Meat-centric capital of spaghetti all’amatriciana and coda alla vaccinara, due to the always higher demand from both locals and tourists, the capital, too, had to adapt and start offering vegetarian dishes.
Careful not to disappoint who expects the best from the Italian food in Italy, the vegetarian restaurants in Rome serve an absolutely mouthwatering selection of eats that will make everyone happy, vegetarians and not.
If you are interested in vegan as well as other types of restaurants in Rome, check out my eBook “Tasting Rome by Neighbourhood” where I suggest five itineraries with the best restaurants and top things to do in five different neighbourhoods.
Your go-to guide to the best vegetarian restaurants in Rome:
Italian food is very diverse, so if you are a vegetarian also in normal restaurants you are bound to find dishes that will meet your dietary needs. Plus, now with the increasing demand, everyone is adapting and vegan/vegetarian choices are always more frequent on most menus. However, if you want a wider choice of vegan, vegetarian, plant-based and even raw food choices, keep reading and take note!
Iconic vegetarian restaurant in Rome, Margutta is open since 1979 and has never shown any sign of cooling. This is a luxury eatery and art gallery. Here you will find an absolutely mouthwatering selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes made with ingredients carefully chosen and strictly fresh, seasonal and local. The same restaurant, in fact, runs also a rich garden in the Parco Veio north of Rome for the vegetables and the fruits come from local Latium’s producers.
Not only food of the highest quality but also an exclusive location. The name, in fact, was given after the street this restaurant is on, Via Margutta, a historical narrow road off the famous Via del Corso and near Piazza del Popolo. Initially just the backroad of the palaces in Via del Babuino where the aristocrats would park their carts and horses, an artist who opened his own workshop making fountains and portraits kicked off a new era for Via Margutta and now it seems a green oasis in the heart of Rome.
The restaurant contemplates a variety of dining options. Every day from 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm there is a buffet with some fifty recipes and four nutritional “routes” (light&detox, protein, vegan and gluten-free); a bistro-style menu from 6.30 to 11.30 pm for a light meal and street-food-style courses for an affordable dinner; a fancy dinner formula with elegant dishes, haute cuisine, light and tempting. There is also a Bio Bar open from morning to evening that serves coffee, a wide range of teas and herbal teas, pastries, cakes and fruit juices and smoothies.
Even though the menu changes depending on the season, some of the dishes you won’t want to miss are pasta on a celery, truffle and apple extract sauce, fennel stew with carbonara foam, seitan crust, and spinach powder, or grilled mushroom and soy burger served with fresh French fries, freshly made veg mayonnaise, ketchup and chilli mustard.
Address: Via Margutta 118; phone: +36 06 3265 0577; website: http://www.ilmargutta.bio/; hours: open 9 am-11 pm.
Nearby landmarks: Piazza del Popolo, Villa Borghese, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Venezia, Pantheon.
Romeow Cat Bistrot
If you love being cuddled by our furry friends while enjoying a nice vegetable mousse, crunchy seitan, delectable curry couscous or some delicious velvety soup, Romeow Cat Bistrot is your place.
Inspired by the Japanese tradition of cat cafes, Romeow’s owners added a mouthwatering menu for lunch and dinner to an always open bistro and coffee shop where you can enjoy a coffee, an afternoon tea with homemade cakes, or a nice smoothie. Everything strictly vegan, everything strictly organic.
Pretty hard to suggest a dish to try as the menu changes constantly depending on the seasonal ingredients, but for example, in autumn you will want to try dishes featuring pumpkin, chestnuts or mushrooms, while in summer something with zucchini, eggplant or bell pepper. New season, new menu. The only element that is never missing are the six lovely cats that wander around and sometimes approach you for some cuddles.
–>> Check out my post on Romeow Cat Bistrot for more info on this restaurant
Address: Via Francesco Negri 15; phone: +39 06 5728 9203; website: http://www.romeowcatbistrot.com/
Nearby landmarks: Romeow is in the hip Ostiense neighborhood and nearby you can visit Pyramid of Cestius, the non-Catholic cemetery, Blu’s street art along Via Ostiense and more street art along Via dei Magazzini Generali and Via del Commercio. In this area is also Rome’s old gasometer, and since you are here, do stop at La Romana for a gelato, not exactly a landmark but you will thank me later.
