gives them a modern twist. You can get good Indonesian food (an important part of Dutch cuisine; Indonesia is a former colonie of the Netherlands; you should try it when in Amsterdam!) at Blauw ( And if you happen to go to the Zoo, or go for a walk aroundn the Eastern part (the Plantage area) of the city, which I can recommend, Cafe Koosje is a nice and typically Dutch Cafe ( Hope you have a great time!

  7. Elena

    We went to London earlier this summer and absolutely loved it! We ate downstairs at NOPI and it was delicious, very pricey in american dollars, but so well worth it! Also, got “takeaways” from Ottolenghi and ate it in the park – fabulous. For breakfast we found this place by our hotel called giraffe ( which has a bunch of locations around the city and is very veg friendly, had a nice vibe, and free wifi. Also, don’t miss the vintage shops in the Brick Lane neighborhood when you go for curry! Enjoy! (Love your blog!)

    • jeanine

      Thanks Elena! Ok, I won’t miss NOPI… oh and I loved brick lane last time I was there…

  8. Katie

    Ooh, Berlin. I wasn’t vegetarian at the time I lived there, but looking back I would’ve eaten a lot of falafel. Street falafel, cute whole in the wall falafel – it’s out there. There also were (and according to the internet, still are… lots of soup bars around for the lunch crowd. They’d usually have a handful available and the accompanying bread is always delicious. Prenzlauerberg, Mitte, and Friedrichshain/Kreuzberg would probably have a lot of options, based on the demographic.

    As for “not to miss,” RENT A BIKE and just cruise. It’s bike friendly and you’ll get to take in so much more. There are more bridges in Berlin than Venice and there still might be the summer pop-up beach cafes this time of year. It’s even fun to get a map and try to bike the wall, get lost a few times, you know the drill. Enjoy! I miss it.

    • jeanine

      Hi Katie – great to know, I love falefel. Thanks for the top 10 link – so useful!

  9. Anastasia from

    Hi! I lived five years in Berlin and another six in London so here is my Top ten list for you:-)

    1. Kollwitz Platz (a small area in East Berlin with outstanding cafes and Saturday market) it is situated in
    2. Prenzlauer Berg which in itself is a wonderful area of Berlin to walk around. The area is full with great artisan shops, cafes, local galleries
    3. Hackescher Mark – a dream area of old east Berlin: great galleries, restaurants, and loads of places where you would love to take photos!
    4. For hotels: try to get something in Berlin Mitte – it’s again in East Berlin , very central, very pretty, calssy… just to fall in love with
    5. Tiergarten (I mean the park) it’s massive, very central (starts at Reichstag)
    6. In the middle of this massive park on the lake shore is a stunning Cafe am Neuen See ( I suggest you try it on Sunday morning (you must book in advance).
    In general Berlin (and Germany) has a thing for Sunday Branches. You will see all cafes and restaurants doing them on Sunday. Most people will show up ate about 10-11 and it goes up until 1-2pm. It’s an all-you can eat breakfast buffet (well, it describes its nature but doesn’t do justice to it’s beauty and decadent elegance)
    7. For a bit of culture walk up and down Unter den Linden, visit the Museums Insel and Check point Charly (very kitschy)
    8. Kreuzberg – another trendy area (West Berlin): very “alternative”, “left”
    9. Nollendorf Platz: lovely and lively gay scene
    10. If you have any time and energy left – Potsdam (a stunning architectural beauty in Park von Sanssouci)

    1, Notting hill (pretty, central, great market on Saturday). You should take a few hours walikng up and down the street between Notting Hill and Holland Park
    2. Islington Upper Street (gorgeous Antic Market on Saturday)
    3. Borough Market (actually should be number 1 on your list) – Saturday and Sunday food market – will get you the most stunning photos and inspiration for the blog here!
    4. Covent Garden (again great for shopping in the market stalls)
    5. Richmond – green, leafy, pretty
    6. Kew and Kew Gardens (beautiful Orangery) (it’s very close to Richmond)
    7. The usual suspects of Westminster, Kensington palace, National Portrait Gallery at Trafalgar Square
    8. Tea (5 o’clock Tea) in Savoy or Ritz (must book in advance!)
    9. King Street in Chelsea and South Kennsington for very French feel in the middle of London
    10. Greenwich – great artisan food market, tiny pretty cafes in a very old part of London (this one is quite a drive for the very center of London though)

    Enjoy! I hope there will be plenty of Photos!!!

