Where to eat vegan in Rome
Rome is a wonderful city and its cuisine is known and appreciated all over the world. But if you're vegan, it might be a bit tricky to find entirely plant-based options in traditional restaurants or trattorias other than pasta with tomato sauce which is great, don't get me wrong, but after a few days you won't be able to take it anymore!
Things are changing very quickly and if it is still very difficult to find vegan options in traditional restaurants, there are some excellent vegan restaurants that I would recommend.
Here is a list of the best places where you can eat vegan food in Rome.
Il Margutta has been a vegetarian restaurant since 1979, perhaps one of the first in Rome. It's one of my favourites. It is located in the heart of the city, in the beautiful via Margutta which was once the street inhabited by writers and artists and is very close to Piazza del Popolo. It's an elegant and welcoming space that hosts temporary art exhibitions, usually photography and paintings. It's never too crowded and it's quiet enough to allow for a relaxed conversation with your friends.
The cuisine is genuine but refined, seasonal and always well presented. The menu is not entirely vegan but most dishes have a vegan option. Great attention is paid to always fresh and often local ingredients. Bread, cakes and vegetable cheeses are produced by them. At the weekend there's a brunch buffet for 28 euros, drinks not included, and it's a great way to sample all the fantastic dishes they prepare. Highly recommended.
Rifugio Romano is known throughout the country and is truly a point of reference for all Italian vegans. For years it has offered both traditional and vegan menus until the beginning of this month when the chef, Davide Leo, decided to transform the restaurant into an entirely plant-based venue. It is located near Termini station and can be easily reached by underground. The place has the feel of an authentic Roman trattoria. It is very small but has a nice terrace with a few more tables. The food is absolutely delicious. If you are looking for traditional Roman cuisine reinterpreted in a vegan key, this is the place for you! The carbonara, the amatriciana, the cacio e pepe are exceptional. The effort to imagine a traditional Roman menu with respect for animals and the environment is admirable. Desserts are always a big hit like tiramisu and panna cotta. So if you're craving Italian comfort food, make sure you book a table at Rifugio Romano.
Rifugio Romano is known everywhere in the country, and it really is a reference point for all vegan Italians. For years it offered both traditional and vegan menus until the beginning of this month when the chef, Davide Leo, decided to turn the restaurant into an only plant based spot. It's located in the neighborhood of Termini train station and it's easily reached by subway. The place looks like an authentic roman trattoria, it's very small but has a nice dehors with some extra tables. The food is absolutely delicious. If you are looking for traditional dishes of the Roman cuisine reinterpreted in a vegan key, that's your place! Carbonara, amatriciana, cacio e pepe are exceptional as it is the effort of imagining a menu that pays its respect to a wonderful tradition while respecting the animals and the environment. Desserts are always a huge hit like tiramisu and panna cotta. So, if you are craving Italian comfort food make sure to book a table at Rifugio Romano.
I've been to Romeow Cat Bistrot 5 times and it always surprises me. The menu changes every season and they try so hard to make it original, sophisticated and very well thought out and presented. The ingredients are expertly enhanced by the combinations of flavors and textures and transformed into a perfect and delicious dish. The menu is never banal and I like that there is always the presence of Asian dishes such as ramen, Korean rice dumplings or gyoza. The desserts are delicious and also served in the morning at breakfast and in the afternoon at tea time.
The space is really welcoming, and what makes it so special is the presence of five beautiful cats that hang out in the restaurant. I was scolded once for petting a sleeping kitten so be warned, there are rules to not disturb them, but they are quite friendly and if you love cats like me, they are great to have around. If you have a cat allergy, this probably isn't the place for you, but for anyone else, I highly recommend going. You will not be disappointed. It is located in the Ostiense district and is easily accessible by subway, and is located very close to a hidden gem of Rome which is the Centrale Montemartini , a beautiful museum of ancient art inside a disused power plant.
A new discovery but already in my top 5, Nativa is an excellent vegan restaurant located in the Valle Aurelia area, not far from the subway stop. I only went once but I was really impressed with the quality of the food and the service. The style of the place is simple but refined, the space is bright and welcoming and the people are nice and always smiling. This instantly puts you in a great mood and once you see the menu, you get the urge to try everything. From appetizers to desserts, it's a vegan triumph of carefully composed dishes with traditional flavors but with something extra. Can't wait to go back and try their new spring menu. Attention to dishes and customers is outstanding and worth the subway ride. I advise you to book in advance, it is very popular!
If you are in the Porta Pia area, not far from the famous Via Veneto, this is a great vegan option. They only offer buffets for both lunch and dinner and take out. They mostly use organic ingredients and many of the dishes are gluten free too. The choices are truly impressive, from pasta to noodles to tempeh to rice and loads of vegetables cooked in all sorts of ways. A delight for vegans but also for omnivores. The restaurant is spacious with a small outdoor area with a few more tables.
Grezzo is not a restaurant but I couldn't ignore it because it's THE place for chocolate lovers. It is a raw food, vegan and gluten-free chocolate shop with absolutely delicious pralines, desserts, cakes and ice creams. There are three shops, two of them in the city centre. It's a little pricey but in my opinion worth every penny. You can't leave Rome without trying one of their amazing creations.
I hope this little guide on where to eat vegan food in the capital can help you on your next trip to Rome. Let me know what you think!