A couple of weeks ago, we were in Texel for a couple of days. Texel is an island in the Netherlands, north west of Amsterdam. There are only a handfull of small villages on Texel, but the island is very touristic, so there are quite a lot of hotels and restaurants. Not that much options for vegans though. In previous blogposts with restaurant reviews, I promised I would give an overview of places where you can have a vegan meal (and also some restaurants that replied they cannot fullfill our vegan needs). You can see this overview below.
First, some other impressions from Texel, from our vegan point of view.
sheep, sheep and more sheep
E-ve-ry-where you look on Texel, you see sheep. Thousands and thousands of them. Not that Texel is a sanctuary for sheep of course. They are raised for economic purposes: for their meat and milk, and also for wool. Hence sheep products like sheep meat, cheese and wool (and even sheep skins) are a common feature in restaurants and shops in Texel.
We read online that there is a ice cream shop where you can get soy icecream. So we were eager to try that out. Turns out the shop is part of a dairy farm Labora, where you can go have a look at the stables and the full automatic milking robot in use. Interesting to have a look inside, but very sad, despite the ‘joyful’ cartoons and charts on the walls 😦 Remarkable that the calves (who are taken away from their mom at an early age, so humans can take the milk from the mothers) were not in sight of the visitors. Driving away from the farm, we could see the calf boxes on the other side of the farm, out of sight on the premises for visitors. In retrospect, I regret having bought soy ice cream at the shop, as it meant contributing to the profit of the dairy farm.
With the omnipresence of the sheep industry, and some dairy farming and fishing activity, it thus seems a big part of the island’s economy is based on the exploitation of other animals.
Fair enough, we also did see a lot of birds (and bird watchers) at Texel, and with the dunes and surrounded by water, there is still beautiful nature to discover.
Ecomare is a nature museum, seal sanctuary, sea aquarium and a bird sanctuary. It is located in the National Park Dunes of Texel. We hesitated about visiting the place, but in the end decided against it, as we don’t know to what extent Ecomare is a sanctuary or more a touristic animal zoo (cf. the ‘sea aquarium’ and activities such as ‘feeding the sea lions’ and ‘feeding the fish’ lead me to suspect it is more of an animal zoo). And I had also read conflicting opinions about the role of Ecomare in the ‘rescue’ of beached whale Johanna in 2012, so that’s why we preferred not to visit it.
We did visit the Shipwreck and beach combing museum (Juttersmuseum) in De Koog, which was very interesting. See our blog with our impressions and more photos HERE.
vegan dining out on Texel
Here’s a list with places where vegans can go out for lunch/dinner. This list is certainly not exhaustive. As there are many more restaurants on Texel, I’m sure there are many more places where vegans are welcome. I contacted these restaurants because I had seen them mentioned in vegan facebook groups, or because I saw on their website they offer vegetarian – possibly vegan – dishes.
Of course, if you have the facilities, you can also easily go shopping and make your own dinner. There’s an Ecoplaza (organic supermarket) at Den Burg, with many vegan products, and several regular shops and supermarkets on the island. We visited a supermarket in De Cocksdorp, which has plenty fresh fruits and vegetables, but remarkably very few vegan products (no things like seitan or tofu, nor vegan milks or yoghurt, etc).
RESTAURANTS IN TEXEL WHERE VEGANS ARE WELCOME
De Compagnie, Oudeschild
‘Yes, you can have a vegan dinner with us. E.g. tomatosoup or onionsoup as a starter. Saffran rice with spiced lentils, glassworth, orange sweet pepper and onion chutney’ (mail 2015/06).
De Kroontjes, De Koog
Vegetarian dish, which can be made vegan upon request. 18€. Curry risotto.
Not bad, but not very exciting. And a pity they didn’t offer us an appetizer, nor dessert, despite requesting vegan many days in advance. SEE OUR REVIEW
De Lindeboom, Den Burg
‘Yes, you can choose something from the menu, and leave out the animal products. Eg. chicory in the oven, without the pesto and the sheep cheese’ (I wonder what remains to be eaten then …). (mail 2015/06).
De Luwte, Den Burg
Organic resto. ‘Yes, if you make a reservation and request it several days in advance’ (mail 2015/06).
De Rog, De Cocksdorp
‘Yes, vegan is possible if you request it advance. We can make stuffed peppers with vegetables and nuts, or we wok spinach with cherry tomatoes, zucchini/courgette, mushrooms, pinenuts and sesame seeds’. (mail 2015/06)
De Smulpot, den Burg
‘Yes, we can deal with that perfectly’ (mail 2015/06).
Hotel Texel, De Cocksdorp
‘Yes, we will absolutely take this into account when you come dining with us’. (mail 2015/06)
Opduin, De Cocksdorp
Hotel-restaurant, Indonesian ricetable every Saturday evening, which we asked to have vegan upon reservation.
Nice, although there seemed to be some miscommunication when we arrived. SEE OUR REVIEW
Torenrestaurant, De Cocksdorp
‘we can do something, if you let us know well in time, so we can accomodate to your needs.’ (mail 2015/06).
Vincent Eilandkeuken, Den Burg
Yes, if you request it two days in advance (mail 2015/06)
RESTAURANTS THAT SAID NO
Bij Jef, Den Hoorn
‘No. vegetarian is possible, but vegan would bring the taste of the dishes out of balance’ (mail 2015/06).
Peek, Den Burg
‘No, we are specialised in meat dishes’ (mail 2015/06)
Topido, De Cocksdorp
‘No, not possible – we work with Texel products and are currently understaffed’ (mail 2015/06)
Wambinge, De Koog
‘If you stay as a guest in the hotel, we can discuss it with the chef, but not for non-residents’ (mail 2015/06)