Prosciutto and mozzarella, pasta Bolognese and pizza capricciosa – Italy is famous for its cuisine around the world. But although many recipes are based on meat and dairy, you can still enjoy delicious meals across the Eternal City – even if you are vegan. To help your stomach navigate the food search, we have sorted out some of the most amazing vegan places in Rome. Although they may not be the most centrally located, the experience you will gain from visiting them is definitely worth going there.
Vegan Quo Vadis? offers vegan friendly hospitality services in Rome and provides a free, regularly updated online map of vegan, vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurants, bars and shops from all parts of the city. This is the first map of this kind which at the moment has more than 240 pins, that will make your decision where to eat very simple based on the location where you are or plan to go. Furthermore, if you are looking for a spacious, cozy and cheap short term lodging in the central part of Rome – this place is perfect for you. The apartment in San Giovanni warmly welcomes not only you but also your pets and has a fully equipped kitchen perfect for cooking vegan friendly meals. Follow their Facebook page and you will get very useful suggestions on what to do and where to go on daily basis.
If you happen to find yourself near beautiful piazza Campo de’ Fiori, you have to visit Universo Vegano, a vegan fast food which offers all the classical fast food including burgers, sandwiches, bagels, flatbread wraps, kebabs and salads as well as other simple and quick meat free and dairy free meals. If you are in doubt what to order, the friendly employees of Universo Vegano will gladly help you choose.
A bit more to the eastern part of the city, you can find a charming green and ethic bistrot Breaking Bread. Placed in Centocelle, this small and warm eatery makes different types of vegan snacks and pastry for low prices. Sunday brunches of the Breaking Bread are famous for being super tasty and they will make you try many different delicious vegan meals – all for only 10 Euros. Here, they serve great cappuccino made with farro, so make sure to try it when you visit the place.
You are curious to try seitan kebabs or adapted Italian style dishes such as mushroom and hazelnut gnocchi, almond risotto and soy ricotta? Welcome to La Capra Campa, another vegan eating place with great food, average cost and pleasant atmosphere. If you prefer eating out, you can also have a take away order. Occasionally, La Capra Campa organizes events such as special dinners and cooking classes using ingredients 100% cruelty free.
Located near Termini station, Ops is a veggie restaurant which offers an entirely new formula: lunches and dinners are served as buffet with hot and cold meals which you pay according to the weight of the dishes you put on your plate. In Ops, you can try various mouth-watering gluten free and raw food meals and for those who do not have time to sit in or prefer to eat at home, there is a take away option.
Romeow Cat Bistrot is the first “cat café” alike establishment in Italy that allows you to make feline friends while you enjoy your coffee or a meal. Based on a Japanese concept of a bar and a “cat sanctuary” at once which is becoming more and more popular in Western countries, Romeow Cat Bistrot is a vegan and vegetarian bistrot placed in Ostiense which offers variety of extraordinary dishes of particular taste, including meals based on raw food. The unusual interior and numerous stray cats walking around will make your time here an unforgettable experience.
After a yummy meal, why not try a yummy sweet? In Gelateria Beautiful, which until couple of months ago was a typical Sicilian gelateria that have used dairy to make their products, now offers cakes, cookies and ice creams entirely made of cruelty free ingredients. But regardless of the change of components, their sweets taste even better then originals. When you arrive here, try a piece of vegan Tiramisù – you will see that there is no difference between it and a traditional one made with mascarpone cheese.
A vegan bakery Fratelli Piermattei in Pietralata distict sells various types of cakes, sweets and pastry. Offering 100% dairy free delicates since 1995, it is one of the first vegan places in Roma. Fratelli Piermattei is open every day until 13.30, so plan to get there early enough to get your portion of sweetness.
Restaurants, bistrots and gelaterie all sound great but you are travelling on a budget and would prefer to cook for yourself? Rome has something for you as well. A Vegan Store, situated in the Testaccio market, offers variety of food products such as seitan, tofu, legumes, cereals and other food you can easily turn into a delicious meal. If you have some time to spend, you can also have a nice chat with the owner of the store and try a tasty panino with vegetable cheese.
In Rome, there is also a vegan shoes store Il Gatto con gli Stivali selling boots, sneakers and all other kinds of cruelty free male, female and unisex shoes, bags, belts and other accessories.
In case you want to dive more into the nature and have the first hand contact with animals, you should visit Thegreenplace, an animal sanctuary located in Nepi (less than an hour away from Rome) which gives shelter to rescued animals. Every Sunday, you can spend your time surrounded by beautiful hills and woods of Lazio enjoying the company of dogs, cats, ducks, goats and horses and try a rich and various vegan buffet for only a few money.
At first, the Eternal City might not seem to be a heaven for vegans, but a diet without Italian traditional food will certainly not make you starve. On the contrary, numerous restaurant and bistros are offering delicious vegan versions of classical Italian cuisine and other marvelous meals that will make you come back for more. So enjoy your stay in Rome as much as you can and buon appetito!
Written by: Lidija Pisker
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