    • jeanine

      Thanks Anastasia, what a list! Thank you for taking the time to put this together. I had no clue where to start in berlin, so this is super helpful. I’m planning on going to the Borough Market… I’ll try to come back with some nice photos to share!

    • Dani

      Borough is not open on Sundays!

      • jeanine

        I was there on Friday, phew 🙂

        • Dani

          Lucky you, I miss London so much. My fiancée managed The Veggie Table in Borough for two years, hope you stopped by & tried a burger! 🙂

  10. Anastasia from

    I thought I’d add a bit about Berlin and vegie options: you will be absolutely fine! I suggest you try Indian restaurants – be prepared that German version of indian food is like 180 degree to the UK version! You won’t recognize a lot of the dishes on the menu (at least that happened to me when I moved to London from Berlin – the difference in Indian cooking was one of my culture shocks).
    Berlin also has great sushi restaurants and PanAsia was a great restaurant very close to Hackischen Markt (
    also try Monsieur Vuong it’s a Vietnamese very small trendy place (also close to Hackischer Markt) that’s where I learned how to make a mint and apple cocktail (grated green apple with skin on, shredded mint, sparkling water, ice cubes – done) – they say it’s a traditional Vietnamese drink

  11. Nicole from

    I don’t have any recs, but I’m also traveling to the U.K. in November. If you find any good spots I’d love to know!

    • jeanine

      I’ll be blogging as we go – I’ll report back with our favorites 🙂

  12. LeeAnn

    Another Londoner here! I live in the Borough neighborhood and just one warning: don’t go after 11! Too smashed with tourists! Go before 11, enjoy a chat with the producers then head down to Maltby St Market for amazing market finds with half the crowds. If you like Ottolenghi, check out Caravan King’s Cross for a great brunch or small plates. Very veggie friendly. Also nearby is a fantastic exhibit on British writing and the countryside at the British Library. One of my favorite spots and more quiet than other museums. Enjoy your travels!

    • jeanine

      Thanks LeeAnn — I was thinking of going to the Borough market kind of early, because I want to hit the Bermondsey market as early as we can in the morning. Thanks for your suggestion on the Matlby St. Market, we’ll go there right after (hoping it’s not raining this day!)

  13. Sophia

    Some tips for London (sorry if some of this duplicates the above comments slightly):

    1. If you are already a fan of Ottolenghi, try out his new restaurant Nopi (North off Piccadilly) in Soho,

    2. Modern Pantry is a great place for brunch.

    3. For great coffee and pastries try one of the following (most have several locations around town): Gails Bakery (gorgeous almond croissants), Prufrock, Fernandez and Wells (especially their location in Somerset House on the Strand), Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, Caravan on Exmouth Market (ideally for a sit down breakfast involving toasted sourdough bread with mashed avocado), Tinderbox in Angel, Canela in Covent Garden (a Portuguese cafe with amazing lime cheesecake).

    4. For icecream try Scoop (one in Covent Garden and one on Brewer Street in Soho) for authentic Italian Gelato. Otherwise try Gelupo in Soho for ore adventurous flavours (still authentic Italian Gelato though) – think fennel, pine nut, blood orange, white pach, rice, liquorice etc. While at Gelupo you should try and snag a table at the restaurant opposite, Bocca di Lupo (same owners) for great Italian food.

    5. Markets – I guess you might have been to Portobello Road market already, so skip this and instead head to Borough Market, stare at the gorgeous produce stalls, grab yourself some lunch, a coffee from Monmouth Coffee Company and a slice of cake from Konditor and Cook and head to the Thames for some great views over the river and the city. Also worth checking out is Broadway Street Market, Columbia Flower Market and Maltby Street Market (try and grab some freshly baked donuts from St John Bakery).