Wine & Veg
One of the first vegetarian restaurants in Rome, Wine & Veg, formerly L’Insalatiera and La Tavern Vegetariana, delivers what it promises. In the menu, you can find both vegetarian (using dairy products and eggs) and vegan options, some dishes are original creations, some are dishes from the Italian culinary tradition prepared with a contemporary twist and plant-based ingredients.
The menu of Wine & Veg includes starters such as bruschetta and orange salad Sicilian style, first courses such as spelt with stir-fried veggies, curry couscous with veggies or grains and beans soup, and second courses including dishes like baked eggplant “non”-meatballs, gratinéed baked veggies with almonds or grain burger with coriander seeds. You can also order side dishes, large salads, and homemade cakes.
Address: Via Trionfale 94; phone: +39 06 3974 2975; website: http://www.tavernavegetariana.it/
Nearby landmarks: Wine & Veg is in the Trionfale area, so close to attractions like the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, Via Cola di Rienzo shopping street, Piazza Risorgimento, Piazza Cavour, and Castel Sant’Angelo (Hadrian Mausoleum).
Ops! is not really surrounded by tourist landmarks, but I absolutely recommend it. This delicious vegan restaurant in Rome prefers the buffet formula, which has a twofold effect: positive because you can try a wider selection of recipes, and negative because you want to try them all. Been there, done that, so I can give you a little tip. Don’t fill your dish the first time so you can still eat if there is something you want to have a bit more of!
At Ops!, too, the selection of dishes populating the buffet depends on the seasonal produce and it’s huge. Among the ingredients, you are likely to find tofu, seitan and pasta all cooked and dressed in many different ways, and cooked and raw veggies that are seasonal at that moment. My last time there was delighted by a pumpkin carpaccio, lasagne with seitan ragù sauce, polenta with herbs, baked potatoes with paprika, a delicious spicy tofu with veggies and many other delicacies.
Their selection of cakes is also pretty tempting. If you are even a little like me, you will try to resist and then you will succumb. The last one I tried was a delicious cream flavoured with cardamom and cinnamon and berries on top, but I struggled between this and an original version of vegan tiramisu.
Before you enter, you grab the sign you will place on your table and you go directly to the buffet. You fill your plate as much as you like and then you place it on the scale, where the waiter will take note and put your weight on your table. The price is 2.60 € per 100 g, water and cakes are not included.
Address: Via Bergamo 56; phone: +36 06 8411 769; website: http://opsveg.com/; hours: open daily 8.30 am-11 pm (Mondays until 3.30 pm), lunch is 12.30-3.30pm (cold dishes are out from 12) and dinner 7.30-11.30 pm (cold dishes are out from 7 pm).
Nearby landmarks: not much, but with some 10 minutes walk you can reach the quirky Coppedè Quarter designed by architect Gino Coppedè in a mix of Liberty and Art Déco styles that will make you feel in a different city altogether. The nearest big roads are Corso d’Italia and Via Nomentana, there are buses connecting with the city center or it’s about half an hour of pleasant walk to Piazza di Spagna, less than 20 minutes from Piazza Barberini and Via Veneto, some 15 minutes to Villa Borghese.
This vegan and vegetarian bistrot is far from the city centre, but around the area is Villa Flora historical park and one of Rome’s best gelato shops, Otaleg, so your trip for dinner is totally justified.
With the choice of dining either inside and al fresco, Lizard Bistrot prepares the dishes of the Roman and Mediterranean traditions vegan and vegetarian style, so making everyone happy.
Open only for dinner, their menu includes starters, first and second course, side dishes and a mouthwatering selection of desserts. Winking to international traditions, too, theirs is a fusion-style cuisine, so don’t be surprised to find vegan sushi, mixed veggies prepared on the wok Chinese-style and falafel alongside the Roman saltimbocca vegan-style and seitan “scaloppine” in lemon sauce.
Address: Via Virginia Agnelli 96-98; phone: +36 06 9357 0464; website: http://www.ristorantevegetarianoromasud.rm.it/; hours: open Tues-Sun 7 pm-12 am (Monday closed).
