Incase you aren’t following me on Instagram or Twitter (or Facebook lol), I just got back from 2 weeks in Italy! It was awesome! There is a big misconception that a vegan has a hard time finding food to eat in Italy and I’m here to tell you that’s completely wrong! Here’s my tips and tricks to getting by in a country filled with meats and cheeses.
Well, duh! This is not new advice to someone who is vegan. But it’s always good to travel with snacks no matter where you go because we all know there is nothing worse than being starving and it taking 25 minutes to find something to eat. I’m fond of the trail mix packs and dried fruit strips from Trader Joe’s.
Most restaurants in Italy offer an antipasti course. It often includes meat and cheese, but they will gladly leave them off and you will have a smorgasbord of veggies! In fact, when I ordered it in restaurants most of the time the chef would prepare extra veggies for me to make up for the lack of meat and cheese.
Spaghetti al Pomodoro e Basilico
Remember this dish! First of it’s insanely delicious and secondly it’s served at every single restaurant in Italy. Even the ones that don’t have it on the menu will gladly make it for you. It’s a simple dish, but packed with flavor! (My recipe version of this dish coming to the website soon!) Also note that a lot of restaurants in Italy offer gluten free pasta.
Yup, those ultra pure Italians don’t like cheese on their pizza either. Sure you can order any of the pizzas on the menu with no cheese. But if you are in a restaurant where the waiter speaks no english, you might just want to order a marinara pizza and make life easy. You would think this would be a boring pizza, but in fact, the ingredients they use are so fresh and tasty, it’s a fantastic meal!
I have a slight obsession with foreign food markets. I love seeing what people in other countries eat on a day-to-day basis. But the reason you should find them is to grab fresh produce. There is nothing better on a hot day in Italy than some tasty local grapes or peaches! Plus most hotel rooms in Italy have refrigerators, so stock up on water, snacks, and produce.
Stop the presses!!! Not all gelato in Italy contains dairy!! That’s right! Most gelateria’s have non-dairy options just by chance and some are consciously offering soy options! When in Rome, you must go to Giolitti’s! It’s so good it’s almost worth the trip alone! They have about 8 flavors at all times that are vegan (including the best chocolate I’ve ever had!!) and about a dozen granita flavors. If soy gelato is what you are looking for check out Blue Ice who carries about 4 soy flavors daily. In addition, sorbetto is also naturally vegan made of frozen fruit.
If you are driving around Italy, the gas stations have really good food! No joke! You should be able to find pizza marinara and antipasti. They also have wine on tap, just sayin’
Remember that you’re in another country, where their way of life is different than yours. When asking if a restaurant can accommodate your diet, do it with a smile! They are way more likely to want to help
Here is our Road map if you are interested: