Rome for Vegans

My husband and I just spent a week in Rome, and I thought I would jot down the veg-friendly places we tried out to benefit any other travelers heading to the eternal city and looking for healthy green grub. My recommendations are generally near the main tourist destinations (Colosseum, Vatican, etc.) or near the apartment we rented via airb&b (which I can also recommend heartily: Bright House, just steps from the Vatican).

Hope this helps other veggies out there! Enjoy!

Fancy-Shmancy (ish): Il Margutta. I booked a table for two at this more upscale-ish restaurant for my (30th!) birthday dinner, and we loved it. Even my omnivore husband found his all-veg dinner delicious. They even have a dedicated, 5-course vegan tasting menu. How fabulous is that?!?! I was in heaven. The “green risotto” was especially delicious. If you book ahead you can eat outside on the quiet, lovely Via Margutta, famous thanks to Roman Holiday fame. The prices for the menus are very reasonable, and the waiters were ultra-friendly and very fluent in English.

(Very) green risotto at Il Margutta!

(Very) green risotto at Il Margutta!

Me looking thoughtful... probably because I was turning 30.....

Me looking thoughtful… probably because I was turning 30…..

Gelato at  Gelarmony!This was the best gelato (soy for me and normal for my husband) that we had in Rome. They had a whole separate gelato case with just soy flavors – probably 16 kinds in all – as well as dairy-free whipped cream. At €2.50 for two scoops it is not exactly a bargain, per se, but worth the price. mmmmm…!

Gerlarmony

Gerlarmony!

Near the Vatican

Fa Bio: Go here for a quicky lunch, all organic, after the Vatican museums or St. Peter’s. We went here multiple times! Load up a sandwich for €4 or a huge salad with anything you want for only €5. They also have a daily selection of grain salads (farrow, quinoa, whatever) as well as smoothies and juices. The staff are super-friendly and helpful, and for about €12-15 you can walk away with a huge bag of healthy food for two!  Beware: there’s a long line at lunchtime and there’s only a few (read: three) stools to eat inside. We always took our goodies to the square nearby and sat on a bench in the shade.

FaBio

The lunchtime line at FaBio

Near the Colosseum:

Cafe Cafe:  We were so glad to find this place, just a hop & a skip from the Colosseum, since that area is otherwise one greasy faux-Italian place after another (*shudder*). Lots of fresh salads, build-your-own sandwich options, fresh juices and smoothies, and tea. A touch overpriced considering the portions, which were not *huge*, exactly – – but as good as it gets in this neighborhood, as far as we could tell.

Lunch at Cafe Cafe with a view of the Colosseum

Lunch at Cafe Cafe with a view of the Colosseum

Aromaticus: We didn’t actually get to try this incredibly adorable place (*sob*) as it was closed the one day, Monday, we tried to go. Next time! Within walking distance of the Colosseum, but not as close as Cafe Cafe.

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Other Options (Veg-Friendly):
A few other places we ate at were not vegan or vegetarian, but very friendly and accommodating nonetheless:
Mama Ristobistro: We tried this the first night because it was close to our apartment, and I thought the food was fresh and wonderful. Recommended!
Urbana 47: This is a local food restaurant in the same stylish neighborhood as Aromaticus, above. The dinner was excellent. Caveat: The really lovely, friendly waitress did not really “get” my explanation about no meat OR cheese, and there was some parmesan both in and on my ravioli. I ate it anyway – and it was delicious! At least it was  locally produced, organic, and amazingly delicious parmesan, right? So: highly recommended if you can go flexitarian for an evening, not so recommended if the thought of a tablespoon of cheese makes you want to cry.
Almost-vegan: extremely delicious homemade ravioli with eggplant, tomato, and (gasp!) locally-produced cheese at Urbana 47

Almost-vegan: extremely delicious homemade ravioli with eggplant, tomato, and (gasp!) locally-produced cheese at Urbana 47

See Also: Article about vegan dining in Rome from the Vegan digest

Also: random tip I read that the Beehive Rome is both a great place to stay, and offers inexpensive vegan dinners a few nights a week (in the €8 range, including wine – – cheap!)

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