A relatively recent opening in the vegan food scene in Rome, Nativa has quickly become one of my favorite vegan restaurants in Rome. It’s not in the immediate city center but it’s super easy to reach and in such a lovely neighborhood that you shouldn’t even rule out booking your accommodation there. We have ordered their dinner from home and got it delivered a few times and we also had lunch directly on spot, so we can safely say we enjoy their food and will definitely get back there soon.
Our Experience at Nativa Vegan Restaurant
Before getting there we booked our table, even though it was in the middle of the week and there still was plenty of space. We were accommodated outside as we asked because the weather was still lovely and their outdoor is not directly on the main road and quiet.
The waitress and the owner of Nativa are very helpful in giving suggestions and explaining how the menu works as well as what the dishes consist of. We went without our son because he was in daycare so I don’t know if it’s a toddler-friendly restaurant but I will surely update the post with this info once we go full family. My husband and I ordered a starter and a first course each. My appetizer was a tantalizing chickpea and pumpkin hummus with millet chips, while my husband ordered a delicious rustic pie stuffed with veggies.
Our first (and main) courses were a lovely fresh pasta on a broccoli pesto and sweet chili for me and a to-die-for mushroom, walnuts and truffle risotto for my husband. If we go back while they still have this menu, the risotto will definitely be my first choice. Portions were pretty plentiful so we didn’t order a main because we wanted to try their cakes. My choice went to their luscious peanut butter and salted caramel cheesecake and my husband went for a slice of pistachio cake with chocolate ganache. It was pretty hard to pick only two from their list as they had also other cakes that were very inviting.
Nativa Restaurant Menu and Prices
The menu of the vegan macrobiotic-style Nativa restaurant follows seasonality so it frequently changes. Let’s say that in winter you are not going to find zucchini-based dishes and in summer our pumpkin hummus. We like this because this is also how we eat at home.
So in fall and winter, as starters, you will find also a vegetable arancino (rice ball), almond ricotta with herbs and Sardinian carasau bread, or mushrooms with chili pepper and confit cherry tomatoes. Some of their first courses include cacio e pepe spaghetti, so a traditional Roman dish but in a vegan version so with a plant-based cacio cheese, ravioli dumplings stuffed with chickpeas and topped with pumpkin cream and chopped pistachio, as well as gnocchetti fresh pasta made with Senatore Cappelli ancient grain on a vegetable ragù sauce.
The main courses of Nativa are hearty dishes and include non-meat balls on a Spanish sauce, chickpea and cauliflower pie with carrot cream and cauliflower au gratin, citrus-flavored cutlet of smoked tofu with orange jam, fried chicory and marinated avocado and tempeh in a red lentils sambar with pumpkin and tamarind sauce.
Their cooking and serving style reminds me of macrobiotic cuisine. Apart from ordering a single dish, you can order what they call “poké” instead, which is a sort of Buddha bowl that includes all macronutrients a meal should have, so carbs, proteins, seeds, cooked veggies, raw salad and dressing. This is a full meal and costs 13€.
They often have out-of-menu dishes of the day so you will always find some new delicacy. This is what makes them appetizing for someone living in the area like us so we never get bored!
Their cakes are also worth trying. They kind of are guilt-free as in they don’t use white sugar but only natural sweetening and instead of eggs and dairy, they use nuts. So it’s healthier but still high in calories. Apart from the ones we tried, other options that are still tickling our curiosity include the vegamisù, began tiramisu vegan style, pear and chocolate tart, chocolate brownie, and apple, lemon and ginger tart.
Nativa’s prices are definitely affordable. The first courses range between 12 and 14 euros, while the mains are between 11 and 15 euros. Appetizers (2.50-9€) and side dishes (4-6€) are a nice and affordable addition to your meal and cakes are priced between 5 and 7 euros.
Their drink list includes artisan beer, white and red wines as well as soft drinks and water.
The Location: What to See and Do Around Nativa
This is a residential neighborhood and while it’s not far from the city center, it’s not really a tourist hub. I think it’s a fantastic area to stay in Rome because it’s quiet, well connected with local public transport, be it train, metro or buses, and for sure cheaper prices. Here are some of the things you can easily do or visit from this area.
- Villa Pamphilj. This gorgeous Rome park is a very short bus ride away from Valle Aurelia metro/train station and a lovely place to visit to mix history and relax in a green space.
- Aura Shopping Mall. It’s not a big mall but it does have a few nice shops and restaurants so if you are in the area and want to do some gift shopping, check this out.
- Take a stroll. The area is nice and quiet, and if you have booked here your hotel, it makes for a nice after-meal walk.
- Vatican Museums. That’s right, it’s not in the city center but in 20 minutes walk you are in front of the Vatican City.
- Via Gregorio VII. The long road behind the Vatican, Via Gregorio VII is packed with nice shops and a nice walk to have on your way to Saint Peter’s Square or St. Peter’s Basilica.
- Eat Bonci’s pizza. Bonci’s Pizzarium is a short 750-mt walk away so if you are still hungry and curious about one of Rome’s best pizza, make your way to Cipro and enjoy a slice.
Tips for a Perfect Dining Experience at Nativa
- Google Maps is your friend. As I mentioned, it’s not in the very city centre, and while it’s not difficult to locate and reach, it’s not a famous road in an area packed with tourist landmarks, so make sure you can access Google Maps or any navigator app in your smartphone.
- Book in advance. The place is quite spacious but just in case you don’t have any other alternative and don’t want to risk it or it’s the weekend, I suggest you call to reserve your table.
- Leave room for dessert. In the rare occasion when you find a cake that’s not only guilt-free but also nutritious and good for you, you don’t want to miss it.
- Address: Via Umberto Moricca 100.
- How to reach: Metro line A or train, both Valle Aurelia station.
- Working hours: 12-3 pm and 7,30-11pm.
- Phone: 06 6400 8399.