In June 2018 OOGTV asked us to take part in a TV broadcast of GoudGroen. This is a program from local broadcasting company OOGTV about sustainability and green gardening in Groningen city. It adresses projects about sustainability and also visits inhabitants who are willing to turn their stone garden into a green garden again. Moreover it’s about food and lifestyle. OOGTV approached us to show where you can find and eat sustainable food in Groningen.
Eating sustainable; what does that actually mean? For the two of us it’s about:
– trying to eat mostly local produce: flying food in from other countries is not sustainable.
– seasonal products: for example strawberries and berries in summer, cabbage and Brussels sprouts in winter.
– organic: spraying all kinds of pesticides can’t be healthy, right?!
– animal and environment friendly: to us this means eating mostly vegan.
Eating sustainable at home
We both usually have our dinners at home. Our favourite places to get our groceries are (organic) supermarkets and the local market. The market in Groningen has a variety of sustainable and organic market stands on different days of the week. Janet’s favourite is De Eemstuin; on Fridays it’s located in front of Perry Sport. De Eemstuin has been an organic plantation since 2002. Organic plantation is sustainable farming without the use of pesticides and fertilizer, with respect for nature and its coherence. Agriculture is connected with everything: with climate, water pollution, bio diversity, air quality, soil fertility. Organic products can be recognized through for example the Demeter quality label in organic supermarkets. De Eemstuin sells (depending on the season) produce like wild broccoli, fresh herbs, edible flowers, vegetables like winter cress, mustard greens and a wintry bok choy variety. Just a bit more interesting than what the organic veggies market stall on the other side of the market has to offer.
The Groninger Biologische Groentehandel (Tuesday, Friday and Saturday) offers a wide variety of more mainstream fruit and vegetables, mostly local and from the cold ground. They also have fresh herb plants for sale from ‘De Keukentuin’. No time to drop by? Then you can get a subscription: free delivery in Groningen city.
The market in Groningen has a lot more to offer than just fruit and veggies. Auke’s organic cheese and meat offers cheese (for example goats feta, smoked cheese and white cheese from their company Mekkerkast) from the farm in Westerkwartier (a part of the province of Groningen).
On Tuesday biologische-kaas.nl sells organic cheeses at the market.
At market stall Bionoot you can choose from a wide variety of organic nuts. Bionoot also offers organic oats and other flakes, dried fruits and more. On Tuesday and Friday you can buy meat at market stall Waddenvarkens. If you decide to eat animals, organic meat is maybe the least bad choice. The pigs on this farm can play outside all the year around, in big meadows where they can lay in the mud. A lot of their natural behaviour can develop here and the pigs don’t experience stress. Each pig can grow naturally.
*Note: we don’t encourage or support eating animals or producing animals in any way!
De Streekboer is something you can’t find on the market yet. De Streekboer is a Frisian/ Groninger initiative: you can order products from your own region. You get a Streekboer subscription and then each week you can let them know which products you would like to buy that week. At the end of the week your order will be delivered at a drop-off point. De Streekboer also offers a wide variety of products; from cheese to fruit and vegetables, and it’s always local produce.
Don’t feel like cooking?
Coming home after a long day at the office and not in the mood for cooking? No worries, in Groningen you can order healthy and organic dinner options at different places. Cook-ing and Winkel van Jan both offer healthy, organic options. At Cook-ing the food is always vegetarian (vegan options available too). At both these places you can also order soups, salads and ice for dessert. Sometimes it’s possible to have your order delivered to you at home (or in the office).
Going out for dinner in Groningen?
Going to a restaurant and eating sustainable? Yes, that’s possible too: in Groningen you can find lots of different places to go to. To make it easier for you to choose, we listed a few in this article in 3 different categories: a quick bite to eat, food during the day, and dinner options.
