Before I travelled to Rome I did a bit of research on what the vegan scene was like and was pleasantly surprised. As you do, I compiled a list of restaurants to visit and although I didn’t get through them all here’s an overview of those that I did get to. Hopefully it will help you decide whether to visit them too if you’re planning a trip to Rome.
We’ll start with the Gelaterias and then move onto restaurants as let’s be honest, you’re going to be eating a lot of vegan ice cream in Rome!
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follow Lemongrass Gelato
At Lemongrass they label all their vegan ice creams and sorbets with red spoons making it very easy to see which are suitable for us vegans. I had their Mango, Forest Nera and Peach with Ginger when I visited. The Forest Nera was made from dark chocolate (70%), rum, caramel cereals and topped with cherries in syrup. It was unbelievably chocolatey and sweet from the cherries and by far my favourite ice cream flavour during my trip to Rome.
You can find Lemongrass by Ottaviano Metro Station near the Vatican City.
I loved the ice cream here and would rate it 9/10. If they had vegan cones then they would have got 10/10.
Gelarmony was a big surprise. They had their own vegan counter for ice cream including cones and whipped cream! I had pistachio and hazelnut. They were very creamy in consistency and I don’t think that a non-vegan could tell that this was vegan ice cream. The cone and the vegan whipped cream were like icing on a cake and tasted delicious.
You can find Gelarmony a short walk from Lepanto Metro Station, which again is fairly near the Vatican City.
Although they had cones and vegan whipped cream I didn’t feel that their flavours packed enough of a punch. For that reason I’d give them 8/10 but they are well worth a visit.
Blue Ice Gelato
Blue Ice Gelato is a chain that you’ll see dotted around Rome. I had their coconut and pistachio vegan ice cream. Unfortunately compared to the other two Gelaterias I found this a bit underwhelming as the flavours that I chose were quite watery. I also think that they may have been made with rice milk as they had a rice milk after taste.
As Blue Ice is a chain you can find them all over Rome. The one I visited was by Campo di Fiori.
As I found the ice cream a bit watery I would give a rating of 6/10.
Lunch and Dinner Places
Fa-bìo is a little cafe that have a range of vegetarian and vegan smoothies, sandwiches and salads. They can also make sandwiches to order using the ingredients on the board. I was served by the most helpful guy, who when I said that I was vegan gave me a selection of ideas for sandwich filling combos. I went for a curried mango tofu with vegan mayo, avocado, carrots, tomatoes and lettuce. The bread was really nice as it was quite dense meaning that all the ingredients didn’t make it go soggy. It was such a tasty sandwich.
You can find Fa-bìo by the Vatican City. A great place to fuel up before heading to the Vatican.
From the service to the food itself I adored this little place. I would rate them 10/10. You must go!
This picture doesn’t do this place justice but at Ops you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice as it’s a vegan buffet restaurant. It was by far the best vegan buffet that I have ever been to. I even tried ravioli for the first time and it was lemony and delicious! If you’re in Rome then I would recommend this restaurant as there’s so much choice. Just remember that you have to weigh your plate at the end as the price you pay is based on weight, so don’t overload it! You’ll only pay separately for the cakes and drinks but I found everything very reasonably priced.
Ops is a little out of the way with the closest Metro Station being Castro Pretorio but it is worth the small trek.
Whether you want pasta, tofu, salad, curry, sautéed vegetables or dessert this vegan buffet restaurant has you covered. I would rate it 9/10 only because we arrived at the end of lunch and the food was a little cold, but we did arrive just before closing.
Flower Burger is a restaurant that I came across on Instagram because of its unusually coloured buns. We visited this vegan burger bar for lunch where I had their Pepper Seitan Burger in a yellow bun. The boyfriend had their Flower Burger which came in a black bun. A little bit novelty but they were tasty.
You can find Flower Burger about a 10 minute walk from the Vatican City with the closest Metro Station being Ottaviano.
The burgers were very tasty but there was something missing that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I think it was that every bite tasted the same so it lacked that oomph. For this reason I’d rate it a 7/10.
Top tip: On a Monday they offer 20% off their burgers.
What can you eat at non-vegan restaurants?
If you’re with some non-vegans on your travels and can’t continuously drag them to vegan restaurants (as is the case with me) then here are a few dishes that you will see on most menus that you can eat and that are very tasty.
- Penne Arrabbiata
- Spaghetti with tomato sauce
- Pizza Marinara and you can ask for toppings too such as mushrooms, artichokes and olives – my personal favourite
I always check that they are using wheat pasta just in case, but with these dishes they have always told me yes.
Or, why not head to the supermarket?
One of my favourite things to do when I go abroad is to visit their supermarkets. Sounds a little odd but you never know what vegan treats you may find and quite often brands like Alpro launch different products in different countries.
Here are some of my favourite finds from the supermarkets of Rome.
A brand that I wish that we had in the UK is Sojasun. I adore their yogurts, in particular the coconut and the lemon ones. If you haven’t got breakfast included where you’re staying but have a fridge then these are good to purchase. However you’ll notice a load of other brands that offer soya yogurts too.
Again there are loads of non-dairy milk options in the supermarkets but the drink that caught my eye was Alpro’s Macchiato drink which we don’t have in the UK. Very sweet but tasty.
One of my favourite chocolates to buy in Italy are Pernigotti. They are made from hazelnuts and oh so creamy and delicious. Just be careful which ones you buy as not all are vegan just the Gianduiotto. I also tried this Noisette Fondente chocolate but was not a fan at all.
If you’re staying in an Airbnb and can cook too then you’ll find vegan burgers and pesto. Just have a little browse.
This is by no means a complete list of what Rome has to offer us vegans, but hopefully it will help you decide whether you want to include any of these places in your itinerary if you decide to visit.
If you have any favourite vegan restaurants or dishes that you’d recommend in Rome then i’d love to hear about them in the comments below.