    6. For vegetarian food head to Mildreds in Soho or Food for Thought in Covent Garden.

    7. For drinks and tapas pre-dinner head to Exmouth Market to go to Morito (unless you can snag a table at Moro in which case that should be your first choice). Other great tapas places are Salt Yard, Pizzaro (pricey though) and Brindisa in Borough Market.

    8. “Trendy” food places everyone has been tweeting about this summer would be Duck Soup in Soho, Pitt Cue Co off Carnaby Street, Lima, Ceviche, Meat Liquor, Burger and Lobster and Sushi Samba to name just a few. Worth looking up a few London foodie blogs as well for the latest on supperclubs and foodie festivals.

    Hope you have a great trip!


  14. Jess

    Some London recommendations!
    In terms of markets, Borough Market can be a little touristy but is lovely. There are food markets at Southbank on the weekend. Brick Lane on a Sunday is fun for clothes and some of the food is good – especially the bagels (which aren’t actually part of the market…) right up the Lane at Beigel Bake. In that area, Pizza East do amazing desserts – especially the chocolate salted caramel tart.

    There are so many nice restaurants! But thinking of veggie food, if you want some really lovely (& cheap) curry, try Lahore One in Whitechapel. It looks like nothing much from the outside, but it is super tasty.

    London Review of Books in Bloomsbury, opposite the British Museum, does lots of mostly-veggie lunches and amazing cake (on Saturdays the bakery that provides cake for LRB has a stall in the Brunswick Centre, opposite Russell Square station). LRB is also a lovely bookstore. Bea’s of Bloomsbury, on Theobald’s Road, also does tasty cakes and a fairly affordable afternoon tea. Sketch does a more expensive, decadent afternoon tea. For both it’s worth booking ahead if you go at a weekend, but if you have the patience to wait you’ll be fine.

    I most definitely second Sophia about Gelupo & Scoop! Very near Gelupo is Bubbleology, which does nice bubble tea.

    I’ve been to Berlin & very much liked Monsieur Vuong. Also, Zer Letzen Instanz for brunch, and Alpensteuck for dinner.

    I really like Amsterdam but I didn’t find many food places I loved enough to recommend; tell us if you find some!

    • jeanine

      Thanks Jess! I know, sadly we won’t be there on a Sunday, but I did make it to Brick Lane on Sunday last time I was there. Thanks for the curry suggestion, we’ll be staying not far from Whitechapel.

  15. Flora

    I know a lot of people have mentioned Borough Market and I wholeheartedly agree – a Kappacasein toasted cheese sandwich goes down very well! But one of my favourite things to do in London is walk from Tower Bridge along the river past City Hall to Borough Market, wiggle though next to the Golden Hinde (Drake’s galleon), on past Shakespeare’s Globe, pop into the Tate Modern, admire the National Theatre and soak up the atmosphere of the Southbank and London Eye. All this with a view over the spires of the city of London on the other bank, St Paul’s and later on the Houses of Parliament. All in all an excellent snapshot of London. Last tip is get a good map and an Oyster card!

    • jeanine

      We love to walk a lot, thanks for the route suggestion. I’m crossing my fingers for non-rainy weather :).

  16. Cecile

    In London, you must try Pollen Street Social (continental with exciting twists – cocktails are also interesting) as well L’etranger (for high end Japanese-French fusion – I usually do not like Japanese fusion but this restaurant takes it to another level. Also try Dinner, Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant – quite difficult to get a reservation, would try booking for lunch (“lunch at Dinner”…ha ha).

    Have a wonderful trip.

    • jeanine

      thanks! We love cocktails with a twist… thanks for sharing your favorites.

  17. Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities! Make sure you rent a bike, is it’s the best way to get around the city. If it’s nice weather, try biking along the Amstel River to Ouderkirk. It’s an easy ride on a wide, paved, bike-only road with charming houses with beautiful landscaping on one side, the burbling river on the other, and occasional windmills. More here:

    I also highly recommend visiting Hiding in Plain Sight, a very clever little cocktail bar. Their drinks are impeccable and oftentimes come with an impressive show from the bartender, and a neighbor sometimes drops by to play a few songs on their piano. Incredibly charming.

