Globally known as the Eternal City, Rome is one of the finest and oldest cities in the world. The Italian capital is not only a haven for the greatest forms of art and history, it is also home to an excellent, and surprisingly vegan-friendly food scene. Sure, when thinking of Italian food you’re probably thinking of regional delights like mozzarella, prosciutto, pizza, pasta, gelato and so on. But, let us tell you, Rome can be a vegan paradise too! That is if you know where to go, of course. Here are our 5 favourite vegan restaurants from our last visit to Rome, as well as some recommended to-dos to make your next trip to one of Europe’s most historic cities as smooth as possible.
1. Refugio Romano
Run as a family business, this top notch restaurant in Rome’s city centre serves both a vegan and non-vegan menu. The mother of the family as well as the two daughters follow a plant-based diet and brought an innovative vegan twist to the traditional menu a few years ago. If you try just one thing, make sure you get the vegan antipasti starter platter. Vegan salami, nduja sausage spread, vegan cheese, bruschettas, marinated seitan and tofu; this dish is an absolute dream. They also serve incredibly delicious pasta (definitely go for the spaghetti carbonara), pizza and traditional Italian dolci & gelati.
Location: Via Volturno, 39/41, 00185 Roma
2. Origano Trevi
Situated in Trevi, a lively neighborhood where camera-wielding crowds descend day and night to see the iconic, baroque-era Trevi Fountain, Origano Trevi’s vegan-friendly menu is just to die for! There are vegan starters, pizza, pasta, burgers, desserts (they make the best vegan tiramisu!) and all manner of craving-satisfiers. Make sure to try their ‘diavolo vegana’ with vegan salami, vegan cheese and chilli pepper or their vegan rigatoni all’amatriciana with the most crispy vegan bacon, tomato sauce and black pepper. Incredibly satisfying, vegan-friendly comfort food that is full of flavour – this vegan restaurant has to be one of our absolute favourites in Rome.
Location: Via di Sant’Andrea delle Fratte, 23/25, 00187 Roma
3. Buddy Roma
We absolutely LOVED the vegan dishes at Buddy Roma, a restaurant in the centre of Rome, which is turning fully vegetarian and vegan from next month. Stuff your mouth with flavour-packed Italian dishes such as their ‘veganised’ aubergine or pumpkin parmigiana made with vegan cheese and almonds, their vegetable tartare, the cheesiest truffle pizza or try one of their vegan Italian-inspired desserts. Expect unreal texture and dishes so full of flavour and don’t leave without trying a glass of their vegan wine.
Location: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 107a, 00186 Roma
4. Hosteria del Mercato
If you’re into interior design you must pay Hosteria del Mercato a visit. Enjoy the authentic taste of Italian culinary traditions with a vegan twist in a vintage-modern setting. The vegan-friendly menu features a raw gazpacho with soy feta (a must-try!) and a range of vegan pizzas, plus a host of seasonal salad plates involving quinoa, tempeh and other hip favourites. Definitely check out the restaurant’s own and fully organic supermercato next door. Expect stunning interior (obviously) and a great selection of vegan products, such as cheese, pasta, antipasti and sweet treats – the perfect opportunity to stock up for a night in.
Location: Via Bocca di Leone, 46, 00187 Roma
5. Wani Bakery
The owners of this gorgeous-looking Ostiense joint want to keep plant-based food simple and make it accessible to everyone – and we’re certainly sold on the place, with its neighbourly vibe and beautiful desserts. The fully vegan bistro menu features Italian classics like lasagne, quiche, pizza, cornetti and countless amazing looking pastries and sweet treats. Wani stands for We Are Not Ingredients, which describes the mission of this little restaurant. They only use products from organic farming and aim to become increasingly sustainable for our planet through the use of recyclable and compostable materials.
Location: Via Gabriello Chiabrera, 162b, 00145 Roma
Other places to visit:
This fully vegan supermarket situated close to Vatican City is an absolute dream. Before you board your return flight, come here to stock up on plant-based products made in Italy. Choose from a wide range of vegan cheese (we went for Gondino’s with truffle flavour which is out of this world), meat substitutes made of natural ingredients, Italian pasta, beauty products and more. Unfortunately, the shop is not that central, but 100% worth the trip!
If you’re looking for unforgettable views, Up Sunset is the place to go. Situated inside Rinascente, a 7 floor luxury department store right between the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, this rooftop bar offers incredible views over Rome’s city centre. As the name suggests, this bar is the ideal spot for a visit at the end of the day. However, unlike some other bars that only open in the evening, Up Sunset bar is open from 10 am – so you can stop in for a coffee or even pop by for a cheeky afternoon drink.
Ciavatta dal 1956
This shop offering an array of local charcuterie is far from vegan, however there are a few vegan-friendly options if you’re looking for a quick takeaway lunch featuring traditional, local food. We went for a freshly baked focaccia, which you can fill with basically anything you fancy. Choose from the most flavourful olives, grilled vegetables, sun dried tomatoes and more and pay by weight.
Vegan restaurants in Rome we were recommended:
These are the vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants which were on our hit list but we didn’t quite get time to visit! If you have the chance, stop by and let us know if they live up to the hype!
We hope you have the best time in Rome. Tag us @weareveano if you try any of the above spots on our recommendation!
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Co-Founder of Veano