Being vegan is not easy. Being vegan in Italy is even harder (you can read why I have made this lifestyle change here). But I must admit that I am finding more options than I thought I would in Florence. Since arriving in January I have found my favorite vegan-friendly cafes, restaurants, and bars, and I thought I should share!
Please note that the places I am highlighting are not vegan-only. Most of these serve meat and cheese but offer vegan options. I am also not 100% vegan 100% of the time, I try to have a 95% ratio.
Le Vespe offers several vegetarian and vegan dishes, but my favorite by far is their tofu scramble breakfast wrap. It is delicious (well priced) and gives me my breakfast fix when I need it (breakfast is my favorite but is not a big meal for Italians).
Mr. Pino has taken to calling me “Miss Vegan” because I order the same thing every time I go – the Vegan. This panino is sooo good! It is focaccia bread (which is just flour, water, salt, and oil) stuffed with roasted potatoes, sautéed spinach, sun dried tomatoes, eggplant, and topped with a spicy red sauce. I probably eat this at least three times a week!
I recently discovered a new dim sum placed (called Dim Sum lol) and it is delicious. Unfortunately there is only one vegan/vegetarian option, but it is still worth it and the tea is amazing.
Il Principe makes one delicious veggie burger on focaccia topped with whatever veggies and sauces you would like.
I miss cappuccinos, but fortunately more and more places in Florence are offering soy milk. La Milkeria has the best!
Love Life is a cute little juice and smoothie bar that offers a variety of quick and healthy meals on the go… and juice and smoothies of course. They make fresh soups, salads, and my favorite, couscous. They also brew fresh American coffee, just saying.
This store is like the Fresh Market of Florence and offers all sorts of hard to find foods. Chia seeds? Check! Vegan croissants? Check! Almond milk? Check, check!
Finally, don’t worry there are vegan gelato options. Lots of places have started offering soy and coconut milk gelatos. My personal favorites are from Grom and Gelateria dei Neri.
And don’t forget, there are lots of naturally vegan Italian dishes you can get anywhere — Ribollita (the most amazing Tuscan bread and veggie soup), a variety of red tomato sauces (with basil, spicy, veggie, etc.), bruschetta (just make sure you are saying it right), and veggie risotto (but ask for no cheese).