    • jeanine

      Hi Diane! Thanks for your blog link (and other suggestions)… so helpful!

  18. Katie

    When I traveled to Budapest, Zagreb, Florence, Vienna, and Munich this year a great website I used to find my vegan fare was 🙂 I have never been to the three cities you are traveling to, looking forward to it some day, but sorry I couldn’t be of more help! Have a blast!

  19. Zita from

    I live in Budapest, Hungary and I’ve been to all three places. Here are a few recommendations from London.

    1. Koya (Japanese home style udon –
    2. Caravan (café, breakfast, brunch –
    3. Monmouth (best coffee in London –
    4. Portobello Road street market
    5. Melt (luxury chocolate boutique –
    6. Rococo chocolates (
    7. Frizzante (restaurant and city farm –

    • jeanine

      Thanks Zita! I’ll check these out, thanks for the links…


    I am currently living in the Netherlands and I can assure you that Amsterdam is a lovely place to visit. Renting a bike is always fun, but take an umbrella or a poncho with yourself, you can easily get soaked to the skin otherwise.
    For veggies I always recommend De Bolhoed ( Prinsengracht 60-62, Amsterdam). Have fun!

    • jeanine

      Thanks – oh the rain… I’m packing a couple of umbrellas, hope to not get too wet 🙂

  21. Zita from

    NOPI (Ottolenghi) is very pretty, posh and expensive. Next time I’d try the other Ottolenghi’s places.

    • jeanine

      thanks – we’ll be sure not to miss it!

  22. What an incredible trip! In London you must go to Borough Market and Eat Street in Kings Cross to sample street food and some of the most amazing market stalls. Other than that, I don’t really know where to start – so many amazing places! Do go to Ottolenghi’s Nopi for brunch – the courgette and manouri fritters are heavenly!

  23. Maggie from

    i definitely recommend Anne Frank House in Amsterdam – very moving and amazing!

  24. Zita from

    I also recommend Neal’s Yard in London. It’s a gorgeous, colourful place with lovely cafes, little shops. Neal’s Yard Dairy ( has an amazing cheese selection!

  25. It’s great that you’re going to all these wonderful cities, I will ask my boyfriend, since I’ve been to London and Amsterdam a long long time ago, he probably knows better than me !

  26. Valeria from

    Living in London and eating mainly vegetarian foods, I can say there are tons of options! Borough is great but the other farmers’ markets in Marylebone and Wimbledon are pretty awesome, too. And if you are desperate for healthy food, Whole Foods is always a good option. Also, the area of Brixton for food is pretty great, and so is Brick Lane/Spitafield.
    As for Berlin, I loved Kreuzberg –there too, tons of veg options from the Middle East.

    • jeanine

      Hi Julia,

      Ooh, sounds great. And thanks for sharing the link to unlike, what a great site!

  27. Kate

    I Studied in Amsterdam a few years ago. The places I recommend to friends, and brought all my visitors to, is the Winkel located at Noordermarkt 43 Be sure to get the Apple Pie with Slagroom they make fresh whipped cream for each piece. The Dutch Apple Pie is nothing like American apple pie.

    There are great markets in the Noordermarkt, and throughout the city, during week as well.

    I agree with renting bikes, I would have visitors rent from Frederic because they don’t look like tourist bikes, and are less likely to be stolen-although all bikes are fair game…

    Success to you on your travels!