Nearby landmarks: the restaurant is located near the cool Via dei Colli Portuensi street and close to the city’s public park Villa Flora, a historical villa with the original buildings and a green boulevard. Inside Villa Flora is also a feline colony that you can visit and where you can also adopt a furry friend.
Among the vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Rome, Ma Va’? vegan eatery opened some two years ago and became popular pretty quickly. Their offer consists of dishes from the Italian and Mediterranean traditions prepared with organic ingredients as local as possible.
Among the starters, try the Mediterranean appetizer made of chickpea hummus, eggplants, and tabouleh or potato soup with ginger, beans, and sesame seeds.
As first course you can choose among delicacies such as whole-grain spaghetti in a pistachio pesto sauce, pasta with ginger, or purple potato gnocchi with cherry tomatoes, rocket salad, and veg cheese, while as a second course, you can order dishes like soy stew in coconut milk, potato stuffed with radish, red onion, olives and cherry tomatoes, or burger of eggplants, beans and mushrooms. You can also choose a side dish and a delicious dessert.
All dishes are available in their gluten-free version. Pets are welcome as long as they are small.
Address: Via Euclide Turba 6/8; phone: +39 06 3729 134 or mobile +39 392 341 8551; website: http://www.ristomava.com/; hours: lunch 12-3 pm, dinner 8-11.30 pm.
Nearby landmarks: located in the lovely Prati neighborhood, this vegetarian restaurant is close to the Vatican, Piazza Mazzini, Piazzale Clodio, and well-connected with the public transport.
Buffet-style for lunch (9 euro during the week, 15 on the weekend), à la carte for dinner, Orto is a delicious vegetarian restaurant in Rome. Their philosophy: tasty meals, abundant portions, affordable prices! The ingredients are strictly organic, including the wines.
Surrounded by a simple decor farm-style you can enjoy gourmet treats such as fennel millefoglie, broccoli, bell pepper, cauliflower polpettone (meatloaf without meat, obviously), a tempting choice of big salads, soups and pasta dishes.
Saturday and Sunday they organize an all-you-can-eat buffet for a fixed price of 15€, water included.
Address: Via Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli 142; phone: +39 06 4567 8050; website: http://ristoranteorto.it; hours: daily 7 pm-12 am.
Nearby landmarks: Orto is in Prati neighborhood close to Piazza Cavour, Via Cola di Rienzo shopping street, the Lungotevere, Castel Sant’Angelo, and the Vatican.
Charmingly tucked away in the lovely Garbatella neighborhood (a typical Roman working-class area I’ve already written about), this vegan restaurant in Rome is a stylish bistro offers a selection of original and refined courses such as amuse-bouche of Marsala-flavoured chestnuts, vegan goulash with potatoes, or radish dumplings with veg cheese and toffee onions, just to give you a hint on what to expect.
Here you can relax and enjoy true delicacies matched by top-notch wines in a candle-lit atmosphere. They also have a selection of gluten-free dishes.
Address: Via delle Sette Chiese 160; phone: +39 06 5128 991 or mobile +39 338 2686 540; website: http://www.ristorantelebistrot.com/; hours: open only for dinner, closed Sunday and holidays.
Nearby landmarks: Close to Via Cristoforo Colombo, it’s not really close to the city center, more to some catacombs area, such as Domitilla and St. Calixtus ones. This is mainly a locals’ area, and that’s why it’s insightful to the curious explorer.
La Capra Campa
Referring to an old Italian tongue-twister, this vegan restaurant is a bit far from the city center but definitely worth a stop if you feel like exploring a new neighborhood and a healthy hearty meal.
This modern bistro serves the classic dishes of the Roman and Latial tradition in a vegan twist. It opened a couple of years ago when Romans were still unsure about the vegetarian cuisine but it resisted despite the locals’ apprehension.
Here, too, health is key, so the dishes on the menu will change according to the season. Some autumn delights are tempeh stir-fried with red wine and radish, seitan with olives, puntarelle (chicory sprouts very popular in Rome) and toasted rye bread, or pumpkin risotto. In other seasons you might find dishes like chili tofu with crunchy veggies, pasta with pesto sauce and fresh tomatoes, venus rice with zucchini, red onion, lime, and basil.
Ingredients such as veg cheese, herbs, almond and other nuts creams are all made in-house, and the chefs also organize very popular cooking classes for the people who panic when they are expecting a vegan guest for dinner.
