This post was last updated on January 28th, 2019
Whenever we asked for vegan options, people knew immediately what that meant and whether or not they had anything vegan on the menu. In Greece, you usually have to explain what you mean by vegan, and, even then, people are a bit overwhelmed and not quite capable of providing a clear answer on whether or not they have any vegan options.
The first place we went to after arriving in the city and leaving our stuff at our AirBnB, was a café called Kosher Bistrot. If you have read my vegan travel post about Corfu, we also first ended up in the old Jewish ghetto there. I seem to have an inclination towards old Jewish neighborhoods.
The people at Kosher Bistrot were quite knowledgeable and knew exactly which items on their menu were vegan. Both my boyfriend and I opted for pasta dishes which were decent but not quite filling. I did, however, have a vegan vanilla mousse with vegan whipped cream for dessert which was quite impressive. Vegan dessert is extremely difficult to find in Athens so I was very, very happy with this. However, since Kosher Bistrot was quite expensive, we decided not to go back again and explored other options during the rest of our stay.
Via di Santa Maria del Pianto 68/69, Rome. Open Sunday to Friday 10am to 8pm. www.facebook.com/KosherBistrot/
Via Arenula 43, Rome. Open every day 12pm to 2am. www.facebook.com/Tiepolo-Bistrot-Bottiglieria-via-Arenula-1483532441976972/
Piazza de’ Renzi 31a, Rome. www.casettaditrastevere.com/
Via della Lungaretta 101, Rome. Open Monday to Thursday 12 to 11:30pm, Friday to Sunday 12pm to 12am.
One night, we simply wandered around in Trastevere and ended up in a place called Cave Canem. It was pretty cold there, and again, there were not many options for me, but the food was decent. Nothing special, though, and I would avoid going there in the winter as it was really not cozy due to the cold.
Piazza di San Calisto 11, Rome. Open Monday to Saturday 6pm to 12:30 am, Sunday 12pm to 12:30am.
On Friday we went to a small market with a vegan stall. Vegan Store has pretty much everything a vegan mini market should offer. Barbara gave us some chickpea cheese to try which was absolutely amazing. Italian cheeses are some of the best in the world, so, naturally, Italian vegans have to come up with high-quality vegan substitutes. The cheese we tried and later bought was produced in Tuscany and had a really nice and intense taste. We also tasted some vegan ham and salami and had two panini made by Barbara which we ate right away.
Barbara told us that the market used to be a slaughterhouse and that she was assaulted by some of the other store owners on various occasions, but she continues to try and educate the locals about the injustices done to animals.
Barbara’s Vegan Store is highly recommended to any vegan who visits Rome.
Stall 83 at Nuovo Mercato Testaccio, Rome. Open Tuesday to Saturday 8:30am to 2:30pm. www.facebook.com/veganstore83/ As the prices at Tiepolo were good we actually went back a second time, and I had another lentil soup and some guacamole and hummus with bread. The guacamole was lacking flavor, to be honest, but then why I did I feel the need to order guacamole in Italy in the first place?
Tiepolo was probably our favorite eatery in Rome, and I would recommend it strongly to other vegans traveling to Rome as they offer really good value for money.
Too late during our stay, I found out that a bakery called Caffè Trastevere actually offers vegan croissants and other pastries. While the croissants were not amazing, I am always happy to see that more places are offering vegan options.
Viale di Trastevere 50, Rome.
Overall, I was impressed with the number of vegan options all over Rome. At the train station and airport, I was easily able to find vegan options. I even found a few listings for vegan ice cream places, but since it was winter and quite cold I didn’t really feel the need to try any of them.
What is your experience with vegan Italian food? Have you ever tried artisanal vegan cheese? Let me know in the comments below.