How Vegan Junk Food & Art went from Subculture to Mainstream


Joycy visits Vegan Junk Food Bar and Kunsthal Rotterdam

20 September 2019 by Joycy

When it comes to eating vegan, Rotterdam has seen some healthy transformations these last few years. There’s a multitude of excellent places, but the recent addition of Vegan Junk Food Bar has definitely been a game-changer in the city’s culinary scene.

Everyone loves junk food as it offers a sense of comfort and nostalgia, and it’s one of the biggest guilty pleasures in life. And by making it vegan it becomes so much more… Plant-based diets are the future as they positively impact the planet’s present and future, animals and your health. But instead of using moral rhetoric, Vegan Junk Food Bar inspires vegans and non-vegans alike with delicious junk food packed with flavours & textures, all wrapped up in a social mission that beats at the heart of its business. And trust me, one bite will override your off switch and you will come back for more!

Everybody loves Junk Food

There’s more to vegan food than an uninspiring mountain of leafy greens and raw vegetables. Everybody loves junk food and plant-based is the future so by combining both Vegan Junk Food Bar was an instant hit. One of VJFB’s slogans is ‘Where the magic happens’, and the vegan sashimi definitely exemplifies that.

When I posted a picture of the vegan sashimi on Instagram, everyone was intrigued: “What is it made of? And does it taste good?” I was amazed at how the vegan sashimi looked, how it smelled like salmon and how the taste came very close to the real thing. The vegan sashimi is made of 80% water, seaweed, salt and tapioca, a popular ingredient in Brazilian cuisine.

At Vegan Junk Food Bar, you can choose from a wide variety of plant-based takes on popular (Dutch) junk food such as the Daddy Mc Chicken, Bitterballen, the original VJFB 3.0 and Kapsalon, a junk food concept which originated in Rotterdam. Besides the magic you can be assured of one thing: the food tastes fantastic!

Rotterdam Melting Pot: Urban, Design, Art & So Much More

Vegan Junk Food Bar is for everyone as it unites vegans, non-vegans and people of all different backgrounds and races with a love of good food. And what better city to open another Vegan Junk Food Bar hotspot in than Rotterdam, the city of diversity?

Rotterdam is a city of impressive contrasts that will surprise you at every corner. From the moment you arrive at Central Station, which reflects the city’s innovative and creative character, you will be greeted by the street art of Rotterdam’s rapper Winne who is a role model for the youth. And right around the corner on West-Kruiskade, you will enter the heart of the city’s diversity which only represents a fraction of the 170 nationalities living in Rotterdam.

Global Conversations: Art in Dialogue

Whereas Vegan Junk Food Bar’s ethical mission and cutting edge graffiti art interior provides food for thought, Kunsthal is a meeting point where artists’ works seek interaction with the visitor by offering a starting point for global conversations.

With Street Dreams: How Hip Hop Took Over Fashion, Kunsthal teamed up with HipHopHuis and guest curator Lee Stuart to celebrate how Hip Hop influenced and became today’s fashion, and how it’s a part of all our lives. Just like fabric can be transformed into an iconic garment, Hip Hop is all about making something out of nothing and expressing your true self.

Although this exhibit has ended, Kunsthal always manages to surprise us with new, inspiring, creative exhibits that delight your heart and soul. Such as the larger than life art pieces by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos. She brilliantly utilised simple everyday objects like kitchen pots, irons, crochet works, fabrics and mirrors, and transformed them into artworks that invite you to reflect on your (cultural) identity, feminism, the effects of social media and ‘fake news’.

Mirror, mirror… I’m Your Mirror

A lot of Vasconcelos’ pieces are interactive and provide a unique experience for each visitor, such as the enormous Venetian mask made from mirrors which was created especially for Kunsthal. As you walk by, the mirrors transform into a mosaic which reflects you and your surroundings, changing as you move and making you part of the work itself. Is the mask a mirror or is the mirror a mask?

Her work reminds you that images are not always pure and can be manipulated just like ‘fake news’. Open your appetite for more at Vegan Junk Food Bar, and continue the cultural scavenger hunt in Rotterdam at Kunsthal where you can see Joana Vasconcelos’ exhibit until 17 November 2019.

About Joycy

About Joycy

Joycy is an ancestral fashion artiste, world traveller who speaks 8 languages and loves to dress like the rainbow. You can shop her travel and culture inspired travel capsule wardrobe on And make sure you follow her on YouTube & Instagram.
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