top of page
  • Writer's pictureAudrey Locy

"Vegan Eats" in Rome, Italy

A week in Rome gave me the opportunity to try some amazing vegan food alla Romana! If you find yourself strolling the streets of Rome anytime soon, I hope you seek out these incredible "vegan eats" for yourself!

Although I was only in Rome for a week, it felt like I was home. The people of Rome were warm and welcoming and it made the trip unforgettable. The city itself is like no other I have been to! Unlike most tourist cities where you go to specific spots for your daily dose of history and "awe," the city of Rome IS a monument. Every turn you take, on every corner, there is some type of historical monument that will render you speechless. It is an incredible experience that everyone should have at least once!


If you read my "Vegan Eats" in Paris, France, this trip to Rome was directly after the week in Paris. If you haven't read that post yet, I would recommend reading that one as well! Compared to Paris, in Rome, it was exponentially easier to find plant-based meals while walking the streets. There is not butter and cheese in all Italian cooking, contrary to popular belief. Now, that's not to say that they don't use cheese and butter, because, trust me, they do! However, I found it much more common for food to be cooked with olive oil rather than butter. And most pastas do not come with cheese on top, rather the famous Italian parmesan comes on the side in a separate dish that they place on the table. With most dishes that were labelled vegetarian, I would always make sure that they did not contain dairy. In Italian, without butter or cheese is: senza burro o formaggio. Some other words you might need are meat, milk, or I am vegan: carne, latte, sono vegano, respectively. Another phrase you could use is "I do not eat...": non mangio.


Despite being able to find plant-based dishes fairly easily in Italy, I did research restaurants before we left the Airbnb. I would use the app Happy Cow to search for restaurants that were vegan, vegetarian, or had veg-options. This was something I did before we left for the day due to the easy access of Wi-Fi while at the Airbnb. After the group would decide what we were going to explore that day, I would seek out a restaurant in that general area for lunch time or dinner time. This caused eating out to be more efficient and "hangry" tourists happy! However, when I did not prepare, there were a few common vegan meals that generally every Italian restaurant had on their menu. These consisted of spaghetti pomodoro, or spaghetti with tomato sauce, spaghetti con olio e aglio, or spaghetti with oil and garlic, pizza marinara, or pizza with marinara sauce and garlic. Along with those dishes, normally the sides menu has an array of vegan dishes. The most popular side dishes, or contorni, that I ordered were verdure grigliate, or grilled vegetables, patate al forno o patate fritte, or roasted potatoes or fried potatoes. Salads, or insalatone, are also good options.


Although the food is why all of my readers are here, the most important tip I have is related to water! Rome is a walking city, and although that is probably my favorite thing about the city, that means hydration is so crucial. Thankfully, this incredible city has public water fountains EVERYWHERE. If you have ever seen Eat, Pray, Love, (side note: AMAZING MOVIE) you see Julia Roberts in an alley drinking from one of the fountains and playing with the water. Anyways, I recommend buying yourself a sturdy reusable water bottle such as a Hydroflask, CamelBak, Klean Kanteen, etc. Carrying around a reusable water bottle ensures that you can always fill up the bottle at the fountains while exploring so you are always hydrating. My friends and I went to Rome in the intense heat of summer and my Hydroflask saved my life! It was above 95 degrees (Fahrenheit) every day and having a substantial source of water is very important in temperatures like that.


I wanted to also mention that while in Rome, we almost always ate breakfast at the Airbnb. This was due to the ease of eating before we went exploring and also to save money. We had a local market right up the street from our apartment where we bought most of our groceries. Just like in Paris, our breakfasts consisted of fresh fruit, such as peaches and bananas, and toast and jam. The fruit and bread was fairly cheap, so we saved money by eating minimally. Our Airbnb host was kind enough to have an espresso pot and espresso grounds ready for us. So, we were not lacking in caffeine, thank goodness! I bought a carton of vanilla soy milk to have with my espresso and it was perfect. Vegan products, such as soy milk, mock meat, and vegan ice cream, were also sold in the local market. So, if you plan on eating in more than going out, my fellow plant-based amici will have no problems finding delicious food!


My last tip is an obvious one, yet significant. Before traveling to Italy, learn some basic Italian phrases! Compared to Paris, Rome had fewer English speakers. A couple of weeks before we left for Europe, I realized no one knew any Italian. So, I went to Barnes and Noble and bought a book of Italian words and phrases and studied until we left. If you happen to be fluent in Spanish like me, it is not that difficult to catch on. Knowing some Italian came in handy many times throughout our week in Rome. Even if it is just a few phrases or words, speaking the language of the country you are visiting goes a long way! And don't sweat it if you don't nail the beautiful Italian accent, your effort won't go unnoticed!