  28. maia

    I highly recommend going to the top of the Reichstag (the German parliament) – it is a bit of a touristy activity but it offers beautiful views of the city and has a very architecturally interesting glass dome – I’ve attached the wiki link so you can see a few pictures, although they don’t really do it justice ( I went in the evening and the lights across Berlin were fantastic.
    I also think taking some time to stroll down Unter den Linden with a finish at the Brandenburger Gate is a must see/do.
    I haven’t been personally but I’ve been told that the Jewish Museum is an amazing place to visit. It also offers up some interesting architecture as well.
    I liked visiting the Berlin wall as well – it’s an interesting remnant of the Eastern era. The graffiti art was neat too.
    If you like visiting castles Sansouci is impressive but I seem to recall that it was a bit out of the way. Schloss Charlottenburg is also right in the city which makes it accessible but given the choice I would see Sansouci.
    Last time I was in Berlin I was a poor student so I can’t offer up great suggestions for places to eat unfortunately. In general however, Germans tend to serve great breakfasts at hotels with yoghurt and muesli, fresh rolls with cheese and meats and assorted jams. I’m looking forward to seeing the places you visit – Berlin is a beautiful city with lots of wonderful culture and history to explore.

  29. Lauren

    Sounds like a fantastic trip! I adored Berlin, had a wonderful time in Amsterdam, and have yet to do London.
    Berlin recommendations:
    I’m not a vegetarian, and was also a broke student when I travelled, so I mostly dined al fresco in parks. But the Saturday farmer’s market in Winterfeldtplatz in the Schöneberg neighbourhood is amazing! Plus, there is a great park with the most fantastic climbing structure I have ever seen nearby.
    In terms of nightlife, two very interesting bars we went to were in Mitte, one called Silberfish, which was very hip, and Cafe Zapata, for which I have no words to describe.
    Also, I really can’t recommend Museum Berggruen in Charlottenburg enough. It’s a fairly small museum, but has a wonderful collection of Picassso and other modernists like Klee and Matisse.

    To be honest I didn’t eat very well here, but it looks as though you’ve received a lot of good restaurant recommendations.
    Defintely rent bikes, and visit Vondelpark, it’s wonderful and we met many interesting people claiming the public space in many ways.

    Two neighbourhoods that are faily off the beaten track are Westerpark And Oud-West, there are a ton of artists and young people so there are lots of shops, cafes, restaurants and galleries to choose from. I particularly enjoyed the Museum Het Schip, which has a free tour and focuses on architecture and the building’s interesting history as a model of social housing. Plus the “culture park” Westergasfabriek was awesome.

    Have a great time!

  30. Willemijn

    My favorite veggie restaurant in Amsterdam is: De Waaghals ( Another interesting, but a bit more out of the way place is Betty’s: ( For coffee try Two For Joy on the Haarlemmerdijk, across the street from my favorite cinema The Movies ( Another nice area is the Westergasterrein, with a cinema, a park, some nice cafe’s, a coffee place and a lunch place ( Enjoy!

  31. I don’t have any particular recommendations for your travels, but I wanted to wish you a safe and wonderful trip. Enjoy! Say hello to London for me. I cannot wait to go back one day 🙂

  32. ileana from

    Please tell us all about your experience eating at Ottolenghi!

  33. Pamela

    In Amsterdam, you should definitely check out the Albert Cuypmarket to the east of the canals. It’s the longest street market in the Netherlands and where the locals shop for fresh and local food as well as household items and clothes. There is an amazing spice shop (which also has other very cool things) at number 150 on the left side as you go up the street. It’s a real shop, not a stall. I always stock up when I’m there. It’s closed on Sundays. Also visit the Noordermarkt in the Jordan district if you have time.

    One of my favorite restaurants in the city is the Kantjil & de Tijger, on the Spuistraat. Their specialty is the Indonesian rijkstafel (rice table) dinner. I believe they have a vegetarian version. There are fancier and cheaper versions but this is my personal favorite.

    I’m going to Berlin in March so look forward to reading about your discoveries and recommendations once you’ve been there. Safe travels.

  34. I see you live in Austin! We are in Houston but my daughter is now going to U.T. so we are discovering your wonderful city on visits to see her. I don’t know if you left for your trip yet….but we thoroughly enjoyed the “Burrough’s Market” in London. It is huge, tucked away south of the river. It weaves partly underground and is a food bloggers paradise!! Bon Voyage! Glad I discovered another Texan blog.

  35. clara from

    I love the graphic you created for your travels!
    Have fun & enjoy all the food & beautiful sites you’ll be seeing 🙂

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.