Address: Via Dignano d’Istria 51/a; phone: +39 327 456 8592; email: email@example.com; hours: open daily 5-11 pm, Saturday and Sunday open also for lunch 12-3 pm.
Nearby landmarks: this restaurant is towards the outskirts east of Rome, not much of the famous landmarks. However, there is an ancient mausoleum, Tor de’ Schiavi, dating back to the 4th century, and a green park, Parco di Villa Gordiani near the Prenestina road. The fastest way to get there is by train, stop Roma Prenestina of the FL2 line.
L’Arancia Blu is one of the well-known vegetarian restaurants in Rome. Both vegan and vegetarian, so dairy and egg products used in the dishes, this eatery likes to add a contemporary twist to its recipes but without disregarding the rich Italian culinary tradition.
Some of the delicacies are radicchio and taleggio cheese lasagna, spelt linguine pasta with chickpea cream, pecorino cheese and black truffle, courgette flowers stuffed with potatoes and basil pesto fried with rice flour and served on bean cream, or artichoke parmigiana served on a bed of basil and mint pesto. They offer a good selection of cakes all made in-house.
This restaurant has also a good range of cheese and Italian and French wines, and artisan beer, alongside fruit smoothies, teas, and infusions.
Address: Via Cesare Beccaria 3; phone: +39 333 7129211; website: http://www.ristorantearanciabluroma.com; open daily, Saturday and Sunday they do brunch from 12 to 4 pm.
Nearby landmarks: This restaurant is in the city center close to Flaminio, so nearby you will have Villa Borghese park, the Tiber river, Piazza del Popolo and Via del Corso shopping street, from which you can easily reach the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, and the Pantheon.
A colorful vegan eatery in the Pigneto area, So What?!? is run by two social activists who have also written a vegan-themed book, participated in TV shows, and held cooking classes. Their food is inspired by the Italian international traditions, especially Middle Eastern. They prefer ingredients from the local producers, even better if coming from their own garden.
Their vegan restaurant in Rome serves dishes like pasta with broccoli and porcini mushrooms, trofie pasta with a hazelnut pesto sauce and sundried tomatoes, non-meatballs with veggies on a tomato sauce, and a delicious selection of cakes.
They promise guests won’t find any Buddhas, no Zen, no philosophy, just good food to enjoy in a cozy atmosphere decorated with illustrations and posters.
Address: Via Ettore Giovenale 56; phone: +36 329 826 5250 (to book, call after 3 pm); website: http://www.sowhatvegan.com/; hours: open for dinner daily, for lunch only Saturday and Sunday, closed on Tuesday.
Nearby landmarks: Located in the Pigneto area, it’s well connected with the public transport but not really close to famous tourist attractions.
Yes, you’ve read it right, the name means the blonde gecko. Open for some ten years, this is one of the first vegetarian restaurants in Rome and has innovative courses on its menu served in original formats, fixed prices or à la carte, you choose.
On the menu, raw veggies, soups, starters, first courses of different types of pasta and lasagna, second courses such as marinated seitan carpaccio with thyme, lemon and chives, and side dishes. To round off a delicious meal, they propose a tempting selection of traditional cakes prepared following a vegan perspective, so no dairy nor eggs.
Casual and intimate ambiance for a tranquil meal, albeit far from the city center.
Address: Via Gerolamo Cardano 105 (if you are going by car, don’t forget to include “Gerolamo” in the navigator as there is another “Via Cardano” in Rome); phone: +36 06 5571 048 or mobile +39 366 814 3982; website: http://www.gecobiondo.eu; hours: open for dinner Tuesday-Saturday 8-11.30 pm, open for lunch only Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday.
Nearby landmarks: Pretty far from the city center, it’s close to Via Guglielmo Marconi, Via della Magliana and Via Portuense, but hardly some famous tourist landmarks. This being said, Ostiense neighborhood is not that far, some 20 minutes walking, and from there, it’s pretty easy to reach the city center.
Finally, we are at the dessert. Where? At Grezzo’s, raw, vegan, delicious. Here you can stop for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, it’s a bit pricey but you can bet on the quality and on your tasting buds happiness.
–>> Read more about one of my favourite vegan places in Rome here.
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