Now that you know some of my tips and tricks I learned while in Rome, lets get into the amazing Italian "vegan eats" I discovered!


Flower Burger

Flower Burger is a 100% vegan burger restaurant chain in Italy. They have multiple locations with a few abroad. They are known for their fun multi-colored burger buns. Their patties are also unique with different combinations of ingredients, toppings, and sauces. The burgers were amazing and definitely reminiscent of being back in the States. The restaurant itself had a great atmosphere with bright colors and inspiring vegan quotes on the walls. The staff spoke perfect English and were very sweet. My vegan friend and I went to Flower Burger before exploring Vatican City. I ordered the Flower Burger (right) which was a black bean and seitan patty with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, soy beans, and "magik sauce" on a black bun. My friend ordered the Cherry Bomb (left) which was a lentil patty with cheddar, bean sprouts, lettuce, tomato, and "rocktail sauce" on a pink bun. Both were incredible! We ordered the burgers with patate, or potatoe wedges, a side of sauce and a coke each. All together it was 31.00€ ($35.02), however, we received a 20% discount due to it being "meatless Monday." I thought this was a brilliant way to bring people in on Mondays while also making them conscious of what the term means and why being "meatless" is important. All together Flower Burger was delectable and I would recommend it to anyone traveling in this region!


Flower burger is located at Via Dei Gracchi, 87. It is four or five blocks away from the Vatican City and Castel Sant-Angelo.


MargheRita

Margherita is an Osteria, or tavern, and Pizzeria that is located in the heart of Rome. The restaurant had a lovely menu in which they marked the vegetarian dishes that they served. From that point many of the choices could be made vegan. My vegan friend ordered the Spaghetti di zucchini y patatine fritte, zucchini pasta with French fries, which was 13.00€ ($14.69) in total. I ordered the Verdure grigliate y insalata mista, or grilled vegetables and mixed salad, which was 14.00€ ($15.82). Both meals were delicious! The plate of grilled vegetables included zucchine, melanzane, pomodoro, y radicchio, or zucchini, eggplant, tomato, and radicchio. I had grilled vegetables at multiple different restaurants around Rome because is was easy, healthy, and always vegan, but the vegetables at Margherita were the best I experienced. This meal was healthier than some other meals I had in Rome. After eating plates and plates of pasta everyday, I was in desperate need of a salad! The non-vegans in the group enjoyed every bit of their meals as well, so Margherita is a great restaurant if you have a mixture of diets in your group! The staff at Margherita was also so lovely and sweet in every way!


Margherita is located at Via Delle Capelle, 31 and is near the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and multiple gorgeous Catholic churches to explore.


Rossopomodoro

Rossopomodoro is the typical roman tourist restaurant with essentially every Italian dish you could think of, but WOW was this pasta good! When I ordered this pasta I was not expecting it to be this spectacular. It is Spaghetti con aglio, olio, prezzemolo, e peperoncino, or Spaghetti with garlic, oil, parsley, and red pepper flakes. The pasta was so good that when I arrived back in Florida, it was the first dish I attempted to recreate. Èsquisito! The pasta was also only 8.00€ ($9.04) with bread for the table. Multiple waiters spoke English very well and were very helpful.


Rossopomodoro is located at Largo di Torre Argentina, 1 and is right in front of Largo di Torre Argentina which is the ruins of the theater where Caesar was stabbed. If you go to the bottom of the ruins near the south wall there is a cat adoption agency where cats roam around and you can interact with them.


Bibliothe

Bibliothe is an AMAZING organic ayurvedic vegetarian restaurant that is also half library. The library contains ayurvedic texts, Indian texts, and a mass array of amazing literature. The restaurant itself is absolutely gorgeous and the food rose above expectations. The meals are set meals with 4 different dishes and rice for a set price of 14.00€ ($15.82). You will then inform them whether you are vegan or vegetarian so they can adjust the meal. The four dishes we had were a salad, a pasta, a falafel, and soup. The rice that they served had me leaving the restaurant completely inspired! The rice was incredible and was filled with a number of spices and peas with whole cloves. The intense flavor made the rice one of the best things I have ever tried. The owner was beyond kind, spoke perfect English and the chef, who was so sweet, came over after to ask how the meal was. Even if you aren't vegan or vegetarian, I would recommend Bibliothe to anyone and everyone! The experience and the food was fabulous!


