A vegan’s guide to eating in Rome, 2015

Rome guideYou’re not going to starve in Rome, but you knew that!

“Yes”, you tell others, “of course pasta is vegan, in fact, just like chocolate the pure authentic kind is plant-based by default.”

As much as Italians love their pasta though, let’s not live on it! Which leads us to Rome’s great plant-based foods versus “that’ll do” offerings.

There’s great gelato and there’s synthetic-tasting gelato. There’re wholesome versus weakling salads! Bruschetta to live for and bruschetta you’ll want to forget…

Here’s my guide to finding what’s out there in 2015!

Sisto apartment in TrastevereHome base…  

Our apartment was stunning! We opted for apartment living in the neighbourhood of Trastevere, to experience an authentic local vibe. Tourist attractions like The Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountains are still within walking distance.

Gelato 1st…

Through much sampling, I believe we found the best ice-cream in Rome. Visit Gelateria Del Teatro (near Trastevere) if you’re ready to taste why truly home-made, quality ingredients maketh the gelato!

Cambio (2nd best to Gelateria del Teatro)CamBioVita (near Piazza Navona) and Il Gelatone (near the Colosseum) were recommended to us.  Both proved good and offered a variety of vegan flavours, but simply didn’t live up to the quality of Gelateria Del Teatro’s gelato.

Quick bites…

Pimm's GoodPimms’ Good, (in Trastevere) was our prized daily haunt. Awesome staff (“we miss you Simone!”), tastiest freshly squeezed orange juice, a good American coffee (buy a little soya milk 3 shops away) and the best Bruschetta in town! Great people watching spot too.

Kettymangi is literally right next door to our apartment (in Trastevere), yet it took us a while to realise what a super find it is.  Our best salads in Rome came from here! Along with fresh juices made to order and their excellent homemade salad dressings! We always took ours to go, there’s limited indoor seating.

If inside EAT Street Food (in Trastevere) you’d need to stomach the poor choice of cuts of meat displayed as decor, but try their 2-option vegan menu – both tasty!  Their burger, marked ‘hamburger’ (clearly they don’t know much about appealing to vegans) and the spinach falafel are delicious.

Universo VeganoUniverso Vegano (near Campo dè Fiori) is a good pit stop to grab a dessert or something more filling. The Focaccia burger was tasty, while our salad was tasteless. Happy to support an intentionally vegan spot though (just not their salad)!

A tastier and more interesting salad we did enjoy a couple of times, along with their delicious thin-based pizza, was from the L’Insalata Ricca eateries.

‘Meatier’ meals…

BibliotheBibliothe (near the Spanish Steps). Awesome!  The staff in this quirky library/eatery were so enthusiastic and happy to oblige to a non-pasta lunch preference.  Rice & veggies, falafels in homemade tomato chutney, then fruit crumble, the very best, lightest, dreamiest fruit tart (which would be better described as a cheese cake) and ginger sticks.  A must visit!

II Margutta (near the Spanish Steps).  The buffet style lunch had us hoping the almost empty-plated vegan choices would be refilled before we selected our once-only plate serving at a rather hefty 15 euro. Not a favourite!

Wish we’d gone…

We’d wanted to try the enticing crepes at Chiquita Fruit Bar (near Piazza Navona) but their lunch serving time is limited, only between 1 – 3pm.

Vega Food, wish we had visited as apparently, it’s a gem. A Bangladesh couple offer a selection of vegetarian and vegan foods, using fresh ingredients, gluten-free and mostly organic produce.

Ginger (near Spanish Steps). Offering vegan options meal and drink options including soya milkshakes, I know my daughters would have loved to give those a try!

Further flung…

Just too far for us to visit. Ops! RestaurantRewild Cruelity-Free Club, Il Geco Blondo, and Giufa Libreria Caffe (a bookstore with vegan sweet & savoury nibbles).

For the best bakery, coffee shop and fresh product market see my article entitled “our walking food tour of Rome” in ChicVegan.

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