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Restaurant Review: Spirit in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Visiting the Rotterdam Markthal was one of the hotspots on my wish list. And I loved the building, especially the very colorful ceiling. Truly beautiful.

To make the experience even better, we had a great vegan/vegetarian option nearby; Spirit. Located in the Green Passage of Rotterdam, Spirit serves a fully vegetarian (and mostly vegan, I think about 75-80% is vegan) buffet.

The concept reminded me of L’Etto in Napoli — you compose your own breakfast, lunch or dinner and pay by weight. There is also the option to do take-away. Somebody called it a ‘vegetarian valhalla served in the form of a high end buffet’. And I couldn’t agree more.

Spirit has a huge buffet with a variety of fifty different breakfast, lunch or dinner dishes, juices and patisserie to choose from. There are beautiful bowls filled with salads, hot dishes, soups, all kind of toppings and dips. And there is also a great selection of sweets, cakes and ice-cream.

Every dish is accompanied by a card with all the ingredients and there a little signs that tell if a dish is vegan, gluten-free, contains nuts and so on. For me that is a very relaxing way to eat. You know exactly what is on your plate.

All dishes are prepared daily in their kitchen using exclusively 100% organic and 100% vegetarian, seasonal ingredients. This means hearty veggie stews during winter, and fruit salad with local organic strawberries in the summer.

Spirit explains why they choose organic & veggie:

‘We choose organic and vegetarian because we respect humans, animals, our environment and our economy. Organic means: no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. That way the products we use keep their natural life force energy all the way to your plate. This is healthier for you and better for the environment.

Vegetarian means that we choose plant-based ingredients, like legumes, seaweed, tempeh and soya to create wholesome nutritious dishes. Not only do we make sure that the food is yummy, we also see to it that it’s good for your health and good for the environment. In the short and in the long run. In our opinion, that makes good food taste even better.’  

And we agree, the food is great, plus there is a very nice ambiance inside and out. Spirit has lots of indoor seating and there is a large terrace outside. Additionally, there is a smaller terrace that is non-smoking (which is quiet unusual in the Netherlands but very much appreciated by us)!

Spirit is surrounded by ‘green’ shops in the Green Passage. And there was an easy-going vibe. People just enjoyed their great food. I would have loved to go back to the buffet for a second or third time but that wasn’t physically possible. We did however do some (window) shopping afterwards and went back for a lovely cup of fresh mint tea and a truly divine chocolate cake!

I wish we had Spirits all over the Netherlands. I know for sure that we will be back whenever visiting Rotterdam (or Amsterdam, because they have a Spirit location as well).

About the author: Mariëlle van de Kerkhof — happy urban gardener who loves to travel and eat great vegan food! www.mariellevandekerkhof.com

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