Bibliothe is located at Via Celsa, 5 and is right next to Largo de Torre Argentina and 3 or 4 blocks from the Army museum and the ruins of Forgo di Cesare.


Origano

Oregano was a great find too! They had an array of purely vegan dishes on their menu while also having non vegan items. The vegan meals were creative and unique, as opposed to simply being a pasta with red sauce and then a salad. The waiters were so nice and the food was so amazing that we went multiple times during our stay. The first item we ordered was an appetizer of Misto bruschette, or mixed bruschetta. It consisted of three pieces of begetter with three different toppings; tomato and basil, eggplant spread, and red pepper paste. They were delectable, especially the eggplant! The eggplant doesn't look amazing but just think of Beauty and the Beast, "Try the grey stuff, it's delicious!" Anyways, the bruschetta was 5.00€ ($5.65) and a great start to the meal.

The dish my friend ordered was called the Tortino millegolie, ruccola e perchino, or "Thousand leaves" vegan cake with rocket and cherry tomatoes. It consisted of mixed seasonal vegetables, carasau bread, eggplant and pepper paste, smoked tofu, and hazelnuts served with roasted potatoes, rocket and cherry tomatoes. This dish was beyond creative and very delicious! This meal was 10.00€ ($11.30).

This pasta was Oregano's Carbonara Vegana, and it was the best thing, hands down, that I ordered. The carbonara tasted exactly like a real carbonara with smoked tofu as the bacon and a delicious soy cream sauce as the egg cream sauce. It was topped with vegan cheese and black pepper. If I could get this pasta flown form Rome to Florida, I would do it in the blink of an eye! This pasta was 10.00€ ($11.30) and worth every euro cent.

On our second time at Oregano, I ordered their Pizza Oregano which was a pizza with tomato sauce, radicchio, walnuts, and vegan mozzarella. The combination sounds strange, but the taste was delicious! I now put walnuts on all my pizzas, who would've thought? Now, believe it or not, this was the only pizza I got in Italy. I was glad this was my only pizza because I was not disappointed at all. Their crust was the best crust I have ever had and the pizza was only 9.00€ ($10.17).

For dessert, Oregano had two that were vegan. On the left is their Tortino di mele con caramello e gelato vegetale, or an apple cake with caramel and vegan ice cream, that cost 5.00€ ($5.65). On the right is their Mousse cioccolato vegano, or vegan chocolate mouse, with pistachios on top, that cost 4.50€ ($5.08). Both were scrumptious and an awesome end to the meal.


Oregano was an amazing find in Rome for both vegans and non vegans and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting the city. There are two locations, the one I went to, Oregano Campo de Fiori, and also Oregano Trevi. The location near the Trevi fountain has a different vegan menu, but still with incredible vegan options. The location for Oregano Campo de Fiori is Largo dei Chiavari, 83/84 and it is next to Campo de Fiori and Saint Andrea della valle.


Cremilla


When in Rome, gelato is never in short supply. There was a gelato shop on every street! However, after days of searching for the best gelato in Rome, we finally found it. Cremilla is a gelato and pastry shop that we came about on the way to Vatican city. At first glance Cremilla looked like a gelato shop that was made for the pope himself and where a serving of gelato would cost 20 euros. However, a regular cone, with two scoops only cost 2.50€ ($2.82). The flavors in the image to the right are anguria, or watermelon, and figura, or fig, underneath. Both were some of the most unique and flavorful vegan gelato flavors I have ever tried. The vegan flavors are cleary denoted on their menu with the vegan "v."


One aspect that the nonvegans in the group loved, was the liquid chocolate. Cremilla has two spouts next to the gelato of flowing milk and white chocolate that they put into the bottom of your cone! Now, of course the chocolate was not vegan, but it was a big hit with my other friends. Despite the lack of a chocolate lagoon at the bottom of my cone, Cremilla did have a vegan cioccolato fon dente, or dark chocolate, flavor that was DELECTABLE. This flavor was smooth and rich!


These two gelato cones were actually from the same day. We shamelessly came back to Cremilla after we had explored Vatican City. I am so glad we did!





Cremilla is within a block of Piazza Adriana, around Castel Sant'Angelo, and about six blocks from Vatican City. Cremilla is located at Via di Porta Castello, 39.



In Conclusion


Being a citizen in the beautiful city of Rome for a week was one of the best experiences that I have had. I had the opportunity to eat Italian vegan food, live in an incredible new culture, see monuments and ruins that define human history, but above all else, I was able to do these things with my best friends. I hope that you get to experience Rome and the amazing "vegan eats" as well! SAFE TRAVELS! Arrivederci!


116 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page