On a very cold Friday in February my friend Bianca and I faced the freezing weather and wind to meet each other in Zwolle and go on a hunt for cosy places to have yummy drinks and food. A temperature of 7 degrees below zero (Celsius) is the perfect excuse to go to a café and warm up, right? Janet went earlier this February to Zwolle as well, to catch up with a former colleague. In this article you can read all about where to go for vegan food and drinks in Zwolle.
After a 1 hour train ride (first class, I’m a bit spoiled and really don’t like to go by train) Bianca and I met at the train station, ready to discover Zwolle. Our first stop was Gooody Fooods: THE organic store in Zwolle. It’s a bit similar to Ekoplaza for example (or Alnatura, for our German readers) but a lot bigger and with a more varied selection of products. At Gooody Fooods you are in the right place for products which are good for people, animals and our earth. Gooody Fooods sees itself as the linking pin between ‘good food, ‘feeling good’ and ‘doing good’. Looking for vegan cheese, meat replacements, organic and natural skin care products and more? Then Gooody Fooods is the store to go to.
De Buurvrouw opened its doors on the 1st of December 2017 as a vegan food store. But as it turned out, for Zwolle a fully vegan food store was a bit ambitious. So that’s why the owner changed the concept of her store. At De Buurvrouw you can go for (vegan) lunch or drinks and (vegan) pie. De Buurvrouw offers the same menu as their neighbours ‘De Gillende Keukenmeiden’. De Buurvrouw is a store and café in one: you can also find (vegan) products in this shop, like vegan cheese, candles, soap, cookbooks and much more. The menu was so tempting we decided to have lunch at De Buurvrouw. Our order: 2 bites from SUE (always delicious!), a sandwich called the spicey aunt (with beets, lettuce, avocado, vegan bacon and vegan cream cheese) and tea.
Have you already been to Engel Winkelcafé? A cosy shop and café in one, in the heart of Zwolle at the Grote Markt 3. Here you can find unique gift items: fairtrade, recycled or handmade by people not able to work in a paid job yet. Don’t forget to try a drink and something to eat at Engel Winkelcafé. They also have great options for vegans! On the menu you can find organic juices, tea, coffee (soy milk/ almond milk available), vegan lunch options and vegan pie and cookies.
And from this point, Janet takes over!
About two times a year I go “shopping” in Zwolle with established “Zwollenaar” Marja (she’s originally from the Randstad). She knows exactly what kind of stores I like (concept stores, stores run by creatives, sustainable stores and everything that’s a bit different from your average high street find) and sometimes we even discover something together on our journey through this lovely city where I studied years ago. When there’s an interesting exhibition we start at Museum De Fundatie, a modern art museum. Until the 3rd of June 2018 you can enjoy the works of German Neo Rauch . I was really impressed by some of his paintings. And just for the dome and the view this museum is worth visiting.
A lovely place to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea is Villa Suikerberg, right between the museum and Gooody Foods on the water front. You can’t enjoy any sweets here though because there not vegan. The do however serve fresh OJ, juices by Schulp and fresh ginger tea.
My favourite store in Zwolle is bookstore Waanders in what used to be the Broerenkerk in the center. I am always a big fan of libraries and bookstores but this one is more then special because you can still clearly see it was a church. If you take the door on the left in the wall of the restaurant, you end in up in the beautiful cloister. Definately worth having a look. The brasserie is a lovely place to have a drink but also not suitable for vegans.
The inhabitants of Zwolle (Zwollenaren) are lucky. Pistache is a huge mixstore (lifestyle and food) with a mostly sustainable and fair trade selection (not everything is though!). On 2 floors you’ll find well known brands like Armed Angels, K.O.I. and Wunderwerk. There’s also a fair share of homemade products by creatives, a hairdresser and a cafe. In the cafe you can choose from a range of hip soda brands like Fritz, Charlie’s Natural and Firefly) and they serve soy milk. When I was there, there was no vegan food on offer unfortunately.
Soort van Winkel is also definately worth a visit. Until about a year ago they had a huge store and my visits were pretty long, but now it’s quite a bit smaller and clearer in the shop in the Samuel Hirschstraat. There are so many great things to see and buy here, from candles, to soap, pillows and jewellery. I love going here for buying postcards. It’s kind of like a real life Etsy shop, run by a few creatives who have joined there forces in this store.
There’s so much more to discover in Zwolle. We will definately visit more often. Which store should we visit next time? And where do you think can we enjoy the best food in town? We’d love to know!