I’ve had Turin on my travel bucket list since visiting Milan. I love an Italian city, especially when it’s only a stones throw from a beautiful lake such as Lake Maggiore.
We didn’t visit for long, but we still managed to tuck into some delicious Italian food. Just think pizza marinara, spaghetti al pomodoro, ripe red tomatoes – need I say more? If you’re thinking of visiting Turin then here’s a mini food guide with some bonus locations in Lake Maggiore too in case you fancy taking a train trip to this beautiful destination for a day or two.
Vegan Food Guide to Turin & Lake Maggiore
La Campannina Ristorante Pizzeria
If you’re traveling with non-vegans who aren’t too keen on vegan cuisine then La Campannina is a great choice. They have a vegan pizza on their menu called “VEGANA” with vegan cheese made from rice. It had a fluffy base and the pesto sauce with grilled veggies made for a nice change to traditional tomato.
This is actually a French chain but we came across it when walking between the various squares in Turin. It’s a bit like a canteen and it’s good value for money. I chose their gourmet mushroom and spinach sandwich which resembled more of a burger. It came with a mushroom sauce which was rich and creamy. Pure perfection. A good pick me up whilst perusing the streets of Turin.
When I’d done my research Ratatouille came up as the place to visit. We went for brunch in their restaurant and chose their meal deal where you can choose a main and three small dishes from their menu. The food was good, but I think that my expectations were set too high as it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Unfortunately i found the food a little dry and lacking in flavour. The bakery on the other hand was the other end of the spectrum. I bought a selection of biscuits and a chocolate filled croissant which were absolutely scrumptious. So my advice is to go for the baked goods, not necessarily the sit down lunch.
COOX Fine Vegan Restaurant
COOX was another restaurant that was high on Google’s rankings when looking for vegan food in Turin. It looks small but don’t be fooled, there’s another floor downstairs. For starters I went for the puff pastry savoury pie with zucchini and vegetable cheese and my friend the Russian salad made with diced potatoes, carrots, peas and a vegetable mayonnaise. For main I had lasagne made with seitan, soy ragout and a vegetal cheese and my friend a pumpkin lasagne of sorts with vegan cheese, olives and capers. I loved my lasagne as it was a little crispy and I’d never had seitan cooked in that way before.
The only disappointment was the tiramisu dessert. The cream was very powdery. I wasn’t a fan at all.
L’Orto gia Salsamentario
On our last day in Turin we ventured to L’Orto for lunch. We had tried to get in previously but they’d been fully booked, so make sure that you book in advance if you’d like to go.
In all honesty I can’t remember the names of the dishes that we ate but the food was absolutely delicious. The side of pumpkin in particular was cooked to perfection. Be sure to get one to yourself as you will not want to share!
Aperitivo in Turin
Although we didn’t make it to either of these from my research I found two places that appeared to do vegan aperitivo if it’s something that you’re interested in. The first is called Smile Tree and their cocktails look like science experiments from Googling them. The second is Gorilla, which I think may be more tapas and drink than traditional aperitivo, but it looks like it could be a good option.
Lake Maggiore (Pallanza)
Osteria degli Specchi
I cannot rave about this restaurant enough. Although they only had one vegan option of their menu which was a vamped up spaghetti al pomodoro with four different types of tomatoes, including dried ones which made it a much sweeter dish than usual, the chef went out of his way to make sure that i had a vegan starter and main as well.
As it was truffle season when we visited many people have truffle on egg, but instead he made me some seasoned new potatoes so I could have truffle on those and he offered to make a cream sauce using soya if I wanted for my pasta. I decided to go for the traditional al pomodoro but the offer was there. I was thoroughly impressed by this restaurant and we actually went back again the following night. I’d recommend it in a heartbeat.
Tacabutan was recommended by our Airbnb Host as a place to stop by for lunch. It’s by the lake so in theory you should get a good view if it isn’t chucking it down with rain like it was for us unfortunately. Although they didn’t have any specific vegan options I chose the vegetarian pizza and asked for it without cheese and it was fine. Nice enough pizza, not my favourite, but it kept me going.
There you have it. A brief guide to vegan food in Turin and Lake Maggiore. Make no mistake that there are plenty of other vegan restaurants in Turin which I didn’t make it to. Mezaluna Bio and The Soul Kitchen are two others that were on my hit list but there are plenty of others too. Let’s just say that you won’t go hungry in Turin.
If you’ve been to Turin and have any restaurant recommendations then let me know in the comments below.