A quick bite
For a quick bite to eat you can go to De Frietwinkel (like we did in GoudGroen) at the beginning of the Folkingestraat. The potatoes will be cut right in front of your eyes and fried unpeeled so it keeps more of its vitamins. De Frietwinkel uses locally produced potatoes. Sustainability plays an important role in this business. The used vegetable oil will be processed into organic fuel. Packages are environmentally friendly, the equipment is energy efficient and they separate their waste.
Another sustainable diner in Groningen is Plat, it’s located in the A-straat. Have you already tried it? We haven’t and would love to hear about your experience!
Do you live in the Oosterpoort quarter by any chance? Then you’ll probably already know Friet van Piet. We think almost every inhabitant of Groningen knows this place, because it’s famous for their fries. Friet van Piet has been sustainable for years already. They also offer lots of vegetarian and vegan options, like a vegan shawarma and vegan ‘kapsalon’, another Turkish fast food dish with fries topped with shawarma and salad.
If you have a bit more time then you might like to go to Wereldburgers. They only serve organic meat. And on the menu you’ll find 3 vegetarian options which can be served vegan as well. And, you can order vegan pie (or ice cream) for dessert!
Food during the day
Looking for a place to enjoy some healthy and sustainable food during the day? One of the places to go to is Anat in Noorderplantsoen. This is a vegan hotspot in Groningen where you can enjoy a healthy lunch (soup, salad or sandwich), juices, coffee and sweet treats.
Are you looking for raw food? Then do visit De Herbivoor, another hotspot. This vegan salad bar offers sandwiches, burgers and salads (of course). In the mood for sweet? That’s also possible at De Herbivoor.
Some time ago Rå opened its doors in Groningen: this is a fresh and modern organic salad bar too, it’s not 100% vegan but it is 100% organic and mostly raw. They do have a lot of vegan options. And they also have take-away salads!
Concerthuis is a great place for vegetarians and vegans, eventhough there’s also meat and fish on the menu. On Sundays the offer their ‘Brakke brunch” (brunch for hung-over people) and at night you can enjoy dinner here. Also a sweet treat to go with your coffee (or local beer) is available.
In GoudGroen we visited Wadapartja (located at Zuiderdiep). Their food options are mostly organic and local. Their business is getting more and more sustainable. They have an interest in vegetarian and vegan food, which shows on their menu.
Brasserie Groen works with organic, seasonal and local products. You can enjoy dinner here too. They don’t have any vegan options on the menu unfortunately.
Feel Good makes you feel good! Here you can enjoy a healthy breakfast or lunch. It’s a vegetarian business with lots of vegan options too. They serve french toast, carrot cake, acaï, a mean poké bowl and delicious salads.
Having dinner in Groningen? There’s a wide range of restaurants to choose from. At Brussels Lof they have a different menu every season. They use organic products and serve fish, vegetarian and vegan options. During springtime you get to enjoy asparagus of course and in winter for example root vegetables.
De Zevende Hemel serves organic food and offers vegetarian and vegan options too. In Groningen this was the 1st address with vegan options on the menu. However, due to quite a negative experience this is not one of our favourite places to visit.
At Voilà they mostly use organic produce, and it’s local and seasonal as well. They offer a surprise menu. The only choice you make is between fish, meat, vegetarian or vegan (or a combination). A definate must visit, this restaurant; they know how to surprise their guests with delicious and creative dishes.
Despite the many places mentioned in this article, probably a lot of other places are still missing. Let us know which ones you would recommend and we are happy to add it to this article.
Like to read more about everything sustainable, veggie and green in Groningen then do check our Groningen city guide here.
*Note: we don’t encourage or support eating animals or producing animals in any way!
The companies mentioned in this article:
– De Eemstuin
– Groninger Biologische Groentehandel
– Auke’s Biologische Kaas en Vleeswaren
– De Streekboer
– Winkel van Jan
– De Frietwinkel
– Friet van Piet
– De Herbivoor
– Brasserie Groen
– Feel Good
– Brussels Lof
– De Zevende Hemel